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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 July, 2003, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Fashanu close to quitting Barry
Barry Town chairman John Fashanu
Fashanu says only his own money is keeping the club afloat
John Fashanu has threatened to end his short reign as Barry Town chairman.

The former Wimbledon and Aston Villa striker says he will stop bankrolling the troubled club if a dispute over the club's ground is not resolved.

Jenner Park is owned by the Vale of Glamorgan council, and Fashanu says he has "reached the end of his patience" as he attempts to renegotiate the current lease agreement with the council.

His ultimate goal is to buy the stadium so the club can develop into a self-sufficient entity.

"I'm questioning whether I made the right decision becoming Barry chairman some seven months ago," Fashanu told BBC Sport.

"This is not the response my good friend Sam Hammam has had from the people of Cardiff.

"I'm just so surprised and wondering what's going on."

The dispute with the lease is embarrassing and disappointing. I just can't believe it
John Fashanu
Barry are due to play their first round, second leg Champions League match against FK Vardar at Jenner Park on 23 July.

But Fashanu is unsure whether the club can afford to stage the match at their home ground.

He claims the council are asking a "ridiculous amount of money" from Barry for the use of Jenner Park.

"It's an absolute nightmare," Fashanu said. "We're having to pay the best part of 3,000 to stage our Champions League match at Jenner Park.

"Other, shall we say, smaller organisations are only paying 500 to rent the pitch.

"Until I've heard from my financial director and my manager Kenny Brown, I'm not confident at all the match will be played there.

"It's a silly situation which should never have arisen."

A spokesperson for the Vale of Glamorgan council admitted it was possible the match would not be staged at Jenner Park.

But she added the council is "very keen" to reach an amicable agreement with Barry Town.

She said the council charged the club only 100 to use the stadium for Friday night's friendly match with Grange Quins.

My consortium has put in well over 250,000 of our own money into the club
John Fashanu
"Barry were offered terms of lease in November 2002, but despite protracted negotiations agreement has not been reached," she added.

Fashanu took over at Barry in January and immediately tasted success on the pitch as the team completed an unprecedented triple double of league and cup success.

He has also brought in what he calls "world class" Nigerian footballers in the shape of Abiodun Baruwa and Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Goalkeeper Baruwa, though, has been forced to leave the club this week after failing to get a work permit.

But the club's financial position has long been a precarious one, and Fashanu's threat to leave raises further doubts over Barry's ability to stay as one of only two fully professional clubs in the Welsh Premier.

"My consortium has put in well over 250,000 of our own money into the club," Fashanu added.

"And without that the club would be dead now - there's no two ways about that.

"We're continuing to pay off debts and creditors, and we'll keep doing it because we believe in what we're trying to achieve at Barry Town.

"But the dispute with the lease is embarrassing and disappointing. I just can't believe it.

"It makes people want to walk away."

Barry play the first leg of theri Champions League match in Macedonia capital Skopje next Wednesday.




SEE ALSO
Ovendale returns to Barry
04 Jul 03  |  Welsh
Barry face Macedonian foe
20 Jun 03  |  Champions League
Barry clinch triple double
11 May 03  |  Welsh



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