SHOLING boss Dave Diaper is hopeful his club’s March to the Arch and higher profile will help to bring in new investment.
Diaper, preparing to step down as boss after 14 years following this weekend’s FA Vase final, couldn’t be happier with the Boatmen’s progress.
The one thing that disappoints him, though, is the lack of people coming forward to invest in the club’s success story. He said: “I watched our reserves beat Dorchester 2-1 on Monday to win the Wyvern Premier title – and what a game that was!
“We were 1-0 down with 20 minutes to go and then Jamie Craven equalised before Callum Parker got the late winner.
“I can’t remember a club locally having so much success in one season through the youth sections, reserves and first team, so I’m slightly disappointed from the commercial side of things that no one’s coming in to be part of it.
“We’ve had a meeting with Eastleigh Borough Council about ground development and we’re waiting for more funding to come in.
“There are people out there who put money into clubs and what a great opportunity it would be now to get involved and share in our success.
“The only reason we’re able to go back up to the Southern League is because of the Vase money, which will at least pay for the travelling, but it’s making sure we’ve got the money to sustain it the following season.
“We’ve had an email from the FA praising us for the way we’ve gone about our business, asking all the right questions.
“But it’s unfortunate for us that this is the first year where teams get no share of the gate.
“Normally the Vase finalists get ten per cent of the gate, but this is the first year they’ve decided not to do that.
“We’ve sold just over 3,000 tickets so far and are anticipating a gate of 8,000-10,000 on Saturday, but we’ll make nothing from ticket sales and if we had 300 tickets left unsold, we’d have to pay for them.
“We’ve also ordered a fair bit of merchandise, so we need people to put their hands in their pockets and buy some.
“If not, we might be the only club in history to make a loss out of the Vase final! “But if we make no profit, so be it.
“We’re just pleased to share in the day.
“Commercially it’s a big opportunity for us. “In seasons to come people will have heard of Sholing FC and it will hopefully make it easier to get funds in.
“We’ve gone overboard with team suits for Wembley and an overnight hotel, but the players are worth it.
“They’re the ones who have got us here.”