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19 January 2021
Stockport County
Vanarama National League 

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16 January 2021
Sutton United
Buildbase FA Trophy 4th Round
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     On This Day

In 1997,The Daggers beat Dover Athletic 2-0  Away in the FA Trophy 1st Round

In 2003,The Daggers beat Scarborough 1-0 at Home in the Nationwide Conference 



Club for Sale?

DiggerDagger meets Glenn Tamplin
by Hardy on 16/09/2016

Following on from the earlier conversations with the John and Brian East, and ex chairman Dave Bennett, DiggerDagger was offered the opportunity to meet Glenn Tamplin

DiggerDagger meets Glenn Tamplin

Following on from the earlier conversations with John and Brian East, and ex chairman Dave Bennett, DiggerDagger was offered the opportunity to meet Glenn Tamplin who is the major investor in the group favoured by the current Daggers board.

Glenn has been a difficult guy to nail down, partly due to an extended holiday over the summer and partly because he is not someone that seems to seek the spotlight and we finally got some time to speak ahead of the Dover match.

Attempting to buy a football club though is seriously sticking your head over the parapet and we started by asking why he was doing that.

The conversation

Why are you looking to invest in a football club at all? It's a money pit.

Glenn told us that his current businesses pretty much run themselves and if anything he was in danger of becoming bored.

"I love football. I played as a kid, got kicked out of Leyton Orient at 18 as I wasn't good enough, trialled for Dagenham but I wasn't good enough, I ended up playing for Barking for ten years. I was only ever good enough for semi pro. I've been playing football all my life, I watch any football, my kids playing, whatever is on the TV, anything."

"I've reached a point where my businesses run themselves and to be honest boredom could set in and I need a challenge. I'm dangerous when I'm bored. Given my love of football, it makes sense to look at football as my next challenge."

"I don't need a business to make money, but I'm equally not looking to throw my money away. I'm a firm believer that if you put enough money, time and passion into something you will succeed and I want to give this a go and believe I can make a difference."

And why the Daggers?

"I'm a Dagenham boy, born and bred, I lived here 18 to 20 years, my family are still local, I spend a lot of time around the area."

And that statement by the club that this was your boyhood team?

"No that wasn't true. I knew the club, I trialled here, but I never stood on the terraces. I did play for Barking for pushing ten years but was never good enough to make it at Dagenham."

"Boyhood fan no, I was local but never watched the team week in week out. As a teenager I wanted to play here, but wasn't good enough."

We agreed that this statement by the club had been bad PR actually. This became a theme as we went on.

So how did you get involved in a bid?

"Having decided that I wanted to buy into a football club I looked at Brentwood Town because my boy was playing there, but speaking to the chairman Brian there it was pretty clear it wasn't right and I didn't even put an offer in."

"My friend Mark Wright had played at Bishops Stortford and told me that they were looking for a buyer so I spoke to them. That went a long way down the line and was looking pretty positive. Before anything was signed though I was told that the Daggers were in trouble so I got in contact with one of the directors who of course denied there were any issues, but invited me along to talk to the board anyway, which made it pretty clear what the position was."

"Towards the end with Bishops Stortford it started to become clear that the owner there, Luigi, actually didn't have full control and I paying an awful lot of money for 47% of the business. I was getting the freehold, but not the football club. Once that happened I pulled out and would have done even if Dagenham had not have been an option."

"Once I started looking at the Daggers in detail it quickly became clear that the club had not been run right for a while and needed some TLC. It also became clear that there is an opportunity to take the club where I believe it belongs being a Dagenham boy. John Still and I have agreed that the target should be back in to the Football League in the next two years and into League One two years after that."

"Once it is there we will have the income to stabilise the club and then look to improve the infrastructure of the place, the bars, the catering make this a place that people want to come to and watch football. This has the potential to be a big club I really believe that."

Who is Karl Williams?

DiggerDagger asked if Glenn knew the name Karl Williams? "No."

Max Griggs? "No."

Micky Woodward? "Yes I know Micky Woodward."

Steven Vaughan, Andy Shaw, Jeff King? "No."

Those are all rich men that have taken over football clubs and left them in a mess. We outlined the Karl Williams story, the non-league Abramovich and his destruction of Hornchurch FC.

That is the history that people are looking at you, then looking at your business history and saying what the heck, here we go again. What can you say to reassure them?

"OK I understand. I'll answer this in two ways."

"Peter Jones, liquidated companies, Walt Disney, liquidated companies, Barack Obama, liquidated companies, all very successful men. You live and learn. I have three liquidated companies in my history. I started out with a 50,000 bank loan and a lot of optimism and I got eaten by the big boys. I had to learn to survive and I have. My last liquidated company was a while ago now and I have learnt those hard lessons."

"The biggest loss was when I was working as a subcontractor on work for Rail Link, and the prime contractor had quantity surveyors who ate me for breakfast. Every month they would come up with reasons that they couldn't pay me and extra work I needed to do. By the end of the contract they owed me millions and offered me peanuts and I had to take the company down."

"Secondly, I'm now putting a consortium together with additional big names from the area, for instance Glyn Hopkin and Jeanette Kwakye, and we will guarantee up to 1.3m investment into the club over the next three to five years. For that I will take a 48% share in the business, not a controlling stake, and get one vote on the board. This is my personal guarantee, not anything to do with my other businesses and if they go bust the club is safe. There are no assets to strip here, the club does not own the ground. It's different."

