Unfortunately, due to personal and professional circumstances we are now unable to sustainably run the club and the assets of the club are being put up for sale, says Kent Football United's co-founder Sam MacNeil

Wednesday 24th August 2022

KENT FOOTBALL UNITED’S two-man band have written to the Southern Counties East Football League to confirm it’s resignation after 10 seasons playing in the tenth-tier of English football.

The Dartford based club were sitting in sixteenth-place of an eighteen-team First Division table having lost three of their four league games.

Ennio Gonnella’s side started the campaign with a 2-0 defeat at Croydon before picking up their only point of the season with a 2-2 home draw against Bridon Ropes.

The side then picked up single goal defeats to Greenways and Forest Hill Park.

Sam MacNeil, who runs the club with his father Roy, wrote to the League late last night to explain why the clubs tenure in the League has come to an end.

“Unfortunately, due to personal and professional circumstances we are now unable to sustainably run the club and the assets of the club are being put up for sale,” said Sam MacNeil.

“I have recently taken up a head coach position with Ebbsfleet United with our entire female section moving across.  This has removed 95% of our volunteer base from the club, which includes myself.

“In addition, with me having started a family in the last four months, my time available to support on a Saturday is now less than minimal.  This leaves my dad on his own which is an untenable situation to conduct football at this level.”

The MacNeil’s have built the club’s ground at the Glentworth Sports Club in Lowfield Street in Dartford from scratch and MacNeil said he is feeling immensely proud of the clubs progress, despite last night's announcement.

“We are immensely proud of our clubs progress in the last seven seasons and feel we have come such a long way with no support of grant funding or external capital loans,” added Sam.

“We have achieved everything we set out to do and with that hold no regrets for the journey we have been on.

“There are ups and downs in this game as a football ground landlord and it certainly isn’t smooth running.  However, building a ground to the grade we have and playing in The FA Vase will remain fond memories and achievements for the rest of our lives.”

MacNeil thanked League officials for their support during their membership and thanked everyone who has represented the club.

“May I take this opportunity on behalf of both of us to thank the Southern Counties East Football League board for their support during our tenure in the League.

“Without the assistance of volunteers such as yourselves the platform to play football wouldn’t exist and for that we thank you immensely.  We wish you all the very best in your personal and professional futures.

“To the club’s in the League we have had the pleasure of hosting and visiting, thank you for your support and being a part of this journey with us.  We hope you go on to achieve all your goals and aspirations for many seasons to come.

“Finally, we would like to thank all of the management and players past to present who have represented our club.  Your dedication and service allowed us to compete at this level for the past 10 seasons.”

Kent Football United are now open to offers for the assets at the football club or the club in its entirety.  Any enquiries should be sent to s.macneil@kfu.gmail.com.

Roy MacNeil founded the club as Dartford Town in 1999 and joined the South London Alliance and claimed the Division Four title in 2009-10 season, which remains the club’s only honour.

The club failed in a bid to merge with Kent League side Erith Town in 2010 but Erith & Dartford Town were founder members of the new Step Six Kent Invicta League in 2011, changing its name to the current Kent Football United in 2012.

The club’s best ever league campaign was a fourth-placed finish in the inaugural Southern Counties East Football League First Division campaign in 2016-17.

Gonnella and his entire first-team squad now begin the search for new clubs, although the club’s youth teams are unaffected and will continue as normal, although tonight's FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round tie at Ebbsfleet United has been cancelled with The Fleet receiving a walkover into the next round,

A League statement added: “The board of the Southern Counties East Football League are meeting today to discuss this matter and will release a statement in due course.”

Items up for grabs include floodlights, stand seating, sprinkler system and a pitch mower.