Hendon manager says he feels 'let down' after the Greens’ board cut the club’s playing budget by 40 per cent

Picture: J Macdonald-Fulton

Picture: J Macdonald-Fulton

First published in Sport by

Hendon manager Gary McCann says he feels “let down” after the Greens’ board cut the club’s playing budget by 40 per cent because they didn’t believe their side could reach the play-offs.

Hendon are currently ninth in the Ryman Premier and only 13 points away from the play-off positions, with at least one game in hand on six of the eight sides above them.

However, the club’s board have still decided to slash the playing budget by around 40 per cent.

“I feel let down, despondent and a little taken for granted,” McCann stated. “We have players here who have given so much over the season and, for some of them, over the course of their careers.

“I will be professional, as will the players. We will evaluate at that point [in the summer], as we do every summer, what will happen going forward.”

Hendon chairman Simon Lawrence believes the club’s manager has every right to be angry but insists it is a decision that has been made for the long-term benefit of Hendon.

He said: “The board have to make sure we manage what little finances we have carefully. We have to keep one eye on this season and one eye on next season.

“In previous seasons the budget has been boosted by FA Cup runs or FA Trophy runs but we haven’t had that this season.

“The long-term future for the club is exciting but we have had to address the short-term future.”

Lawrence added plans, which include boosting revenue streams, are in place to help Hendon challenge from promotion in the 2015/2016 season.

He admits next season will be about remaining in the Ryman Premier, although the Greens supporters can make a difference.

He said: “We have one of the smallest budgets in the division this season and next season I would be very surprised if we don’t have the smallest.

“That will be partly down to the fans though. If they want to and are able to put money into the club, and we will start asking that question next month, then we can evaluate the budget in the summer.”

McCann and his players have committed to the club until the end of the season and their dedication has been proven in the last two matches.

The Greens defeated Kingstonian 4-1 in the Ryman Premier on Saturday and then knocked out Staines Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup on Monday night.

McCann believes his players are more than capable of reaching the play-offs but admitted the changing room “is far from happy”.

He continued: “It is despondent. We obviously understand that the club has to make cuts but I think everyone in the changing room is feeling a little taken for granted.

“I don’t think it is over until the season is finished. There is always a team that makes a late run into the play-offs, we’ve seen it time and time again.

“The players have the belief and we have now adopted siege mentality.”

Lawrence hopes McCann, who has been in charge of Hendon for nine years, will remain with the club next season.

He says the Greens have the best chance of achieving their goals with McCann at the helm but added “no man is bigger than the club”.

When asked about McCann’s disappointment, the Hendon chairman replied: “I understand Gary’s disappointment, I understand why he is angry and he has every right to feel let down. He probably feels we have pulled the rug from under him.

“He believes this squad are good enough to still reach the play-offs and the team have the quality to beat anyone they face on their day.

“They can also be beaten though against teams below us in the table. We have lost against Wingate and Enfield Town recently and they are games we were expected to win.

“So the board decided that it would be a long shot to achieve promotion this season and that is why we took the decision to cut the budget.”

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