“Football at this level is nearly on its knees” says Clitheroe chief Anne Barker

Clitheroe's Anne Barker with the PFA Fair Play Award
Clitheroe's Anne Barker with the PFA Fair Play Award

Blues chairperson Anne Barker fears for the future of semi-professional football if clubs continue to experience a severe lack of support.

Barker is urging volunteers and investors to come forward and put their money where their mouth is, after the Clitheroe FC stalwart announced that she’d be stepping down from her role at the end of the season.

“It’s time for me to move on and do other things,” said Barker. “I’ve just been so tied down with it that I can’t get away.

“We’ve given somebody the opportunity to come in and take this club on now.

“It’s a big commitment but we need somebody to put their money where their mouth is.

“We need the personnel and investment to take this club up a notch.”

Barker has been at the club for 13 years having stepped in to steady the ship as a volunteer in 2006. Barker became vice-chairman in 2007 and took on her current position in 2011.

The Blues have become established in the Evo-Stik League during that time and, according to Barker, their standing at level eight of the English football league system is their natural fit.

“Realistically, I personally think the club is where it should be,” she said.

“I do think it would be able to cope going up to the Premier Division. But this division is a natural fit.

“It needs more money, more investment, to go anywhere else.

“We’ve got a strong team that brings in sponsorship but there’s only so far you can go with that.

“There’s more and more money involved in the game now. Players are always demanding more. It’s all about money.

“Football at this level is nearly on its knees. I fear for what it will be like in 20 years time if people don’t come forward.

“Clubs are in crisis. It’s difficult on the pitch but it’s really tough off it. People just don’t come forward to volunteer their help and support.”