Symes puts Cornard United up for sale

CHRIS Symes’ love affair with Cornard United has seen him spend �50,000 of his own money during his 17-year tenure.

But this season has surely been the hardest after presiding over a campaign where he has been forced to play his Under-18s in the Ridgeons League Division One and where he has lost �100 every match.

Something had to give. Now the man who is owner, manager, coach, secretary and groundsman at Blackhouse Lane has conceded he can take the club forward no more.

Symes said: “After 17 years at Cornard, putting the club up for sale is something I have decided with a heavy heart. In my time, I have invested �50,000, I still have the receipts to prove it, but I would accept �25,000 for the club.

“I have had two offers and I am quite confident one will come to fruition. But it has to be someone responsible and there are still many steps to go.”

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With just two league wins this season and United nine points adrift at the bottom, you would think Symes would struggle to find any positives.

But he has every reason to be proud of one achievement, explaining: “My priority this season was to pay the bills and put 11 players on the pitch so we didn’t get a �500 fine. Any success we had after that was simply a bonus.

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“I didn’t want to drop out of the league like Harwich & Parkeston and Whitton United in the last few years and I am proud that we have always put a team out.”

With the budget so tight, paying players was never a possibility. So Symes, who revealed he would one day be interested in joining the backroom staff of previous club Braintree Town, had no choice but to turn to the club’s youth set-up.

He said: “We haven’t been able to pay players all season so we had little choice but to have our Under-18s play in the youth league on Thursday nights and then in the Ridgeons on Saturday. But the lads have been fantastic and stood by me all season.”

It has been a tough season for everyone connected with Cornard but Symes insisted the club can still be a good investment for the right buyer.

He explained: “The facilities here are first class. We have had about 70 professional teams come here to train. This season alone, the likes of Nottingham Forest and Derby County have come here before playing Ipswich Town. There are still lots of good things about this club.”

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