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Club News

Statement from Chairman, Tony Kleanthous

27 January 2021

Following yesterday's disappointing defeat to Dover Athletic, Chairman, Tony Kleanthous has issued the following statement to Bees supporters.

Last night our team position reached an all-time low during my tenure at the Club and it’s important that you, the fans, are appraised of what’s going on here to address the slide. A few weeks ago, after a disastrous 6-0 defeat at Chesterfield, I came to the conclusion that no further settling or improvement time could be afforded and that that we needed to make some radical changes in order to try and halt the obvious decline on the pitch.

I began the overhaul by rebuilding the whole backroom staff starting with the appointment of Tim Flowers as the new Manager, who brought in Gary Whild as First Team Coach and Darren Acton as our new Goalkeeping Coach. Along with this, I contacted an old colleague, Gary Anderson, who has a strong background working with Olympic athletes and appointed him as our full time Head of Performance.

We are now working on improving the playing squad with the addition of three new Centre Backs and I have also authorised another two players; one a striker, who we hope will join imminently.

It is a rather difficult time to attract players due to our League position and also the EFL transfer window, meaning players will await the end of this window before agreeing to come to the National League. However, we are optimistic that we can improve our current squad and my support for Tim in this department is ongoing.

The virus has taken its toll, with outbreaks on four separate occasions disrupting training. This makes it difficult to sustain a reasonable continuous training period which is necessary for the team to gel and to get them all working together cohesively. I am always there to support the backroom staff and the team but do not get involved in training schedules, player selection, team selection or formations etc. These are matters for the Manager who will stand and fall by his success on the pitch. This is the usual way of things in football and we must support him and believe in his ability to do a good job. It’s certainly not helpful right now for anyone to splinter and abuse individuals.

Although the football club is paramount, we are in the middle of a global pandemic so outside of this, my time has also been spent on trying to keep together a leisure organisation which has received no Government support and has been unable to operate since early 2020. This has added importance because the leisure side of the business has always underpinned the Club and ensured stability. With our usual income streams at a standstill for almost a year now, this has been challenging to say the least. The whole infrastructure that supports these businesses has to be held together and I have been working tirelessly to ensure stability for the Club so that we may return and operate one day soon. My priority has always been to ensure the Club comes through this with some degree of stability.

Beyond this, we have focussed on our civic duty to include running food banks, cooking and delivering home meals, MRI and CT scanning very ill and vulnerable patients for the North Middlesex & Royal Free Hospitals, hosting one of the first NHS vaccination centres in the UK and this week hosting a new NHS Blood Bank to help cope with the recent shortages at hospitals. I am proud of the work we are doing to support our Community and save lives.

I will always be there to support the Club, as I always have done and I am confident that we will turn this around.

Please keep the faith, stay safe…..come on you Bees.


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