BROMSGROVE Sporting manager Keith Draper has been taken back by the response of the players after revealing the playing budget had been slashed at the Victoria Ground.

Draper informed his squad last Tuesday they would not be paid travel expenses this season because of the pressures on the club to pay the bills.

Players had been given £15 for expenses each game but Sporting have decided they can no longer afford that.

The Rouslers have agreed to pay fines, while members of the committee are set to help with transport to matches.

Joint manager Draper learned of the club’s decision to remove the playing budget last Sunday and feared he might lose a host of players. Instead players reinforced their commitment to the Sporting cause, despite the cut backs.

“I had a meeting with the committee on Sunday and have to admit I was very down,” commented Draper.

“We had worked hard on building the squad and I was worried it would break up.

“I informed the players of the club’s decision and the reasons for it and then gave them 48 hours to think about it.

“But to a man they have all got back to me and said they want to play for Bromsgrove next season.

“The last week has been a rollercoaster of emotion but the lads’ response has been excellent.

“It’s not just about money, they want to play for Sporting because of the facilities and the great support.

“The club has a lot of over heads and even with the big crowds we get at home, we can only charge so much for the level of football we are at.

“Now I can look forward to the rest of pre-season and the challenge of the Midland Combination Premier Division.”

In last week’s edition of the Advertiser, chairman John Teece warned the club would take a careful approach to finances because of high running costs, which including rent and bills are estimated to be about £25,000 a year.

However, hopes are high the Rouslers can challenge after earning promotion to the Midland Combination Premier Division.

Draper has retained most of the squad which ended the previous campaign strongly and has added the likes of Jamie McWilliams, Chris Thurbon, Jordan Street, Elliott Brown and former Fairfield Villa striker Stuart Hall.

The only notable player who has left is Joe Brookes because of work comittments.

Sporting commenced their pre-season friendly programme at Halesowen Town last night and go to Alvechurch on Saturday (3pm kick-off). They then take on Stourport Swifts away next Tuesday (7.45pm kick-off).