"I have recognised the fear of people about me being a majority shareholder, hence the 48%. I also recognise the need for guarantees and that is why I will personally guarantee 800,000 beyond the initial investment if it is needed. This will be announced shortly. I will have one vote out of ten, and I intend that the members get one vote, in fact I would like to offer two votes to the Members, or one to the Supporters club maybe."

We are aware that Steve Thompson had to play the game in public and couldn't declare we were heading to the wall but what is the truth. If nothing happens when do we hit the wall?

"We'd be bust in the next couple of months without investment. I haven't helped that by getting in three more players and getting two scouts on board as well, and telling John Still to retain and not sell players we have had offers for, but the truth is even without that I think we'd have been gone in the next couple of months unless something happened."

And you are committed for five years at least?

"I want to be involved here for the rest of my life and to hand it on to my boys. All you take to your grave is your name and your integrity. I want my name and my families name to be associated with this club in 100 years. Ask anyone that works for me, they are family and I'm in for the long term."

Will you be involved day to day here?

"I am the biggest pain in John Still's arse he has known, and he loves it. He's said that I am a shining light in a dull boardroom and we are planning to bring forward the scouting, development and youth side of the club. I want to have EJA teams from U11 to U18 and bring through local talent. That is a lot cheaper than an Academy."

"I have ideas and energy and I'm already consumed by this, acting like I own the club already I know, and that has wound some up, but it's how I am. John and I have sat down and put his plan and my 'yellow brick road' together and we know where we want to take this thing. I'd put serious money on us being up in two years maximum."

"I intend for both me and my wife to put two full days a week in here plus match days to make this happen. I have a woman that works for me that I want to put in to look at everything this club does from the bins to the club chairman, to look at how we market the club, how we communicate with fans and the outside world. The club needs a proper shake up."

And will Steve Thompson stay at the club?

"I know Steve has upset a lot of the people in the past, but I also know he works tirelessly for the club and has his own house up as a guarantee of funds. He wants to stay involved and wants to invest what he can. I want people that are committed and passionate. Steve fits the bill."

"My belief is that Steve has been doing too much, trying to run everything. I think maybe he is a great number two but he's been being a number one, and not being guided correctly. I would hope to be the one that guides him in the right direction. There is no doubt at all that Steve is passionate about this club and has a lot of talent and that is something I would look to make use of. Steve's communications skills may leave a little to be desired, but that can be managed."

"I recognise that some things here are broken and I want to fix it and move forward. I'm happy to tell supporters what is happening, to try and win them over, try to take them with me. I'll hold a forum, speak to them face to face, whatever is needed. This is not about the past this is about the future, if people want to be involved going forward then I am happy to go with that."

"I want to tell people what I plan to do, tell people what progress is being made and be accountable for it so people can pull me up if I don't deliver. But people have to be willing to listen."

Are you thick enough skinned to put up with what enough coming?

Glenn admitted that he had no social media at all. "I am a bit of a dinosaur like that." He added "When this all kicked off I looked at one site, Views From The Sieve, the Daggers fans forum. I started reading what people said there and, while I understand the fears, some of the stuff I read on how I was being judged meant I decided that the best thing for me to do was to stop reading it, so I haven't looked at anything since."

He admitted to not even having read anything at DiggerDagger!

We talked about the PR disaster that was Glenn giving 5,000 to Harry Parker at Waltham Abbey, which I had to admit I saw at the time as a straight PR stunt. This was the only time in the chat that Glenn got remotely angry.

"I saw a little boy that couldn't walk and I pulled his dad aside and committed to pay 5,000 towards his operation. He asked who I was and I told him I was there because I was interested in buying the Daggers. The next thing I know it's in the paper. I never put it there. I rang his dad and yelled at him and had him in tears, it was all taken the wrong way."

"I'm holding a charity game here in October to raise money for Harry, and I want to set up a Dagenham & Redbridge charitable trust for local kids that need similar operations or funding. That is the sort of publicity that will help the club and do some good locally too."

The AGP Steel email?

"Yeah disaster."

"I'm starting to learn about football clubs the hard way. Everyone has an opinion and everything can be taken the wrong way. There isn't a lot of trust at the moment and lots of people are pulling against each other. If we can get everyone pulling together this club can go a long way and really grow to be something special again."

I recounted standing on the terraces at Morecambe with Dave Andrews at the play off semi final in 2003, and that this was what used to make being a Dagger special and has gone over the last few years. Glenn agreed that better communication, more openness was the way forward.

On that note, with the teams being read out in the background we parted ways to watch another great win for the boys and the club moving up to second at this early stage of the National League season.

In conclusion

So what do DiggerDagger make of that?

It seems pretty clear that the club needs investment now, it is just a matter of who and how much.

The club is in a great position on the field of play and in a mess off it and we need this sorted out quickly.

Glenn Tamplin certainly comes across as having commitment, enthusiasm and energy, things that have been in short supply on the Daggers board for a while. The club says they have done due diligence and he's good for the money. He's now asking for less than 50% of the club and offering personal guarantees. There are no assets to strip.

If only he had known who Karl Williams was!!!

Now lets have that fans forum.

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