Supporters running the club is not working, Fisher need investors and money, says boss Dean Harrison

Monday 17th April 2017

DEAN HARRISON says Fisher must start attracting investors into the club because fan ownership is not working.

The Fish returned home to Rotherhithe last summer and are on the brink of celebrating their homecoming season with relegation from the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division.

The Fish suffered a humiliating 6-2 home defeat to title-chasing Crowborough Athletic at St Paul’s Stadium this afternoon, a result that leaves the club rooted to the foot of the table and staring relegation in the face.

Crowborough Athletic raced into a 3-0 lead at the break, courtesy of goals from winger Henry Muggeridge and a brace from left-back Jason Barton.

Barton completed his hat-trick after only 75 seconds into the second half, before sorry Fisher had a go.

Holding midfielder Luke Haidarovic pulled a couple of goals back as Harrison’s men battled back, before Ross Treleaven hooked a volley into the top right-hand corner, before Barton scored his fourth of the game.

Fisher have two games left to save their bacon.  They travel to third-placed Sevenoaks Town on Saturday, before hosting freefalling Erith Town on 29 April.

Fisher Athletic were playing the likes of Barnet, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Kidderminster Harriers and Wycombe Wanderers when they finished bottom of the GM Vauxhall Conference in 1991 after their four-year spell in the top flight of non-league football came to an end.

Relegation would mean the club will be playing in the tenth tier of English football next season.

The club must sit down and revaluate where they go from here.  Without generating the funds, the club will not bounce back at the first attempt and Harrison’s hands will be tied once more, albeit at a lower level of football.

When asked what relegation would mean to him, manager Harrison replied: “It’s a real disappointment. Look at the set-up here. It’s a fantastic set-up. You’ve got everything that you want in the ground. It’s great for training, the supporters are fantastic. They’ve been behind us all the way and it would just be a real shame.

“But at the end of the day you’ve got to look at the situation that possibly it’s not working how the club’s run because they’re fighting relegation battles every year.

“Maybe someone somewhere has got to say someone’s got to put some money into it because everyone else is.  Even a month or so ago we knew all the clubs around us, at least two or three of them, have pumped money into signing players’ and we’ve got nothing still.

“The club totally needs investors. I love the fans and it’s great and I understand all the supporter owned thing but as a board and as the running of the club, I don’t think it’s working without money.

“I think everyone knows at this level now you need money whether people like it or not, it’s a fact. At step five football there is money being pumped in so if you don’t compete, it’s the same at any level, you’re going to have a problem.”
Fisher (25 points) and Erith & Belvedere (26) go into their last two games favourites for the drop. The Deres suffered a 6-2 thrashing at home to Croydon today.

Erith Town (28) went down to a 3-1 home defeat to Sevenoaks Town, who under Micky Collins has guided his club to their highest placed finish (of third) since the club were formed back in 1883.

Beckenham Town (29) threw away a 2-0 lead and had to settle for a point in a draw at Tunbridge Wells, while Lordswood (30) have helped their safety prospects by winning 2-1 at home to Whitstable Town.

With speculation doing the rounds that Erith Town may be pulling out of the League at the end of the season and the League keeping very tight lipped over the situation, Harrison knows his players must win their last two games to give themselves a fighting chance of staying up.

“We don’t know if that’s going to happen or not so we can’t take anything like that for granted. We’re still playing that two go down and we don’t want to be one of those two,” said Harrison, who has lost 10 of his 18 games in charge since returning to the club after Gary Abbott’s disastrous tenure.

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