Nailsea men prop up cash-strapped Clevedon Town FC

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By Carol_Deacon | Monday, January 31, 2011, 10:44

Cash-strapped Clevedon Town Football Club is facing a crisis as players leave for more financial secure sides.

Despite manager Micky Bell, of Nailsea, attracting a plethora of new players a ‘cash flow’ problem saw many leave the Davis Lane club in the past month.

Press spokesman Richard Phelps said: “The club has suffered badly with the almost unprecedented five game lay off inflicted upon us by the weather along with the current financial climate that all non league clubs face.

“As a result not only could we not generate income from the football side but also due to our isolated position the access roads to the stadium were closed for safety reasons due to ice and snow.

“For successive weekends no income came in from the nightclub and other functions that we host on a weekly basis.

“This has manifested itself in a January cash flow problem and obviously although other clubs were affected in a similar fashion some fared better than others.

“Those faring better are in a position to offer incentives to some players and this has been the case.”

So instead of building a new side some recently signed players jumped ship.

These include Matt Townley going to Bridgwater on a transfer, Lewis Elli to Paulton Rovers and Matt Thorne is looking at going to Almondsbury.

Nick Dunn has joined Ashley Kington previously transferred earlier in the season to Oxford City.

Micky told the Independent on Sunday that ‘the lads hadn’t been paid since the beginning on December’.

He added: “It was heartbreaking for me to tell them about the situation as they were all players I had persuaded to come to Clevedon.”

Richard said: “All players have left on good terms with Clevedon Town and would be welcomed back at The Hand in the future.

“We wish them well in their new clubs and thank them for their commitment to Clevedon Town.”

Clevedon had spent many years ‘co****ed’ from cash problems by the backing of Bristol Rovers director and local businessman Barry Bradshaw.

But back in the early 1990s it faced similar problems and the Clevedon Mercury ran the award-winning headline Town Sold For A £1.

What the club really need in another knight in shining armour or a local business sponsorship to get them back on track.

Micky's policy from day one in charge has always been to promote youth and local talent to the club.

Because of his connections with Bristol City he was also able to ‘borrow’ some professional players.

And in the past few weeks Clevedon has incorporated into the first team squad two players from the Clevedon Town Youth team namely Jake Murray and Liam Knight and signed four new players.

Three come from Nailsea.

They are Chris Gale, aged 17, and 18-year-olds Eleftherios Kendros and Matt Corner.

These lads along with the existing first team squad are the future of this club, added Richard.

It was on Saturday that Micky fielded his inexperienced side against Division 1 opponents Hungerford Town.

With Kris Lee, Sam Teale Cameron Ricketts and Chas Hemmings all injured or unavailable the side contained two starting debutants from the youth side namely Craig Burchill and Sam Truman.

Adding to the problems overnight frost had made the surface playable but proved difficult for both sides.

Jason Mellor the former goalkeeper with Nailsea Town FC made some stunning saves and was named man-of-the-match but is wasn’t enough for the team to lose 3-1.

Clevedon play Abingdon tomorrow night, Tuesday, February 1, at The Hand.Kick-off is 7.45pm. 



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