Mickey Cooper steps down as Erith & Belvedere chairman

Friday 17th January 2020

ERITH & BELVEDERE chairman Mickey Cooper says he has stood down from the role because it was taking over his life.

The Park View Road club are in the bottom four in the Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 19 points from 21 games.

Manager Owen Jones’ side were held to a 2-2 draw at home to fellow strugglers Crowborough Athletic last weekend and the Deres travel to sixth-placed side Tunbridge Wells tomorrow.

Cooper said in his statement that his unpaid voluntary work at the Welling-based club was taking too much time and he now begins the search for fresh blood to take charge of the club, one that is renowned for having a small playing budget.

“Today I have decided to part ways with Erith & Belvedere Football Club,” said Cooper.

“It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, although it is a decision I should have made two or three seasons ago.

“I have made this decision because when I started out as a director of The Deres, it was a hobby just to help the club along, raising funds etc in my spare time.

“Eleven or 12 years later I’m still there doing voluntary work but almost on a full-time basis.

“The last two seasons I was assistant manager with Owen Jones and we had a very good year on a very small budget, plus I was asked to step up as chairman until John McFadden returned.

“I nearly spend more time doing football stuff than I do working or being with my family.

“Don’t get me wrong, the first few years was great but slowly the fun has gone and it’s become an unpaid job, not had I ever did or ever would ask for money but if you’re going to work volunteering you have to at the very least, enjoy it.

“I would like to mention Martin Tarrant, who passed away (in November 2014) and the club never got over losing him. He brought me in.  I would also like to thank John McFadden, Mike, Bill, Brian and Karl, all who worked with me on the board.

“I honestly believe we, as a board, did not work hard enough to bring the funds in to support the team.  I know I tried my best bringing in some money and helping put the club out there into the community but it still wasn’t enough!

“I’m not sure what I’m going to be doing in the future.  I have had two club’s contact me but I’m not in any rush.

“I believe I have left a club that still has a bright future.  John is trying to bring a new chairman in.  I’ve brought in a new club secretary, who is a young man full of good ideas.

“I believe the club needs to freshen up with young people who really want to make a change.

“I have also signed contracts on behalf of the club with a very exciting sports company that have set the wheels in motion to bring a very good Academy to the Deres, hopefully in time for the start of next season.

“So all that is left for me to say is good luck to all the players and thank you for your friendship over the last two seasons and I wish the gaffer all the best.”

Visit Erith & Belvedere’s website: www.erithandbelvederefc.clubbuzz.co.uk