PROMINENT politicians and sports professionals have called for Kendal Town Football Club to ‘do what’s best for the community’ after weeks of turmoil on and off the pitch.

In recent weeks the club’s budget has been slashed, former chairman Haydon Munslow has resigned and most of the first team players have been transferred, causing former manager Michael Stringfellow to quit.

Last week The Westmorland Gazette reported that several long-term members had been expelled without the right to appeal, prompting a revolt by backroom staff.

Former player Danny Wilkins and some fans have voiced fears that relegation to the amateur leagues is a real possibility, and now leading local figures have voiced their concerns about the impact that the chaos at the club could have on the town as a whole.


Calls for the club to ‘sort itself out’ come as its management committee is considering an offer from a consortium of investors, who are promising an immediate £50,000 cash injection.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “Many local fans and volunteers have dedicated their time and effort to making the club a success and they deserve better than this.

“Like many local people I’ve enjoyed watching Kendal Town over the years, and it is with great sadness that I witness their current problems.

“Kendal Town FC has for many years been a source of great pride for the town, and I hope that the club will find a solution so that the focus can return to what happens on the pitch rather than what is going on off it.”

Peter Thornton, leader of South Lakeland District Council, called for Kendal Town to ‘put its differences to one side and give us all a team to cheer on a Saturday’.

The Gazette reported that a backroom revolt had taken place at the Pye Motors Stadium when seven volunteers and staff resigned following the expulsion of former club secretary Craig Campbell, his wife Eileen and stadium announcer, Glynn Maggs - all without the right to an appeal.

Mayor of Kendal, Chris Hogg, a former Mintcakes member, said: “What makes a club like this is the volunteers and fans who have supported the club and dedicated their time and energy to the cause for years.

"I hope in time any rifts will be healed for the good of the club whoever runs it and wish them every success in the future.”

The treatment of long-standing club members has also prompted South Lakeland District councillor for Kendal Underley, Matt Severn, to say: “I was concerned to read about the expulsion of members without notice or leave for appeal.

"The football club is a real community asset so it should be as open and inclusive as possible to do what’s best for that community.

“Kendal Town belongs to everyone and I would urge the club’s leadership to embrace investment and outside help so that the team can progress and develop further.”

The club’s management committee, understood to consist of chairman George Gudgeon, his wife and club secretary Linda Gudgeon, first team manager Gary Fawcett and former chairman Haydon Munslow, held a meeting at the stadium on earlier this month with the consortium.

The management committee is now in the final days of a two-week consultation period.

It is expected to make a decision regarding the consortium’s offer on Monday before reporting to members at a later date.

Westmorland football correspondent Richard Edmondson said: “At a supporters’ club meeting, Mr Gudgeon said the club only had about £3,000 in the bank.

"The club needs to sort itself out and if a consortium comes in then surely the management committee have to accept it because it gives the club a chance of a greater future.

“People fear the club couldn’t function without the consortium’s money and they could drop down the leagues and good players will stop coming in.”

These concerns are echoed by Mark Howard, a former Kendal Town player and current head of sports science at Championship side Burnley, who has previously worked at Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers.

He believes larger regional clubs would be wary of loaning their best young talent to the Mintcakes due to the recent controversy.

He said: “If there’s not a great feeling around the place then it’s unlikely that players would come out on loan because you want to send them somewhere they’ll get a positive experience on and off the pitch.

"You only send them somewhere they will be taken care of.”

Mr Howard, 38, of Garstang, said Kendal Town needed to have ‘the right people in place’ to ‘make everybody associated with the club feel part of it’.

The Gazette has attempted to contact Mr Gudgeon on numerous occasions during the last three weeks to ask for clarification about the future of the club and its finances - but he is yet to respond.

It is understood that the management committee will reach a decision regarding the consortium’s offer on Monday and report its findings to members at a later date.