Paul Bowden-Brown: From the Boardroom (Ramsgate FC vs Whyteleafe FC)
Ramsgate FC vs Whyteleafe FC
May I welcome the Officials, players and supporters of Whyteleafe FC to Southwood and hopefully after a great game of football and some refreshments you all have a safe journey home.
Well, here we are back home after a trip to Faversham on Easter Monday. Thankfully for the travelling supporters, Nick and his players came away with a win following a solid display.
Many people assume that at the kick of the last ball, at the end of the 90 minutes of the final match of the season everyone can take a break - be assured that pre-season is usually the busiest time in any football club’s timetable.
I know that I have to continue my restructuring of Ramsgate FC in the same manner that I started in January of this year, ensuring that all areas of our volunteer groups are fully aware of what is expected of them.
Running a football club is the same as any business, and by that I mean you only get out of it by the investment you put in it.
We have a fantastic group of volunteers carrying out numerous tasks throughout the club such as running the turnstiles, the club shop, selling matchday programmes etc. I have to ensure that everything that they are involved in is covered thoroughly within the club’s new Health & Safety Policy that I am nearing completion. This policy will protect everyone within the club.
I dearly hope the volunteers wish to continue to operate all of the current outlets, the only difference being that the club will be responsible for all purchases of shop stock and all other revenue collected will go directly to the club.
Hopefully, the RFSA will continue to raise funds as they have in the past - I think that as the monies are raised in the name of Ramsgate, it should belong to the club from the outset.
As a Director of this fine old club, it is my responsibility to ensure that Ramsgate FC recognises and accepts its responsibility as an employer for providing a Safe, healthy workplace and work environment for employees and others (visitors and the public) that may be affected by our work.
Within the next few weeks, I will meet with my close band of advisors and also those that have been involved with the club a lot longer than myself, to ensure everything that needs attention during the pre-season break is dealt with, and ensure money is put aside for this work to be completed.
One of the biggest jobs will be to ensure that the old Boardroom is re-decorated and made into the club’s new Boardroom. We plan to rename it the “Lawson Suite” in recognition of the financial support and personal determination shown by our current owner Richard Lawson over the years of his stewardship of the Club.
I have also already agreed with Martin Jeffery’s, our groundsman, all material required to ensure that all his work on the first team pitch is carried out to an excellent standard. We want a pitch that allows Ramsgate FC to be competitive and challenge for promotion/playoffs next campaign
We are also having discussions on how we can raise funding to update the club’s changing rooms and also the playing surfaces.
I have put together a team of specialists to ensure that we move forward correctly and professionally, and to this end I have asked Keith Masters - my current Compliance Officer - to head up this task force, reporting directly to me. I feel that we need to ensure that Southwood can cope with the number of Youth teams that we intend to support during the next five years, and this task needs to be dealt with professionally.
Next season I intend to streamline the production of our matchday Programme, allowing the editor to extend the content throughout the club. I feel that ALL areas of the club, from the Youth section all the way up to the senior side, should supply content for the programme, and at the same time ensure the print quality is 100%.
It needs to be exciting and capture moments throughout the season by using the high-quality action shots we have at our disposal thanks to our photographer, Adam Brown.
At both my previous club’s we have produced award-winning programmes that we have received accolades for, and I will use the same blueprint here at Ramsgate FC.
Whilst talking about the current programme I must personally thank Martin Able for all the personal effort and time that he has put into producing it over the years. I know what a thankless task it can be at times collecting the content, ensuring people keep to the timetables, and then spending a lot of your own time late into the night to complete. So, thank you once again Martin, and I hope within your historian role at Ramsgate you will provide content for the new programme.
I have left my views of the first team until last. It is of my opinion that we have the best young manager in the South East of Non-League Football. You will see some new additions to the management team during the pre-season break, but Nick will still have his faithful No.2, Tony Cornwell by his side. It's just on the training side you will see the additions.
My personal feeling is that we, as a club with an increase in budget, should have been there or thereabouts in terms of a playoff spot this season.
However, in reality, and after talking to Nick in detail, it has become apparent that the squad we have is not good enough. We may have a few very talented players within the team, but we haven’t been winning enough on the pitch, and that’s the moral of the story.
I believe players decide whether they want to stay with a football club in this day and age by their actions, and in my opinion, I feel that if a player shows no commitment to the club he plays for, then he does not deserve our continued support. We must move on excluding that player from our plans. All those players that show loyalty and commitment will be fully supported.
I am very hopeful that during the pre-season, with my support, Nick will be able to build a strong and successful squad that will hopefully meet all of our aims for the future.
As we approach the end of the season, it's time for me to thank everyone that has supported me since I joined Ramsgate. I do not apologise for the changes I have made because I felt they were necessary for the financial stability of this wonderful old club.
So, to everybody involved at Ramsgate, in whatever role you fill, be assured together we will take this club forward. I cannot complete my task without your ongoing and continued support.
I want to say a special thank you to the close team I bought with me - our General Manager, Ian Docker, our Compliance Officer, Keith Masters, my Marketing team, Zac and Sonya and of course those of you that were here at the Club beforehand.
You all know who you are; thank you for everything.
Finally, a very big thank you to everyone within our vibrant Youth set up under the Chairmanship of Elliot Austin. Keep up the excellent work; I am personally very proud of what we are achieving as a club within the youth section.
Enjoy the game, and I look forward to seeing you all again during pre-season. If not, then at the start of next season, which will be another milestone in Ramsgate’s history.
Director & CEO