Stay-away fans are killing Ashford Town, warns Thorogood

Thursday 21st September 2006
The chairman of Ryman League Division One South Ashford Town warns stay-away fans are killing the club, writes Stephen McCartney.


Tim Thorogood has seen average attendances plummet at the Homelands to just 155 and are playing a club on Saturday, Croydon Athletic, who are not well supported.

Mr Thorogood warned that the stay-away fans are “killing the football club”, and needs crowds to double to survive.

Last week their FA Cup clash against Ryman Premier League neighbours Tonbridge Angels attracted their highest crowd of the season at the Homelands when 394 watched the Angels’ 3-1 first qualifying round victory.

But Mr Thorogood needs crowds like that on a regular basis.

“The crowds have been disappointing to be honest with you,” he said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with

“We haven’t had many fans back from what we’ve lost – that’s killing the football club.”

But Mr Thorogood, who manages the side with John Cumberbatch, insists the football they are producing at present is well worth watching.

He said: “They are missing some quality football at the club now.

“A lot have been complaining saying “we are not good enough, we are not coming until we are”, but now we’ve put a good side together. 

“Perhaps they can come back and watch us because they are missing out.”

One stay-away fan, who remained anonymous, felt poor performances are keeping him away from the club.

He told “Performance over the last couple of season have been terrible, absolutely terrible. 

“But numbers will always go up when a team is successful, and will always drop when the play is poor.  That’s football.

“When Tim Thorogood took over at Ashford, the club was in real trouble, outstanding tax to be played, crippling debts and a hostile owner that only seemed to want to close the club and build on the ground.”

But Mr Thorogood wants him and others to come back for the club, before it’s too late.

"We desperately want to get some of our own fans back,” he said.

“I think it's been a real sad situation when you look at some of the crowds we’ve had, which have been fairly poor.

“Last week was great because Tonbridge obviously brought a good crowd with them, so thanks for that.

“But it’s a shame because we are playing some really good football.

“We are worth coming to watch because we want people to come back here because we are going to do well this season.”

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Ashford Town  v  Croydon Athletic
Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 23rd September 2006
Kick Off

at The Homelands,
Ashford Road, Kingsnorth, Ashford