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Faversham Town unveil stadium sponsorship deal with local brewery PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 August 2010
FAVERSHAM TOWN have been given a major boost ahead of their inaugural Ryman League Division One South campaign by unveiling a major sponsorship deal with local brewery Shepherd Neame, writes Stephen McCartney.

A two-year deal for an undisclosed fee will see the club’s Salters Lane ground re-branded as the Shepherd Neame Stadium with immediate effect.

Shepherd Neame’s traditions can be traced back to the foundations in 1698 - with strong links to the town of Faversham.

It has 369 pubs across the south east and 85% of the beer sold is brewed at their Faversham brewery, which employs 300 staff.

“We like to support as many activities as we can in an around Faversham,” chief executive Jonathan Neame told www.kentishfootball.co.uk today.

“We like to support local sport, grass roots sport, club sport, county sport where we can.

“We put about £500,000 a year into Kent sport generally.  We put a lot into Faversham activities but because of the success of the club last season, because of their promotion into a new League, we’re very, very happy to support them an I hope that some of the financial support we’re giving can help towards further success this year.”

Mr Neame spoke about the benefits involved for both parties.

“It’s a two-year deal, the stadium’s been re-name the Shepherd Neame Stadium.  On top of that (the financial package), we supply the beer and we provide other ancillary benefits and support.”

He added: “If the club can go onto greater success, we’d be delighted!  It would be great for the town of course, in addition to that, the club has very generously providing support for our employees.  

“We have 300 employees in the town, and the club are providing professional coaching once a month for the children of our employees and I’m sure there will be a lot of take up in that and special opportunities for employees to com and watch the games so it’s a good relationship.”

This time only six years ago, the football ground at Salters Lane, was in a state of vandalism and playing Ryman League football was only just a pipedream.

“We’re trying to back a successful club and it’s great to see the club moving forward,” added Mr Neame.

“They’ve attracted a bigger pool of players this year and success breads success so I hope that our initiative will enable them to get bigger crowds this year and enable them to attract more interest into the club to bigger and better things.”

When asked about his sporting background, he replied, “I’m a keen amateur supporter and player of many things but not very good at many, cricket mostly.

“If I’m honest, I like supporting and watching the national football team.  I don’t particularly support any club in the Premiership but I’m very happy to watch football, rugby and cricket and participate when I can.”

The Lilywhites, who under manager Justin Luchford, sealed the Kent League and Kent Senior Trophy last season, kick-off their Ryman League campaign away to Brighton based side Whitehawk on Saturday.

“I just think it shows where the club’s trying to go, bit by bit, brick by brick,” Luchford told www.kentishootball.co.uk.

“We’re trying to build something here for the future and hopefully having a relationship with the town’s biggest company is a huge step forward for the football club.

“We’re made no secret, every club’s the same in non-league, unfortunately you don’t progress without having backing and without having people supporting you so we’re absolutely delighted today that we can announce such a deal and hopefully this will be the first of many in years to come.”

Luchford, who has been at the club since November 2007, understands that the club has come a very long way in just a six-year period.

The clubhouse has photographs on the wall showing the depressing state that the ground and its facilities were like, as vandals ruined the ground during the club’s dormant years.

“It is a great story and we can’t sit still,” said Luchford.  “We’ve got to stabilise  and not be in a situation where we’re coming back down playing yo-yo’s in these non-leagues.

“What all the guys have done behind the scenes, like I said before, the likes of Ray Leader and Bob Mason and the guys like that have been here pulling the weeds out in 2004 and they’ve seen the club go to a League we are today and that’s a credit to them.

“Ok, we’ve done things on the pitch, which is great, but you don’t do those things without having the infrastructure in place and the backing of the people behind the scenes, who do unbelievable amounts of work and together we’ve managed to get into the Ryman and now we’re here hopefully we’re here to stay.”

Visit Faversham Town’s website: www.favershamtownfc.co.uk 

Whitehawk  v  Faversham Town
Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 21st February 2010 
Kick Off 3:00pm
At East Preston Park, Wilson Avenue, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 5TS
Last Updated ( Monday, 16 August 2010 )
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