We have a three-year plan and expect to see it through the good and bad times, says Ramsgate chair
The Rams began their new Ryman League Division One South campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Whyteleafe and are in the bottom five after 90 minutes of football.
John Fowler, who guided the club out of the Southern Counties East Football League in his first season in charge, won the game courtesy of Greg Andrews’ winner, which was their first win on the newly-laid 3G pitch at Church Road.
“Since I was appointed as chairman in June, the club has made huge strides in laying the foundations for its long term success and future,” Mr Fennell told www.ramsgate-fc.co.uk.
“After 25 years of stability with the same chairman (Richard Lawson) at the helm it was inevitable last year that there was going to be a period of uncertainty and change.
“We have now re-grouped, re-organised and are at the start of a whole new era for the club that we are all part of.
“The board and the committee members have been working extremely hard over the close season and as a result I am pleased to say the club is fully solvent and ready for the new campaign.
“Off the pitch Richard Lawson and I have been working on creating a new “Ramsgate Brand and Business” to support the club in building a secure and successful future.
“Richard had made it clear to me that for some years he had been looking at setting up external profit centres to help support the running of the club.
“This was particularly difficult with the location and facilities available at Southwood.
“We have therefore together devised a strategy for moving forward. My company, The Generation Group, has taken an equity share of the football club and we have been able to use its skill sets to develop the following opportunities in Margate:
1) Full time management of the 3G facilities at Hartsdown Academy
2) Operation of the Football Academy at Hartsdown
“We are also running various events from Baypoint, which would have been impossible at Southwood and are in discussion with other operators to extend the range of services we can provide.
“In addition, we hope to be announcing not one but two new sponsors for the club.
“On the pitch as everyone is aware Dean Hill took over as first team manager and his first task was working alongside me to build a management team who can push the club forward.
“As head coach Paul Murray will oversee the whole club’s football philosophy and bring more modern coaching practices to our set-up, while assisting Paul (and also becoming under 21 manager) is current Kent Under 18s manager Steve King, who will be first team assistant coach and will be linking our under 21s to the first team.
“Finally, as goalkeeping coach, we have Joe Radford who, with experience in the pro game and non-league football, brings ideas and motivation to the whole team, not just the ‘keepers.
“I can confidently say this is one of the strongest management teams put together at a club at our level and they are tasked with moving the club into a new era.
“There has been a lot of talk about a “living within 30 miles rule” for signing players.
“The facts are that we have no hard and fast rule on this, but it is difficult to attract players from further afield without the deeper pockets of some of our rivals.
“Consequently, we are looking more locally and internally for our first team players and we believe this will benefit the club in the long term.
“We know this is going to be a long process and also may mean a hard season, but we all believe this is the right way to progress the club and move us forward.
“We have a three-year plan and expect to see it all the way through the good times and bad. All I ask is for you to come along and support your local club and your local players and help bring success to the football club of Ramsgate.”
The Rams welcome Chipstead to Southwood Stadium on Tuesday night. The Surrey side opened their league campaign with a 3-1 home win over Guernsey yesterday and sit in second place after 90 minutes of football.
Visit Ramsgate’s website: www.ramsgate-fc.co.uk
Ramsgate v Chipstead
Ryman League Division One South
Tuesday 12th August 2014
Kick Off 7:45pm
At Southwood Stadium, Prices Avenue, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 0AN