THACKLEY chairman Ben Oliver has confirmed that popular manager Pat McGuire and his coaching staff have agreed to remain at the club for next season.

He also reassured fans that the club is in good financial health, despite the uncertainty that has come about as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Oliver also detailed some of the work that the club is doing in the community too during this time of crisis, helping out the likes of schools and foodbanks.

Addressing the supporters, Oliver said: "I am delighted to announce that Patrick McGuire and his coaching team have agreed that they will continue as the first team management team for the 2020/2021 season, whenever that starts.

"The squad, which Patrick and his coaching team have worked with over the last two and a half seasons, is showing signs of improvement all the time, in line with the sustainable model we want for Thackley AFC.

"The committee are delighted that they will be continuing next season to further this long term project.

"Patrick and his team have been pulling together plans for the new season since the lockdown was implemented and already have some great ideas which they are progressing."

Discussing matters off the field, Oliver said: "A number of supporters will also no doubt be wondering how well the club stands financially to see us through this period of uncertainty, and many will have seen that a number of football clubs have started "Go Fund Me" pages due to cash flow difficulties caused by the lockdown and suspension of footballing activities.

"Put simply, all operations which provide an income have now ceased for our club, and this is the same for most, if not all, other professional and non-league clubs.

"It is no secret that, in 2014, the club was struggling with financial difficulties so severe that its entire existence was at stake.

"The club is still immeasurably indebted to our 'old guard' of committee members who returned to man the helm at this difficult time, in order to rescue and stabilise the club. Their efforts in doing so are the reason we still exist today.

"Ever since this time, the committee have worked hard to ensure that the club operates sustainably and lives within its means.

"While we know that a number of clubs decide to invest heavily in playing budgets, our focus has always been to drive improvements in our facilities at Dennyfield, to put us in the best position to give our manager the tools he needs to build a competitive team which can sustainably compete at a higher level in the future.

"As we have been "fixing the roof" while the sun shines, I am pleased to report that the club is currently in good financial health and is well placed to see through the pandemic and come out stronger the other side.

"However, we are under no illusions as to how difficult the future may be, and are conscious that there will no doubt be a drop in sponsorship opportunities for all levels of football.

"At the moment, all playing and management expenses have been paid up to-date, we have minimised our expenditure on non-footballing operations and have negotiated with our bar suppliers over unused stock in order to ensure we minimise any potential losses.

"We have also been humbled that a number of our players have re-invested their latest payment of playing expenses back into the club to help us through this tough time.

"This was not asked for nor expected, but demonstrates that the individuals we have within our club do have the club's best interests at heart."

Oliver added: "We are also using this time to draw up plans for renovation work. One of our priorities is the renovation of the remainder of the clubhouse, after the Willingham Suite was renovated and opened in the summer of 2019.

"Plans are currently being drawn up for this renovation work, which we hope to progress substantially this summer. In addition, we are looking at improving the pitch side facilities where possible, and have already begun planning for our 'close season' work on the pitch."

Finally, outlining how Thackley have been helping those in need, Oliver said: "We know that, now more than ever, we must use this time as an opportunity to see how the club can support our local community.

"Although it has been difficult due to the lockdown situation, some steps which we have been able to take so far are a donation of almost 100 packets of crisps to Thackley Primary School (for the key worker teachers and students who are still attending school every day), and a food donation to the Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank.

"Food banks are very low on supplies across the country and therefore would welcome any donations, if possible, to ensure we are looking after the most vulnerable in our society. We will continue to support the community where we safely can."