Dereham chief quits 'with a heavy heart'

PUBLISHED: 11:08 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:48 10 September 2010

Ian Clarke

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

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.

But 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."

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

"I honestly think that the time of 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."

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

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

He continued: "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."

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."

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