Farsley Celtic have attempted to allay supporters’ fears over the future direction of the club following the departure of a number of first team players this week.
Saturday’s 6-0 drubbing at home to Darlington and an improved performance – but 2-1 defeat – at FA Cup giant-killers Kidderminster on Tuesday left The Celts second from bottom in the National League North, just five points above bottom club AFC Telford United.
This week saw the departures of established players James Hanson, Jordan Richards, Tyler Walton and Joel Byrom.
In a statement issued by the board this evening, chief executive Josh Greaves, financial director Ian Cotton and director Robert Winterbottom tried to reassure worried supporters and said player turnover ‘can be the nature of being a club at our levell’.
They stressed that – contrary to some comments on social media – the playing budget set in July remains the same and are also promising new signings in the coming days. The statement in full said:
“It is fair to say that the last couple of weeks have been very tough for the football club, which culminated in a disappointing defeat on Saturday afternoon.
“Despite our positions within the club, we are primarily supporters of Farsley Celtic and care as much as you, the supporters.
“In what has been a tough couple of weeks on and off the pitch we have also seen the departures of several playing staff from the club.
“It is in regards to this that we would like to reassure supporters, and also give them some assurances as to how we will be moving forward.
“Two of our players have been released from their contracts this week, and they have been keen to leave the club for a good number of weeks.
“This is mainly due to their work commitments and a desire to play football closer to home. We wish them both well and we now need to move on from this.
“James Hanson has also left in a loan move today, and again we wish him all the best. James has been a model professional, but the move to the club hasn’t worked out as we all had planned, and he leaves with our best wishes.
“We are trying our best to retain the rest of the squad, but we appreciate that one or two other squad members may be the subject of interest from other clubs, as we have seen with Tyler Walton today. Tyler has been of interest to a number of clubs and we have tried to retain his services, but ultimately he has made the decision to leave on loan.
“We have been very lucky at Farsley Celtic over a long time that we have had a settled squad of players which has only seen small changes, however, now it must feel to supporters that there is a large turnover.
“We understand that this can seem disruptive, but unfortunately, it can be the nature of being a club at our level, and we have perhaps been blessed over the last ten years.
“What we would like to add is that the board and management team are actively recruiting additions to the squad daily – one of whom should be announced tomorrow, and another over the upcoming days.
“We believe that the calibre of players joining the club will enhance the squad and have the desire and passion to push us forward. We have been in an advantageous situation in that we are without a game this weekend, meaning that we have not had to make any rash decisions, and we can get the correct players for the club.
“Although we have seen a few departures, we would like to reiterate (contrary to some comments on social media and in the public domain) that the playing budget set in July remains the same.
“Neil and Steve will continue to work within those guidelines and bring in additional playing staff to move us up the league table. We would like to thank you all for your continued support.”
Previous manager Adam Lakeland left the club in October with under 23s and academy manager Neil Ross taking over the role.
Farsley’s next game is at home to Hereford on Saturday, 22 January, kick off 3pm.