Wednesday 15th June 2005

Margate set to announce sponsorship deal tonight

MARGATE are on course to return to Hartsdown Park for the start of the new season, writes Stephen McCartney.

Turfing of their new pitch is due to be completed tomorrow and building works as per the approved Ryman League grade specification are now underway.

The Hartsdown Development Company, who are funding the works have been opted to purchase, rather than hire, the temporary seated stands, dressing rooms and other temporary facilities, so that there is a re-sale value once the club can deliver the permanent structure.

Designs have been approved the orders placed for delivery.  The seated stands will be manufactured off-site and craned into position upon delivery.

The transfer embargo placed on the club last season has finally been lifted with all football debts listed under the embargo now paid in full.

The Thanet club continues to negotiate to settle the reminder of its football debts which did not form part of the embargo but which were incurred from the start of last season, when players and staff went unpaid for several weeks.  The target date to settled these debts is the end of this month.

Margate's directors can now confirm they have negotiated and formally agreed a new three-year sponsorship deal.

The official announcement, however, will be made at tonight's meeting but they can reveal the deal includes financial incentives to win promotion back to the Conference National.

The package also includes sponsored kit for both first team and all thirteen teams in the re-formed youth section and represents a major forward move to restoring confidence in the local community and to other potential commercial investors.

With thanks to Niki Canham, Margate have been able to issue a schedule of commercial packages on the club's website.  Season tickets will be available shortly and the club is now taking advance orders.  The prices, however, remain the same as last year and the directors are hoping for a good response, providing the club with forward funding.

The directors have now advised Chris Kinnear his playing budget for next season and the manager will be available to answer questions at the forum tonight.

Margate continues to rely on a successful outcome to its detailed planning application in order to bring it's administration to a close and commence the new campaign - in the Ryman Premier League - debt free.

With five Kent clubs (Gillingham, Margate, Tonbridge Angels, Dover Athletic and Erith & Belvedere) suffering relegation last season, Kent football seems to be fighting back and we all hope for a successful campaign for Margate, and all our sides.