Thursday 30th June 2005

Thorogood needs support

Tim Thorogood has issued a battle cry to the people and businesses of Ashford to assist him make the town's top football club successful, writes Stephen McCartney.

On the day the owner/joint-manager of Ryman League division one side Ashford Town settled a fifteen day dispute with their landlords, Thorogood has broken his silence - although he has worked with his colleagues tirelessly behind the scenes during this time - he has called upon the club's loyal fans and local business to help improve matters on the field of play.

With Friday being a start of a new month, we also see it as the start of the new season for the Homelands club.

With the saga with their landlords and the team escaping relegation into the Kent League by just one point last season, we now look forward to a brighter future for the Kent club.

And in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Thorogood wants to make up for lost time.

"Certainly we need as many volunteers as possible to come forward to help prepare the ground for pre-season," he said.

"We need everybody's support financially if possibly, if by contributions, season ticket sales, attending pre-season football matches, as this football club needs the support of its people."

Thorogood, however, asks for people to pull together so they can have a football team to be proud of.

"I've stood and again had to finance more money to get the situation resolved," he said.

"We would like to see new people come into the club with financial assistance so we can look at the long term future of the football club.

"At the end of the day we've won this battle but there may be more but more importantly than anything, if Ashford Town want a successful football side we need good, home grown players, we need the fans to support those home grown players, we need people to circulate the need we need players and people to come forward to invest only small amounts of their money to have success at this football club.

"Like it or lump it, one man's investment, i.e. myself, won't be enough to take this club forward - we need people to come forward and be involved - financially as well as helping.

"It's an important factor that this football club is for Ashford Town not Tim Thorogood or its associated directors.

"I think this football club is for its local community - if Ashford seriously wants a football club, people have to come forward in any way possible to start make this football club what it can be."

Although Homelands is situated four miles south of Ashford, Thorogood understands the football team is underachieving.

"Its something that is a dream of mine to see this football club playing at a far better, higher level but it can't do it without the investment of local businesses," he said.

"Ashford is a thriving town, with resources that are far greater than many clubs that are playing in league's above us.

"Although we find ourselves stagnating with a dwindling support, we need people to pull together and help us to make this football club what it can be.

"I would ask as many people if they can to fund the football.

"If they want to arrange a meeting with Mark Jenner and myself, to what they could bring the club, we are more than happy to hear from them.

"I am not stepping aside - I want help.

"I want people to come and be part of the football club.

"I've just staved off a major issue for the football club but I'm not walking away," he insists.

"I want this football club to achieve something and I beleive with the input and help of others and the current people we have at the football club, we can achieve that."

As players start their pre-season training, Thorogood knows time is not on their side as they prepare for their new Ryman League division one season, which gets underway on Saturday 20th August.

"If we get people come forward and assist we can have a good season," he said.

"Every season is judged by your full level commitment and the size of your wallet.

"At the moment the football club doesn't have any financial problems but our resources, which are raised through the function suite, sponsorship, gates is not sufficient, at the moment, to give the football club a budget large enough to compete at the highest level.

"What it really needs is an influx of ten small investors that would help contribute towards making this club a success.

"What I can assure people is their money won't be squandered on past debts but will be spent on good players on our football pitch.

"It will not be spent on the running of the football club either.

"Those can all be absorbed on the day to day running on the club - the money will be solely spent on football.

"My feelings are if Ashford wants a great side, we need to finance it somewhere, or we need people to find players in the local community, which I am sure are many.

"I am pleased we have won the first fight - but I am sure there are one or two to come."