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Dereham Town chairman to step down

PUBLISHED: 16:39 30 September 2008 | UPDATED: 14:45 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

Dereham Town chairman Simon Barnes has announced “with a heavy heart” that he is standing down.

Mr Barnes - who has served the club in many ways including player and manager - has been chairman for two and a half years.

Dereham Town chairman Simon Barnes has announced “with a heavy heart” that he is standing down.

Mr Barnes - who has served the club in many ways including player and manager - has been chairman for two and a half years.

He is formally resigning at the next committee meeting on October 13 and vice chairman Mike Baldry is set to take over.

Mr Barnes said in a message on the club website: “It was with a heavy heart that I told the players that I would be stepping down as chairman. I feel the time is right for me to call it a day and, that a new face at the top will benefit the club as a whole.

He said he had “some great memories and some not so pleasing but, thankfully, the happy ones far out way the others.”

Mr Barnes explained how the role of a chairman and the state of the club had changed.

“I honestly think that the time a chairman staying at this club for 15 to 20 years are long gone. This is not just a football club, it is a business. I know that some find that difficult to accept, and believe me at times I felt the same, but it is fact.

“Bills have to be paid, rates, wages, electricity, water rates are all there regardless if the entrance gate are opened or not. As chairman I felt that it was my job to make sure we still had a club in 10 years time not just this season. It made me unpopular at times, which is something that is hard to take when you are doing the job for nothing, and was the last thing I wanted to do. These decisions had to be made and I made them and stood by them and still stand by them. The next chairman will have to make the same difficult decisions, my thoughts go out to him.”

Mr Barnes praised fans for their support and he recalled his pride at the Norfolk Senior Cup victory two years ago.

The manager at the time was Robert Taylor and Mr Barnes added: “I will always be thankful to Robert for that occasion.”

Mr Barnes also revealed hurt which was caused after the club committee decided to sack him.

“Unfortunately when the committee as a whole decided to relieve him of his duties, things were said about myself and my family that I felt were totally uncalled for and still hurt very much today.

“In football, managers and chairmen come and go. Decisions are made that are correct and some that are not. The committee, I still feel, made the right decision but I deeply regret the aftermath of Robert's dismissal. As I have always said, he took this club to the next level and gave us some of the best football seen at Aldiss Park. But I can honestly say that I supported him whilst he was in the job, and that again I reiterate that the committee made the decision and not me alone. I did not even vote.”

Mr Barnes ended his message: “I wish everyone connected with the club the very best for the future. C'mon the Magpies.”

President Jack Wisemen said: “On behalf of all his loyal supporters I want to thank him for all the hard work over the last two and a half years. The heights that he has taken this club to in that time shows on the faces of all the people that attend the matches and functions.

“I have seen how the players have really enjoyed playing good football at Aldiss Park this last two years.”

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