04:29PM, Thursday 30 March 2017
WITH a ‘tinge of sadness’ Gary Reeves watched his final home game as Burnham chairman on Saturday.
After four years at the helm, and having seen several managers come and go during his tenure, Reeves is stepping down from his duties with the club just about safe from a third straight relegation.
Ill-health and the handling of the decision to replace Luther Blissett with Mark Betts and Jon Palmer probably hastened this move, but Reeves is proud of his achievements at the club and says he’s leaving the Blues in a much healthier financial position than when he joined them. He is planning to stay on for a transition period when the new chairman, who is yet to be named, takes over.
The club has been relegated twice in as many seasons on Reeves’ watch but Saturday’s 2-1 win over Royal Wootton Bassett should at least spare him seeing the club go down three seasons in a row. They now lead bottom club Henley Town by three points with a few matches to go.
Writing in the programme on Saturday, Reeves, who has been recovering from prostate cancer this season, said: “It’s been a very up and down last four years, even though there have been a couple of relegations it’s been a privilege being chairman of this lovely football club.
“When I first came on board I had a vision and a plan. There are some things that I have changed and some that I had no chance of changing.
Reeves also feels he and the club’s board took unwarranted stick for their handling of matters at Burnham and claims they’ve rescued it ‘from the brink’.
“I do not walk away from anything when the going gets tough and love a challenge,” he said. “The club is better off financially than when I first took over and, working closely with treasurer Rod Saunders, we have slowly dragged the club back from the brink.
“People would be amazed to know the juggling we’ve had to do to keep the club intact.”
“This was at a cost, cutbacks affected playing strength with the players and managers feeling the brunt of this, but the club is the most important item in all of this.
“All of the decisions I took along with Rod and Malcolm (Higton, club president) were in the best interests of the club. Many mistakes were made at the club years ago but they are well and truly behind us now.”