There’s light at the end of Brig tunnel – Lawlor

Bamber Bridge captain Matt Lawlor in action
Bamber Bridge captain Matt Lawlor in action
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Bamber Bridge captain Matt Lawlor is hopeful the club will soon be back on the straight and narrow.

Bamber Bridge captain Matt Lawlor is hopeful the club will soon be back on the straight and narrow.

The alarm was sounded at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium three weeks ago when news broke that the club was struggling financially.

The inclement weather and heavy floods over the winter forced several of Brig’s home games to be postponed, resulting in a loss of much-needed revenue through gate receipts.

Chairman Fran Doyle announced that the players would not be paid for the foreseeable future and fears were raised that the news would lead to an exodus of players out of the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Happily, there have been no significant departures, with only long-term injury victim Joe Booth leaving and that was because he had been offered a place on Dave Challinor’s backroom staff at AFC Fylde.

And the club’s financial worries are starting to ease as the weather improves and games get played. Lawlor admits it has been a testing time for himself and his team-mates, but insists there was no question that anyone would be leaving.

“It has been tough,” Lawlor said. “I am not going to lie about that, but to be fair all the lads have stuck together.

“There’s only Joe Booth who has left and he got a job opportunity at Fylde he could not refuse.

“To be paid is a massive thing because playing non-league football is a massive commitment. People don’t realise how much of a commitment it is.

“For example , the other week we had to meet at 5pm on a Tuesday to go away to Nantwich Town in the Doodson Cup, to do that we have to get out of work early and time is money.

“To get some money is nice, but money is not the big motivation at Brig.

“We are probably in the bottom three in the league in terms of budgets

“But the lads understood the business side of things.

“There was no cash coming in the club The cash flow was going to drop because we only played three game at home in 11 weeks. The chairman said our money would be deferred and we’re working on trust.

“Hopefully things will get back to normal. That’s what we are hoping. We will keep turning up.”

Brig were aiming for their fifth league win in six games on Saturday away at Ossett Town, but the game was postponed.

They now face three successive home games, starting with Brighouse tonight, Scarborough on Saturday and Burscough next Tuesday.

Lawlor is hoping their recent good run is the catalyst for a NPL First Division North play-off bid.

“We have done really well,” said Lawlor.

“We have gone back to what we know – playing at high tempo and letting our quality come through.”