Wells banking on sponsors' money - EXCLUSIVE

Tuesday 18th July 2006
Kent League club Tunbridge Wells reported a £11,000 profit for the financial year ending 31st May 2006 – but revealed the costs of running the Culverden Stadium outfit increased, writes Stephen McCartney.


Club officials have been in negotiations with their main sponsor for the past four months for the second cheque as part of their 3-year deal worth a whopping £72,000.

The club, who appointed former England World Cup star Gary Stevens director of football during their 45-minute annual general meeting last night, desperately need the money.

Stevens, who admitted “the club needs to be more proactive – forging better relationships with it’s local council,” and “needs to have a higher profile, putting itself more on the map” revealed “he is heavily involved with discussions with the club’s sponsors.”

Whilst current Premiership players enjoy a glamorous lifestyle, it’s a different ball game at Kent League level.

Club chairman Norman Sales told around 30 club members last night: “We’re in daily negotiations with our sponsors.  We should know in two weeks time.  Failing that we’re at square one.”

Stevens, a Tunbridge Wells resident, meanwhile, revealed he has someone in line if their current main sponsor fails to come up with the cash, despite the club “having a signed agreement”, but the club admit “they can’t do anything if they decide to pull the plug.”

The club, who reached the Kent Senior Trophy final last season, losing on penalties to VCD Athletic, revealed that running costs have increased in the past 12 months but are pleased that their debt free.

Meanwhile, the club progressed its new found links with local side Foresters Football Club, who supplied ball boys and girls for Wells’ first team matches last term.

“This partnership led to a review of the structure of our club, following strong agreement at a special meeting earlier in the year,” said Mr Sales.

“We hope this will give the club a good base from which to push on in future years.”

The partnership has led to a resurgence of an under 18 team following successful trial nights, which attracted players from outside Foresters.

Mr Sales added: “The link with Foresters aims to feed their players into senior football with our club, hopefully giving a supply of good local talent.”