'Prove us wrong' - Crawley Town Supporters' Alliance make urgent call to owners WAGMI United about current situation

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The Crawley Town Supporters’ Alliance (CTSA) has made an urgent call to owners WAGMI United to ‘prove them wrong’ about the current situation at the club.

There is just seven days left in the January Transfer window and fans have been left frustrated by the apparent lack of action in bringing players in. So far we have seen Glenn Morris, Ellery Balcombe, James Balagizi and Tom Nichols leave the club while there are strong rumours George Francomb, Jake Hessenthaler and Tony Craig – who have not played in the most recent games – are on their way out with the CTSA claiming they have been offered a ‘severance fee’.

After Nichols and Matty Etherington left the club, the CTSA publicly demanded meetings with Preston Johnson and director of football Chris Galley to discuss the situation. Eventually there was a meeting with Johnson and Interim chair of the CTSA Reuben Watt said he was pleased with the meeting but they still had concerns. “We are pleased that Preston was willing to meet us and answer most of our questions,” said Watt. “However, we are still concerned about the future of our football club. We will be continuing to investigate and engage with the club about the way it is run and to ensure that the owners are being transparent and honest.”

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And after no action in the transfer market and no board meeting arranged, Interim Supporter Representative Sam Jordan released a statement about the situation.

Crawley Town. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Crawley Town. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Crawley Town. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

It read: “Since Sunday 8th January 2023 when Mat Cowdrey, Reuben Watt and I met with Preston Johnson our club’s co-chairman, unrest from the supporters has only increased.

“Following that meeting, we felt it was important that we remained balanced as we could see Preston was feeling the strain of the situation. However 16 days on and we haven’t moved forward. We will always respect the private and confidential matters that were discussed and will always push for more transparency and engagement. Having said all that, we as the CTSA aren’t happy with where our football club is headed. Although no matches have been played, a lot is going on; – 2 players on loan have been recalled by their parent clubs. – Glenn Morris has joined Tom Nichols in joining Gillingham on a permanent contract. Tom who by the way, was deemed too short to play for us, has helped earn his new club 3 points at the weekend with a header from a corner (his 2nd goal in 2 games for our relegation rivals). – We now only have 1 registered goalkeeper at the club (despite having 5 earlier in the season). – Three players who have amassed over 300 games for the club between them in “Tony Craig, George Francomb and Jake Hessenthaler weren’t able to play in our 2 most recent games due to alleged legal reasons. These 3 players have been offered a severance fee and are no longer wanted at the club.

“Preston assured us on January 8th that the club had no concerns over bringing new players in. He also wanted us to get a message to the supporters to direct any blame on the club to Preston/WAGMI and not Chris Galley our Director of Football and interim CEO. Chris’ position looks untenable to us if you look at his transfer business. OUT: Morris, Balcombe, Robson, Nichols, Balagazi; OUTBOUND: Craig, Francomb, Hessenthaler; IN: NONE

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“When you add this to the fact that we are aware that Crawley Town player and self-proclaimed supporter Ashley Nadesan could be heading back up north before the end of the transfer window, this is very alarming. The context of the situation is that EVERY relegation rival has strengthened their squads this month with additions. We have only weakened ours. Preston said we have no issues with the SCMP (playing budget). The weakening of the squad would question that theory.

“Preston said at our meeting that there would be a club (the 1st!) board meeting by the end of the month. 7 days of the month are left and no further developments have been made. There has also been no movement on the Terms of Reference designed by Mat.

“8 years ago today, on 24th January 2015, we visited Fleetwood with a threadbare squad as we embarked on a journey out the wrong way of League 1. We urge WAGMI, Preston & Chris to prove us wrong on the above. Don’t sell Ashley! Don’t let more experienced League 2 players go without proven replacements. Don’t take us out of the EFL, don’t let us end up like Oldham or Scunthorpe.”

The Crawley Observer has approached both Chris Galley and Preston Johnson for a comment on the statement and clarification on the situation with Francomb, Hessenthaler and Craig.