We have fought tooth and nail to preserve this wonderful organisation, says Lewisham Borough chairman Ray Simpson
LEWISHAM BOROUGH manager Justin Fevrier says he has experienced a rollercoaster last couple of days.
The Ladywell Arena based club withdrew from the Southern Counties East Football League yesterday, only to reinstate their First Division status within 24 hours.
Fevrier, who was appointed manager of the club in the summer, had to tell his players the bad news yesterday, only to bring them some better news shortly afterwards.
“After hearing the pain in the boys voices yesterday, it would be wrong not to resume the role as manager,” said Fevrier, on Twitter.
“There has been some casualties to the squad with players being poached but that’s to be expected. Most have returned and we’ll go again. I’m glad the club has resolved it.”
Fevrier is now keen to hear from clubs who would like to host Lewisham Borough for friendly matches ahead of the new First Division season, which kicks off in 16 days time.
He said: “Any club’s short on friendlies and willing to accommodate us next week and the next please let me know.”
A statement from the Southern Counties East Football League said: “Following further discussions with team management, supporters, plus financial donations following their announcement yesterday, Lewisham Borough have withdrawn their resignation from Division One.
“Therefore, Division One will continue with 18 teams for next season. This may cause a slight delay, again, in the publication of fixtures, but these should be released at the weekend.
“This is great news that one of the founder members of Invicta League continues to compete at Step Six.”
Lewisham Borough chairman Ray Simpson said in a statement: “I along with the club directors are staggered and overwhelmed with the support which has been offered from so many people since the news that we would no longer be continuing.
“What the events of the last week have shown me is that we really are a football family and when one of the family is in trouble we rally to their aid and offer unbelievable help and support.
“I cannot thank enough all those who have said many wonderful things about me and the club and I cannot thank those people enough with longstanding connections in the borough for stepping in to effectively save the club.
“Many of you know what a tough time the club has had over the years in so many ways just to keep the club going and with performances on the pitch.
“We as club directors have fought tooth and nail to preserve this wonderful organisation that does so much in the community and we want to continue with this work to help young people to achieve their dreams by using sport as the vehicle to do this.
“In life there will always be fallouts and upsets and football is no different but the last few days have shown me that we can repair damage, build bridges and move forward.
“I along with the club directors and many others all over the country will testify to being exhausted and demoralised at times and question why we should continue with this, given all the criticism that we receive.
“What the last 24 hours has shown me is that there is far more love and respect out there and that people want and need the service that we provide for them.
“I cannot thank the League chairman Denise Richmond enough who I have been in constant dialogue with all week, she along with other members of the management committee have been incredibly supportive and understanding and have done all they can to help and assist us.
“A special thanks goes to Matthew Panting, the fixture secretary, who has an incredibly difficult job which I have made three times as difficult. Special thanks and apologies also go to all the member clubs in the League (Premier Division and Division One) for their support, understanding and patience. The fixtures should have been released on Thursday 19 July but due to circumstances probably will not happen until the weekend.
“Once again thanks to all those who have shown their love and support to our club. It has given myself and the club directors a real boost - clearly people are not going to make it easy for us to go!"