Friday 29th July 2005

Chatham unveil changes at boardroom level

At Wednesday night's Annual General Meeting at Southern League club Chatham Town, Frank Skinner has been forced to step down as the club's chairman, due to work commitments, writes Stephen McCartney.

Mr Skinner brought much needed high profile sponsors to the Maidstone Road club.

In addition he brought focus to complex ongoing dialog with Medway Council regarding a lease on their Maidstone Road ground.

Mr Skinners' wife, Margaret, provided hospitality to visiting clubs in the boardroom during match days.

"The club extend their thanks to Frank Skinner and his wife Margaret for their contribution to the club and wish them well for the future," a statement on their website www.chathamtownfc.net said

Jeff Talbot was appointed the new chairman, having served as the club's community officer for several years and provides continuity at the helm.

On his appointment Mr Talbot told the club's website: "It is an honour to be elected to the role of chairman of a club steeped in history since 1882.

"I will do my best to move the club forward.

"Having worked with the committee, managers, helpers, players, parents and supporters of this club, I am absolutely certain we can jointly take positive strides."

When asked about what his key objectives were, Mr Talbot added: "In the short term we need to get off to a good start both on and off the pitch.

"Plenty of initiatives have already been put in place to support this.  I will let you know more as the details emerge.

"In the medium term we need to revisit the lease and Charter Standard issues and build plans for our youth academy.

"The longer term will depend heavily on the success of our medium term plans."

Mr Talbot said he would keep everyone informed of progress through the club's revamped website, inside match day programmes and he admitted he will attend reserve and youth team matches.

Meanwhile, Mike Perfect has joined the club as Community Officer.

Mr Perfect is currently a serving member of The Southern League Committee and has served Erith & Belvedere.

John Hardings has been appointed Youth Football Development Manager.

Mr Hardings brings experience with youth sides from the Medway League and is currently associated with the youth academy at Premiership club West Ham United.

After beating Hythe Town 2-1 at Reachfields Stadium in midweek, Chatham Town play their first home friendly against Margate tomorrow.

Kick off at Maidstone Road is 3pm.

Another Ryman Premier League side, Folkestone Invicta visit on Tuesday night, 7:45pm.