Eastbourne Borough chairman Len Smith said the club has never been in better shape as the side enter the most crucial period of the season and perhaps their history.
Borough are just two points from a play-off spot and a potential return to the Conference Premier. On the pitch significant progress has been made as manager Tommy Widdrington has pieced together a young and talented group of players and dramatically cut the average age of the squad. Following relegation from the Premier three seasons ago, the challenges faced have been immense.
Long-established manager Garry Wilson departed along with a whole host of first team players. All the while the club’s finances were kept under tight control as they adapted to life back in the southern division - particularly after the club narrowly missed out on securing significant investment from a Kuwaiti investment company back in 2013.
While Borough regrouped, a new threat emerged a short drive along the A27 as the AMEX Stadium opened it’s doors and tempted Priory Lane regulars to cheer on Brighton instead. Smith admits it’s had an impact on attendances but feels the measures the club have taken to further integrate themselves within the Eastbourne community will have a positive impact.
“We learnt lessons from our time in the Premier and that’s why we made changes and will continue to do so.
“The Academy has been a huge part of that. It has enabled us to not only develop players who could go on to play for the first team but also to push forward and raise our profile in the community.
“The academy will expand and will continue to offer education alongside the football - It has worked really well and Jay Lovett has done a tremendous job in the first year. We are working with the local schools and I think we are starting to see younger faces around Priory Lane which is great for the future of the club.”
The need for a main sponsor however remains crucial. Some rival teams in the Blue Square South are reported to receive double and sometimes triple Borough’s sponsorship income. Smith added, “We have some great companies that we currently deal with but it’s no secret that we are looking for a main sponsor.
“It would help us take that next step but it’s also a two way thing. As a club I feel we have a lot to offer and can help a business get their name out there.”
Ryman League side Burgess Hill Town recently renamed their ground the Green Elephant Stadium and Borough will also offer naming rights for Priory Lane Stadium as part of a sponsorship package. CIC chairman Paul Maynard added, “All options are open. Even a change of name or change of the strip. If it is something that benefits the long term future we have to consider it.”
Of the possibility of one day merging with neighbours Eastbourne Town or Eastbourne United. Maynard added, “I believe there is a willingness for closer ties and we are always open for discussion on that.
“I believe it would be a way forward. Eastbourne is the largest town never to have had a league club and one of the smallest to have three senior clubs. I don’t think that statistic is a coincidence”
“I think we are in a great position. We have a great young side that, if they stay together, can only get better and we have the best manager in the division. I plan to be a club for a long while and I would love to see us playing league football in that time.”
What’s in it for a sponsor?
Eastbourne Borough are offering a sponsor the opportunity to become their main sponsor, at a price secured for three years even if the club gets promoted.
It offers: Full sponsorship of both the home and away Shirts, programme advertising, sponsors branded welcome board to the stadium and fixtures board, website advertising, pitch-side advertising boards, executive box, eight season tickets, full hospitality, two match day sponsorships, match day marketing opportunities, regular press coverage, reserved parking
and player Sponsorship.
Contact commerical manager Sharon Hind for more details: email@example.com phone: 01323 766265