To the vast majority of the football community, Billericay Town is the club associated with confident, rich former owner Glenn Tamplin after his spell at the club which had plenty of highs and lows. Tamplin stated a few years ago that in five years he had plans to be a Football League side.
Those five years have passed and they find themselves in the seventh tier of English football, where they started when he took over. But what has changed at Billericay since Tamplin’s departure and what does the future hold for the Blues?
In late 2016, Tamplin purchased Billericay and the money started to become very high for the level of football the club were at during this time. Most famously, Tamplin bought former Premier League players Paul Konchesky, Jamie O’Hara and Jermaine Pennant to the club in what was mostly as a publicity stunt.
In his second season at the club, he guided them to promotion to the National League South and they nearly reached the play-offs the following season, finishing in eighth place, one point off the play-off places.
From there, it started to go in a downward spiral. He made himself manager on two occasions and first time round, Tamplin re-appointed himself as manager just after two days of sacking himself. Tamplin officially confirmed his departure from the club in September 2019 after allegations of drug use.
He was summed up when he opted to paint a mural on the back of one of the stands all about the club, which included him and his wife in bed dreaming about Billericay.
Before Tamplin took control at the club, the stadium was not the greatest and was something you would typically see in non-league football. Now, the artificial pitch is of very good quality and the surroundings of the ground are very modern and something a host of non-league sides would be jealous of. Artificial pitches that have also been installed next to the stadium for the youth teams. Billericay have a very successful women’s side who, after promotion last season, are now plying their trade in the third tier of women’s football, just two divisions off of the Women’s Super League.
Last season, the men’s first team had a very disappointing campaign. Billericay had a magnificent run of form in March, where they went unbeaten for five games, and it looked like they found the key for National League South safety.
However, from April onwards, the Blues only managed to pick up one win in eight games which confirmed relegation to the seventh tier. This underwhelming run also coincided with relegation rivals, Welling United, picking up points against teams they were not expected to beat, something Billericay also needed to do, but couldn’t. Multiple changes to the management team were made during the season but none of them were able to put the squad in the right direction.
Next season, the Blues are likely to be one of the teams fighting near the top of the Isthmian Premier Division table and many teams will treat Billericay differently due to their recent history. Now led by Dan Brown, who was previously leading the under-23 side. A young, exciting team could be on the horizon for the Billericay faithful.
There will be a massive expectation on the club to succeed next season but with shrewd recruitment and the implementation of an attractive style of play, it could be a recipe for success. Is the football club in a better position than when Tamplin took over? Arguably, yes.
A very good standard of facilities is just one thing that changed when Tamplin took over, but now the club needs to have a plan that will bring success in the future. But do you think Tamplin helped the club to get where it is today and how do you think will the club move forward after relegation?