Barnet Football Club says it will need to be “leaner” due to the impact lockdown has had on matches – and is already putting together a shortlist of possible new managers.
Barnet last season failed to win promotion from the National League to League Two and last week announced that head coach Darren Currie and assistant coach Junior Lewis would be leaving.
It also confirmed that talented teenager Ronnie Edwards had signed for Peterborough Utd.
In a statement on the club’s website, the club apologised to fans for the time it had taken to update them on is situation, citing “evolving circumstances”.
It said it wanted to “reassure and engage with” supporters ahead of a “crucial” time.
The statement went on: “The departure of several first team players was anticipated in the event of us not securing promotion and they leave the club with our best wishes and thanks for their service.
“In the last two seasons, we funded a talented and ambitious squad to push for a return to the League before the cessation of parachute payments. However, in pulling together this team, we were always conscious of the unpredictability of football and avoided tying ourselves to continued contractual commitments if we had not achieved promotion; as it happens, we came close but not close enough. Our future appointments will mirror the same ambitions but ensure sustainability in light of our continued National League status.”
With the National League suspended in March, the club placed their first-team coaching and backroom staff, staff at the academy and those on the operational side of the club on notice of redundancy.
However, due to the government agreeing to pay 80 per cent of wages of those placed on unpaid leave, the club said it would be able to retain those members of staff they previously feared losing.
But the statement went on to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a “particularly severe impact” on Barnet, with all regular revenue ceasing for several months.
It went on “With fans not expected back in the stadium until October, we have to accept that our budget will be substantially reduced. Despite this, the club is in relatively good shape and we want to be clear that we have no intention of becoming part-time or cutting back on what a club at our level would be expected to provide.
“We will soon appoint a new manager who will have a completely blank canvas to rebuild the squad. There is a huge pool of talented and experienced footballers seeking an opportunity to join a historic club with facilities like ours.”
The club says it has received a number of applications for the managerial role and is whittling down a shortlist of possible candidates.
The statement went on: “While there is not an exact timescale of when an announcement will be made regarding who will be taking the Club forward into the 2020/21 season, we will keep Bees fans updated with any significant developments.”
Source : times