CHIPPENHAM Town will have to cut £1500 a week off the club’s budget due to financial pressure caused by Covid, according to manager Mike Cook.

The Bluebirds have been forced to cancel the contracts of Ross Stearn and Marlon Jackson as the club attempts to find ways to trim costs – meanwhile, Adam Mann has left the club until January for a spell in America.

Addressing the recent news, Cook said he may have to ask football league clubs to help the Bluebirds out when it comes to loan finance plans.

Cook said: “We’re going to have to lose £1500 a week from the budget, mainly because of the pandemic.

“The club has struggled to recoup some of the money they thought they might get back through various means this season. That includes gate money, sponsorship, and thing like that. It’s a bit of a devastating blow.

“It means we have to say farewell to Marlon Jackson and Ross Stearn. Adam Mann has also gone back to America for the moment, but he should be back in January – we’ll have to look at finances then to see what we can do. But obviously that makes quite a big hole in our squad.”

The news comes days after Chippenham drew 3-3 away at Dartford thanks to Luke Russe’s 90th-minute header.

Dan Griffiths headed the Bluebirds in front before Dartford turned the game on its head just before half-time through Noor Husin and Ade Azeez.

When Azeez doubled his tally 15 minutes from the end – cancelling out Ricky Aguiar’s second goal for the club – it appeared as though Dartford had stolen all three points. But Russe latched onto the end of a deep cross to spark jubilant scenes for Cook’s men.

The feel-good factor at the club did not last much longer, however, with this week’s news regarding budget cuts.

Cook says he won’t give up though and stated Chippenham can still enjoy a successful season.

He said: “There are other ways that we’ll try and save a little bit of money, but it’s sad for the club to lose good players like that.

“They’re good human beings, but the chairman has asked me to find a way, so that’s what we’ve had to do.

“The chairman was good with me, there was no indication around me. If anything, I got the dreaded vote of confidence!

“With me, it was more a case of if I felt this job was beyond my capability then I would be the first to walk away. But I still feel we can do something, and we’re going to give it a bit of a go.”