People don't believe me but we haven’t got the money, although people say Sheppey must be a big spender – we’re probably one of the lowest spenders in the league, reveals Sheppey United boss Ernie Batten
SHEPPEY UNITED manager Ernie Batten says he wants supporters to stick with his out-of-form side.
The Ites crashed to a 5-0 defeat at league leaders Corinthian on Saturday, a result that leaves them in sixth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 53 points with four games remaining.
Sheppey United extended their losing run to five games after their defeat at Gay Dawn Farm, as Corinthian remain at the top of the table, a point clear of Fisher.
“Well, I give this message, it’s a great football club in the making. We’ve been back five years and we’ve had some successes. We’ve come out of the County League and we’ve got ourselves into the SCEFL Premier,” said Batten.
“A lot of people see us as one of the big boys in this division but you have to earn the right.
“Although people talk about the finances, it’s not all bout the finances as Corinthian are showing this season, but to build it another way.
“It takes a long time, it takes many seasons to build something sustainable to build your youth system and build a football club.
“If you can do that then you’ve got a chance of doing something that Corinthian are doing here and full credit to them.
“I think that they are what everyone would like to do but perhaps haven’t got the patience to challenge because you’ve got the funds to go and get the better players or you’re in a situation where you’ve got to build something sustainable and that’s what we’re doing.
“We haven’t got the money, although people say Sheppey must be a big spender – we’re probably one of the lowest spenders in the league!
“Now, people don’t believe me but if you interview the chairman, he’s very honest and he will tell you we have one of the lowest budgets but I think there’s a lot made of budgets. People throw budgets in your face and managers talk about budgets especially in this division.”
When asked to put a figure on Sheppey United’s budget, Batten replied: “We’ve got a very modest budget. I don’t think anyone gives the figure do they but I would say talking to the other managers and you’re trying to be as honest as you can be with people, I would say we’re in the bottom half of the table in terms of budget.
“That’s because we’re spending the money that we’ve got coming in. We’ve got nobody putting money into the club in terms of the players budget. The club generate what they spend and that’s a modest amount.
“If you run a good football club, Corinthian have shown then you can do it without that injection of money.
“There will be a few managers saying that’s a bit fantasy but Corinthian are doing it, Fisher from what I’m told they’ve got a modest budget and so have we.
“We’re in the top six so I think that we’re building a football club.
“A message to the fans is stick with us. We’ll get there but we need to build something that when we do get there that we can sustain it.”
Sheppey United have four more league games left to play. They travel thirteenth-placed side Bearsted – a club without a playing budget – on Saturday.
Sheppey United then play host to Erith Town (20 April), travel to Deal Town (22 April) and finish with a home clash against relegation threatened side Rusthall on the last day of the season.
Batten said: “We need to try to win them. We need to win football matches. We want to finish in the top six but we’re not going to if we can’t win a game and at the moment it’s becoming increasingly difficult with the way confidence is.
“To get that result, if we can make that bit of a breakthrough and be solid, we’ve got players in the side to win games.”
Bearsted v Sheppey United
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 13 April 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Otham Sports Ground, Honey Lane, Otham, Maidstone, Kent ME15 8RG