Non League Daily

Editor's Comment: An Unwanted Expedition

It really hasn't been the easiest of years for Glenn Heathcote, chairman of Workington Reds, has it?

Borough Park, the home of Workington Reds Borough Park, the home of Workington Reds


A boardroom exodus, that led to the appointment of Heathcote as chairman, was instigated by the departure of long-serving chairman Humphrey Dobie, who had been a board member for fourteen years. This in itself was instigated by the exit of iconic manager Darren Edmondson, who left Borough Park in order to take up the vacant managerial hot seat at local league rivals Barrow AFC.

With the Reds lying bottom of the league at Christmas after only three wins during the campaign, Ian McDonald was installed as Edmondson's successor days before the Festive period to try and transform the fortunes of a beleaguered club that had a future lying in the balance. McDonald's precarious time as manager only saw Workington record another three victories until the club's fate was sealed with relegation to the Northern Premier League for the 2014-15 campaign.

You'd think that relegation to the Northern Premier League would in some sense be a benefit to a club like Workington, who are almost cut off geographically from the rest of clubs within the country. It would cut out trips to Oxford City and Boston United, and be replaced with trips that were a little less daunting, right? Wrong.

It was calculated that the Reds would clock up a colossal 7,996 miles during their inaugural Northern Premier League venture, with trips to clubs such as King's Lynn Town in Norfolk being a main reason for the mile counter to increase dramatically.

It is a very tough situation for the club, as away games during the week could cause squad problems due to work or family commitments. A trip to Stamford or Rushall Olympic on a Wednesday night in December is not exactly what you'd envisage when relegated to the Northern Premier League. The money which will be forked out on travel will most likely see Workington's playing budget slashed, having a knock-on effect immediately for the club.

Glenn Heathcote was right to speak out about the issue that has affected clubs from Bishop's Stortford to Durham City in seasons gone by, and that a solution to the Northern section being restructured in order for remote clubs such as Workington to be relieved of travel demands that can really take their toll on financial budgets.

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