Football: Flashman calls it a day at Barnet

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The Independent Online
A BIZARRE sequence of episodes in the Barnet soap opera yesterday saw the chairman, Stan Flashman, sack the manager, Barry Fry, and the captain Duncan Horton before resigning himself citing ill-health. Robert Woolfson, the new chairman, promptly restored Fry and Horton, writes Henry Winter.

Flashman, the stout tout who had dismissed Fry once already this season, failed to attend a planned meeting to discuss unpaid wages with Barnet's players and Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association. He then fired Fry and Horton.

But midway through the afternoon the Third Division promotion-chasers announced that Flashman was leaving Underhill for good. 'The aim of the club is to continue its endeavours to achieve promotion,' the statement said. 'Mr Woolfson will take over the conduct and administration of the club and the various problems that have arisen will be addressed and hopefully resolved in the near future.'

The 'problems' facing Woolfson, a chartered accountant, and two new board members, Malcolm Ozin, an estate agent, and Andrew Needham, a solicitor, include paying the players, which the PFA has done for the past three weeks, and settling debts, notably the pounds 50,000 fine imposed by the League for 'financial irregularities'.

The signs are promising. Taylor said: 'I have received assurances that wages will be covered from now on.' The League's Ian Cotton said: 'We look forward to talking to the new owners to see if we can help resolve the club's problems quickly.'

The Newcastle United supporter who assaulted David Sullivan, the Birmingham City owner, at St James' Park on Sunday has had his season ticket withdrawn. 'The fan came forward voluntarily and he has apologised profusely,' Freddie Fletcher, the First Division leaders' chief executive, said. 'It appears he has learned his lesson and has written to David Sullivan and apologised but we have still withdrawn his season ticket.'

Today's Number, page 36