BY CALUM FRASER
A last ditch effort is being made to save a football club.
Thamesmead Town FC (TTFC) is on the brink of liquidation after club chairman Paul Bowden-Brown announced that he was withdrawing his financial support.
Football chiefs at the Bostik League, where Thamesmead play, have stepped in at the last minute to try and find buyers for the 49-year-old club.
Bostik League chairman Nick Robinson said: “The League is doing everything we can to assist the club and any potential buyers in a hope that the club can be saved.
“We recognise that Paul Bowden-Brown has done everything he can but if somebody can now step forward and make progress with the club, then we will provide every help possible.
“However time is tight and there are rules to be complied with.”
Tributes poured in from players, fans and clubs across the country after Mr Bowden-Brown released his statement. Elliot Byrne, who works as a media manager for Leyton Orient, said: “Incredibly sad to see Thamesmead Town, the place where I began my career in football, fold.
“The few months I spent there were a lot of fun and that team almost did great things.”
The club moved away from their Bayliss Avenue stadium in 2017 after a dispute with the ground owners, the Trust Thamesmead and Peabody, and moved to a groundshare at Dartford’s Princes Park .
Fan Kevin White said: “Absolutely gutted at the news of the demise of Thamesmead Town FC.
Keith [ex-manager], Paul and the team did a great job keeping the club going for years, despite Trust Thamesmead/Peabody doing their best to kill the club.
So many good memories and glad to be involved in so many good times.”
There was no long-term ground share agreement between the club and the trust after the Sporting Club Thamesmead stadium in Bayliss Avenue was renovated in 2013.
Mr Bowden-Brown said: “The club was taken advantage of. The trust treated the club purely as a tenant forgetting the massive input the club and its personnel had put in to assist the funding of the new stadium.
“All we were ever advised was that the trust was losing monies so, we had to pay a fee that was higher for the use of the facilities.
I believe this was unfair and was the start of the death knell of this fine old club.”
The club’s last outing was a 3-0 win over Guernsey on October 6.
Mr Bowden-Brown said: “We have continued to have a lack of supporters coming through the gate to watch the team this season.
“Even though I finance the club management, the squad of players, the ground and all other required expenses, coupled with my failing health, I have had to make a very difficult decision.”
A spokesman for Peabody said: “We are of course sad to hear the news.
The support of the Peabody team was acknowledged by the club after TTFC Chairman, Paul Bowden-Brown, decided to move the team from Sporting Club Thamesmead to Dartford FC in 2017, so the recent comments come as a surprise.
“We continue to support grass roots football in the community and currently host Sporting Club Thamesmead FC’s senior and junior teams and Welling Town FC.”