THE struggle to keep Cowdenbeath Football Club’s finances in order was on the agenda at the town’s Rotary Club on Thursday.

Speaker was the club’s finance director, David Allan, who outlined how important it was that the recently launched Club 135 initiative becomes a success.

David said that Cowden were 136 years old and over that time various boards had experienced difficulties in making ends meet at Central Park, but each one had got over these.

The current board were no different: “There have been difficult days from time to time, indeed in the early 1900s the board of the day had to introduce greyhound racing at the club’s North End Park home to bring in extra cash, then during the Great Depression in the late 1920s, the club had to sell their best players to survive.

“Now that is not an option through the Bosman ruling with transfer fees largely a thing of the past.”

David said that the club had spent three seasons in Scotland’s second top tier, the Championship, and people had thought that playing such teams as Rangers, Hearts and Hibs at home in the third season would have filled the coffers at Central Park.

He added: “Yes the gate receipts were well up that season, indeed the cash taken in was £300,000, but the problem was that the outlays were much greater in housing these games and also wages were much highers and so there was not a huge sum left over to salt away for a rainy day.”

Back to back relegations had a big effect on cash flow with last season’s total gate receipts for the season in League 2 being just £28,000.

With the outlay for the season being £145,000 it meant the board had to find a substantial sum to keep the ship afloat.

He added: “We had the Roof Fall Fund which helped greatly but we are back in the same situation with gate receipts likely to be for the season being around £28,000 and the overall running costs over £140,000.

“So we need a mechanism which can help us give the club a sustainable steady flow of money and that was why chairman Donald Findlay came up with the Club 135 idea.”

In April Club 135 was launched. The simple ambition, and it will be a challenge, is to raise say £135,000 over a period to bolster Cowdenbeath FC for the years ahead as it adapts to its current circumstances.

The target is to have 13,500 people to contribute £10. £135,000 is a lot of money – no doubt about it. But in another way it is just £10 a head from 13,500 people. Added David: “That though means enlisting to the cause every Cowdenbeath fan, every Cowdenbeath well-wisher, anyone with family or footballing links to Cowdenbeath world-wide – maybe from a family which had its roots in the mining community of Cowdenbeath, or any other generous spirited individuals. All helping to try to preserve what is not just a much loved football club but is a prized community asset.

“Through efforts via the likes of social media we could look to bring in friends and family on a global basis and thus hopefully get the support of enough people willing to donate just a tenner at least each, although larger amounts of course would be welcomed, to try and secure the future of the club.

“In a short space of time the Club 135 mechanism has raised over £15,000 but it is just the start.

“People can lodge much larger sums in the system if they wish and £250 or more sees the person receive a share certificate.”

The Cowden finance director concluded: “There are no miracle cures, no sugar daddies waiting in the wings, so we have to give it a go and take on this great challenge and hopefully Cowdenbeath minded people will back it.”

The Rotary Club made a contribution to Club 135 on Thursday.