“Win next week or we’re down”. That was the stark message from Arjen Bogaert following this afternoon’s second half collapse against dmc allstars.

Tied 1-1 at half-time courtesy of Dan Zieleznik’s equaliser, two minutes after Manuel Ramírez’s twenty-seventh minute opener for allstars, the match slipped away from Athletic in the second half, during which Jude Galton hit a hattrick.

“We were perhaps unlucky that everything they did seemed to end up in our net, but we had chances and didn’t take them, so we’ve no-one to blame but ourselves”, said the coach.

“Basically, it all comes down to our match next week”, admitted Arjen. “We must win, it’s as simple as that. Anything less and we can prepare for life in Division IV next season”.

The coach will however not be helped in this task as it became apparent this evening that Igor Bulatov and Dan Zieleznik slapped transfer requests on the coach’s desk at full-time.

He acknowledged the requests defiantly by saying, “If they want to jump ship then that’s up to them. Either way, they’ll not play for our first team again. I need and want players who actually want to play for the club and not mercenaries who are only interested in their wallets”.

If they don’t want to play in Division IV again, then I can understand that, but I would have expected them to throw their lot in with the team and wait until the end of the season before looking to move on. The fact they haven’t shows exactly how much this club means to them, or more likely, what it means to their agents and advisors.

I am extremely disappointed that they’ve done this, but the rest of us will move on together as a team.

As the club appear to be heading for Division IV, the board, despite protests from fans groups, announced that the capacity of New Home Park is to be cut to 45000 for next season.

Chairman Louie Scott said, “We have never been near having a full house since we increased the capacity to 56000, and as a result, the board have taken the decision to reduce the capacity by 11000”.

He continued, “Although the overall capacity will be reduced, these reductions will come entirely from the premium seating which has never been utilised since its introduction. Consequently, over fourteen and a half thousand seats will be ripped out. This increase of space will see room for an additional thousand basic seats, over two and a half thousand standing places, and seventy corporate box places, all of which regularly sell out”.

He continued, “I am aware of the fans groups protests and I have held meetings with them to discuss our plans, however in the current financial situation, this club cannot afford to have over fourteen thousand empty seats every home game. That is simply not sustainable, and a we’re not using them, there is absolutely no point in having them. As a result, the premium seats are coming out”.

Concluding, he said, “The money saved from reducing the capacity could help pay for a very good player. I asked the fans groups if they’d prefer that or over fourteen thousand empty seats per game. It’s a “no-brainer” and I got the answer I expected.

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