Chatham Town chairman Jeff Talbot looks towards a bright future following club house opening
Mayor of Medway Cllr
Vaughan Hewett opens the clubhouse Pic: Steve Crispe
Chatham chairman Jeff Talbot hopes
the newly upgraded clubhouse at Maidstone Road will go a long way
in helping to safeguard Chatham’s future.
An investment of £120,000 has been
made in a bid to make the club self sufficient.
Money generated from hiring out the
venue will help pay the bills, including the lease held on the
ground. The club are four years into a 20-year agreement with
Mr Talbot said: "We knew the lease
would cost money that we couldn’t afford and so we had to generate
income. This was plan B.
"Plan A was to develop a training
facility but we now have a joint venture with the Bishop of
Rochester Academy to use their new facilities and that’s fantastic
"We need to be self
sustaining and want to give back to the local community. This all
Chatham’s next major hurdle will be
to try and get themselves back playing in Ryman League, Division 1
South. Over the past few seasons, Chatham have been lumped in with
the teams in Division 1 North, due to the club’s proximity to the
Mr Talbot (left) has waged a
long-running battle to get the club back in the south section, to
help boost their gates.
He said: "We are struggling with
attendances and that is clear. Our attendances are a big part of
our revenue and when people come here, they will spend money.
"Without it, things are really
tough and it is hand-to-mouth with the bills, like it is with many
A planned restructure of the Ryman
League next season will see the North and South divisions expand to
"That gives us more of an
opportunity," added Mr Talbot.
"We are pressing the FA and the
Ryman League and our position is clear. We will be disappointed if
we are in the North next season and if we are, then we expect to
see a clear decision-making process as to why."
Chatham face leaders Maldon &
Tiptree in the league on Saturday.
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