PETER Rinkcavage says the wage cut enforced on Frickley Athletic midway through the season has had a “devastating impact” on the South Elmsall club.
The Blues announced a reduction to the playing budget in January in light of financial problems owing to a downturn in income at the Tech5 Stadium.
It came at a time Rinkcavage was building a competitive squad in the Evo-Stik Premier Division and has played a major part in Frickley’s slide into the relegation places.
The Blues now face a big battle to retain their Premier Division status and the Frickley boss has admitted things are tough as the season enters its ‘business end’.
“Things are really difficult at the club at the moment,” he said.
“The wage cut that was announced just after Christmas has had a devastating impact on the club. There was a lot of rallying around at the time but now it seems to have been forgotten about.
“I’m not making excuses, but a lot of clubs would have lost all their players in our situation and their fate would have been decided already. You just need to look at the wage cuts at Durham, and more recently Burscough, to see the impacts it can have on clubs.”
The Blues have managed to keep hold of the majority of their playing staff despite the cuts, some on revised contracts, although the news came at a time Rinkcavage was desperate to bolster his attacking options.
But the biggest impacts have come away from matchday, with players having to prioritise their day-to-day work over the cost of travelling to training twice a week.
One recent training session saw just seven first-team squad members attend.
“Unfortunately the wage cut came at just the time that we were looking to bring some new attacking players in and now the cap we have on signing players doesn’t allow us to bring players in that are better than what we have,” said the Blues boss.
“It’s been the case all season that we’ve been playing well but we’ve not been taking our chances.
“The cut has also had an impact on what we already have. Some players simply can’t afford to drive to training twice a week so it’s hit us there as well, areas where people can’t see.
“It’s hindered us in so many ways that I’m working with one hand tied behind my back.”
Rinkcavage says he fully understands the players’ decisions to put work before midweek training in light of the current financial climate and has paid tribute to them for staying at the club instead of opting for the easy way out and moving elsewhere.
“We worked really hard to keep the players at this club and they’ve stayed loyal to us,” he said.
“We’re still competitive and although we’re in the bottom four we still have a chance to escape relegation if we all pull together.
“We’re not getting thrashed every week and we’re competitive so now’s the time to stick together and help the club stay in this division.”
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.