Bates hopeful of reaching £50k target for Lincoln City Academy
Roger Bates has been overwhelmed by the support for the Future Imps Fund but admits Lincoln City's Academy still remains short of its target.
The youth department is hoping to plug a gap of £50,000 after losing crucial funding from the Football League.
So far, Lincoln have raised more than half the cash, but still need £20,000 to secure the academy's future.
Youth board chairman Bates says it has been a tremendous effort so far and is hoping to make inroads on his remaining target in the coming months.
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"We are over the halfway stage, but there is still £20,000 that we need to pull in," he said.
"There is a lot of work to be done and lots of support we are looking for.
"But, I have to say, the response from the wider community has been terrific.
"We've had people who believe in what the academy stands for and support us by paying the £14.95-a-week scheme.
"Parents of players in the academy have been fantastic in terms of launching fundraising initiatives, bag-packing, half-marathons, etc. It's been a great response all round."
Bates confirmed he is in talks with a high-profile Premier League club about a friendly which he believes would generate a five-figure sum in ticket sales alone.
But he says the more realistic option is finding 25 more subscribers to the weekly payment initiative.
"We need 25 to survive," he said.
"If we could get them we would be very close to achieving our goal.
"We would be able to relax a little if we got those subscribers rather than work flat out at the moment to make sure it does."
There are a number of ways you can donate to the Future Fund Academy.
An initiative to find ball boys and ball girls has been launched in which for £59, they can represent the Imps at any league fixture.
As part of the deal they can have their picture taken with the players, plus receive eight tickets for the Echo stand for the game.
You can also sponsor players, the entire academy, or just simply make a donation. For more info email email@example.com.