New Altrincham director Rob Esteva has highlighted the role played by generous Robins fans in helping keep alive manager Phil Parkinson’s promotion dream.

With lockdown restrictions gradually being lifted, Alty are clinging to the hope there may yet be a positive end to a truncated season, as they continue to wait for word on whether promotion play-offs could still be staged.

And while some clubs have been left in a perilous state by football’s prolonged inactivity, Alty are ready to hit the ground running, thanks to careful planning and financial backing from supporters.

A GoFundMe page raised around £30,000, and now the club’s Patrons Scheme for 2020-21 has generated a further £7,000 within a month of being launched.

“Whatever the future holds, we want to keep as many of the squad together as we can,” said Esteva, who recently rejoined the club to support Parkinson and assistant Neil Sorvel.

“That is a priority, and there’s absolutely no question the generosity of our fans has helped enormously in that respect.

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“To have around 140 Patrons already, with all the uncertainty around, is amazing, and, of course, the response to the earlier appeal was phenomenal. We would love to have more Patrons, so it would be good to hear from anyone interested in helping the club in this way.

“All the donations that have come in through various means have given us a really good chance of riding out the storm and keeping the squad intact, which is going to make us all the more competitive when football resumes.

“We have seen this squad is capable of earning promotion.

“We know we are close, and if we can restart and have the play-offs, keeping the squad together is going to be a priority.”

Alty are holding their annual awards by video link this weekend, and supporters can vote for Player and Young Player of the Season online.

Visit Voting closes at 10pm tonight, Thursday.