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Club Statement

Hastings United – New Ownership


Daren Burney & Peter Sherlock issued the following statement.

Daren Burney & Peter Sherlock can today confirm that they have sold their shareholding in Hastings United Football Club with immediate effect and will also stand down as Directors of the Football Club.

The majority shareholding has been purchased by a local consortium led by former Club Captain, Manager and current Director of Football, Dean White.

We have spent the past 8 years of our working lives trying to deliver a New Stadium and Facilities for the Club and The Town. A Community Facility to be shared by all and invested over £250,000 in planning applications for both The Pilot Field and Tile Kiln. This was done with the full encouragement of the Leader of the council at the time as well as members of the Council. Despite what has been implied this was not done on a whim and we provided information at the time on how this could be delivered, and without cost to the council.

We secured planning consents for both sites only for Paul Barnett to announce, unlawfully, that Hastings Borough Council would not allow either of the sites to progress, and after The Local Authority refused to draft and issue S106 agreements for both sites, and subsequently refused the Consents effectively thereby ending the possibility of the relocation.

The Club now finds itself in a position where it needs to find a new site to relocate to or incur substantial costs for The Pilot Field refurbishment and redevelopment which runs into millions of pounds. The Pilot Field maintenance costs rise year on year to achieve basic health and safety standards.

The Council have not offered any alternate site, and publicly say they want to help and assist, yet no meaningful dialogue or proposal has been made, and with the Council perilously close to expending their remaining reserve funds, we remain doubtful any assistance will be forthcoming.

Peter and I had to make a decision recently about whether to continue a legal case against the council decision but decided we had reached a point in the road where if the Council didn’t want to endorse the benefits the Tile kiln relocation brings to the Club and its Town , what were we doing all of this for? Especially, given that the proposals come at at zero cost to the Hastings Borough Council as well as safeguarding the club for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, it would have allowed the Club to grow and challenge for promotions to the Football League, as well as providing facilities for all local clubs and the several hundred youth, women, children and disability teams that play under the Club banner.

During our time we have seen The Club’s Men’s First team gain promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division despite COVID robbed us promotion for 2 seasons when the Division was expunged, our U23 Development squad win their league and cup consistently and The Women’s team win their League the first season after reforming, and a number of players progress from the Academy to go on to play in The Football League .

We leave with the Club in good financial health, The Men’s team rebuilt after an exodus of Players and Management, and now more than capable of holding their own in the Division and hopefully challenge again for Promotion.

Peter and I will always have with very fond memories of our Custodianship. We are grateful to our fellow Directors and all the Volunteers who put so much time and effort to ensure the Club continues to run, and to the majority of the supporters and their unwavering support.

When we started our journey, we wanted to create a legacy for the Club. Those who got to know Peter and I know what we wanted to achieve. There has been some such nonsense written about Peter and I standing to make money out of the Club when this couldn’t be further from the truth. We have written off most of the investment of the past 8 years to enable the new ownership to acquire the majority shareholding and take the Club forward.

We will try and assist the new ownership though the initial transition and wish them and the Club continued success on the Field.

Hopefully now that the Club is in local ownership there may be a way for the Club and Council work constructively together in whatever form that may be.

A further statement from the new ownership will be released later on today (Friday 18 August).

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