Thamesmead Town owner Paul Bowden-Brown: I will try and ensure this club survives

Sunday 17th September 2017

THAMESMEAD TOWN owner Paul Bowden-Brown says he is willing to stand aside if someone can take over the running of the homeless club.

The Mead attracted a crowd of 433 for their FA Cup Second Qualifying Round tie against big-spending Billericay Town today, which was the club’s highest crowd as an Isthmian League club.

The Bostik Premier leaders took an early lead through Jake Robinson and Mead goalkeeper Lewis Carey was outstanding throughout the game with a string of fine saves.

Thamesmead levelled through Tom O’Connor’s fine low strike in the 25th minute and the turning point came nine minutes before the break when Josh Urquhart kicked out at Leon Smith, grazing his right knee, inside the Mead penalty area following a corner.

Thamesmead Town striker Paul Vines met three Ellis Green crosses in the second half, heading two over and heading against the underside of the crossbar as the Bostik South hosts wasted the chances to pull off a giant-killing act at Princes Park.

Considering Billericay Town’s budget being the highest in the entire Bostik League, Thamesmead Town can be proud of their performance today but Glenn Tamplin’s side start as favourites for Tuesday night’s replay in Essex.

Chairman Mr Bowden-Brown wrote in his programme notes that he would like financial support in the way of sponsors or investors and is willing to stand down from his position at the club if he can find the right people to take the club forward.

Thamesmead Town vacated Bayliss Avenue at the end of last season to hire Dartford’s stadium for the next five years.

“Yes, we may have a five-year ground share agreement with a security of tenure with our colleagues Dartford FC, but that is financially guaranteed by myself,” wrote the chairman.

“I have recently been asked why do you financially support a football club that has no real support, or sponsors?

“You left a purpose-made stadium in Thamesmead due to the high costs being charged for the usage of the facilities – so why come to Dartford?

“What has changed? Surely you are just pouring your personal money into a hole with no sight of it changing?

“I reply, firstly the club does have a small contingent of support and they deserve to have their Football Club.

“I accept they only number around 30, but since moving to Dartford our paying gates have increased by a 125% - not great but quite a few Dartford supporters that are unable to join their own team on away matches have taken advantage of our concession price of £5 per game and over 65s £2.50 in return for a Mead Card.

“There were two reasons for the move away from Thamesmead – the main being cost but the other it was fully proven that supporting a Football Club in Thamesmead was not a priority for the community even though the club worked in local schools and the outside community all free of charge.

“The predicament came when Keith McMahon, my fellow director and first team manager and the person that asked me to join the club in September 2012 as finance director, resigned in January 2015 leaving me holding the baby as they say, especially as my timetable was that in March of that year I was leaving, as I felt I had done all I could on my own.

“So things change, the club was dying on its feet but it had a great football management team, a good squad and I felt I would try and save the club, move it to a proper football stadium – a must for my first team manager and more importantly, I would continue to sponsor the club but look for like-minded people to join me.

“I have no ego, all I want is for someone or a group to join me running the club with the long-term view of me handing over all my shares free of charge to a person or persons who feel they can give this club its full support.

“I am 70 now, not in good health and to be honest, unlike a younger person when I started the journey with Maidstone United Football Club, I do not have the energy that I feel this club deserves.

“So, if there is anyone out there reading these words and feel you could give your time and some finance to take over the reins of this club, you know where I am!

“But until then, I will try and ensure this club survives.  Tommy Warrilow and his squad deserves it and they have fully supported me throughout the time we have been together.”

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