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Non-league: Bashley chairman insists club's future is safe
CHAIRMAN Mike Cranidge insisted Bashley’s future was secure – despite being forced to halve the club’s playing budget.
Cranidge joined boss Paul Gazzard in addressing the squad on Thursday night to announce plans for a second cut to on-field resources in the space of four months.
With no fixture scheduled for today, the Bash chief reported that all of the playing staff had agreed to take a couple of days to consider the news before informing the club of their intentions prior to Wednesday’s Red Insure Cup match against Weymouth.
The struggling Southern Premier club, currently without a league win and rock-bottom of the division, released a statement two days ago, declaring that their “modest playing budget” was “unsustainable” and that it needed to be “recalculated in line with likely income”.
The move comes on the back of a tumultuous time for the New Forest outfit following the collapse of their proposed merger with neighbours New Milton Town and former chairman Richard Millbery’s decision to stand down over the summer.
Frank Gray quit as manager in June, citing an unworkable playing budget after the first round of cutbacks, with Gazzard taking charge alongside Stewart Kearn.
The new duo worked with a reshuffled committee, headed by Cranidge, to secure funding for a competitive first-team squad.
However, results did not follow and Kearn resigned seven days ago with Bash unable to muster a league victory in 10 attempts, as well as exiting the FA Cup at the second hurdle, leaving Cranidge to count the cost of the club’s stuttering start.
Bashley’s chairman told the Daily Echo: “We started out with the intention of putting together a strong squad and making a real go of it, but we always knew we would have to pull things back if it didn’t go to plan.
“Going out of the FA Cup has hit us hard and with results going against us, the gate receipts have not reached the level we had hoped for.
“Something had to be done to safeguard the long-term future of the club because we have never been in debt and don’t intend to run up big bills now.
“I was very pleased with the players’ attitude when we told them. They were very understanding and nobody got up and walked out.
“Clearly, the lads have a lot to think about and we will be seeking their final decisions over the weekend.”
But despite the possibility of losing players, Cranidge said there was no prospect of Bash going the same way as recently defunct league rivals Hinckley United.
Cranidge added: “There is no imminent danger whatsoever and there will still be a budget in place. We just had to bring things back within our financial limitations.”
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