Thursday 15th December 2005

Club's begin search for new sponsors

Three Kent football clubs are coming to terms with Victor Gladwish pulling the plug on his company GLSfootball.com - and their not the only ones, writes Stephen McCartney.

In a statement issued earlier in the week, Mr Gladwish, whose company sponsored Gravesend & Northfleet, Chatham Town and Whitstable Town, explained why he is withdrawing his financial support.

He said:  "Due to having had three cancer operations since August 2004, and with the last one being a tumour, I am not permitted to drive.

"I have struggled to find a driver since February 2005 and as GLS Football has lost £250,000 in the last two years it has been decided to close the company.

"GLS Football Limited regrets the situation brought about by illness and lack of drivers and GLS Football Limited wishes all concerned good luck in the future."

Kent League side Whitstable Town, meanwhile, have quickly found a replacement sponsor for the remainder of the season with local company D&J Tyres filling the breach, but Southern League Division One East outfit Chatham Town aren't so lucky.

Chatham chairman Jeff Talbot issued a statement on www.chathamtownfc.net, and it read: "Those of you who are aware of and recognised Victor's support for non-league football will understand there are a number of clubs affected.

"Naturally, losing GLSfootball.com as a sponsor will have an impact upon the club.  Initial concerns affect our intended Development School and our proposals to improve the sporting facilities at the Maidstone Road ground.

"We will continue to work with Victor over the coming months to explore any opportunities that might arise.  In the meantime Chatham Town Football Club wish to thank Victor for his valued support over the past few seasons."

Talbot said his club are "doubling their efforts" to find a new sponsor, and anyone interested should come forward.

On a much more brighter note, Chatham were awarded the Southern League Division One East team of the month for November.

Meanwhile, former Sittingbourne goalkeeper Kevin Fewell has been sent on loan to Kentish Observer League side Whitstable Town to get some "much needed match practice."

And Nationwide Conference outfit Gravesend & Northfleet issued this statement on www.gnfc.co.uk: "We had one further year to run on its three and a half year deal.  We are in contact with Victor Gladwish regarding the final year.

"Meanwhile, to ensure that the club does not find itself without sponsorship for the 2006-07 season, the directors will immediately begin looking for a replacement sponsor.

"The club has received it's full sponsorship money for 2005-06, so there are no immediate financial implications of Victor's decision."