Crawley Town co-owner Susan Carter is stepping down with immediate effect as a director of Crawley Town.
She is citing ill health as the reason and has transferred her shares to fellow director Matt Turner for a nominal sum.
Husband Ian Carter has released the following statement: “It would appear there are some rumours and speculation on social media regarding a partial change in ownership at Crawley Town FC.
“Despite the reasons being personal and purely a matter between ourselves and the Board, on behalf of Susan and myself I will expand in order to clarify the situation and dispel any rumours and speculation currently being circulated.
“Two years ago we made plans to retire. We informed the Board at that point in time of the impending change in our personal circumstances and that we would not be in a position to support the club two years hence from then, to the same level as previously.
“It was discussed and agreed by the shareholders and the Board that the best course of action was to put the club up for sale, which was done and a public announcement was made to that effect.
“The shareholders and Board felt it was in the best interests of the club to seek new people who could come in and take the club forward and build on what had been achieved.
“It was also unanimously decided at the same time to take the prudent path forward, to reduce expenditure with the aim of the club operating a balanced budget, with no external funding.
“Over the last two years this process has taken place and the Board has put in place a balanced budget for the 2015-16 season.
During the last two years Susan has undergone four surgeries, the most recent of which was major surgery carried out less than two weeks ago.
“Last year it became apparent that the previous surgery had not been successful and Susan would require more major surgery. Susan advised the Board that she needed the surgery and due to the lengthy recuperation period of up to 18 months or more it was her intention to step down and resign as a Director. The “Board dissuaded her from doing so at that time.
“However, early in the New Year when Susan received notification of her surgery date she advised the Board and offered her resignation. The Board and shareholders discussed various options and it was at this point Matt Turner suggested we transfer our shares to him for a nominal sum, whilst the Board pursued talks with potential new owners.
“This would enable us both the space and time to concentrate on Susan’s impending surgery and recuperation, without some of the distractions and demands of the club.
“In our opinion Matt was the ideal person to take over the responsibility of being a shareholder, we trust him to make the right decisions in the best interests of the club.
“Like us, Matt lives locally, is a lifetime passionate supporter and follower of the club and is also prepared to put in a lot of time and effort, all unpaid, purely for the benefit of Crawley Town.
“At the end of the day we are only guardians of the club during a given period in its long history, for the benefit of its supporters and the community. It was never our intention or expectation to make money from being a shareholder, very few people in football ever do, in fact quite the opposite!
“We have dedicated seven years to Crawley Town FC. When we first got involved back in 2008 the club was nothing short of a complete mess, very close to going bust and the reality was no one wanted to get involved or help. Without our financial support and hard work, especially Susan’s from 2008–2010, the club would, without any doubt, not have survived and therefore would not be where it is today. The club today is unrecognisable from where it was seven years ago and the vast majority of supporters will appreciate that.
“As well as the financial cost, the time and effort given totally free of charge at the expense of family, friends and other interests has been immeasurable. We don’t regret it - we have had great times and we have had extremely stressful times, but that is football.
However, recently a very small group of individuals have sought to bully and intimidate us by making completely false allegations and innuendos against us through the convenience of social media.
“Understandably this has caused Susan a lot of unnecessary stress at a time when she needs to be concentrating on her rehabilitation.
Therefore, following a family conference at the weekend, it has been decided that it is time for Susan to put herself and her health ahead of the club and Susan will therefore be resigning as Director with immediate effect.
“I will remain a member of the Board for the immediate future.
“Susan would like to thank all of the club’s loyal fans for their support over the years and wishes the club and everyone at Crawley Town the very best for the future.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!