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Ide Hill issue statement after first team manager resigns

Ide Hill Football Club, who play in the Kent County Football League’s Premier Division, were forced to issue a statement in February after their first team manager decided he no longer wanted to be part of the club.

The statement, from Ide Hill Club Secretary Clare Dance, stated that the club were unable to assist manager Brehnan Chidley and his management teams ambition of making the first XI a Southern Counties East Football League (SCEFL) side.

The club cited two main reasons for not making their application; the club is not in a financial position to be able to support such a huge commitment; and they do not currently have the right club structure in place. The committee also contacted the Kent FA to see if they had any advice and were advised not to consider putting in a bid for the SCEFL.

In the statement Clare says: “Their [Chidley and his management team] resignation is very disappointing after a lot of discussions… and a disappointing expense now left to the club due to this decision. We will be recruiting an interim manager ASAP to continue the running of the 1st team.”

Player, and even management power, is becoming far too frequent in grassroots football these days, and whilst Ide Hill are supposed to be celebrating their 100 year centenary, they are having to release statements to explain the behaviour of club members.

The news follows the club’s decision not to renew their ground sharing agreement with Tonbridge Angels next season, making way for Welling United who will now play at the Halcyon Wealth Longmead Stadium from the start of the 2024/25 season.

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“After news broke that the management team of Ide Hill Football Club’s 1st XI has departed due to a misalignment of aspirations, it’s high time we address those who presume to dictate the direction of grassroots football.

“This isn’t the first instance of such discord. Recently, Chipstead FC, also competing in the Kent County Premier Division alongside Ide Hill, witnessed a similar rift. Their 1st XI management disagreed with the club’s committee and subsequently left, taking their players with them. Chipstead had no choice but to withdraw from the league, facing public backlash on social media.

“Both Ide Hill FC, celebrating its centenary this year, and Chipstead, operating for 88 years, have endured, and thrived without the current managers and players. It’s essential to recognise that the success of grassroots club’s hinges on effective behind-the-scenes management, a fact exemplified by these longstanding institutions.

“Just last month, Ide Hill encountered turmoil when their 3rd team refused to play due to committee concerns, resulting in the dismissal of their manager. Despite this, the development team stepped-up and faced Hawkenbury in a fixture they ultimately lost 14-0. Adding to the incredulity, the sacked manager, and his band of merrymen showed up at the match, apparently to support their development colleagues.

“While passion fuels football, it must be channelled constructively. Those who disrespect their clubs should face accountability rather than receiving opportunities elsewhere. Ide Hill’s committee has admirably navigated recent challenges amidst pressure from disruptive elements.

“It’s time to applaud grassroots volunteers and club committees who sustain these institutions through adversity. West Kent boasts a vibrant football scene across all levels in the men’s and women’s game, from junior to senior, and participants should cherish their involvement. Failure to address misconduct perpetuates these issues.

“A century of football is a monumental achievement deserving of proper celebration with the right individuals at the helm.

“In the coming months, we’ll be bringing you an in-depth feature on Ide Hill FC and their centenary celebrations, along with a comprehensive examination of their tumultuous season thus far.”

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