Wed, 22 Jan 2020
HUNGERFORD Town chairman Patrick Chambers has described his short time at the club as a ‘real eye-opener’ as they continue to battle in the National League South.
Chambers took on the role at the club in April 2019 – along with Carl Reader as vice-chairman – with the aim of making the club more viable.
Born in Nottingham, the chairman moved to Eastbury and agreed to take on the responsibility after his wife Nicky saw a post on social media.
He said: “As a first-time chairman and being new to non-league football, the last eight months have been a real eye-opener into the struggles that so many teams, like Hungerford, face in competing at the high level of National league.”
Chambers and Nicky have been very hands-on since he arrived at the club as they have raised close to £60,000 in sponsorship.
And he said: “This appears to be a huge figure and yet we probably spend less than half of most teams at our level on players and coaches through lack of funds.
“You could argue we actually spend too much, based on our income, and I am conscious that money needs to be spent on improving facilities for fans and members and, of course, the players.”
There are a number of full-time teams in the National League South that spend close to £20,000 a week.
And Chambers believes that figure – far more than is spent at Hungerford – shows what a great job manager Ian Herring is doing at the club.
He said: “Ian has done an incredible job with a tight budget and has had to bring in loan players to improve us.
“Although we currently sit at the bottom, I still believe Ian can conjure up a great escape like we have achieved in the last two seasons.”
Having dedicated so much of his time already to the club, Chambers has opened it up for anyone to join forces with him and help Hungerford move forward.
He said: “My hope is that I can attract a group of people to join me in the enjoyable part of being involved with football and Hungerford Town, via a business club.
“They would be involved in all things football and have privileged access to our manager, coaches and players and attend monthly meals out to discuss player targets and football decisions with Ian and his coaches.”
According to Chambers, these people would be seen as ‘angels’ and their donations or sponsorship money would go towards playing staff only.
Although he has had interest in the concept, the Hungerford chairman wishes to invite as many people as possible to help support the club.
“I feel we want between six and 10 people to make it sustainable,” he said. “They could, of course, promote their businesses at the ground and via our social media and hopefully bring other sponsors and supporters from their circle of friends and contacts.
“I would welcome a chat with anyone who would be interested in getting involved and help us compete.
“If we had 10 of us, then it would be more in line with any other hobby that people fund over a year and they would be making a big difference to the club and the town.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the eight months thus far in the chair, but I know we need to get more people involved if we are to continue competing at this level,” added Chambers.