EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Stott sacrifices budget for long term future of Windsor FC
Exclusive by Rob Stevens • Published 7 Sep 2012 06:00 0 Comments
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Tough decision: Kevin Stott, left, with new manager Mick Woodham. Stott has withdrawn the playing budget to protect the long term future of Windsor FC.
KEVIN Stott this week opened his heart about the decision to withdraw the playing budget at Windsor FC.
Stott founded the club after the demise of Windsor & Eton and last season funded a team that finished runners-up to Guildford City in the Combined Counties Premier Division.
A reduced budget was agreed in principal with manager Keith Scott for the current campaign - fuelling ambitions of the Stag Meadow-based team winning the title.
But, after prolonged negotiations with The Crown over a long-term lease of the ground and its affect on plans for a new 3-G pitch and gym facility, Stott pulled playing funds and announced a zero-budget.
The decision was met by disappointment from the players and eventually led to Scott's resignation.
Stott, however, insists he is now better-placed to map out Windsor FC's future - starting with negotiations with a future gym partner.
Speaking exclusively to the Observer, he said: "At the end of last season I sat down with Keith and agreed a budget - subject to a gym partnership being in place.
"But the likelihood of that happening in the short term was unrealistic. That is when we sat down again and I suggested we go into next year with no budget.
"I do not want us to be in a position where we are top of the league and in the quarter-finals of the FA Vase and not be able to fund the rest of the season.
"With hindsight it was over optimistic of me to think we could navigate the income streams before October."
Stott continued: "In the end we had to make a decision - failure to respond to the need for change is the biggest challenge.
"The main objective is to protect the immediate future of the football club and be in a position to work on the long-term future.
"We have still potentially got a gym partnership with Summit on the table - we are progressing on how we can fund that.
"We originally started on the 3-G but we might be able to run the whole thing together."
Stott, chairman of Windsor FC, added: "Our preference is to work with a local company for obvious reasons - if not we will explore other options.
"Now that we have a more robust business model it is a case of when rather than if - it's about creating space and time for funding and planning opportunities.
"I do not want to put a time scale on it - I have learnt there are too many things out of our control to dictate a time frame.
"If you are under pressure from time you will get a result, but not the result you may be expecting."
Stott was not surprised by Scott's decision to resign - suggesting the club are working to a different timescale - and he fully respects the ex-professional striker's decision to walk through the Stag Meadow exit door.
He said: "I do not know whether Keith was emotively involved in Windsor FC or not but I respect his right to earn a second income.
"I am genuinely not prepared to criticise his right to pursue that opportunity - I have always said to him to push for a professional position.
"We are working on different timescales - in my head 10 years is nothing but for others that can be too long to wait.
"There is no way of knowing how long it will take us so it is unfair on Keith to stay around.
"Equally, I hope he respects our decision - it is kind of a double-edged sword."
Stott continued: "I recognise Keith and the players are effectively semi-professional and for a lot of them the ability to earn a second income stream is important.
"I absolutely respect their decision to go but equally I respect their decision if they choose to stay. I am not saying you have to go - but if you stay it is on a voluntary basis."
Scott's resignation was quickly followed by the popular appointment of Mick Woodham - a former Windsor & Eton player and Windsor-based coach.
Stott said: "Mick managed the youth team last year and played for Windsor in the late 1990's.
"He captained the reserves and I remember presenting him with their player of the season award.
"We needed to move quickly to give him the opportunity to talk to the existing players before Saturday - we wanted to see who will be a part of Monday night's game.
"The acquisition of a first class coach to support Micky will help but we will take our time."
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