Sheffield FC chiefs make a plea for support

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Richard Tims and Ian Whitehorne are appealing to the city of Sheffield to come and support Sheffield FC to the end of the season, after the club was placed under a transfer embargo.

The Sheffield Telegraph understands that the world’s first football club, which has endured big cash flow issues in recent months, is now operating under the embargo, which comes after Tims, the club’s chairman, was forced to cut players wages by 50% after a range of projected incomes had not gone to plan.

The club has also lost approximately £15,000 in revenue after not playing a home game for more than two months, due to the weather between December 7 and February 22.

Talks with a number of “considerable partnerships”, which have been ongoing for 12 months, were expected to be concluded in the summer.

But with nothing yet completed, Club had to make drastic cutbacks on wages and also let a number of key players, including captain Warren Burrell, Stuart Ludlam and Tom Burgin, leave.

Manager Whitehorne had previously revealed that he was “down to the bare bones” in terms of player numbers.

And the transfer embargo meant that he could not sign an emergency goalkeeper on loan, or register an under-19s player, for their Evo-Stik First Division South clash against Newcastle Town on Tuesday night, which saw Matt Roney deputise in goal with no other stopper available.

Whitehorne has revealed this week that he has enquired about moving Sheffield’s games to avoid clashing with the city’s biggest sides, United and Wednesday, in order to try and entice more crowds to come and support his side until the end of the season.

“People perceive us to be well off and we’re really not,” Whitehorne told the Telegraph.

“We need people to come and help get us over the line, but sometimes it doesn’t help when we are playing our games on the same day as Wednesday and United.

“I have enquired about us moving our midweek games, maybe to a Wednesday, and some of our weekend games to Friday because, right now, we need the help.

“We don’t know how the situation is going to develop.

“We are under a transfer embargo at the moment and we really need the support now to get us over the line.”

Since 2007, the club’s average attendance has been in a slow decline and has never looked like recovering towards the crowds of over 300 that they recorded, on a regular basis, throughout their anniversary year.

Just 191 fans turned out to watch their 1-1 draw with Romulus on Saturday - and Tims has issued a plea for fans to come and support his club in their time of need.

“We have got huge support around the world and across social media and people are quite proud of the fact that the world’s first football club is here in Sheffield,” Tims said.

“People I have never seen before come in and will buy a shirt to take away with them, but we never see them again.

“We need people to come down now and be a part of what we are doing.

“If you’re proud of Sheffield FC, let’s work together to continue what we started in 2007.

“Sheffield FC is a huge part of this city and its history, and we need as many people on board to help us share that message and support us for the rest of this season.”