By John Baron
Farsley Celtic chairman Paul Barthorpe has hit back at ‘damaging’ rumours about the club’s finances – and has denied the the club is about to go bust.
In a statement issued today, Mr Barthorpe hit back at what he said was ‘gossip’ circulating around the club, which was apparently aired on one of Hereford FC’s media channels during Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat.
In a statement issued on The Celts’ website, Mr Barthorpe, who took over as chairman in 2019, said: “I am writing this unprecedented response to end these damaging rumours and gossip about our club, and to reassure our fans that anything you hear relating to the club “going bust” is absolutely and totally false.
“I can categorically state we are not going bust, and that we will not be closing our doors anytime soon!
“In fact, it is quite the opposite. We are working hard behind the scenes, and you will have seen the recent announcements about John Stubbs and Paul Glover joining the board, and there are a number of more positive announcements to come shortly.
“The main area in which we know we have to improve on is communication, and this is why we are making the changes we are.
“We want to become a more open and transparent club, and we feel the appointments we have made will help us to do so.
“The next time any of our fans hear these kinds of rumours, they can confidently correct those saying so, and dispel the hearsay.
“I will be contacting the Hereford chairman to discuss the comments made at the game on Tuesday evening which helped to spread these rumours, so if anyone has any information on this I’d be grateful.
“I am not happy about this, and will always defend the club I love and our fans against anyone or anything. If that means I get into trouble for saying this then so be it.”
Rumours about the club’s finances first began circulating before Christmas, with players struggling to be paid on time. WLD understands this was down to a temporary issue with cashflow.
New board appointment announced
Farsley Celtic today also confirmed the appointment of Daniel Bennett to the club’s board as the club’s first Project Development Director, subject to FA approval.
Daniel has a strong track record, spanning over 10 years, of successfully delivering large-scale projects across both the public and private sectors, working with organisations such as HSBC, RBS, Wesleyan Group, IRIS Software and more recently Oxfam International on a global programme rollout.
He has also worked with the FA on a number of projects to improve grassroots football systems.
Chairman Paul Barthorpe said: “I am delighted to welcome Daniel to the board, as he brings with him a huge amount of experience and a new skill set to the club which will hugely benefit us across all aspects of development and growth.
“He is an experienced business leader with a proven track record of delivering major change across organisations, creating new processes and structures, and ensuring the successful delivery of projects, best practice methodologies and major change programmes.
“I have known and worked with Daniel previously and I am really happy that we can add someone of his experience and calibre to the board.
“He has a lot to offer us, and will make a significant, positive impact on the club’s development and growth.”
WLD reported earlier this week that the Celts had appointed two new people to the board, subject to Football Association approval.
Paul Glover and John Stubbs are familiar faces to supporters, with both having long associations with the club.
Mr Glover has been at Farsley for many years and is recognisable as the stadium announcer, and has more recently taken on the role of the groundsman at the Citadel. John Stubbs is a long-time supporter of the Celts, and this summer led the revival of the Farsley Celtic Supporters Club, purchasing a minibus to provide transport to away games.
Last week The Celts announced that finance director Ian Cotton had left the club, Mr Cotton had been an integral member of the team over the past three years, helping the club navigate the difficult COVID-19 period.
The club also confirmed today the appointment of Iain Wilkinson as the club’s Safety Officer.
Iain will be known to Farsley Celtic supporters as a long-time fan of the club, as well as previously working as our Safety Officer for a number of years.
Tomorrow the Celts are at home to Marske United in the FA Trophy. Ticket details can be found here.