THE latest twist in the sorry saga of Tilbury Football Club has seen ‘sacked’ secretary Mark Southgate issue a damning statement about chairman Robbie Nash.
Mr Nash produced his own statement over the weekend, giving his version of events that saw Mr Southgate and club manager Graham Chester sacked.
In it he denied the club has been contacted by the FA over irregularities, nor have the Ryman league been involved, but the Enquirer has confirmed with the FA that contact was made by their Financial Regulation officer Lee Champion, who has not only written to Mr Nash but has also spoken with the club’s solicitors. Ryman League senior officers, including chairman Alan Turvey have also been involved.
The FA want answers to a number of questions about the ground ownership, the club’s internal management structure and why Mr Southgate has been falsely represented in communications to the FA without his knowledge.
They have called on the club owners and its solicitors to attend a meeting, possibly at FA headquarters at Wembley when members of the Ryman League will also be present – as will Mr Southgate.
In his response to Mr Nash’s comments, Mr Southgate has spoken of the “hurtful” comments made about him.
He said: “His comments are particularly hurtful as anyone who works closely with me including the fans, players, management staff and Ryman League officials know my commitment and dedication is 100%. I will not been drawn into a personal debate over this issue, but will deal with this in greater detail once the FA’s investigation is complete.
“The only further comment I will make on this matter to act as a summary is this! The Club trustees have been held accountable for a series of anomalies and until such time as the FA conclude their investigations, I will remain the Club Secretary and all its playing and management staff will remain intact.
“Until the FA have concluded their investigation and they tell me different, then I shall remain active on behalf of the Club to ensure that things are run correctly and that the correct practices being used are for the best interests of Tilbury Football Club. One last note, I too will be seeking legal advice and would like to rest everyone assured that no Tilbury FC money will be used to pay for my audience with a legal representative, I truly hope Mr Nash can say the same.
“I would also like to deal with his comments in connection with our current match secretary Mr. Paul Tandy, Paul has been involved with the Club in an official capacity now since August 2008, Mr Tandy accepted the position as match secretary at the start of the 2009/2010 season, previous to that he was our Media Manager. In the two years that Mr Tandy has been connected with Tilbury FC he has attended almost every game, both home and away.
“He is a regular within the board room at home games and entertains visiting Ryman League members and away officials.
“He has attended the vast majority of the Ryman League meetings and even assisted me collect the team of the year award at the Ryman Ball last summer.
He reports on each game and maintains the Tilbury official website, so for Mr. Nash to say that he has not even spoken to such a key helper within the Club or for him to not even acknowledged his help with at least a thank you, just about sums up Mr. Nash’s contribution to the football affairs of the club.”
Reprinted with kind permission of The Enquirer.