FANS from Manchester City and Wigan meant it was a good weekend at The Vale in more ways than one for Wealdstone.
Coachloads of Athletic and City supporters used Stones’ home base as a stopping point to and from their FA Cup semi-final successes, swelling the coffers of the Ryman Premier League club through sales over the bar.
One of Wealdstone’s favourite sons Stuart Pearce both played for and managed City later in his career and the relationship with their fans goes back a few seasons now.
Their success over Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea means Stones can expect a few more choruses of Blue Moon to be heard in their corner of Ruislip again on May 11 – all good news for Chairman Howard Krais.
He said: “It was a big weekend for us financially for sure and these Wembley trips by clubs from the north-west or the west are very important to us.
“Wrexham were here for the FA Trophy Final recently and it is the third or fourth time Manchester City have been down here, so that has become a regular thing and we take as many as we can – it’s fantastic over the bar.
“In March we struggled because we had no Saturday home games because of the weather and we are also coming to the part of the year over the summer where we don’t have football for a couple of months and so you struggle to keep that income coming.
“This venue does not have a big take over the bar outside of music events if you have not got football here so you have got to work really hard to track people to come in for functions and use the facility.”
Before Stones fans go spending the cash boost on their wish list for next season, be that in the Ryman or as they hope the Blue Square South, Krais was quick to put on his prudent man’s hat and would not be drawn on how much of the beer money would be given to boss Gordon Bartlett for beefing up his squad. But he hinted some of the pounds and pence would be spent on ground improvements at The Vale.
He added: “We are really keen to look at the car park at the moment as that is in a really poor state so we need to do some work on that.
“Like everything it is about trying to get your spending in the right place at the right time and keep everything pushing forward together.”