Altrincham FC has announced its ambition to become a full-time club as part of its plan to win promotion to the Football League for the first time.
In a statement released on the club website, director Bill Waterson said it was becomingly clear that a move to full-time status “may be necessary” for the Robins to have a realistic chance of getting out of non-league football.
He did not put a date on when the move could happen but said it would be intended to “accelerate the objectives of the five-year plan” and “when the time is right”.
The Robins currently play in the sixth tier of English football – the National League North – having won promotion from the Evo-Stik Premier Division last season.
Waterson said an “overhaul and expansion” of the club’s commercial side had already begun in order to generate the revenue required to support full-time status.
Another director, former UEFA data specialist Rob Esteva, is looking into the impact of going full-time on the footballing side, such as facilities and paid staff.
And the club will also be seeking advice from clubs who have transitioned to full-time status themselves.
Waterson added: “In summary, we accept and acknowledge that, for our ambitions to be realised, a move to full-time football may be necessary in the coming years.
“We, as a responsible board, will not take this decision lightly, nor will we treat it as ‘a leap in the dark’.
“We will be as well informed as possible about all the factors that need to be considered, and we will discuss it in advance with our supporters. In addition, we will make certain the commercial transformation that is clearly essential has been completed before reaching any decision, with improved revenue streams as a prerequisite to making the change.
“Our job, as a board, is to move this club forward and prepare the way for us to play at the highest level possible. This exercise is a fundamental part of that strategy. Our journey has already begun, and the next stage awaits us. Come and join us on this historic adventure.”