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Bowers: Sholing are buying the Wessex title
FOLLAND Sports boss Danny Bowers says his Sholing counterpart Dave Diaper should come clean and admit he is “buying” the Sydenhams Premier Division title.
Although Bowers has the utmost respect for what chairman/team boss Diaper has built with the Boatmen during 14 years at Portsmouth Road, he feels the Sholing manager should be more up front about the money he is spending and his motives for bringing the club down from the Southern League.
It’s not the first time hot title favourites Sholing have come under fire in recent weeks.
Prior to Christmas, Owen Lightfoot – chairman of reigning champions Blackfield & Langley – said Watersiders’ director of football Sam Davies found it farcical that Sholing had voluntarily dropped down after four successful seasons as a Southern League club and then immediately lodged an application for promotion.
Bowers agreed: “I hadn’t thought about it until I read the Echo article with the Blackfield chairman and I do agree that it’s a farce for them to come down for financial reasons and then apply to go straight back up again.
“I haven’t read in the paper that they’ve won the Lottery, so what’s changed?
“I’ve got a lot of respect for what Dave’s done at Sholing, but he should show more respect to other clubs and come out and say he’s paying money and expects to win the title.
“It wasn’t a case of him having to get rid of half his squad because the budget had gone.
“He’s brought a Southern League side down, kept all his players and added to them.”
After watching his side battle back from behind to beat Follands 2-1 on Boxing Day, Diaper said it annoyed him to hear people accusing Sholing of trying to buy the league, adding that it was not his style to sign players for the sake of it.
But Bowers insisted: “It’s not a case of him buying the league now, he already bought it when he brought Sholing down from the Southern League.
“I wouldn’t care if he was spending £20,000 a week, but for him to say he’s not buying the league is wrong.
“If they wanted to come down to the Wessex and stay for ten years, I wouldn’t care. But why come down for financial reasons and apply to go straight back up again?
“Have they come down to win the Wessex title and the FA Vase?
“Fair play to Dave, I wish I had his side, but let him be honest and say ‘with the money we’re paying I expect us to win the league’ like Paul McCarthy did when Winchester won it.
“Paul told it how it was and said he expected to win the title because he was paying x, y and z.”
Prior to the Sholing defeat Follands had lost just one of their previous 11 games, but they have slipped to tenth having had three points deducted for unwittingly fielding skipper Jamie Barron while suspended.
Weather permitting, the Planemakers host Whitchurch United tomorrow.
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