East Stirlingshire’s Board of Directors have secured significant backing for a player’s budget next season as they look to push for a return to the SPFL after their historic relegation in 2016.
After a season plagued with inconsistency and managerial change the board, in recent months, have added international businessman Harry Bell, Asian business associate Sherman Lam, Local businessman and Shire fan Bob Worgan and Falkirk based bookkeeping firm owner David McCready to the Board of Directors.
The club are grateful to Harry Bell a lifelong investor in Shire, who has worked particularly hard over the past two years to secure this major investment.
The move will ensure Derek Ure and Andy Rodgers have the necessary funding to build not only a title winning squad for next season, but one that can realistically return the club to the SPFL.
Despite their difficulties in recent years the club have never waned in their ambition to return to the SPFL amid constant speculation that the club wouldn’t survive the challenging financial constraints relegation brought with it.
It is hoped that the funding will also buck a worrying trend for Shire that has saw them finish second and fourth having struggled to adapt to the demands of the Lowland League.
This season hasn’t fared any better for Shire. Nine losses in the league, more than the past two seasons combined, have left them 30 points adrift of leaders East Kilbride in sixth place-stats that are hardly indicative of a side with title ambitions.
However, Shire’s recent purple patch, which has saw them go seven unbeaten, has demonstrated not only the current underachievement of the team but also the potential of a club still yearning to be amongst the 42 elite clubs in the SPFL.
Shire’s return to their ‘spiritual home’ in Falkirk, made possible by partnering with Falkirk FC, may not have translated to instant success on the pitch but it has provided a vital platform for the club to reassess and plan for the future.
While Ure and Rodgers continue to assess the current squad and its capabilities they have also been active in targeting and securing players for next season, although the club is yet to reveal any details as to who they have been watching.
Shire have also announced plans to run a reserve team for next season in an effort to increase the squad size and intensify competition for places.
Shire’s announcement is sure to renew optimism among fans as they prepare to embark on a fourth season watching their side play in the Lowland League.