BetVictor North side Romford Football Club have today announced that former Billericay Town owner Glenn Tamplin has agreed to join the club. The club have said it's a move that will secure both their short term and long term future.
Chairman Steve Gardener said “The club have been struggling for some time now due to lack of finances and resources, and our aim of getting back to Romford in our own ground is a must, but myself and Colin Ewenson, are not in a position to drive the club forward and deliver the new ground. We have been looking for an investor to come on board, and with his previous experience, and success we are looking forward to being able to move the club forward.”
The Boro who were reformed in 1992 after the second incarnation of the club had folded in 1978 after losing their historic Brooklands ground in 1977 which was easily one of the best stadiums outside of the football league.
Since reformation they have played at Hornchurch, Rush Green, Collier Row's Sungate (where the club's merged in 1996 to form Collier Row & Romford before changing back to Romford in 1997), Aveley's Mill Field, Thurrock FC's Ship Lane, East Thurrcok United's Rookery Hill and from the start of this season at Brentwood Town.
FORMER ROMFORD BOSS PAUL MARTIN PICTURED HERE IN JULY 2015 WHEN HIS SIDE PLAYED ENFIELD TOWN IN A PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY
It's been a really difficult period for the Essex club in their recent history - since winning the 2009 Essex Senior League they have finished 13th, 12th, 13th, 8th, 11th, 20th, 16th, 16th, 23rd and 19th in the Isthmian League North Division. This season they are bottom of the table with just one win in eleven league games played with their average league crowd being 109.5 in their six home games so far.
It may have been a struggle but for a club with no ground and very limited resources to stay at step four of the non-league ladder for over 10 seasons is a fantastic achievement for everyone who has been involved.
With this in mind there has been many positive comments about the work Paul Martin carried out whilst Manager of the first team as it has been announced he and his management team have left the club with the new owner of the club placing himself in charge and announcing that 15 new players have joined ready for Saturday's game with Coggeshall Town.
The Boro's ultimate goal is to move back to their home tome to a ground they can call home. Planning permission was granted in 2009 to build a stadium at Westlands Playing Fields on London Road but there has been no developments since.
I think one of the biggest challenges is going to be attracting supporters as there are many clubs in the Essex area competing for fans as the below table shows the average attendances for league games this season so far.
Dagenham & Redbridge - 1,329
Chelmsford City - 916
Billericay Town - 834
Braintree Town - 498
Concord Rangers - 429
Grays Athletic - 250
Aveley - 248
Canvey Island - 247
Hornchurch - 246
Heybridge Swifts - 242
East Thurrock United - 233
Harlow Town - 178
Brightlingsea Regent - 174
Tilbury - 158
Maldon & Tiptree - 146
Hullbridge Sports - 139
Basildon United - 134
Coggeshall Town - 129
Brentwood Town - 129
Bowers & Pitsea - 124
Great Wakering Rovers - 123
Romford - 109
Waltham Abbey - 102
Witham Town - 98
Barking - 71
Red = Step One
Blue = Step Two
Purple = Step Three
Pink = Step Four
It's certainly going to be an interesting period over the next few months at the bottom of the BetVictor North Division. Romford have announced there will be free entry to Saturday's game against Coggeshall Town so it will be interesting to see if their current top crowd of 138 is beaten at the weekend.
ROMFORD FOOTBALL CLUB FORTHCOMING FIXTURES
Saturday 16th November - COGGESHALL TOWN
Saturday 23rd November - Dereham Town
Wednesday 27th November - BARKING - Velocity Trophy Group 2
Saturday 30th November - TILBURY
Saturday 7th December - Felixstowe & Walton United
Saturday 14th December - HULLBRIDGE SPORTS
Saturday 21st December - BRENTWOOD TOWN
Saturday 28th December - Aveley
BETVICTOR NORTH DIVISION
CURRENT TABLE - BOTTOM FIVE ONLY
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