The Ryman Football League
Published 8th June 2012
....Mick Clarke at Thursday night’s fiery AGM.
It took more than two hours of heated debate between the two men, the voting members and club officials before a vote was finally able to be taken within the rooms of the club’s stadium at Wodson Park.
When the votes were eventually counted up, Varney, a former Hertford Town chairman and Ware vice-chairman, edged the current incumbent by a single vote at 12-11, with one abstention.
The night had brought together two very different competitors. The casually dressed Clarke was clearly nervous at the prospect of public speaking, stumbling with his early words, although he markedly improved as the meeting wore on.
On the other side, the suited Varney was far more confident with his delivery from the outset. It was revealed by outgoing treasurer Steve King that each had poured vital money into the club in recent weeks to steer it away from trouble.
Both men came to the table with further financial offers to boost the struggling club. Clarke revealed plans to bring in ex-Tottenham Hotspur players Mark Falco and Gary Brooke to help develop the team on the pitch, bringing £15,000 of sponsorship with them. Those plans included eventually turning Ware FC into a limited company and making the two ex-footballers Directors of Football.
Varney promised to immediately invest £5,000 of his own money plus another £4,000 in sponsorship. Both seemed encouraging propositions for the cash-strapped club and its members – who will ultimately be held accountable for any debts.
Clarke also pledged to raise the playing budget next season, using his own money, to stop Ware slipping again to the league lows of this campaign, while Varney stated that it would remain the same if he became chairman. However, when cross-examined by one club member, Clarke refused to go into specifics.
There was a heated exchange between Varney and Falco, with the former claiming the latter was going to “take over” the club, and Falco saying he didn’t trust the ex-Spurs chief physio.
The fireworks continued with Clarke declaring that he wanted to invest in the pitch, but only if he could remove former chairman Aiden Mynott, who was present, from his duties as groundsman – a role he has undertaken practically free of charge, only claiming expenses for diesel - for a number of years.
In the end it was Varney who got the vote he desired and he told the Hertfordshire Mercury after the meeting: “I’m looking forward to the challenge. It all starts tomorrow. We’ve got to get started on the pitch straight away.”
He added that he was “surprised the voting was as close as it was.”
The future of Stuart Nethercott could now be in the balance as Varney has previously stated that he would have to review the Ware manager's position after the teams` second from bottom finish.