CHAIRMAN Lee Harding says negativity coming from some parts of Braintree Town’s fanbase is having a tangible impact on the club and its attempts to secure Vanarama National League safety this year.

The Iron return to action after a week off with a home game against Barnet on Saturday and know points are crucial as they bid to get clear of the foot of the table.

It has not been an easy season at Cressing Road and some fans have been vocal in their disapproval of things the club have done, including their appointment of manager Hakan Hayrettin.

Harding said he had no problem with criticism if it was constructive and helped carry the club forward, but he has been dismayed with the tone of a lot of commentary on various social media platforms.

The Braintree chairman felt some comments "belittled" the hard work going on to turn fortunes around and added that it had even cost the club a potentially important new signing.

Harding said: “It has had an impact and those trying to undermine what the club is trying to achieve should congratulate themselves for that.

“Just before Christmas, we came close to signing a player, but he took the view that he would rather play at a lower level than come to Braintree after what he’d read online.

“In his words, the club was not united and did not appear to be up for the battle to avoid the drop.

“Supporters are always right because they pay their money, but I feel sad that there are those who are no longer paying to watch or have even left to join other clubs and are belittling those who continue to work hard for Braintree Town.

“That is demotivating and demoralising for those people still involved.

“No-one takes anything out of this club and everyone puts in their own time and money and that’s unfair on those people.

“We all enjoyed the day out at Hampton and Richmond (for the play-off final) last year and people who were shaking the hands of board members then are now saying we should go – how quickly views change.

“Now the board are being berated for not trying to back the club, but if we were 16th and had a date in the High Court for a winding up order to look forward to, would that be better?

“We are continuing to try and take the club forward.

“What I would say is that if you don’t believe the product you are buying is good enough, then don’t buy it.

“Don’t get me wrong, if someone comes to me with constructive criticism then that is welcome.

“It helps us all, but if someone just comes out and says this is rubbish with no attempt at being constructive then how does that help?

“All it does is demotivate.

“Some of those people who I see posting comments were the same ones who came up and shook me by the hand at Hampton and Richmond Borough but they are now saying we are rotten to the core.

“We are the same people who have been pumping tens of thousands of pounds of our own money into the club and are doing the same job we have been to hold this club up so they can have a team to watch on a Saturday afternoon.

“Without the support of the board that the club has had, Braintree would be playing the likes of Bury or Sudbury rather than sides who have just come out of the Football League.

“It amazes me that some fans cannot see the bigger picture.

“There is this group who issue derogatory remarks, but I would ask them one question – is what you are doing helpful?

“If the answer is no, then please stop – you are either with us or not.

“At Braintree, the unity of the club has always made me proud in my time here.

“We are the club paying a fraction of what some who are spending millions and yet we still compete and battle but now there seems to be a clique who are glorying in being derogatory.”