Pat and Nicky Chambers are back in Berkshire football circles, with several Tweets over the weekend sparking conversation around the sale of Southern League Premier Division South Bracknell Town.
Nicky tweeted: “Tomorrow at Bracknell Town we launch “Bowlicious”. Every home game we will offer a special dish served in a bowl. Tomorrow is Chicken Curry & Rice. We look forward to welcoming all of our fans as well as Gosport Borough.”
It certainly got tongues wagging and Football in Berkshire intrigued as to what the former Hungerford Town and Gloucester City duo were up to.
The first thing Pat told FiB, in no uncertain terms was that they weren’t buying, or part of a consortium looking to buy the club.
He explains: “We left Gloucester City in slightly unusual circumstances, shall we say.
“We’ve been friends with Kayne Steinborn-Busse a little while since he came on my Chair To Chair podcast when I was at Hungerford Town. We’ve been to Bracknell games as guests and we saw both Bracknell’s play-off games last season.
“He reached out to us when he’d heard we’d left Gloucester, we knew they were looking to sell before it came out. I know he wants to pass the club on to the right people, he’s invested heavily in the club and while he wants to recoup some of that, first and foremost he wants the best for the club.”
It’s certainly true at times that a club and its limited volunteers and expertise can very much focus on on-field matters. In recent years Football in Berkshire’s own ‘Match Day Experience’ award at the Berkshire Football Awards has looked to champion that.
Chambers said: “I’ve met Kayne and its acknowledged the club needs some help off the pitch. My wife Nicky and I have setup Off The Pitch Consulting to do exactly that.
“Kayne’s son Louis has done a tremendous job in stepping up, but he also has a full time job. We’ve set up the consultancy and Kayne’s said ‘we will be your first client’.
“We’re working with the family, talks are ongoing with interested parties and they are aware of us and that we’re working with the club, we’re hopeful for Kayne and the family a deal will be concluded soon and if the new owners want to discuss our involvement beyond the season, then who knows.”
On setting up a consultancy – Off The Pitch – the husband and wife team are expanding on their own work at Hungerford which saw attendances increase, the club’s bar service improve and food offering (if you’ve not heard of the Bulpit Beast or Four For A Score you’ve really not been paying attention) became the stuff of non-league legend.
Chambers added: “The few months at Gloucester were brutal to be honest. We love the game but we were planning on taking some time out. Instead we’re straight back in, but where before we’ve done it for the love, now we’re setting ourselves up on a commercial footing.
“We’ll never rule out getting involved with a club again, but right now we are focused on Bracknell’s fans and enhancing the match day experience.”