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Ashford United chief executive Don Crosbie says fiscal control is essential

Don Crosbie has responded to outgoing boss Danny Lye’s claims that budget cuts were one of the reasons why he stepped down as boss of Ashford United.

Lye left the club last week and says reduced money affected the depth of his squad, as injuries in pre-season began to take their toll.

He also says he paid for equipment out of his own pocket.

Mr Crosbie, United’s chief executive, said: “Our budget went up 40% on Danny’s own figures and sometimes a manager’s aspirations are bigger than the financial capabilities of the club.

“Last season we were paying Ryman League money and for us it is all about fiscal control and playing within our means.

“We looked at the figures and didn’t feel it was right.

“Having gone up we were looking to settle in Bostik South and then progress but Danny was looking at the play-offs and promotion.

In the past, chasing the dream has put clubs in trouble and we didn’t want that to happen at this club.”

“As regards paying for the kit, Danny sponsored it through his own company and we carried adverts in our programme.”

On the club’s demands for better discipline, Mr Crosbie added: “We paid £6,000 in fines last season and we didn’t want to be throwing sums like that out of the window again.”

Mr Crosbie says United won’t be rushing into appointing a new manager, with youth team boss Jason Whitmore heading up a new team which includes Shaun Holland and Mark Irvine, who worked with Lye, AFC Wimbledon defender Barry Fuller and former defender Lee Shearer, who has registered as a player.

He said: “We won’t have a single decision-maker, We have got a group of coaches with a wealth of experience and they will make them.

“Whitmore is hoping to use good contacts at AFC Wimbledon, Ebbsfleet and Gillingham to bring in loan players to build the spine of the team, around the existing squad.”

A former kick-boxer and endurance sports enthusiast who completed Ironman in 2012, Whitmore said: “I am confident our young boys can survive in making the step-up to Bostik South and I think we will surprise people.”

United face another club without a win so far when VCD, including former goalkeeper Joe Mant, visit on Saturday.

They travel to Sittingbourne on Monday (3pm).

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