It is my responsibility to ensure Barnet FC continues to survive and remains financially stable and therefore, I have had to make difficult decisions, says Barnet chairman
BARNET chairman Tony Kleanthous has placed members of his non-playing staff on notice as the National League club comes to terms with a loss of revenue owing to the suspension of football caused by the coronavirus outbreak
The Hive based club have suffered from postponed games due to waterlogged pitches this season and are suffering from the financial pinch.
Barnet are sitting in eleventh-place in the National League table with 54 points from their 25 league games, four points adrift of the play-offs. before yesterday's suspension of football.
“We are in unprecedented times and as such, certain decisions have been made across the football group to ensure the longevity of Barnet Football Club, said a club statement posted on the club website.
“Over the past few days, we have taken emergency measures to preserve the club and ensure it remains sustainable.
“Since relegation, we have seen a general drop in crowd attendances of 50%, whilst general costs have increased resulting in operational losses of approximately £100,000 per month.
“The Club budgeted for this cost in the hope of promotion but of course, at the end of April, all of our parachute funding will cease and we need to therefore make savings accordingly.
“In addition to these challenges, we have to consider the greater challenge of the impact that Covid-19 will have in the immediate and long-term future.
“In order to meet the challenges ahead of us, we will have to dismantle our existing cost structure and look to rebuild for next season with a much leaner cost base.
“We have therefore taken the difficult decision to put all Barnet FC staff on notice. This is to include all first-team coaching and backroom staff, the Barnet FC Academy and many of the operational staff across all areas of the Club.
“Having previously announced that all Academy funding the Club receives from the EFL comes to an end at the end of this season, Academy staff had already been made aware of the situation.
“Supporters will understandably want to know how this situation affects our Head Coach, Darren Currie. Darren has a long notice period within his contract and as such, should the season resume, he will remain in charge until at least the end of the season and possibly beyond.
Chairman Mr Kleanthous added: “Our greatest concern is that within the UK and across the entire world, people are losing loved ones. Our sympathies and thoughts go out to everyone affected but right now, I have to focus my attention closer to home and look at the impact it’s having on our club.
“It is my responsibility to ensure Barnet FC continues to survive and remains financially stable and therefore, I have had to make difficult decisions.
“I have to be open and honest with the staff and it’s been a difficult past few days having to deliver the bad news but it’s something that had to be done.
“I have not had time to think about plans for next season yet but we will have to find a way to move forward based upon our current crowd attendance because existing National League rules limit any signings we can make or players’ salaries we can commit to going forward.
“The knock-on effects are of course heart-breaking for me personally as I am fully aware of how this will impact my phenomenal team of hard-working support staff across the group.”
Visit Barnet’s website: www.barnetfc.com