Folkestone Invicta Football Club is under new leadership after a consortium of committed local businesses came together to take on the day-to-day operations of the Isthmian Premier League team.
The deal will see Addington Leisure join forces with Folkestone Invicta’s new headline sponsor Alcaline, the Anglo-Italian haulage, shipping and warehousing group based at Lympne. The aim is to secure the long-term financial future of Folkestone Invicta at its Cheriton Road ground for the benefit of the local community.
Josh Healey, owner of Addington Leisure will work closely with former Chairman Jim Pellatt who has helped shape the club, as he takes on the new role of Chairman.
Commenting on the deal, Josh Healey said: “We’re confident fans will see positive changes on and off the field. We’re fully behind joint-head coaches Michael Everitt and Roland Edge and their efforts to strengthen the squad – work which is already under way with some exciting new signings.
“We have a 5 to 10-year plan for the club and will build an even more engaged and passionate community around it. A key part of that will be making it a place to not only watch great local football, but also to enjoy memorable family events in the new Dug Out sports bar.
“We want to work in partnership with the fans, council, sponsors, residents and the whole football family of Folkestone, and we are committed to putting the club at the heart of the local community.”
In the coming seasons, the consortium’s plan is to transform the club and introduce new training facilities, including a 3G pitch.
Lorenzo Zaccheo, Managing Director of Alcaline, said: “As an Italian, football is my blood, and when Josh approached us to get on board and join the Invicta team as commercial partner, we jumped at it.
“There’s already a strong desire to win within the club. Josh has now brought in a team of food, beverage and event people, led by Charlie Wilson as Director of Operations, and will create a place that appeals to the current fans, and the wider Folkestone community.
“We’d like to thank MP Damian Collins and Stephen James for introducing us to the club.”
The Dug Out [formerly Bar Invicta] will be a place for all members of the community to relax and socialise. Managed by the team of Will Sheldon and Hugh Thompson, who have successfully transformed The Marquis of Granby at Alkham, Kings Arms in Elham, and The Tiger Inn at Stowting and will now serve the needs of home and away fans, and visitors.
Neil Cugley, having managed the club between 1997 and 2022 and becoming the longest serving English football club manager, is taking on the role of Director of Football. He will work alongside Paul Stanton as Academy Director.