WINSFORD United will need to pay players again if they are to keep the stars of their team and make an impact next season.
The warning comes from manager Dave Twite ahead of tonight's open meeting at the social club (7.30pm), which is aimed at plotting a strategy for next season.
Winsford appear to have just missed out on promotion - though they won't know for certain until May 9 - after a season of minimum expenditure on the team.
Twite said: 'We accepted the position at the start of the year that there was no money. But next season is different.
'We have done our job and put together a team with potential.
'It has not been easy. The play-ers are out of pocket but we have -to take the club forward.
'To keep the likes of Stuart Well-stead, Mark Quinn, Dave Chambers and others, we have got to find some way of paying them. I know other clubs who have got money would snap them up.
'Not only that, but if I am to compete for players that will improve the side and take us into the First Division, then I need a little financial help.
'I hope everybody stays and the meeting is about how we are going to do this.' Chairman Mark Loveless, who called a halt to his personal subsidy of the club last season, said: 'The players' attitude this season has done themselves and the club proud. At times it has cost them money to play. They have been marvellous but we have to provide a budget, the way most clubs do.'
Manager, players and officials will attend the meeting, but it is a fresh input of ideas and help from fans the club is really seeking.
United ended their campaign with a 3-0 defeat at Daisy Hill on Saturday. It was their sixth game in 14 days and they looked jaded. An extra three points would have raised their hopes of making the extended promotion play-offs, but chances are they will be overtaken by the two clubs below them.
Loveless will ask the NWCFL why their remaining fixtures were packed into a fortnight when others have had more time.
'I don't understand it. They were tired and it showed,' he said.
Losing twice to relegation fight-ers Daisy Hill cost United dear.
Twite said: 'We'll be lucky if we go up now. Had we kept Les Miranda, we might have done it. We lacked a scorer and he might have made a difference.
'But I am not grumbling. Overall we have had a good season and achieved what we set out to.'
Winsford are holding a Sportsman's Evening combined with a presentation night for the players on Friday, April 20. Tickets are £20 each and includes a buffet. Guest speaker is Joey Jones and he is supported by top Liverpool Comedian Ned Kelly. Tickets are available from any club official.
On May 1, The Barton Stadium is hosting the Mid-Cheshire Youth Finals in the U7, U8, U9 and U10 class with gates open at 9.00am. Entrance for adults is £1 and free for children.