CARL Macauley has an enhanced budget for his Witton Albion players next season.

Chairman John Salmon confirmed the increase amid a positive statement regarding the Northern Premier League club's financial position in what are difficult trading times forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

He has also highlighted explorations again into a possible artificial surface for Wincham Park, while also announcing grateful receipt of a grant from Sport England as regular income streams from the likes of 'gate' receipts and clubhouse spend continue to remain dry following the cancellation of the 2019-20 season.

"We have been continuing to run the business effectively despite the dreadful economic situation," send Salmon.

"The substantial changes that we made a year ago had started to cut in and I am pleased to say that we are up-to-date and in good shape."

This, with the assistance from supporters' donations and sponsors, is paving the way for Macauley and his right-hand man Gary Martindale, who both recently signed new two-year contracts, to bring in additional talent.

Their budget had previously been among the lowest in the top flight but the team has challenged for the play-off places.

"You will have seen the management team have been going about their business. Scott Bakkor, Josh Gregory and Isaac Baldwin have already agreed to join the existing playing squad. Other discussions are ongoing," said Salmon.

"Carl and Gary’s success over the last 12 months has not been a miracle. That is too strong a word. However, it is an outstanding achievement from two very hardworking individuals, especially with the playing budget they were given.

"Excellent team spirit, tactical nous, outstanding coaching and high standards of fitness and behaviour have all played their part. They recruit fine young men as well as being good players and we should be very grateful.

"The way the club has been run financially over the last 12 months, alongside the incredible generosity of the supporters and sponsors, has combined to enable us to increase the playing budget.

"This is still some way short of many of our peers. The board of directors, management and the playing staff are extremely ambitious, and we must not be frightened of seeking promotion, even if this brings greater salary cost and more by way of travelling expenses."

Salmon welcomes fresh assistance at the club from Northwich accountant Neil Wilson.

"Neil has already made an instant impact, obtaining a grant from Sport England for £7,000 to help us get through the summer months," he said.

"It is vital that we have this kind of quality advising and assisting us in matters of finance.

"Neil, at the board’s request, is also considering the possibility of a 3G pitch which would fundamentally change our business model and make us financially secure for many years.

"Any such project will be funded by grants, donations, fundraising and a possible share issue.

"We will keep you updated. The stadium will not be used as security. We will not sell the family silver."