Herne Bay chairman Stuart Fitchie: Something I learnt very quickly since coming in in June is how much Herne Bay FC means to so many people

Friday 20th March 2020

Herne Bay chairman Stuart Fitchie has issued the following statement from the Isthmian League South East Division club.


“Before I start, I want to first and foremost say that I hope everyone and their families are safe and well.

I won’t go over what is being broadcasted 24/7 re COVID-19, it has hit the world and more relative, the world of football hard.

I can assure you all that when we do get back to playing, whenever that maybe, the boys will be ready and pumped to put the shirt back on.

I am aware you don’t get many of these notes from me, I will be working on getting something scheduled and regular out to you guys, probably in the form of an audio to be more time efficient.

For me, it’s been a season of understanding the club, not implementing too many changes and getting a real feel for the people and the culture.

It was my plan in the off-season to sit down and discuss all areas of the club with the relevant people where I would like changes.

I will bring some of that forward given the current circumstances. More of that in due course.

Anyway – to the reason for this statement.

Something I learnt very quickly since coming in in June is how much Herne Bay FC means to so many people.

I had followed the club previously when I had friends playing/managing over the years, but I wasn’t exposed to the deep passion so many have.

One of many (and I do mean many) positives of this season so far, has been the relationships I’ve made with all the youth teams in the town.

It is imperative for me that we have solid foundations for the future stars to grow in to. I would like them to be fully involved in the evolution main club throughout their tenure as football representatives of Herne Bay. My reasons for mentioning this will become clearer after reading the below.

Football Clubs are recognised and remembered for a number of reasons, but some primary reasons include; the success, the players, the ground and the badge.

Everyone that have I have spoken with over the course of the season will know I am very competitive, ambitious and eager for us to be successful.

We have exceeded initial expectations but I am in constant conversations with Ben Smith (manager) and setting new goals/expectations. The hustle will never stop.

Recruitment has been great. Ben started in June with two or three players, it took a little while but we got there.

Along with the current top scorer in the league (Zak Ansah), we have a squad that (now I have seen all the teams in the league) are at minimum a match for our opposition.

I have no doubt that every player wants to play for the club and team spirit is amazing. We still need to do some work on backroom staff recruitment, but we will get there.

Our stadium has a platform not many stadiums at our level will have. The space is great and will allow us to grow as the club does, but I’m talking about the support group.

The willingness of people across all professions and volunteers willing to work and muck in where required is awe-inspiring.

By no means am I satisfied with where the stadium is at present and I will always be looking to upgrade, but we would not be where we are without these individuals. We have some more exciting news to share with you regarding new equipment but that can wait for a future date.

So finally, the REAL reason for my note – the badge.

It has been a topic of discussions internally for a while. No one can deny the club has history (there is a very interesting and detailed section on the club website which goes through the history of the club).

Formed in 1886 and active in Kent ever since, football has been a constant in Herne Bay.

Football as a sport and as a business has and is evolving rapidly, even over the last few years there has been significant movements. The introduction of new technologies and affordable solutions have meant clubs have the ability and platform to create a brand.

The current badge has been the same for quite a while now, so with all the new changes, in a new chapter of Herne Bay FC, a new badge seems natural and apt.

So I can confirm, for the 20/21 season (whenever that may be) Herne Bay FC will have a new club badge.

Here’s the fun part…

I am opening this up to the children of all youth teams and schools of Herne Bay to create their design of the new Herne Bay FC badge.

We will look through all submissions and if inspiration is taken from your design, we will invite you down to the club for the exclusive unveiling, some fun media stuff as well as picking up some new branded merchandise.

Information on how to submit will be on the visual graphic which will released by the club in the next 24 hours. With the schools closing and potential further restrictions being put in place over the coming days/weeks, it’s something creative the kids can get their teeth stuck into.

The new badge will allow us to be a more commercial viable brand and will bring us up-to date in this modern era.

Everyone involved in the club now wants the club to progress, challenging in whatever team or game it may be. If it’s a team of Herne Bay FC or an associated team of Herne Bay FC – I want it to be the best and as successful as it can be. The new Academy being set up is proof of this.

A few notes for you keen young designers - The badge is a reflection not just of the football club, but of the town. It must have meaning and be a true representation of Herne Bay.

The new badge will provide us with the ability to mass produce items and merchandise of a decent quality for club and fans.

With your help, we hope to create something special, that makes a statement about Herne Bay FC.

Once again, sending best wishes to you and your families in this very stressful time.”

Visit Herne Bay’s website: www.hernebayfootballclub.co.uk