JOHN Coleman insists that Stanley will pull through their financial troubles – and come out as a stronger club.
The club received a boost on Wednesday when HM Revenue and Customs granted them an extra week to settle an unpaid tax bill of £308,000.
Reds owner Dave O’Neill and chief executive Rob Heys paid off £96,000 of the debt on Wednesday morning, while the Professional Footballers’ Association – the players’ union – has pledged another £100,000.
Stanley shareholder Ilyas Khan has promised to pay the remaining £112,000 to ensure the club avoids being wound up next Wednesday – and going the same way that they did in 1962.
Coleman said: "I think the club can come out of this stronger. And it’s important for everyone involved with the club that we don’t have a repeat of what happened in the 60s. People in the town have maybe got a bit blasé about the club because of the success we’ve had.
"There was a big drive to get into the Conference, and then another one to get into the Football League, which was seen as the holy grail for us. For some people, perhaps the journey was more fulfilling than the arrival at our destination.
"People think that’s the end of it when you get into the Football League, but it should only be the start of the journey. We’ve had some major results since we got into the league, and this could be the start of a big adventure for us.
"It’s great that so many people have rallied around the club of late, but it shouldn’t take something like this for that to happen.
"Having said that, there are a lot of positive things going on. Our Football in the Community lads are doing a smashing job, and that’s giving us a really strong platform for our future youth development at the club."
Coleman has maintained his focus on Stanley’s on-field fortunes during the battle to pay the tax bill. But he acknowledges that the club’s money worries have brought his players closer together.
He said: "I’ve always had every faith that the people behind the scenes would sort things out, and I’ve heard nothing to dissuade me from that point of view. Seven days could be a long time or a short time for us, but I’ve not had any negative vibes from Dave O’Neill or Rob Heys.
"As professionals, the players and I have been determined not to let the financial issues get in the way. But sometimes, you can use something like this to your advantage and develop a bit of a siege mentality among the squad. In normal circumstances, when you get injuries, you can bring players in to soften the blow.
"But we’ve had to throw players in who might not normally have got a game, and they’ve done very well.
"The players deserve credit. They have had various problems with wages but have been patient. They fully understand the situation and are fully supportive of the club. Once they cross the line, they give it their all."
He continued: "We have still got a long hard road to go. The big key to survival for us in the Football League is to improve our attendances and off-the-field income as well to generate enough money so we don’t have this situation again and we have got to serve a brand of football and we are getting there. We are playing better than we have done in the past three years."
Stanley’s financial troubles have prevented them from signing any players, and they lost goalkeeper Alan Martin on Tuesday after he was recalled from his loan spell by Leeds United.
It has left Coleman with Ian Dunbavin as his only senior goalkeeper for tonight’s trip to Grimsby, although the club are currently negotiating with the Football League for permission to bring in an emergency back-up.