Bearsted Budget: After much soul-searching, the clubs committee have embraced the offer of funding form the Bearsted FC Supporters Club to provide the first team with a budget to cover out-of-pocket expenses to signed players
BEARSTED supporters club will raise funds to hand over to their manager Kevin Stevens to spend on a players’ budget this season.
The Bears have been an amateur outfit in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division since their promotion and Stevens has guided the club to twelfth and two fourteenth-placed finishes without any money.
“Essentially Bearsted Football Club has no ownership and has relied on the support of its members and benefactors since it was founded in 1895,” said a club statement.
“Playing on the village green before moving to Otham at the turn of the millennium, the club has earned a notable reputation in Kent football at both senior and junior levels.
“For many years the senior team has played with much success in the Kent County League and in 2011 the club was invited to join the newly formed Kent Invicta League (Step Six) for the start of that season.
“This move provided the momentum for the club to create the necessary ground improvements and stadia which we enjoy today.
“The 2015-16 season saw the club being promoted to the Southern Counties East Premier at Step Five.
“Although we have maintained a credible position each year, as well as competing in The FA Cup Preliminary Rounds and The FA Vase against very good quality senior teams, we have found that the League has become more and more competitive.
“Being able to compete at this level comes at a cost, part of which is trying to retain our first team squad’s strength and not finding ourselves victim to the financial might of other clubs both in our league and above.
“Sadly, this is now a fact that we have to face. We not only want to look at retaining our current players but also being able to attract new recruits.
“The coming season will see the first team squad being asked to commit to attend two nights of training each week, as well as playing on Saturday and regular midweek games.
“After much soul-searching, the clubs committee have embraced the offer of funding form the Bearsted FC Supporters Club to provide the first team with a budget to cover out-of-pocket expenses to signed players.
“In order to achieve this goal, all funds collected will be paid into a specific bank account, which will be run totally separately from the clubs current bank account and will be monitored and marshalled by two appointed long-term club officers.
“The club is seeking to raise this fund by encouraging existing club members, supporters, associates or new faces to donate a minimum of £100 or a more generous amount to take us through the season.
“There will be an option for supporters to have their names entered on to a recognition board which will be consistently updated and situated in a prominent position in the clubhouse and on the clubs website.”
Bearsted kick-off their new campaign with a home game against AFC Croydon Athletic next Saturday, 3 August (15:00).
For more details, please visit www.bearstedfc.co.uk