You only have to look at some of the names playing for Isthmian Premier Division side Billericay Town FC to see that there is a crazy revolution taking place at the meagre Essex club. Paul Konchesky? Jamie O’Hara? What on earth is going on?
The Blues have plied their trade in the 7th tier of English football for much of the last 20 years, and on their brief foray in the 6th tier, were relegated at the first attempt. Despite this, the Essex outfit have recently been taken over by a millionaire owner, who has ambitious aims to take the club to the Football League within five seasons.
The new-found fortunes have allowed Town to sign non-league Galacticos like Konchesky and O’Hara, be linked with other stars such as Carlton Cole, and be rumoured to have former TOWIE star Mark Wright coming in as a club director and 20% owner.
Jamie O’Hara going for a kid today after his team Billericay Town lost 3-2…pic.twitter.com/OMewFtCpXo
— Pie Sports Booze ? (@piesportsbooze) April 15, 2017
Just last weekend, the Blues made the news when Jamie O’Hara was filmed appearing to confront a fan following their 3-2 loss away to Leatherhead. Thankfully teammates pulled him away before the situation became too serious, but it does somewhat sum up the last six weeks for the Essex club.
Even more bizarre perhaps are the motivational methods used by the owner, and now self-appointed manager, Glenn Tamplin, to motivate Billericay for their Ryman League Cup Final against Tonbridge Angels.
In a clip that has gone viral, Tamplin can be seen urging his star-studded squad to close their eyes and sing World’s Greatest by R. Kelly in unison. Whilst some players, including Konchesky and O’Hara, found the situation rather embarrassing, others sang along enthusiastically.
Staggeringly, the almost Mike Bassett-esque team talk must have worked wonders on the Essex squad as they would go on to lift the cup, thumping Tonbridge 8-3!
Results under Tamplin overall have been underwhelming since Craig Edwards’ resignation over broken promises at the start of March. Recent defeats to Enfield Town, Leatherhead and Dulwich Hamlet have left Billericay on the brink of not even making the playoffs, meaning that they will be confined to another season in the Ryman League.
Jamie O’Hara did give the Blues something to cheer about during their 4-2 defeat to Enfield, however, scoring a sensational overhead-kick to send the 1000-odd home fans into raptures.
Several non-league clubs have tried to buy their way into the Football League in recent years, with varying degrees of success.
Fleetwood Town are the ultimate success story when it comes to trying to buy their way into the Football League. Owner Andy Pilley came into the club in 2004 and has invested over £10million to take the Lancashire side from the depths of non-league up to the brink of promotion to the Championship for the first time in their history.
Despite that, there are also several cases where, for whatever reason, the money dries up and clubs are left in financial peril. Most famously, Rushden and Diamonds charged to the Football League before the owner lost interest and the club dissolved, whilst Eastleigh, Ebbsfleet and Forest Green are all struggling to make progress despite their relatively big pockets.
No matter how poor yesterday was
No matter I got punched in back head by a home fan
I WILL SUCEED WITH BTFC
We will succeed 100% as one ??
— Glenn Tamplin (@glenntamplin) April 16, 2017
Which path Glenn Tamplin and Billericay Town will take remains to be seen, but what we do know is that whatever happens, it is sure to be entertaining for the growing Essex crowds.
How successful do you think Billericay Town will be in the next few years? Let us know in the comments below!