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Abingdon United fc

Trails & Tribulations Of A Chairman At Level 5/6 - 17 January

Abingdon United chairman Debbie Blackmore has decided to step down as Chair of the club following eight years in the role, Debbie pen's an insight into the high's and low's of the role.

"I have always said that the hardest job at any football level is the football manager. They can never seem to do right from wrong, keep the players happy, keep the fans happy, keep the board happy. That’s before they even kick a ball. If your winning its great if your losing its not. This was before I spent the last 8 years as Chairman!!

It appears every little thing that goes wrong from on the football pitch to the blocked drains in a toilet, the chairman needs to know about it and needs to deal with it. This is what has happened to me over the last 8 years. Don’t get me wrong we have a strong committee around us, but it still always falls back to the chairman.

Sometimes I also thought that as I was a woman, it was a women’s job to do certain tasks. Like serve in the tea hut! Make the players food, is this really what a chairman does. I have even been known to drive a minibus full of football players to a game.

It’s hard just trying to compete at this level with hardly any supporters. Match days become very hard, making sure the kit is washed ready for the next game, cleaning the changing rooms and even fetching footballs when they go out of the ground.

This is done in free time. This is before you start on making sure you have enough money to pay the officials. If you lucky enough to have a good sponsor, then it’s a bit easier but if you don’t then it’s even harder.

Our clubhouse is open 7 days a week, we are fortunate that we have a large function room but that creates overheads with bar staff wages, heating, lighting etc., Sometimes you don’t even take enough to cover the basic overheads each week. With all of this in your mind, plus doing a full-time job like a lot of us it takes it’s toll on you and you soon become tired and restless.

This is what happened to me and in September I had a breakdown, not just caused by the football club, but it did not help.

I am still not at work full-time some 5 months later, but I am working up to it. Because of this and health is important to us all, I have decided to step down as Chairman for Abingdon United Football Club.

I will still be around as I am not resigning from the committee, plus I will still be watching football. It’s my passion albeit I have fallen out of love with it since this happened but hopefully that will come back.

I would like to thank all the clubs and their staff that I have been to over the years, all the hospitality and respect that has been shown to me. I will be back but not as a chairman."

Deborah Blackmore – AUFC & SC


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