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Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Redditch United axe playing budget as manager leaves

Redditch United

Manager Matt Gardiner and assistant John Snape have left Redditch United after the club cut their playing budget to zero with immediate effect.

The Reds are bottom of the Blue Square Bet North, eight points off safety, having played a game more than Hyde.

"Whilst players are a club's biggest asset, they are also a club's biggest expense," said chairman Ken Rae.

"If we want to be here next season and in five, 10, 15 years to come I need to take action now."

Gardiner was appointed Redditch boss in May 2010, following the departure of Gary Whild who is now assistant manager at Kidderminster.

Rae added that the cuts the club are having to make were unavoidable.

"When cuts have to be made unfortunately the playing budget is the first to suffer, although the budget these guys have worked on is by far the lowest in the league it is still an expense the current income cannot support," he said.

"Gate receipts are the lowest they have been since I got involved eight years ago. The sums don't add up, we are getting in less than we have to pay out, it's as simple as that."

Only 184 fans turned up to watch Redditch lose 3-1 in their last home game against Stalybridge Celtic.

Rae thanked the players for "their level of commitment, desire and effort" and blamed the club's position at the foot of the table on bad luck.

Whilst players are a club's biggest asset, they are also a club's biggest expense

Redditch United chairman Ken Rae

"Ironically we are now playing some of the best football we have played all season," said Rae.

Meanwhile the players have asked for time to consider whether to stay on and play for free for the club's remaining 17 matches.

The Reds chairman also revealed that he has personally had to top up the gate receipts with his own money to ensure the players and the bills have been paid on time.

"I can no longer continue to do this," said Rae. "My family life is suffering as a result of this situation.

"I would be doing the club and the loyal fans an injustice if I were to increase the debt Redditch United already has in an effort to survive in this league, for it to then go into administration in the summer.

"We will look to get the club on a much more even financial footing between now and August through this action and fundraising initiatives.

"Then whatever league we are in next season we can hopefully rebuild and kick on from there with possibly a bigger playing budget than this season."

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