Bostik South East club Herne Bay have released a statement on the financial struggles that have forced them to let Tom Carlton and Jake Embery leave.

Carlton signed for Hythe Town, with Embery joining Maidstone United, and Herne Bay’s directors have put out a statement on the situation currently facing the club:

It is clear from the recent postings on social media that there is a need for a statement from the club’s directors setting out the current situation that the club finds itself in. For many years now it has been necessary for two directors of the club to input significant funds into the club to ensure survival. This situation now ceases with neither of the directors in question being able to continue to provide any further funds to the club going forward.

A meeting of the Directors was held yesterday evening in conjunction with the First Team Management duo of John Embery and Jermaine Darlington to discuss the present situation. It must be made clear that recent decisions in respect of the club’s playing staff have been made necessary due to the critical financial position that the club presently finds itself in. A decision had recently been made by the directors to reduce the club’s playing staff outgoings, specifically in respect of the players on contract, and the budget allowances for the non-contract players. Tom Carlton’s and Jake Embery’s contract expenses were amongst the highest on the playing staff and therefore players that we needed to reduce in order to continue to pay expenses to the other contract, and the non-contract players. We managed to do a deal with Hythe Town FC for Tom Carlton, and negotiated with Jake Embery to be taken off contract, and to play for free until finances improved. Both John Embery and Jermaine Darlington stated that once players were off contract we run the risk of losing them, a risk the Directors thought was necessary to take to ensure the survival of the club, and the retention of the remaining players. It was clear that Maidstone United FC were willing to wait until the end of the season for Jake Embery to avoid paying a fee to the club. It was a bonus for them to get him early as the agent took advantage of the situation the club found itself in.

It is a fact that if no effort had been made to reduce the club’s expenditure there was a serious possibility that the club would not have been able to see the current season out. The position is that, even with some of the economies that have been introduced, both on the playing side and on the administrative side, there is still a danger that the club will only be able to continue in existence if a serious review of the future income and expenditure is carried out. An increase in revenue through additional sponsorship and advertising, through the increase in the number of supporters through the gate, with higher income from the bar and tea bar activities, including a higher number of functions being held in the club room will assist. However we have to be realistic to know that there is a limit to what can be achieved through an increase in income, particularly given the high age profile of the majority of the club’s supporters.

The Directors would also like to make it clear that they believe there has been no wrong doing on the part of the management team, particularly John Embery. If we had sufficient funds to keep players on contract then Jake would have remained until the end of season, or would have been released only on terms that were beneficial to the club. There has been a lot of personal abuse towards John Embery on social media that is totally unwarranted, and unacceptable in the circumstances. The club has a very important match on Saturday, and it is imperative that club officials, management, players and supporters alike can focus on this and achieving a positive performance and result.

The meeting came up with a suggestion that an approach should be made to the club’s supporters to see if there is the possibility that some financial support could be obtained from that direction. It is well understood that attendees at the club’s matches have serious demands upon their income, however if there was the chance that some support could be offered, however small, then the club would be extremely grateful.

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