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Kenilworth Club Survives Committee Scare

Kenilworth Town Football Club will continue to run next season, despite wholesale changes to their committee.

There were fears that the club may have to fold after all but one member of the existing committee retired at Town’s recent AGM, and nobody put themselves forward for selection.

It was then decided that the meeting would be postponed while new members were found, and this search has now been successful with a full committee appointed.

However, retiring secretary Karen Brooks believes that the club may be plunged back into problems when the new committee realise the extent of the work-load.

She said:

"It really is a full time job when you are doing the administration for all of the teams and I think people will begin to see that.

"A lot of the new members are parents of the children in the youth teams and I am not sure that they are going to have the time to donate to the club."

The club also has a new chairman who is Norman Stephens, owner of Leamington building firm Norman Stephens Unlimited, and Brooks hinted that the decision of the previous committee to retire was down to Stephens’ appointment.

"Kenilworth has not been a particularly happy club for a while and it has had a few problems, both myself and my husband were involved with it for over eight years but we will have nothing to do with it now.

"It will be very sad because it has been a big part of our lives for that time and we were very involved."

But the new chairman believes that it is a reluctance to move with the times that has caused the Brooks’ to step down.

He said:

"The four officers who have stepped down were actually two couples the Brooks’ and the Temples’, and when I came in I was asked to help take the club into the future in a more organised fashion and they didn’t like it.

"However, no-one could say a word against Gary Brooks or Benita Temple because whatever else they did, they worked exceedingly hard for the club and that was greatly appreciated.

"Some people would say that the club has been left for dead but I prefer to see it as a fresh start, managers, players, and officials have all left so we are starting from scratch."

Kenilworth Town also faces a debt of almost 30,000 which Norman Stephens’ company shelled out last year for floodlights at the Gypsy Lane stadium, and the new chairman believes this needs to be addressed quickly.

"I had a spell as chairman for seven months last year and in that time I was asked to help fundraising for floodlights for the ground.

"I was told that there was all sorts of loans and grants secured and all we needed was the remaining 6,000, but it turned out that was not the case and my company ended up funding the whole project.

"We have a meeting of the new committee later this week and we will decide some things then, and whether we defer the loan for a while or come up with some fund-raising events to pay it off is not certain yet.

"People will see this as a big debt but the club does own its own ground which is valued at 30,000 so the way I see it, Kenilworth Town is still on an even keel."

Stephens is also looking into the organisation of the playing side of the club, and is confident that they can become a force in the local area.

"We have a ten-year plan at Town and the aim of that is to see us have the opportunity of facing Manchester United by 2009, obviously in the FA Cup, which you are allowed to enter once you reach the Dr Martens league.

"I know that the chances of facing that kind of opposition are unlikely even then, but it is like the National Lottery – maybe just maybe.

"I have been involved with sport in Warwickshire for a long time and the standard is very poor, but I have identified Kenilworth Town as the club with the most prospects because we do own our own ground so have some freedom."

The chairman has now introduced youth teams and reserves to the set-up and is actively looking for managers at all levels including the first team, and also wants any players to contact him at his Leamington office.

He is hoping to promote links with Coventry City Football Club so that promising players can join Town knowing that they will be watched by Premiership scouts.

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CWN / Sport / Football / Kenilworth Town / 22 Sep 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM