TOUGH LOVE IN FIGHT TO SUR­VIVE

The Hayes & Yead­ing chair­man can­not en­joy team matches any more

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Matt Lewis matt.lewis@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

CHAIR­MAN Tony O’Driscoll has ad­mit­ted the pres­sures of staving off the threat of ex­tinc­tion at Hayes & Yead­ing United have seen him fall out of love with foot­ball.

It has been a con­stant strug­gle for sur­vival for the Con­fer­ence South club since O’Driscoll took over the reins from Derek Goodall in the sum­mer of 2013.

O’Driscoll has been work­ing tire­lessly to keep the club in busi­ness but fi­nances have been put un­der in­creased strain as build­ing work stalled on their pro­posed Bea­cons­field Road home.

Crip­pling fees of more than £1,000 per game to play at Maiden­head’s York Road only make mat­ters worse and £300,000 is needed to get the club’s in­com­plete ground up to scratch.

O’Driscoll had orig­i­nally set a dead­line of Thurs­day to have the funds in place, but a planned meet­ing with sup­port­ers was can­celled with no res­o­lu­tion of the mat­ter.

It is un­der­stood that good progress is be­ing made in fundrais­ing and more than half of the tar­get has been pledged but O’Driscoll says the sta­dium saga has left him drained and un­able to en­joy watch­ing his team play ev­ery Satur­day.

He said: “I’d like to en­joy my foot­ball again, which I must say I haven’t been do­ing lately. Peo­ple are still talk­ing to us about in­vest­ment but they are not mak­ing de­ci­sions as quickly as I would like – but we are still go­ing.

“Ev­ery week we are still find­ing some money to keep us afloat. I hope that we will just get over the line and make it to the end of the sea­son. What I didn’t want to do was be pulling out mid-sea­son.

“It’s not the aim [to get to the end of the sea­son and then re­assess this sit­u­a­tion] but I think that’s what may hap­pen. What I was try­ing to do was get 10 peo­ple to in­vest £30,000 to give us the £300,000 to get us back in there.

“I can’t take any­body’s money un­til I’ve got the whole 10 though. Un­til I get the 10, I can’t move for­ward. It is very frus­trat­ing. It should never had got­ten to the stage we are at now. The ground should’ve been built two or three years ago.”

United who have slid from be­ing early-sea­son play-off con­tenders into yet an­other rel­e­ga­tion battle, have a cru­cial game at home to base­ment boys Staines Town at the week­end.

O’Driscoll added: “Staines is cru­cial. The league ta­ble won’t lie at the end of the sea­son and the play­ers are fo­cused on the foot­ball.”

United were de­nied a much­needed three points on Satur­day when Dean In­man’s opener was can­celled out by a late Brom­ley equaliser. Mean­while, Ni­cholas Big­nall and Ma­son Spence have left the club, but Kadell Daniel and Chris­tian Smith have joined, from Charl­ton and Chelms­ford, re­spec­tively.

n DE­PARTED: Hayes & Yead­ing’s Ma­son Spence has left the strug­gling club

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