Prescot Cables chairman Tony Zeverona has called for fans to ‘stick with us’ as they look to beat the drop.
It’s been a dismal season on the whole for the Bulls as they have suffered from a number of problems off and on the pitch but where and when it mattered, they couldn’t deliver.
This season sees two teams automatically go down whilst the third relegation will be decided on points per game to see who moved into a play-off.
For a club of Prescot’s stature, it’s a tremendous worry and within the open quarter of the season they had already changed managers.
Craig Davies, a young pragmatic coach, who was tasked with bringing in a fresh outlook to the club was relieved of his duties after their start.
His number two Lee Bignell replaced him on a caretaker basis, he saw his side win against the odds before a sobering defeat to Colne followed.
Kevin Lynch stepped up and took over but it hasn’t been entirely plane sailing for the former Marine boss.
Only recently has Lynch felt his mark was being made on the squad and in recent months there has been an influx of incomings and outgoings.
A number of names have come through the door at the IP Truck Parts Stadium including former Bayern Munich youngster Dale Jennings.
They’re still in with a shout for safety but the margin remains at six points after recent results and postponements have saw Cables watch on, but from a Bulls perspective, all is definitely not lost and by any means over.
With the season edging into its business end, there is a battle for survival on the cards.
As attendances rise, Zeverona wants to unify the Pesky Bulls and has issued a rallying call to fans to stick with the squad as they look to ensure their Northern Premier League status and then focus on challenging higher.
“I think there are exciting times ahead, the management team will get it right. I’d like to thank the fans for the last couple of months, it is difficult times but hopefully they can see Kevin turning it around stick with us.
“We’ve got a great set of players now you look at some of the players who left at the start of the season, they’re knocking on the door to get back so we must be doing something right.”
Zeverona returned as a director before his appointment in December after he left in 2017.
He had taken over the role in 2005 and steered Cables through recessions and financial uncertainty before a Senior Cup run spelt the end of his time.
A break, he says was needed. But times have changed, for better and worse, and the financial might of some clubs is simply too much for a club like Prescot – at this moment in time.
“At the time, I just thought I’d had enough I’d done 14 years and I wanted a blow so I stepped down. It’s probably because they were in a bit of a mess so to speak they needed to refocus that I’ve come back and got elected chairman a couple of months ago,” he told Off The Park. “I needed it, I was worn out I went to Lairds for a season, I knew the manager and assistant and I got asked to go on board with them for a year left because of work commitments, then went to City of Liverpool but did virtually nothing but it was great to speak to them and look at things from a fresh perspective.
“I don’t regret standing down, I needed that bit of time, I feel I’ve come back with a bit more commitment again this is what we’re trying to do we’re trying to move the club on. Even the time I’ve been out since 2015 to now it’s changed massively. We had a board meeting Monday, we have to become more slicker, we’ve set ourselves a business plan.
“Football’s different, the money that’s thrown round non-league football now is unbelievable, it’s frightening, we can’t compete with some of these clubs even in our league. The back of Rylands FA Vase win, Marine’s FA Cup run they’re to two biggest payers in the league we can’t compete with them.
“We’ve got to become more slicker, increase our income to give the likes of Lynchy a chance to compete with these teams.”
Zeverona felt he had to step in to bring some credibility to Prescot after decisions off the pitch led to difficult circumstances on it.
He added: “I think they [the last board] made mistakes that have impacted greatly on the club. I think the mindset of the current board members won’t make those mistakes, we can’t afford to make them mistakes.
“Probably the strongest board makeup we’ve had since 2005. The skill set is superb, we’re all very focused, hands-on and we’re all determined to get to where we want to be which is the Conference North [National League North] we want to be fighting to get up there to that.
“The last couple of games we’ve had, 900 against Marine, against City of Liverpool it was pouring down and we had over 300, the attendances are superb.
“I’m quite confident, I don’t think we’ll get relegated, we’ve brought some new players in this week, we’ll be fine, there’s no way we’re going down.”
Things are looking set to change at the club and the chairman pushed the latest idea of looking to appoint some fan representatives bringing back the community aspect of the club.
“We’re looking to recruit one, two fan representatives on the board, we want them to get involved because at the end of the day we’re fans ourselves, he continued.
“They’ve got an option of buying a share, you can’t buy 1,000 to take over the club, every board member gets elected.
“The opportunities are there to get involved for fans and to shape the future of the club, I think everyone just wants a successful Prescot Cables side on the pitch.
Whilst plans are in place off the pitch for change, the main goal at the current stage is survival.
The current outlook is concerning, a dismal defeat to rivals City of Liverpool stung as the Purps embarrassed Cables leaving their problems bare.
But the new manager has steadily rang changes and on the pitch performances are starting to show a change of the tide.
A comprehensive win over relegation rivals Market Drayton was followed by valiant showings against Runcorn Linnets and Marine.
With the cash flow steadily increasing, there are still revenue streams being explored Zeverona revealed.
“It’s going to take time, the first thing we can do before we can move on is secure our Northern Premier League status for next season then we can move on.
“[Relegation means] heavy appraisal on the finances, sponsorship will probably be affected, gates will be affected, your income streams are going to be reduced. It is something we’ve discussed, our main focus at the moment is to maintain the status in this division.
“We’re looking at introducing an academy. We’ve been in touch with an academy, we’re going to through it again so we were going to grow, hopefully, prospects for the future and sell-on, make a bit of money from that giving the lads an opportunity to player higher up.”
During the height of their troubles, a number of key players departed with their Liverpool Senior Cup-winning heroes moved on.
“No players were forced out, it was the players decision, we ask every player to stay but they’ve decided to move on, it’s a simple as that,” he explained.
“It’s like any football club the fans have got their favourites, I’m a Liverpool fan if Salah goes the place would be up in arms, when players want to go you can’t stop them, they weren’t on contracts other clubs put seven days on them and they decided to go, we’ve asked them to stay but none of them stayed.”
Prescot Cables host Kidsgrove Athletic, a team they are two places below and nine points behind, but with the recent additions they’re not down and not out.