WOKING chairman Mike Smith has described talk of the club having a National League South budget next season following the collapse of takeover plans as “total tosh”.
Local businessman Ashley Read’s discussions with the Cards ended suddenly last week following months of detailed conversation.
Last year, Woking posted losses of nearly £500,000, with reports coming out of the club’s last AGM that investment was desperately required or the club’s spending on its squad would have to be substantially reduced. Fans have voiced concerns about the size of the debts at Kingfield.
The Cards have surpassed expectations this term on the pitch, despite an injury-ravaged campaign Garry Hill has kept his team within touching distance of the top five.
Smith says the club remain an attractive proposition to investors but rubbished rumour that with funds increasingly tight, their budget next season if promotion to the Football League isn’t forthcoming could be halved.
He told The NLP: “We have signed a confidentially agreement with Mr Read so I am not in a position to clarify why he withdrew his interest in acquiring additional shares in the club.
“Parties are in regular contact and expressing interest, we had one come to us before the New Year from Australia even.
“We’re back to where we were but we carry on. Our focus is on winning matches and letting everything else take care of itself. We can only deal with what’s in front of us.”
It is understood majority shareholder Peter Jordan still wants to sell up but despite plans to step away at the start of 2016, he is expected to continue until a solution is found.
“Are Peter Jordan and (owner) Chris Ingram going to continue to finance the club? I think people need to ask them that question,” Smith added. “It’s certainly not for me to answer.
“The talk about Woking having a Conference South budget next season is total tosh. There’s no basis of fact – people who were not present at the AGM have taken things out of context, it’s hearsay.
“We have made excellent progress this season despite the issues we have faced in losing so many players to serious injuries.”
Two of those, striker Scott Rendell, 29, and central defender Ismail Yakubu, 30, provided a pick-me-up for fans when they were seen taking part in running drills before last weekend’s match at home to FC Halifax.
“They are both making giant strides,” Smith added. “But at this stage I don’t expect to see them on the pitch for us this season. If they are, then it would be a huge and unexpected bonus.”