Chairman Stares determined to ensure better times for Gosport

Tony Stares
Tony Stares
Sam Pearce. Picture: Neil Marshall

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NEW chairman Tony Stares insists things need to change at Gosport Borough after taking on the role at the troubled Privett Park club.

Stares was asked to take over following Mark Hook’s resignation at the end of last week.

It's been a tough time for Gosport Borough

It's been a tough time for Gosport Borough

The 57 year old knows the club well, having played more than 350 games for them as a goalkeeper and for the past nine years he has worked in the capacity of a coach for the academy.

In the past two seasons the club lurched from one crisis to another, including four winding up orders from HMRC for late payment of taxes.

This led to the relegation from National League South at the end of last season.

Stares is determined to help get Borough back on track in the Southern League premier division.

‘We can’t continue operating the way we have been,’ said Stares.

‘It is time to bring back a bit more clarity and honesty to restore the trust of the supporters.

‘At times in the last couple of seasons supporters have got the impression, rightly or wrongly, that a smokescreen had been set up by the club.

‘As a football club we have to live within our means with a budget that reflects our income.

‘Part of the problem was that the club pushed the boat out a bit and it couldn’t be sustained.

‘My role is to advise people because I am not a director and won’t have any financial involvement.

‘I am not a yes man and won’t be a puppet.

‘The club needs to be a bit more professional in the way it is run.

‘If people are not prepared to listen to me then it could be the shortest chairmanship in history.’

Stares’ biggest challenge is making sure Gosport Borough don’t fall further down the non-league pyramid.

He knows just how much hard work it took to lift the club from the Wessex League to National League South.

Previous chairman Hook and manager Alex Pike also enjoyed success in the FA Trophy, a Wembley final against Cambridge United, and the FA Cup.

Maybe it was that taste of success and the need for more that brought about the financial problems.

Certainly the past two seasons have been traumatic with transfer embargoes and players leaving.

Stares intends to oversee a calmer period of consolidation during which the club can regain and rebuild its reputation.

‘We have to run more on the model similar to that at Bognor,’ said Stares.

‘They look to bring in younger players who have just come out of the professional game.

‘We also have a number of good prospects in the academy who are capable of stepping up.

‘There won’t be any big marquee signings because we are not in a position to afford them.’