CHIPPENHAM Town have launched the ‘Bluebirds Budget Boost’ campaign as they aim to raise funds for the playing budget ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Chairman Neil Blackman has already had to make significant cuts all around the football club – one of which came as Chippenham Park were disbanded to save money for Town.

Several long-term injuries to key players last season forced the Bluebirds chairman to make money available for treatment and rehabilitation while replacing those absentees consequently ate into this season’s budget.

And with a considerably smaller budget this time around, Blackman is asking fans, sponsors and locals alike to consider putting their hands into their pockets to help benefit the success of their local football club.

The club are asking people to help by donating £90 to the BBB (Bluebird’s Budget Boost) or by making two payments of £45 by the August 10, 2019 and January 1, 2020.

Chippenham have promised donators a special ‘BBB’ ticket which will entitle

them to free entry to all home cup games plus 10 per cent discount in the club shop.

Discussing the idea and aims behind the ‘BBB’ scheme, Blackman said: “I’ve been quite open with the fact that we suffered badly with long-term injuries to key players, so not only did we have to pay those players while they were out injured, we also had to pay for operations and treatments.

“We also had to bring in additional players to cover those players who were out injured, so last season we really suffered quite badly financially.

“That meant that this season we’ve had to be extremely economical with the budget, in all aspects of the football club including the playing budget.

“So to try and expand the playing budget as much as possible, we’re launching this campaign to give the manager the best fighting chance of succeeding.

“We’d like to get as much as possible. If we could get to £10,000 then that would be fantastic, but we would just be really, really grateful for anything that anyone could afford.”

As well as boosting the playing budget for the coming season, Blackman is aiming to see an increase in attendances that more closely match their final-day fixture against league champions Torquay United.

The appointment of Community Officer Tina Hemmings was brought about by the chairman’s desire to reconnect with local people and make the football club the heartbeat of Chippenham.

Blackman said: “I’ve always said from the outset that Chippenham Town is a community club and a part of the community.

“But I don’t think we’ve been very good at it in the past.

“So I’ve now appointed a new community officer (Tina Hemmings) and her role will be to get us out there in the community and boost our community project.

“That covers a really broad range of anything and everything involving the community.

“I am still convinced that there are a number of people out there in Chippenham and the Chippenham area that don’t even know we exist, and I need to reach out to those people.”