A WHIRLWIND week at Kendal Town Football Club has seen the chairman resign and the majority of the best first team players leave.

Former chairman Haydon Munslow resigned 'with immediate effect' last Friday, according to a statement released on the club's website, and so did commercial manager Graham O'Callaghan.

The club confirmed it is 'currently investigating' the reasons behind why they chose to quit.

Now the Gazette can reveal that, following a management committee meeting last night, star striker Jordan Connerton has been transfer listed and defenders Chris Smalley and Michael Aspen have also left the club.

A source said that they believed that goalkeeper Tom Morgan, who the club signed from Ossett Town FC last week, is likely to depart Kendal in the coming days.

This comes after former captain Craig Carney was released by Kendal due to cut-backs in the club's budget, only to join league rivals Lancaster City FC today (Thursday, December 10).

New signings Aaron Taylor and Graham Hunter also left the club last week due to budget reductions.

In a statement explaining his resignation, Mr Munslow said that he felt the collective will at the club had become lacking.

He also said some elements within the club preferred 'an atmosphere of cosy informality' and the social side of proceedings, rather than focusing on business and professional progression.

Youth team manager George Gudgeon has been named as acting chairman.

The Gazette can also reveal that, within the last week, a consortium has approached Kendal Town with a view to investing in the club, whose budget has been slashed since the start of the season.

The consortium, comprising 'seven experienced individuals with decades of experience in professional sport and business', was turned away by Kendal Town's management committee after it made an approach in September, but has now resubmitted its interest.

At the time of writing, the Gazette understands the consortium, which is also assessing whether or not to invest in other clubs up to six divisions higher than Kendal Town, is yet to receive a response from the acting chairman following its latest correspondence.

The consortium members say they wish to remain anonymous at this stage so as to not undermine any other business deals they may have on the table, but they released a statement saying: "Discussions between ourselves and the Kendal Town FC committee commenced in June but our approach was rejected in September. 

"We are aware of recent events at Kendal Town FC and continue to monitor developments closely. Efforts have been made to contact the club since the resignation of the chairman, but we are yet to receive a response.

"Our aim is to identify and work with a football club that has the potential for greater success both on the field and within the wider community it serves. 

"In Kendal Town FC we see great opportunity for us to make positive change, however, while our interest in working with the committee and the club remains, we have not received any dialogue from the club."

Mr Gudgeon declined to comment on the consortium's approach.

The acting chairman also declined to comment when asked if, following Mr Munslow's departure, the club had the finances to continue to pay first team players.

However, a statement released by Mr Gudgeon on Tuesday, December 8, said: "The club's plan is to build from within and from the bottom up, giving young and talented local players a chance to progress. 

"We strongly believe this is a strategy and a formula most clubs at all levels now need in place. 

"We intend to keep to this plan, building the links with local schools and the college and we want to be able to generate our own long term income."

Manager Michael Stringfellow took control of The Mintcakes last season when the team was languishing at the bottom of the Evo-Stik First Division North but now finds his side within touching distance of the play-offs and a shot at promotion.

On Tuesday, December 8, Mr Stringfellow said: "I've lost five players and I don't want to lose any more."

After today's announcement that more players would go, Mr Stringfellow said: "The budget has been cut again. From the start of the season it's a third of what it was.

"We're left with a squad of players who are on about £30 a week - it's virtually impossible to get a team together. 

"The lads who've stayed have taken a massive wage cut or are young lads trying to prove themselves.

"I can't praise them enough and I feel sorry for them but if there's no money then there's no money."

It is likely that Kendal Town will have to complete the season using a lot of their younger players, something that concerns the manager.

Mr Stringfellow said: "The standard we are playing at is very high and it would be tough for me as a manager to get the best out of these young players.

They aren't ready physically - it could be two years before they're ready to go."

Mr Stringellow added: "I like to plan and prepare things but I can't do anything at the moment - it's really frustrating.

"We feel like we're going backwards. Things are becoming virtually impossible. We are semi professional but we should be acting professionally.

"I feel there's massive potential at Kendal Town - that's what drew me to the club and I still believe that's there. I want to keep Kendal Town in the league but it's becoming really hard."

Mintcakes fan and Westmorland football correspondent Richard Edmondson said: "When you get rid of players like Craig Carney, Aaron Taylor and Graham Hunter it's a bit of a shambles.

"You go to Kendal Town to watch your best players try to get promoted. I'm all for youth development and young players but it's not the same. 

"I feel very sorry for Mr Stringfellow. He's a young man trying to make his way in the game. His ambition was promotion but in a matter of days that's been turned on its head.

"It's nervous times ahead because we're heading into unchartered waters."