Apr 22 2011 By Greg Burns
CHESHAM United chairman Alan Calder has vowed not to steer the club into financial ruin like many other non-league clubs.
The Generals, a rare case of a supporter-run club through the Chesham United Supporter's Trust, have watched as fellow Zamaretto Premier Division side Windsor & Eton were liquidated after ringing up huge debts.
Salisbury City were demoted two divisions because of financial problems last season while weekend opponents Weymouth have been docked 10 points for going into administration this season.
It is a common theme throughout the non-league scene as boards throw cash into a rat-hole to climb the football pyramid.
But life-long fan Calder, who took over the reins at The Meadow last summer, is confident he can keep Chesham on a secure financial footing.
He said: "We are committed to securing the long term future of Chesham United and enabling our supporters, and the people of Chesham, to enjoy watching football played at the highest sustainable level.
"The world of football seems to have gone financially mad, even down to our level where clubs are going out of business with five, even six, figure sums owed to HMRC.
"At Chesham United we are not paying what we cannot afford and we ensure everyone gets paid and all taxes and National Insurance is paid honestly, and on time. Without such business management, the Supporters' Trust could not set about achieving all it's objectives.
"The challenge for the Supporters' Trust has been both exciting and frightening as we juggle the dream of running the football club we love with the terrifying prospect of managing a company that turns over approximately £250,000.
"We will make mistakes along the way, but we believe we are trying to do things properly with the restriction of being run purely by volunteers, and our ambition is to share and expand the excitement we are experiencing across all the teams associated with Chesham United Football Club, their management and their families.
"With all that going on, I personally believe that 2010/11 has been a massive success for the football club as a whole."
Calder has hailed the work of boss Andy Leese for guiding the side to the brink of the play-offs in their first season back in the Premier Division and the success of the reserve, youth and ladies sides.
He said: "Whereas I am not going to pretend to be an expert in the detail of every team under the Chesham United banner, I am keeping a regular eye on all things Chesham United and we have put in place a club management board, people entrusted to take responsibility and make decisions, that is actively looking to bring everyone closer together, which I hope over the next 12 months we will all begin to benefit from even further."
The Generals celebrate their End of Season Celebratory Bash at The Chess Suite on Friday May 6 from 7.00pm onwards. Entry is free.