Kings Langley joint boss Ritchie Hanlon said he would have considered his future at the club last summer had he known of the “impossible” budget cuts which would follow.

The village side, promoted three times in as many years, announced they have slashed their playing costs by 50 per cent this week due to lower-than-expected off-field revenues.

Already facing one of the smallest playing budgets in the Southern Premier League, which Hanlon has described as “by far” the biggest jump of their ascension through the divisions, the joint-boss now believes survival may prove too much of an ask for the Gaywood Park side.

The former Peterborough and Rushden player admitted he and colleague Paul Hughes would have to “beg, borrow and steal” players from other clubs to complete the season, and that days before crucial league games, they were now left with little idea of what team they would be able to field on a Saturday.

“We are going to be very lucky to stay in the league this year now,” he said. “It’s near-on an impossibility. People think we’re miracle workers but we are at a level of football where you can’t do that.

“It’s now difficult to name a starting 11 within our means, but we will do the best job we can with what we have got. We’re frustrated; we’ve worked so hard to get here.

“It’s a difficult one, and we understand the finances of the club, and we’re not moaning about that. But had we understood this six months ago, we might have gone elsewhere.”

Despite their off-field difficulties, Kings were unlucky not to beat Cambridge City on Saturday, eventually being held 1-1 with Kane Pope on target in a side featuring three debutants.

In midweek, they were able to limit the changes to only four as St Neots Town visited Hertfordshire, and despite a spirited charge, goals from David Hutton and Josh Chamberlain were not enough as they were downed 3-2.

Tomorrow, Heybridge Swifts are the visitors in the FA Trophy first qualifying round, with £2,500 on offer.

“The competition has money so we need to win,” said Hanlon. “But I could only confirm about seven players I know will start.”