WORKINGTON Reds AFC has reason to be optimistic despite the financial hardship of the coronavirus pandemic, as its fighting fund has reached £27,000 and it is believed the sum will carry the club through the Summer.

The football club’s Covid-19 emergency fund has reached approximately £22,000, not including the £5,000 raised by its recent virtual match day experience. Reds chairman Les Byers praised the Reds fans who have gotten behind the club in its hour of need.

He said: “That does allow us to survive over the Summer months.”

Another source of optimism for the club is the resumption of talks with the local authority regarding the Borough Park ground.

Representatives from Workington Reds and Workington Town RLFC met with Allerdale Borough Council earlier in the week for informal talks about potentially redeveloping Borough Park, post pandemic.

Although sport looks to return behind closed doors, Byers said that this is not an option for the Reds.

“This isn’t an option for Reds and other clubs at our level, it’s out of the question.”

He added that the primary income for non league football teams is the money made at the turnstiles and they would be unable to cover the overheads, including running floodlights, without ticket sales.

However, the side will continue to support NHS staff. Byers said: “The club will allow free admission to NHS staff all through next season.”

A 25 percent split of funds raised by the virtual match day experience in May will be donated to local NHS causes.

The virtual match experience which was streamed live on YouTube recreated the most iconic match Borough Park has ever seen when Manchester United took to the field against Reds in 1958.