Monday 13th June 2005

Margate's transfer embargo finally lifted

MARGATE have confirmed that the transfer embargo imposed on the club last season has finally been lifted, giving manager Chris Kinnear the go-ahead to start planning for the club’s first ever season in the Ryman League.

Kinnear was given his playing budget at a meeting last Friday, and director Keith Piper said: "We are obviously relieved, it happened slightly earlier than we had planned for, after funds had been released to settle the footballing debts.

"It’s part of the recovery programme allowing Chris to start planning for the new season. We have squeezed every penny we can into the playing side of the club to ensure Margate does not run into the same problems into the same problems it has had over the past 18 months, and all players will be paid on time and when it is due.

"We hope to go into the season clear of all the issues and obstacles that have dogged us in the past. Everything is looking extremely positive," he told Kent Online.

The club’s application for commercial development at Hartsdown Park, first submitted last September goes before the Thanet Council planners on Wednesday, July 20, and the full council 24 hours later.

Margate are holding the latest in a series of open question and answer sessions with supporters at Hartsdown on Wednesday night, starting at 7.30pm.

Kinnear will be present, along with Mr Piper, chairman Colin Page and company secretary Vicky Roby. The club will be announcing the identity of the club’s new main sponsor who has agreed a three year deal.

Meanwhile the club’s fans are setting their sights high as the excitement about the imminent return to Hartsdown Park gathers momentum.

Last week’s annual meeting of the Margate Independent Supporters Association heard it had donated almost £8,500 to the struggling club last year, but vice chairman Tom McKenna believes they can raise up to £250,000 in the next twelve months.

The revamped Social Club at the ground is the centre of their fund raising initiative and Mr McKenna is bullish about what MISA can achieve now that Margate are close to ending their enforced three-year exile away from the town.

A supporter for more than 50 years ,he said: "We have waited a long time to come home, and after three years away are making sure things are done right."

He also praised the work done by former chairman Keith Piper, recently re-appointed as a director.

Mr McKenna said: "Keith and the people at the club are down to earth and talk our language. We owe a great deal to him all his diligence and hard work that has brought us where we are today."

Bernie Overton continues as chairman after being re-elected along with Mr McKenna last week. Keith Lewis continues as treasurer. Secretary John Cooper stood down due to work commitments, but will remain on the committee.