My first reaction when we got wind of this (10.30 last night in the bar at Broadfields) was shock followed immediately by the feeling there by the grace of God! Edgware won’t be the first club to disappear in this ‘summer’ of madness and they probably won’t be the last.
What is so shocking about this is the speed with which everything has happened. We were actually due to meet with Edgware last night – a meeting not related to these events I hasten to add. This meeting had only been confirmed on Monday afternoon but on Tuesday morning I got a message from Paul Gregory saying they couldn’t make it anymore and we’d speak later.
Speaking to an understandably emotional Paul today it appears everything happened very suddenly and if you haven’t read it you can see the official statement on our ‘friend’ Gavin’s blog.
Basically the freehold for the site is passing into new ownership (probably Barrett Homes). This appears to have triggered a decision from the people who have been funding Edgware Town over the past few years, Galliard Homes, (to a sum greater than £1/2 million I understand) to cut their losses and cease funding the Club.
This means the Club has no money, has been served notice to leave the White Lion at the end of the lease (December) and even if they were allowed to stay until the end of the season they have no money to pay the rent (considerably more than we pay Northwood).
This also means that 5 weeks before the start of the season they can’t afford a groundshare elsewhere even if they could get one in place and so they can’t confirm to the Ryman League that they can fulfil their fixtures.
It has come out of the blue and is a kick in the teeth, especially after last season where they swept the board in the Spartan League. Paul Gregory, Ken Batten and others have done a great job pulling the club back from the brink already after the disaster left by previous chairman Anthony Rosier (the reasons we left Edgware were all due to Rosier) but whilst they want the name to continue it is difficult just at the moment to see how. We will see if there is anyway we can help them but I can’t believe the Ryman League would allow three clubs to groundshare at Northwood!
I’ve said before that there are too many non league clubs, all in the same boat desperately trying to stay alive – and this situation cannot continue. Whilst I genuinely feel for Paul Gregory and everyone connected to Edgware, we need to try to ensure people aren’t writing similar things about us in the future.