Sunday, 10 February 2013

Farsley AFC Manager Neil Parsley on Finances in Football

Twitter - @jamesAgrayson

The first of many interviews with non-league football personalities to appear on the website.
Use Farsley AFC as an example for how to run a club financially successfully. That is the message from Farsley manager Neil Parsley to clubs living beyond their means.

Parsley has been in charge at Throstle Nest through the bad times to the good times – from the folding of Farsley Celtic in 2010 to the resurrection as AFC. After taking charge in 2008, Parsley kept the team afloat on the pitch, while in the background Celtic were haemorrhaging money from players’ wages. Administration followed because of a large tax bill before administrators Mazars closed the club after failing to agree a deal with the Palmer-Farrell consortium.

The consortium, led by chairman John Palmer, bought Throstle Nest back and reformed the club. Since then the club has gone from strength to strength. There have been large investments in the facilities and the club are making money from the sports hall and bar. But Evo Stik Division One North side Farsley will not spend beyond their means and Parsley believes other clubs should follow their lead.

“I think other clubs should use us as a good example of how to run a club,” he said. “The only two things we do lack are and that is without a dig at anyone, we have great training facilities here but we can’t use them because they are hired as the club is making money. And the second is that we could do with an influx of young blood behind the scenes at directorship to implement new ideas.

“Make no mistake about it though, the Palmers and the Farrells have implemented some fantastic things and we need to move onto the next level now.”

Parsley admits financial problems are a thing of the past at Throstle Nest and the former Huddersfield Town and West Brom defender speaks very proudly of how his club is run.

“We lost three tiers (after folding), but the club is self-sufficient and I’m quite happy to run a club that doesn’t have any financial worries,” he said. “The club has a budget it can afford and it is a competitive budget. But what I know from being manager since the club reformed, the wages have been there every single week and no-one has had a problem with the tax. We are a well-run club from top to bottom.”

The demise of Farsley Celtic was primarily down to overspending on players’ wages after reaching the Football Conference in 2007 alongside a huge tax bill. In 2013, Farsley refuse to overspend and Parsley admits to turning away a player who demanded too much in wages.

“I spoke to a player three months ago who wasn’t earning anything at a certain club and he asked for twice what my best player was on,” he said. “It brought a wry smile to my face and the business wasn’t concluded.”

While how Farsley have evolved in three years since reforming should be applauded, there are still clubs out there who teetering on the brink of oblivion. In non-league football, Hucknall Town and Hinckley United are just two struggling to survive. On the professional side, Glasgow Rangers went bust while Portsmouth’s future is still uncertain and Parsley is of the belief that more clubs will fold.

He said: “Unfortunately I think there will be more clubs that will fall by the wayside because of tax bills, national insurance, partly because of clubs spending beyond their means.”

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