CHAIRMAN Mike Cranidge has issued a stark warning that cash-strapped Bashley could go under at the end of the season.
Cranidge revealed the Southern League strugglers had been labouring in their efforts to stay afloat in recent weeks with the Bash chief, along with a handful of intermittent contributors, forced to plug a “significant” monetary shortfall.
However, in a frank assessment of the plight at Bashley Road, Cranidge said he was unable to continue making up the money and that the members-owned club would have “some difficult decisions to make” if his appeal for help fell on deaf ears.
Cranidge has made a personal commitment to ensure Bash fulfil their obligations this season but warned the possibility of dropping to the Wessex League or even folding could be put to the members.
Any decision would have to be taken before March 31, the deadline for resigning from the Southern League without penalty, but Cranidge was hopeful his impassioned plea would prevent such drastic action.
Cranidge told the Daily Echo: “It is always hand to mouth with one or two of us putting in the necessary, but somehow we seem to have lost the others so it is down to me. It is a problem.
“The last thing I want to do is close down the club while we are in the middle of the playing season because there would be no way to recover from that.
“I will not let it go – if I have to put the money in myself then so be it but if that is the case I will have to stand down at the end of the season.
"Our target is to continue in the Southern League but there could be a case for applying to the Wessex League or worse. If no one comes forward, it could prove fatal.
“The members have to vote on any decisions but if I am left as the last man standing then, of course, I would have to say ‘That’s it’ because I can’t keep doing it.”
He continued: “Our problem is two-fold. We have no functioning board to speak of, it is just me, a 75-year-old kitman running things.
“I am not experienced in matters of finance or sponsorship. While we remain debt free, we need a business man who has moved in those circles over a number of years who can knock on doors and get the backing the club needs.
"I am just trapped in the position of making sure we get to the end of the season and I need help.”
Anyone interested in getting involved at Bash should contact 07591 187663 or email email@example.com
Bash, boosted by their first home league win of the season in midweek, host Cambridge City on Saturday (3pm).
Bash: (from) George, Strickland, Roberts, Ansell, Marden, Rolls, Bulpitt, Blackmore, Soetan, Brookes, Joyce, Odam, Kenna, Manders, Flint, Morris, Lloyd, Jones.