Ramsgate's reduced budget is now close to the figure the club have historically run on, says shareholder Richard Lawson

Monday 23rd December 2019

NEWLY-APPOINTED Ramsgate chairman James Lawson says taking over the reins at Southwood Stadium was an opportunity that he couldn’t refuse.

Paul Bowden-Brown announced he was stepping down from the role of chairman on 13 December and majority shareholder Richard Lawson offered the position to his son James.

“This was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up on,” said James Lawson in a club statement.

“I think I watched my first Ramsgate game before I started primary school. I played for the youth sides and have been a supporter ever since.

“Over the years I have been frustrated when our best young players have been overlooked and I am determined to create a situation where local players can fulfil their potential and create the nucleus of a vibrant and competitive first-team squad.

“I have been heavily involved in the restructuring of the youth system and find the opportunity to merge the senior and youth committees into one club extremely exciting.”

“We are very fortunate to have Jason Lillis in charge because he is at the top of the tree in terms of Kent’s youth player development. He is in total support of our new philosophy of creating a conveyor belt of good young players whose first stop on their football journey is our first team.

“Jason will help the club implement a new curriculum and coaching strategy that will help local players become the best they can be. That is something that I hope will define my tenure at the club.”

Richard Lawson feels that after a week of change, the cards are quickly falling into place with the appointment of his son James.

“A change of chairman invariably means a change of personnel. James has spoken to many of the Ramsgate stalwarts who are happy to return in some capacity, but more importantly he is recruiting younger people mostly from the Youth Section to form his new committee,” added Richard Lawson.

“This is possibly the best thing that could happen to the club and they are all looking forward to the challenge.

“He will have the experience of Paul Bowden-Brown and myself to call on if he needs it, but there is a totally new more vibrant energy at the club.

“For the harbingers of doom who have been foretelling the demise of Ramsgate Football Club, I am afraid I must disappoint you. After having run the club for over 25 years, no one knows better than me what our capabilities are and with Paul Bowden-Brown stepping back and reducing his financial support to the playing budget James has sat with me at length to discuss what the revised budget should be.

“It will come as no surprise that the reduced budget is now close to the figure we’ve historically run on. James Lawson and Jason Lillis have agreed the figure and they will jointly move forward on that basis.”

Ramsgate are third-from-bottom in the Isthmian League South East Division table, having collected 11 points from 17 games, six points clear of the side in the sole relegation berth, East Grinstead Town.

The Rams travel to Sittingbourne on Saturday, 28 December, a side that are three places and seven points above them in the pecking order.

Visit Ramsgate’s website: www.ramsgate-fc.co.uk