'A bridge too far' - Crane Sports boss Radnor speaks out as club pull out of League

Crane Sports the current SIL Champions. Almost folded last week. Photo: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

Crane Sports the current SIL Champions. Have decided to withdraw from the league. Photo: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant - Credit: Paul Voller

Suffolk non-league football was left in shock today after one of it's biggest and most successful local clubs withdrew from the League.

Suffolk & Ipswich League senior division side Crane Sports, who are the reigning champions, and have won both the Suffolk & Ipswich League senior division four times and the Suffolk Senior Cup four times, have released a statement saying they will be folding.

Joint boss, Iain Radnor. Photo: GREGG BROWN

Joint boss, Iain Radnor. Photo: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The Ipswich-based club, who played out of Greshams, said a combination of  'commercial, financial and logistical factors' were the cause.

'On the day the friendly fixtures were announced, the club received the news that Greshams were no longer able to provide football facilities at the venue,' the statement read.

For first-team manager Iain Radnor, the news, while hugely disappointing also comes as something of a relief. "'It's been ongoing for a period of time now to be honest," he said.

"At the end of last season we were very close to going. Mary and Lyndon Barnett have done so much. They were doing it all, secretary, chairman, treasurer.

"Basically, when Greshams said to us recently there would be no more football, I spoke to Lyndon and Mary and quite honestly to stabalise, relocate, restructure, then rebuild Cranes - it was going to be just too much for them, me and what is a very small committee.

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"Sometimes you have to accept your time is up, fighting a losing battle. In the end it was a bridge too far."

It was back in November last year Cranes almost folded, but after consultation with Greshams at the time, they managed to carry on.

But this time there looks likely to be no way back.

Cranes have played at Greshams for 10 years, after a move from Whitton’s King George V ground in the town and they have been one of the SIL's most successful clubs in recent times.

After the news broke, other non-league sides in Suffolk reacted. Eastern Counties First Division side, Ipswich Wanderers tweeted: 'Such a shame. Great club, will always be fondly remembered by the football people of Ipswich.'

While Halesworth, who also play in the SIL Senior Division tweeted: 'Well done to everyone who has been involved in the success of Cranes over the years also sorry for everyone connected with the club a sad day for local football.'

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