Bracknell Town battle on as league decision lingers

Published: 17 May 2012 12:300 comments

BRACKNELL Town remain in a case of limbo - but that has not stopped club officials from ploughing on with a fundraising drive.

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While Robins await a critical decision from the Hellenic League on whether they have been relegated, backroom staff and volunteers have been drumming new revenue streams to boost the club's coffers.

The season may have ended weeks ago, but Larges Lane was bristling with activity again last weekend when Bracknell staged a popular charity five-a-side tournament, with the club's own team raising £100 for the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance.

And planning is now almost complete for the upcoming second Bracknell Ale & Wine Festival which proved a massive hit when it was staged for the first time last year.

The festival, featuring locally-sourced beers, raises much-needed cash for the Robins who have to compete with rivals clubs boasting much bigger budgets.

And for club director Tom Conning the next few weeks will be crucial to their long-term financial health.

Canning told the News: "All we can do at the moment is concentrate on fundraising. That is our sole focus and these next couple of months will be a very busy time in that respect.

"We're staging a variety of events and we hope local people come out and support us and get behind their local club. It's all organised by volunteers, no-one gets paid for anything.

"Our attendances for the last two home games of the season were excellent and we're hoping to build on that again next season."

Amid the backdrop of the gruelling fundraising effort remains a deep concern that Bracknell Town will be relegated from the Hellenic Premier into Division One East next season.

Robins, led by joint-bosses Steve McClurg and Andy Keen, finished rock-bottom of the division and are banking from a reprieve from the Hellenic League to keep them up.

"Until the league decide it's not worth speculating," added Canning. "We will have to wait until the outcome of the Annual General Meeting next month so until then we cannot really comment."

Whatever the Hellenic League decides, Robins will continue to improve the club's facilities including the pitch itself.

The playing surface at Larges Lane has been criticised in the past but the hard work of staff has changed all that.

"We've had a lot of positive feedback on the pitch from visiting teams," explained Canning. "I think the first team only had one game called off this season which is very good.

"The pitch has improved a huge amount and we will continue to work on it throughout the summer."

Meanwhile, tickets to the Bracknell Ale Festival on Monday, June 4 cost £3 via www.bracknellalefestival.co.uk or on the day, with discounts available for CAMRA members and concessions.

Festival organiser Michael Keen said: "We are hoping that everyone will be in the Jubilee spirit and come down and celebrate with us."

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