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GJ Singh confirms Barnt Green Spartak will not be folding after crunch talks

Craig Gibbons 31st May, 2017 Updated: 31st May, 2017

THE FUTURE of Barnt Green Spartak has been secured for a further year following crunch talks, it has been announced.

Manager GJ Singh had been discussing a potential move to pull the plug on the family-run club with committee members throughout the week.

Having spent 25 years in football, the 41-year-old was left frustrated by players departing the club without giving any indication of doing so as well as a lack of commitment from the board.

However, following deep talks with his family and club officials, Singh announced Spartak would be competing in Midland League Division Two next season.

“It has been a really stressful couple of days,” Singh told the Standard.

“I have received so many personal messages of support that it has been an eye-opening experience.

“After the end of the season and all the problems we had I was starting to think ‘was it all worth it?’.

“But sometimes we forget the lives we have affected just by running a football club.

“I had a former player from 20 years ago message me saying it would be a shame for Barnt Green to fold because we were his first proper club.

“We are a unique club and having spent such a long time in the Midland League I did not want to walk away from it all.

“I had received a number of offers from sides to be their manager but at this stage in my life I am not ready to leave Barnt Green as that is the easy way out.”

Spartak ended the 2016/17 campaign in 12th after struggling to get a regular side out through injury and players moving to rival clubs.

But what really irked Singh – who has previously managed Continental Star, Massey Ferguson and Earlswood Town – was that several of his squad decided to part ways without even letting him know.

Things got so bad that the Spartak boss came within 45 minutes of folding the club before their away trip at Paget Rangers towards the end of April.

“What happened towards the end of the season completely ripped the heart out of the club,” Singh added.

“The frustrating thing was that this kind of situation has never happened to me before because somehow we always find a way to stick it out when times are tough.

“Every season I have to put some of my own money into the club to cover the shortfall which puts a lot of pressure on myself.

“As a club, Barnt Green has a reputation for finishing strongly but this year we have shocked so many people with how poorly we have finished.

“Players come and go, which I accept, but to have players leave who do not give any indication that they are departing is farcical.

“But to make matters worse we had a few noises at board level saying they would not be willing to carry on which was more disappointing.”

Singh now says the immediate priority is to fund-raise before re-building a side which he hopes will be competitive enough to push towards the higher ends of the Division Two table.

The Spartak boss is also hopeful of making a new addition to the managerial set-up as well as organising pre-season friendlies.

“The whole situation has been a farce but I’m glad the club has survived and I will be looking to add to my three Midland League Manager of the Year Awards,” Singh added.

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