Date: 17th December 2013 at 11:24pm
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Cheltenham chairman Paul Baker has said it won’t be the end of the world if the club fail to reach the play offs this season and that won’t be a deciding factor when it comes to manager Mark Yates’ and Neil Howarth’s futures at the club.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press the chairman began his interview by talking about his pleasure that in general terms given our playing budget, we do punch above our weight even though this season has been disappointing based on what we’d hoped to achieve following our last campaign.

A Football League report has apparently just been circulated and it shows that in terms of playing budgets Cheltenham sit in 12th place in that report, whilst we sit in 13th place in the league.

For consecutive seasons we have been challenging for a play off push, and given our form so far there’s no guarantee we’ll make that three for three, but the chairman seems quite relaxed about that even though he is obviously disappointed and he says of the report that this season alone we are average for the league and ‘exactly halfway up’ the table in budgetary terms, and with other benchmark categories such as wages, contract lengths and salary cap performances it shows ‘we are a financially well run club.’

That has been obviously helped by the financial investment we received a few years back, which has been more than supplemented over the past few seasons with Cup runs and our Play Off involvement, but that will obviously have to be dipped into at some point given our loss to Tamworth earlier in the season but the Chairman knows we remain sustainable and ultimately that pot behind the club is there to be used for stability in harder times, but the secret is operating within our means.

When the day comes that this isn’t the case alternative finance will have to be looked at and ‘our cloth’ will have to be cut, but the board are ahead of the curve on that anyway to limit any potential impact because of our performances this season.

One thing cloth cutting will impact on are length of contracts for players and obviously the management staff but Baker adds on the potential future of the management.

‘We’ll be disappointed if we don’t reach the play offs, but 24 clubs are all trying to get there and we are halfway in terms of budget. It won’t be the end of the world but of course I hope we do. More importantly it’s critical we break even, then we can kick on next season. We’ll talk with Mark and Neil in the New Year and go from there, but getting in the play offs is not the deciding factor.’