Eastbourne Borough may not be enjoying the best of fortunes on the pitch but off the pitch they believe they have made three astute signings.
Commerial manager Lorna Gosling was due to depart in October but extended her notice period in November following a recent stroke to chairman Len Smith.
Lorna has since withdrew her resignation and will spearhead Boro’s bold ambition of operating as a full-time club within three years. Additional support will be offered in the commercial department by Scott Defty and Mark Jones - both of whom have a wealth of experience in commercial management in the sports industry.
Defty is the sports manager of the David Lloyd Club. He will help on an unpaid consultancy basis focusing on branding, merchandising and attracting new levels of sponsorship.
Jones has an impressive CV. He has been director of sales and marketing at Coventry City, commercial director at Watford and had the same role at sports and investment group ENIC plc developing the commercial operations of clubs such as AEK Athens, Slavia Prague, FC Basel and Glasgow Rangers.
The announcement comes following a turbulent period in the club’s history.
Poor performances on the pitch has seen attendances drop as the first team struggle to get to grips with life in the Blue Square South following three tough seasons in the Blue Square Premier.
Recently fans have accused the club of lacking ambition but vice chairman of the CIC board Paul Maynard believes this move will show the Priory Lane faithful they are not prepared to tread water in the Blue Square South.
Maynard, alongside chief executive Mike Spooner, has taken on increased responsibilities as chairman Smith continues his recovery from his stroke.
He said, “Lorna is Borough, through and through, hugely popular with supporters, sponsors, players and club officials alike.
“She has been instrumental in taking the club’s commercial business to a new level.
“Lorna was always reluctant to leave and is delighted to be staying. We have agreed some changes to her hours and duties, which will enable her to pursue her other activities and brought in some important support for her.
“There is a great deal of work to be done to get the commercial offering of the club to where we want it to be, particularly with regard to merchandising, internet and social media communications, but we are all very positive and committed to move the club forward.”
Of the roles Defty and Jones will play, Maynard added, “We are thrilled that Scott and Mark will be coming on board. Both live locally and share a great passion for the club.
“Scott is a former Borough player while Mark has been involved in the commercial side of football at the highest level.
“What Mark does not know about running the commercial side of a football club is not worth knowing. These appointments are a reflection of the hard work that is going on behind the scenes to take Borough onwards and upwards in the next five years.
“These are challenging times for the vast majority of football clubs with Eastbourne Borough no exception. But we are determined to make serious progress both on and off the pitch.”
Boro’ first team have no fixture tomorrow.