Truro City's Jake Ash feels salvation is still possible
Truro City captain Jake Ash has urged potential saviours of the Cornish football club not to be scared away from Treyew Road by reports of the Blue Square Bet South outfit's grave financial predicament.
Former Truro City manager Steve Massey, a Cornwall-based businessman, caused a stir this week when he pulled out of a plan to play a part in rescuing the club, which is in administration and is in danger of losing its place in the second tier of English non-League football.
Massey announced that he had been unable to bring in backers with the right sort of financial muscle, and he told BBC Cornwall: "As a business proposition, you'd walk away from it. It just doesn't make sense. The players are on very good Conference money on a Western League income."
Massey added: "Over the past seven seasons, it has been a train crash waiting to happen." Truro's former chairman Kevin Heaney, whose backing allowed City to make a rapid rise up the non-League football pyramid, was declared bankrupt in August.
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Truro are without a game today, and Ash and his team-mates are waiting to find out what happens next week. City have been set a deadline of next Thursday by the Football Conference to come up with an appropriate amount of finance, or agree a sale. If they fail to do so, they face expulsion from Blue Square Bet South.
In a statement issued on behalf of City's players and staff, Ash insisted the club's financial crisis was not beyond salvation. He wrote: "We all feel the details of what it [a takeover] might cost someone is worth knowing – it is far less severe than we have all heard. It would appear that the outstanding creditors' bill is around the £190,000 mark.
"We have been told by the administrator that they have spoken to the owners of the land [JoJo Investco Limited], and they are happy to provide a ten-year lease for the club to remain playing at Treyew Road. Thus, if someone was to come in and take the club over, they would merely need to make the club sustainable – and that is possible."
Ash added: "As players and staff, we are obviously viewed as a creditor. Needless to say, should the right bidder be in place, we would be more than happy to negotiate a deferral or payment plan to suit a purchaser. We, after all, want the club to be saved.
"There has been much conjecture regarding wages. I can assure all fans, the money we are paid is miles away from Conference wages and that our wage bill at the moment would have us very comfortably in the bottom six of this league."