Championship club “came within hours” of folding

Championship club Barrow Raiders came within hours of going out of business, according to a statement from chairman David Sharpe today.

The Raiders have had a good first season back in the Championship with their home form being a real highlight but off the field worries have recently surfaced.

A “fantastic eleventh hour offer by one of our (Barrow’s) directors” saved the club from going bust.

Part of Sharpe’s statement is as follows: “Last Wednesday evening Barrow Raiders came within hours of going out of existence,”

“Together with the other four remaining directors, too few much too few for the club to prosper, I faced the prospect of the club being no longer able to pay its players and staff caused by a huge black hole in our finances.

“It was only due to a fantastic eleventh hour offer by one of our directors that the club is still in existence to day and will hopefully finish the season which is ironically one of our best for some years.

“A community icon in the Furness Peninsula was nearly committed to history and yet another part of our culture – what makes us who we are – would have been consigned to memory and eventually forgotten.

“This was the third time in our recent history that the club has been close to closure.  I want to help you understand the background and this bulletin is to explain the current position of the club and the recent history that has brought us to this point.

“I was approached in May 2017 by senior figures within and associated with the club who raised serious concerns about the financial welfare of Barrow Rugby League.  I was asked to return but I was reluctant as I felt I had given enough time to the club and need to devote more time to our business.

“Throughout the following 4 months, I was regularly contacted and asked to return.  Two new directors had joined the board,John Coward and Dave Robinson, and were confident the club had moved forward and asked again for me to be chairman.

“In August, I agreed to come back to help sort the problems. Once back at the club it became immediately apparent that John and David had been misinformed regarding the financial state of Barrow R.L.

“You will be amazed and horrified to know that the club had £7.50 in the bank with wages due and had two winding up orders from the Inland Rev & Customs.”

The rest of the statement can be read here.

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