Bath City chairman Manda Rigby: A statement to the fans
No-one said it was going to be easy. We set ourselves targets this season, one of which we have failed on...we wanted a cup run. Incredibly disappointed with the result on Tuesday, fair play to Gosport, but a great chance to get to the first round has gone begging.
I cannot comment on the match, for once, I wasn’t there. I have been told by many who were that at half time we were 1 up and everything was looking rosy, second half, we conceded 3 goals in 11 minutes and never looked like getting back into the match. This was the most important match of the season for us, certainly financially, and also in terms of confidence for the league. Absolutely devastated.
It is my job, and that of the Board of Directors, to take the best decisions for the club, and that includes not reacting to emotional events, rather taking stock to come up with the best decision. We lost to Gosport, we have been both the victim of ‘cupsets’ and in the past, perpetrators of them. That’s what happens in football. At the time of writing these notes, I cannot tell you what decisions the club will have taken. I do know that what is best for the club will be the driving principle. And on a purely personal note, I can assure you I have no problems at all in making hard decisions...a few have questioned if I have the guts to change things, yes I do, but I also have the guts to stick to the original plan despite setbacks if we decide that is right.
In the absence of money, we need time to rebuild and rework the team. We said so at the beginning of the season, and for a while it looked like everything was coming together quicker than anticipated, but we have been found out in recent matches. We said we would invest in youth...we have had 6 players 21 and under play significant roles in the first team so far, playing some great football but also lacking consistency.
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Four players who would have been first choices, indeed are amongst our best players, were missing from the starting line-up onTuesday night, and a couple who played a role were not fully fit. Not an excuse, a fact which would have impacted the team no matter who was managing it, especially as we have a very small squad to begin with.
So there we have it. As we strive towards a firmer financial footing, there will be some very rocky times ahead. As you know, we went public with our strategy document during the summer and I have yet to see anything which makes me believe that this route is the wrong way to go. We are making progress on the central plank of finding a new stadium, the target of a top-eight finish more than possible.
The cost of taking this route is that we are nowhere near the finished article on the pitch and whilst I understand fans frustration, indeed share it, am not willing to throw money we haven’t got at the situation.
I'd like you to continue to support the club patiently during this transition. The fans are the lifeblood of the club, and I am so grateful for the support you give us. We may lose a few along the way, I know, and I really regret that, any change means some will not like it, but I won't court short term popularity by jeopardising long term sustainability. If this isn’t the approach you want, say so now, as you have the wrong chairman.
Up the Romans!