Crowborough Athletic: The funding committed by the benefactor has not been fully received

Monday 21st May 2018

CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC have confirmed they have been suffering money problems since February and are in talks with manager Sean Muggeridge about his future.

The Crows finished in third-place behind promoted pair Sevenoaks Town and Whitstable Town in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division last season.

Speculation has been doing the rounds about the club’s financial problems and assistant manager Steve Ives revealed all was not well when he parted company with the club on 19 May.

“Sadly I have today decided to leave Crowborough Athletic due to a breakdown of trust in the executive committee,” Ives Tweeted.

“It’s not related to football or financial matters, happy to speak to those who care privately. 

“Thanks to all the amazing supporters.  Thank you to all my friends, supporters and members of the football community who’ve taken the time to wish me well. It makes you realise that there are so many good people associated with the game.”

Several players including Sam Carrington, Sam Crabb, Henry Muggeridge, Dan Perry and Jack Walder have left the club.

Perry Tweeted on 11 May, “Loyalty gets you nowhere,” adding five days later, “Time for a new challenge.”

He continued: “I would like to thank everyone at Crowborough Athletic and especially the management. The trust they had in me, to have brought me.  I enjoyed every moment there but it is the right time for me to move on.”

Captain Henry Muggeridge said on Twitter on 18 May, “Time to find a new club for next season.  Had a fantastic time as captain and want to thank the fans, players and management team for all their efforts and support throughout the season. Couldn’t wish to play with a better group of lads.”

A club statement was then published on the club website.

“Prior to the 2016/17 football season the club was approached by a benefactor who offered to develop the Crowborough Community Stadium to install a 3G pitch and additional buildings.

“This was initially described as a gift to the community but over time developed into an investment proposal where the benefactor would hold a majority stake of the club (as explained to members at the EGM held in July 2017).

“Whilst preparing for this project the benefactor wanted the club to have a consistent image so new kits were purchased for all age groups within the club.

“The benefactor also wanted the first team to challenge for promotion from the Southern Counties East Football League and committed to providing a significant first team playing budget accordingly.  The funding committed by the benefactor has not been fully received. Towards the end of February, the club informed first team players that it could not assure them of receiving appearance fees from that point forth but they would be paid when the benefactor provided the funds he had committed.

“The club is very grateful to all of the players who decided to stay with the club to the end of the season in these difficult circumstances. The club remains in dialogue with the benefactor concerning both receiving the committed funding in full and his development proposals for the club.

“Recently, some players have indicated on social media that they feel their football futures will be elsewhere, as has assistant manager Steve Ives. The club would like to thank them for their time at the club and wish them all well for the future.

“The club is in discussions with Sean Muggeridge and the management team for the coming season will be confirmed shortly.”

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