they have put all of the first team players have been placed on the transfer list
Weymouth Football Club Limited
Martyn Harrison statement
Firstly I wish to thank everyone for coming this morning. The purpose of this press conference is to clarify to the media exactly what the Board and I have decided in what we believe are the best interests of Weymouth Football Club. In addition I also want to place on record the position of Hollybush Hotels and the future strategy for both organisations.
When I became Chairman of Weymouth Football Club I gave an undertaking that the main priority for me was to ensure the long term future of 'The Terras'.
Today, this objective continues to be my primary goal. Since March 2004 I have made significant investment in this Club and as a consequence I do not believe there is anybody here that can say that we have not enjoyed considerable success. We have seen considerable skill and commitment of both management and players, becoming Conference South Champions last season, a good performance in the FA cup both this season and last and are currently doing exceptionally well in the Nationwide Conference.
But like any organisation we have to live within our means and whilst I accept that to drive the Club forward, financial challenges will continually be a part of the territory, the Board and I believe that a number of issues have emerged that, over the past months have placed significant financial constraints on our future.
It is my belief that prudent management of resources is vital to the long term success of any organisation - Weymouth football Club is no exception to this.
We were not prepared for the thwarting of our reasonable aspiration to redevelop this site in conjunction with a major Super market chain. Everything looked very positive right up to the 11th hour when to our dismay, planning was denied. This has proved to be a major blow to our ambitious strategy envisaged 2 years ago. In addition, although we have been very successful in our commercial fund raising endeavours, and have enjoyed fantastic loyalty and commitment from our many supporters and sponsors, our revenues have proved to be insufficient in generating adequate funding essential to replace the lost redevelopment opportunity.
It became essential, therefore, for us to re-evaluate where we were going and I was not prepared to make any hasty decisions without an exhaustive review of all of our activities. In the event, it became obvious to the board and I that to survive we would have to make certain that our income and expenditure were more appropriately matched to take account of our future financial projections. .
We have no other option than to reduce our costs and whilst this is painful for us, we are confident that we have made the right decisions.
As a consequence of the review and by mutual consent, Garry Hill and Kevin Hales have left the Club. I want to stress that they have not been sacked and they have been treated with the utmost respect. They are true professionals and I want to publicly thank both Garry and Kevin for everything they have done for us during the past 22 months.
In addition, with immediate effect, all of our first team players have been placed on the transfer list. This will not only further reduce our costs but just as importantly, give them the best possible chance of a very positive move in the January Transfer window.
Our players have performed magnificently this season, they have our thanks and best wishes and I am sure they will all go on and enjoy great success in their future careers.
It is important to stress at this point, however, that this Club has not gone bust, is not going bust and continues to have my fullest support. The present arrangements were not sustainable, therefore we have acted sooner rather that later in order to achieve the vision of sustainability that I set out earlier.
As an interim measure Chief Executive - Gary Calder - will be responsible for all day to day activities and this includes recruitment of new players. This means we will continue to meet our commitments to play all the fixtures planned between now and the end of this season. I cannot emphasise enough that we are making these changes in order to guarantee the future of this club.
I am confident that this rebuilding process will not only ensure that we continue to be a thriving Football Club but also one that is better placed to live within its means.
This action had to be taken before a serious financial situation developed. I want to make it very clear that the Hollybush Hotels business is completely unaffected by what happens in this Club. I have to say, however, I could not guarantee this if the Board and I allowed the deteriorating financial situation to become a major problem down the line. Hollybush is a sovereign business in its own right and continues to provide excellent quality holidays in numerous locations across the south-west. I am not prepared to jeopardise the jobs of over 350+ staff in order to support this club at the current level of expenditure.
I had a choice. I could put the club in administration or, together with the board, management, sponsors and supporters we could work hard to keep the club going and ask everyone to get behind us. We have chosen the latter and today I am making a direct appeal that people understand the reasons for these changes and give us the support we need in the difficult weeks and months ahead.
I realise that many people especially our supporters and sponsors are surprised and disappointed with recent events. I want to reassure them however that the Board and I remain fully committed to this Club and will be working harder than ever to make certain that the long term future of 'The Terras' is secure.