WEYMOUTH’S board of directors have extended the deadline to raise £50,000 by another week – thus cancelling tonight’s crunch meeting and keeping the threat of administration at bay.

The Terras’ board were expected to meet and discuss the club’s future this evening before deciding on the next course of action.

But with the Terras Saviour 100 scheme gathering pace, with 85 businesses and individuals signed up already, the directors want to give the initiative more time to reach its target.

In a statement released this morning, the club said: “The board of directors of Weymouth Football Club have today decided to extend by a week the deadline for getting new funds into the club and thus avoiding administration.

“The board have been greatly touched and heartened by efforts to raise the £50,000 needed to keep the club trading, thanks to supporters – led by the Terras Trust and the Supporters Club – as well as local businesses and outside contributors all rallying round.

“We are extremely grateful to all concerned for their generosity and we believe it demonstrates not only a great depth of feeling for the club but also a desire by the vast majority of people interested in the welfare of Weymouth FC to continue playing football at the highest level possible.

“With more than two-thirds of the target raised, the board have now agreed that the scheme needs more time to see if the full target can be reached.

“We would like to thank our general manager Andy Cooke for coming up with the project and initiating it, and our commercial manager Carol Biggs for helping to implement it. They have worked very creatively and diligently.

“We have also had several proposals and offers of help put to us over the past week and we need more time to examine their validity and potential for the club before we can make any far-reaching decisions.

“The club has thus far worked hard to avoid administration due to a whole host of seriously damaging consequences, both sporting and financial, and we still wish to avoid going down this route.

“However, the board will be meeting early next week and will have to reassess the position in the light of the pledges of sponsorship and investment, weighing them up against the volume of debt, which include the immediate paying off of historical football creditors in line with Football Association instructions, as well as inherited Inland Revenue arrears.

“Optimism fuelled by everyone’s response to our plight leads us to believe that with the business plan for the season that has seen costs cut and the playing budget set at affordable levels – along with significant new ideas within the club for raising revenue – we can realistically continue to trade.

“However, we need to consider in more depth our financial position and projections, to ensure that we will not have to repeat any emotional appeals but instead are able to live sustainably within our means as a club.

“In the meantime, we would urge people to continue to back our campaign and we hope that more will subscribe safe in the knowledge that any money they invest is being ring-fenced ready to be returned should the initiative not succeed fully.”

If you would like to sign up as a Terras Saviour 100 member, email andycooke@weymouthfc.net or call the club on 785558.