News & Star column 04.03.21

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For the fourth game in a row the Blues scored first but still failed to go and win – leaving fans shaking their heads in disbelief after defeat at Colchester in midweek.

United dominated most of the game but have now taken just one point from their last six games, seriously denting any promotion hopes. 

But at least there was some good news out of Brunton Park this week. Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens revealed that for the last 21 months the club have been financially self-sufficient.

This would be excellent news at any time, but during an extraordinary season with football hit by the Covid pandemic crisis, fans should find it reassuring.

Twelve months ago the future of lower league clubs seemed on the line. With no match day income how could they survive?

Thanks to some begrudging help from the Premier League and the backing of the supporters it looks like most will pull through.

 There are still danger signs ahead, and some clubs may yet fall by the wayside, but the Blues look in better shape than many.

CUOSC has long recognised that United need to work on the basis of being a self-sustainable club. That’s why we supported the cost-cutting measures that began after manager Keith Curle’s departure three seasons ago.

We welcome the news that the club has not used the Edinburgh Woollen Mill loan facility for 21 months – a facility that, with the company in administration, is no longer available.

There has also been the cushion of player sales. Nigel Clibbens explained money is coming in over the long term with the club having built a legacy of income flow from past sales that should help ease any short term issues.

It is well reported that we stand to gain financially the more games goalkeeper Dean Henderson – who was with the Blues as a schoolboy – plays for Manchester United. Let’s hope he becomes a first team regular.

In addition ex-United striker Sam Cosgrove’s move from Aberdeen to Birmingham has provided a bonus this season.

As fans we have to keep faith and hope we can get things back together again on the pitch. Three points at Morecambe on Saturday would do wonders for morale.

United are having discussions about the next step in engaging with supporters to find out their views on what sort of catering facilities they would like to see at Brunton Park next season. They are keen to explore all options for the 2021/22 season.