Whole new committee at Haverhill Borough as club 'passed over' to New Croft landlords
Former Haverhill Borough chairman Gary Boulton has revealed the ‘old guard’ are no longer involved at the Step 6 club, claiming it was ‘passed over’ to their home ground’s landlords at the end of last season.
The club were in their first season back in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North after a forced demotion from Step 5 over ground grading issues and had a difficult season, finishing 16th (of 19) in the table.
Boulton said the Step 6 side had ‘considered all its options’ over the turbulent season, which included the possibility of folding, before deciding to pass it to the Haverhill Community Sports Association (HCSA) – who own The New Croft – to manage.
The club, according to the site’s facilities and football development officer Peter Betts, has since appointed a new committee of six ‘voluntary’ members and was adamant that it ‘maintains its independence from the HCSA’.
Haverhill Rovers Ladies joint-manager Kayleigh Steed has been appointed as chairman in her first foray into the men’s game and will be joined by five others.
She said: “I knew they needed a bit of help so when the opportunity arose I jumped at it. I’m passionate about the club and the game and it’s a chance for me to also try something new. It’s exciting.”
Betts added that although two of this committee were employees of the HCSA, they ‘are doing it in their own time’ on a voluntary basis and, he believed, would be as ‘committed as anyone’.
Boulton, meanwhile, claimed: “We agreed to cede the club to new owners just before the end of the season.
“There was frustration that the season didn’t pan out the way we wanted, both on and off the pitch and, although we the committee thought we were the people to take the club forward, there were a number of issues we couldn’t overcome.
“There was a consideration to fold the club but we didn’t think that would be fair or right for the town.
“So it has been passed over to the HCSA (Haverhill Community Sports Association) and the old guard are no longer involved.
“It was given over as a last resort and it’s a shame it’s lost its independence, a big shame, but it’s what was needed to be done for the club to survive. We are going to leave it at that, but we wish the team the absolute best for the future.
“It’s a lovely little club and the players, last season, were fantastic. I want to thank them.
“We leave on good terms and are just grateful to everyone that put in their time and efforts last season.
“We spent a year looking at what we could do but it turned out there were just too many barriers in the way for what we wanted to achieve.”
But Betts said The New Croft employees had ‘volunteered’ to take over only after Borough had requested assistance and that there was a real drive to keep the club operational.
“They came to the HCSA for help because of a lack of volunteers and struggling with player recruitment," he said.
“So we then asked around if anyone could give some of their time to get involved.”
Betts did not feel any negativity was deserved, as he claimed the HCSA only stepped in to help when asked and were supportive of Borough.
He said: “We felt it was important for the local community to have a club like Borough, their place is as a Step 6 club and, as their landlord, we wanted to help.
“It’s important the club maintains its independence from the HCSA – Borough, (New Croft neighbours) Rovers and the HCSA remain separate entities. Nothing’s changed at the club.
“All grassroots clubs have challenges, and they have had a lot, but the biggest problem the club has is with the reliance on volunteers, and that’s hard.
“Gary Brown (former committee member) was the main driver behind Borough, he did an excellent job. I am sure the new committee will do a great job as well.”
He also confirmed Borough currently had 16 league registered players and had no bearing on recent pre-season game cancellations.
They were due to host SIL Division one side Sporting 87 last night before welcoming Kershaw Senior A side Hundon on Saturday (3pm).