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Barnstaple Town secretary explains decision to resign

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

By Mark Jenkin

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DAVID COOKE has explained his decision to leave Barnstaple Town after more than two decades with the Toolstation Western League club.

The football secretary resigned this week after 21 years working behind the scenes at Mill Road.

Last year, he stepped up to become acting chairman, helping the club keep running during difficult times.

However, Warren Crossley took over as chairman after an emergency meeting in October and they have disagreed about the way forward.

Cooke said: "Obviously there is a new regime now.

"A new broom comes in and they want to do it their way.

"There were decisions being made that I didn't agree with.

"Having been there for 21 years I did think I knew something about running a football club at this level.

"The irony is the club is crying out for help and I'm leaving.

"Instead of carrying on arguing, I thought it was best to step backwards.

"After 21 years, it's a disappointing way to leave."

Since the early Nineties, Cooke's roles have included treasurer, programme editor, barman and gate collector. He has been secretary since 1996.

"It kept the club going, that's the main thing," he said.

"You don't do it for your own gratification, it's to have a football club in the town.

"The club has been left in a good financial position."

Crossley said their disagreement came to a head after last week's game against Ilfracombe Town because Cooke had not produced a report he had requested.

"We had a committee meeting last week and he failed to attend," said Crossley.

"We have been pressuring him for reports, which he hasn't produced."

The chairman insisted there was "no animosity" between Cooke and the rest of the committee.

"We wish him all the best," said Crossley.

"We don't know why he's taken this stance because it's the first time in a long time the club is being run properly and is making money.

"We have been bringing in some changes for the better and they are working.

"Everybody on the committee is in full agreement but Dave is not."

A statement released by Barnstaple said the chairman and committee regretted the resignation of a loyal supporter.

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