CORNARD United’s sudden withdrawal from a link-up with Braintree Town was due to a mystery buyer coming in at the 11th hour to purchase the club, it can be revealed.
The as yet unnamed investor will acquire the Blackhouse Lane outfit in the next six to eight weeks, once the purchase has been ratified by the Football Association, Ridgeons League and land owners Cornard Parish Council.
It means the Ridgeons League’s longest serving manager, Chris Symes, 63, will move aside to retire after 17 years at the club, though he is set for a final league bow with the in-coming owner keeping him in charge until everything is complete.
Symes, who has been on the receiving end of some heavy criticism following axing the Braintree Town link-up just hours before the pre-season got under way, said this was always the agreement if a bidder stumped up the cash.
“Lee Harding, the Braintree chairman, said if we get a buyer forget about us,” he told the Suffolk Free Press. “I got a buyer at the 11th hour and did not want to shout about it as the buyer did not want the publicity, so what can you do?
“I was just doing what I had agreed. It is difficult for the players, they had come over for the 5-a-side and made their minds up they were playing here, but that is football.”
Symes is now left trying to fill up a now blank pre-season schedule after the fixtures arranged by Braintree Town reserve manager Mark Sansom, who was to take charge of first team affairs, went out with the link-up.
But Symes, who will not be drawn on the identity of the buyer, is confident the club will be in a better place with the intended investment of the new owner.
“Cornard United is looking up again,” he said.
He also revealed the prospective new owner had been down to the club and spoke with himself and a few of the existing first-team players.
l SYMES is looking to recruit new players for the club for the 2011/12 campaign. Anyone interested should contact him on: 07811096832.