Tuktuk Day 72

Taunton Town FC

Over the last two months I have been struck time and time again at the huge divide between the wealthy clubs of the Premier League and. well, everybody else. Obviously, the Tuktuk Tour is to raise awareness and funds for FC Deportivo Galicia at Step 6. Our challenges are nothing compared to those further up the pyramid. We have no paid employees, we have no ground to maintain and rarely need coach travel.

We groundshare with Bedfont Sports and the players carpool to away games that are generally within 30 miles. We hear of the troubles at Chester, Rochdale and in the North East. Sadly some clubs have had to throw the towel in during the season. This week’s ” Plea for Help” is from Taunton Town in Somerset. Them today, your club tomorrow?

“I would like to highlight the current plight of Taunton Town Football Club. We are just coming out of the wettest winter ever in this part of the world, this has taken its toll on non league football pitches but none more so than our County Town side which has seen 9 games postponed due to waterlogged pitches and 5/5 of the last home games. This has left the club with no matchday income through ticket sales, bar, food and club shop purchases. The club recently had a winding up petition from the HMRC as they could not pay taxes due to no income. The money was found and the HMRC paid but they need paying every month. A statement was released this week that the club have not been able to pay players in full, staff at all, and will likely have another winding up petition #(below). In reality, the club is very close to closure. The club plays at the 6th tier of English football, 2 off Football League Two so fairly high up in the National football pyramid. The recently formed Independent Supporters Association are trying to raise funds to close the gap. They have a Go Fund Me page at https://gofund.me/c8154fa3 alternatively, supporter Troy Webster is running an 84 mile ultra marathon to which you can sponsor him at https://gofund.me/e9194d32 Troy is donating his sponsorship to the football club.

If there is anyone reading this who could assist in engaging with EDF/Hinkley Point/HPC and the workforce this could also make a huge difference. If only 10% of the workforce were to start following the club or make donations it would help greatly. There could even be a Hinkley Point Taunton Supporters Branch! In the 2013/14 floods we had Dutch pump employees over at the EA, I managed to convince one to come and watch Taunton Town and he formed the Taunton Town Dutch supporters branch. We are also ‘big in Japan’, I kid you not……. due to a former Taunton Resident hosting a Japanese football show on one of their main channels and featuring the club.

If the town was to lose its football team this would have a big impact locally. The club provides people with wellbeing and social interactions, a release from daily work/life balances. It provides local companies advertising opportunities through sponsorship and working with the club. A large part local history and culture would be wiped out. If you can support the club either through donations, attending forthcoming fundraisers such as a Horse Race Night and Quiz Night or attending games when the pitch is playable, it will go a long way towards securing the future of the club.”

Sad days, indeed.

# Club Statement

The number of home games postponed due the volume of rain these past weeks has only deepened the financial challenges the club is experiencing.

As a result, the club has been unable to meet its salary commitments for February (payment due on the 5thMarch 2024). Using the small amount of income the club has received in February, it has agreed with the players to pay an affordable percentage of their expected sum.  The difference will be paid as soon as the club is able to. The remainder of the club staffing team have unfortunately not been paid.

Disappointingly the lack of income does mean that the club is unable to meet its HMRC commitment. Having already exhausted payment plan options with the Revenue, another winding up order and league transfer embargo could be unavoidable. The club will endeavour to continue to provide updates on the situation when we can.

Tickets for the remaining home games can be purchased online via the club website. Doing so in advance would significantly assist the club in this challenging time. Further to this, tickets are now available for the exhibition match between Manchester United Legends vs Taunton Town Legends on 19th May. Your support will be greatly appreciated.


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