Cash-strapped Kendal Town Football Club bosses have a big job on their hands as they survey the wreckage of a team which has lost its manager of six years and seven of its first-team players.
Lee Ashcroft has joined Northwich Victoria and seven of his players, loyal to their manager and seemingly unhappy with a proposed cut in match day fees, have decided to join him there.
These players were not just footballers who made up the numbers. Kevin Leadbetter, for example, was capable of netting wonder-goals, Alex Taylor scored countless times for the Black and Whites, and the versatile Danny Wisdom was a rock at full back and in midfield.
It’s a surprise for fans but shocks are known to occur in football - look no further than Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking at Chelsea just six months after delivering the Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge.
And while in the short term these may be trying times, the situation has come about through the club trying to plan for the long term.
Chairman Haydon Munslow this week issued a rallying call for players in the Westmorland Football League and other local leagues to make themselves known to the club, and it is now up to these players to step up to the plate, prove their worth, and help out the best Non-League football club in the district.
Fans have called for more local players to be in the side, and with attendances drastically down this season, the club is trying to bring those fans back to Parkside Road with its drive for more local players.
The fans need to pay attention to what the football club is doing because it is at times like now, when backs are up against the wall, when clubs really need their fans to help them get through the tough times.
Only two sides are relegated from the Evo-Stik Premier Leage this year, so as shocking as this departure of seven players and the manager is, it is by no means a death-knell for the season.
Saturday is a great opportunity for a clean slate and a chance for everybody in Kendal and the wider district to turn up at the turnstiles and re-connect with this grand old football club.