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Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter says ground is ready for Football League

Jim Parmenter believes Dover Athletic now have a ground fit for a Football League club.

The club’s chairman has invested in the facilities at Crabble in recent years and most recently the pitch has been re-laid during the summer ahead of the 2018-19 National League season.

Whites host Gillingham in a pre-season friendly on Saturday and it will be the first match to be played on that surface.

Chairman Jim Parmenter. Picture: Tony Flashman.
Chairman Jim Parmenter. Picture: Tony Flashman.

Mr Parmenter said: “The pitch hasn’t been re-laid for 25 years and while you do maintenance on it every year it gets harder and harder to get a decent surface.

“This year I took the decision to replace it to gives us a good surface going forward.

“We’ve got a Football League standard ground now. We’ve had a new stand, new changing rooms, new floodlights, new sponsors lounge, new pitch and a new electricity supply.

“So there’s been a lot of money spent on the ground in the last couple of years.”

Mr Parmenter threatened to stop investment in the club in 2016 if attendances did not improve.

These comments came after just 588 fans watched their defeat to Southport during the 2015-16 National League season.

Attendances have improved since then and during the 2017-18 season the average gate was 1,353.

Work being carried out on the pitch at Crabble. Picture: Dover Athletic
Work being carried out on the pitch at Crabble. Picture: Dover Athletic

Mr Parmenter said: “Season ticket sales are going reasonably well. We will be on par with last year.

“I’ve said before I was a bit disappointed with the numbers from our crowd. Given our position over the last couple of years and we have been challenging for promotion, I would be much happier with more people coming through the gate.

“We can’t force people and all we can do is keep doing the right things.

“We are doing a lot of work in the community and community days are part of that. We are looking to extend our community activities.

“We are going to change our community situation to a community trust, which will be a registered charity this year. That will enable us to extend our activities to the schools around the area.”

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