PROFESSIONAL footballer Matt Pennington is among the first to donate to a crowdfunding page set up by Warrington Town, who are raising £10,000 to plug the shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Chairman Toby Macormac told the Guardian last month that the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and UK lockdown, with the premature end to the Northern Premier League season and closure of the social club, will be around £70,000.

He has since revealed he has already invested 'a high-end six figure sum' towards delivering a higher level football club he feels the town needs and deserves, but also said he is 'rethinking' his position within the club.

With the club having lost nearly all of its revenue streams at this time and facing the possibility of ground work being needed, the Yellows are asking for the town's football fans to help.

They are not the first non-league club to set up a crowdfunding page to help them through this difficult period, and they will not be the last.

Within the first few hours of the crowdfunding page being launched, £440 had been donated - including a generous £250 from Matt Pennington, the former Warrington schoolboy who plays centre half for Hull City on loan from Everton.

A statement on the Warrington Town official website says: "Whether you’re a seasoned regular, a casual fan or you just remember our glorious FA Cup run, your local football club needs your help!

"Following the premature end to the 2019/20 season due to the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent forced closure of the social club, Warrington Town FC has lost nearly all of its revenue streams – match day income, sponsorship, bar takings, 3G pitch revenue etc.

"After receiving a number of requests from people wishing to help, we have set this fundraiser up for people to donate any amount they wish – knowing that any donations, however big or small, will be a massive help to protecting the existence of the club and ensuring that it can continue to drive forward its progress as part of the town, which needs and deserves a football club playing at the highest possible level."

After two previous near misses at promotion, Town were well-placed in third spot for another shot at reaching the next level but the FA have declared the season 'null and void' in the wake of world events.

"Something different (each year) seems to be stopping us getting where we want to be," said Macormac.

"It makes me rethink my position within the club.

"I have put that much money in myself, it’s only now when you get time and sit back and look at it and you go back to 2013 when I first started putting money in, I’ve put in a high-end six figure sum.

"When I look back at what I could have done or could be doing with that money, it does make you think.

"You think ‘what’s going to happen next season and the season after’ knowing how hard next season and the season after are going to be, do I want to do it all again? For pretty much no return.

"I’m not in it for the return, I’m in it for the progress of the club and to give the town something it desperately needs. But when it’s starting to affect you personally, then you’re going to re-think."

He highlighted the impact the pandemic has had on the Yellows.

"From my calculations, it’s around a £70,000 impact on the club," he reiterated.

"We’ve got absolutely nothing coming in. The season ended was compounded by the social club closing, which helps fund the football outside of the season. The entire place is in lockdown.

"We had four games to go, including South Shields, so it’s had a really big impact and that hole continues until next season when revenue starts coming back in.

"With the best will in the world, you can’t fill a £70,000 hole, and that’s from March based on my estimates on when things are going to re-start.

"Then of course there is the fact that sponsorship budgets are going to be affected, so that could make the hole even bigger.

"It’s definitely had a huge impact on us and what we’re doing – we’ve lost so many revenue streams, from sponsorship, gate money, bar takings, even decent sized pre-season games, 3G pitch revenue, it goes on."

Macormac said last month that the club is obligated to pay its seven contracted players, plus Scott Brown on loan from Harrogate, until April 25. The club's other players were released when the FA ended the 2019-20 campaign.

In terms of players for next season, Macormac said: "It’s tough to say at the moment.

"We can’t offer the terms we offered last year and we’ve been dead honest with players and told them that.

"We want everyone to stay together, and do everything we can to do that. It’s going to come to a point where we’re going to have to make some decisions further down the line.

"On the player side, phones have been quiet and speaking to other clubs and managers, they’ve said the same.

"No one really knows what’s ahead.

"All clubs are run in different ways, with different committees and funding models; we’re in the position where it doesn’t take three or four meetings to get a decision made, which will hopefully help."

To donate to Warrington Town, visit the crowdfunding page HERE