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Bromley FC praises fans after big freeze

PUBLISHED: 09:44 05 January 2011 | UPDATED: 09:53 05 January 2011

Hayden Bird

Hayden Bird

Archant

The management of a football club have praised fans for pulling together after cancelled games, snowbound punters and a recent clubhouse break-in have left the club "almost crippled."

Pictures of Bromley Football Club

Bromley FC chief, Jerry Dolke, wrote to fans last week to ask for urgent fundraising ideas after they were forced to cancel a money-spinning home game against Dover Athletic on Boxing Day, despite scores of fans battling to ready the frozen pitch for action.

After an expensive burglary at the Hayes Lane club earlier in December, and the big freeze keeping away punters for lucrative Christmas parties, Bromley players went without pay for more than a week, but bosses were delighted after a dramatic 4-3 home win over Bishop Stortford on Monday.

Assistant manager Hayden Bird, who joined the club a year ago, said: “Until last week we hadn’t had a home game for eight weeks I predict we have lost about £60,000 in revenue.”

“But this has galvanised the whole club - the response from fans has been phenomenal. And the players rewarded them with the home victory over Bishop Stortford.

In his letter sent to fans on Boxing Day Mr Dolke said: “It’s been a massive blow for the club.

“We had our full time staff working 50 hour weeks to clear the pitch and the terraces its gutting. It is a bitter pill to swallow.”

To add insult to injury, the club had also been hit by the snowy weather forcing it to cancel its Saturday Morning Soccer School and after school clubs for much of the month of December.

In his heartfelt plea to supporters Mr Dolke continued: “I am therefore making a plea to all Bromley supporters for any fundraising suggestions that they may have.

“We do not need tens of thousands of pounds, we just need enough to see us through the next month or so without losing the great squad that we have worked so hard to assemble.”

While Mr Dolke has ruled out the prospect of raising the price of tickets at the turnstiles, instead asking fans to give and extra few pounds to the collection buckets.

The weather-induced money woes for Bromley come just two weeks after Blue Square South rivals Welling avoided extinction after raising some £60,000 to pay tax arrears and keep the club alive. The money was raised through donations, season ticket sales and loans to the Blue Square South team.

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