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Relegation a ‘done deal’ for borough

GUTTED: The team had secured safety on the pitch only to be demoted anyway. Picture: Mecha Morton
GUTTED: The team had secured safety on the pitch only to be demoted anyway. Picture: Mecha Morton

The club had suggested it would fight the decision of the New Croft landlords to deny them a ground share agreement with neighbouring club Rovers — which saw them forcibly relegated.

But Hardwick admitted they have decided not to pursue an appeal attempt but to ‘focus on the future in Step 6 instead’.

The first stage, according to Hardwick, is to have a frank conversation among themselves about who would continue in their roles.

“It’s a fait accompli, so we have to take it on the chin and see where we go now,” he said.

“There’s some big decisions for each of us to make.

“So that’s the priority for us.”

He said he would, in particular, be discussing the future with the management team of Anthony Choat and Cody Frazier as well as the committee.

“One thing that has become clear is our need for a bit of variety on our committee, particularly some business knowledge,” he added.

“We will be looking at who we could entice into the club to make it stronger and avoid it recurring.”

He admitted the decision to deny them a ground share — revealed by the HCSA on April 29 — had ‘knocked them for six’ and was unhappy at the timing of the announcement, which came ahead of the end of the season.

Borough failed to record any points in their final four fixtures, a consequence, Hardwick said, of the axe hanging over their heads.

“If it had been decided after the season had finished, it might have been a little easier to digest,” he said.

“But when and how it was announced left us with a very tough end to the season, which I don’t feel was in the best of faith.

“It does knock you for six, whatever anyone says.”

Borough’s final game, a 2-1 loss on the road at FC Clacton, saw only the ‘bare 11’ on the team sheet, as it became a ‘case of fulfilling the fixture, nothing more’.

“It’s understandable for the players,” Hardwick said.

“From their perspective, the season was done, and in the most disappointing way, the sun was out and it was the Guineas.

“I don’t blame them, they don’t think about the fines.

“But ending the season like this leaves us unable to see a bright side to it all and it also doesn’t give a true reflection of where we could finish — we threw away a lot of points at the end.

“And, even with all this, we only finished one place below Rovers.”

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