Meet the most controversial owner in English football

Luke Bradshaw
·Sports Writer
CHESTERFIELD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Glenn Tamplin Owner of Billericay Town salutes the fans following the FA Cup First Round match between Chesterfield and Billericay Town at Proact Stadium on November 10, 2018 in Chesterfield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Romford FC owner Glenn Tamplin (Credit: Getty Images)

Glenn Tamplin was confirmed as the new owner of Romford FC last Wednesday. Within a day of his arrival, he had sacked the entire coaching staff, made himself the new manager and signed 21 new players.

When 12 players were late to training the following day, he sacked them too. But none of this should be a surprise, when it comes to doing things his own way, Tamplin has previous.

Growing up, Tamplin was in the academies of West Ham and Leyton Orient, but never quite made it as a professional and was released from both before turning 18. He enjoyed a career for a number of non-league clubs afterwards, but also worked away from the football pitch.

BILLERICAY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02:  Manager Glenn Tamplin of Billericay Town and his players thank the home support during The Emirates FA Cup Qualifying First Round match between Billericay Town and Didcot Town on September 2, 2017 in Billericay, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Glenn Tamplin during his time at Billericay Town (Credit: Getty Images)

In 2002 he started his own steel company which has helped make him a multi-millionaire, and in 2016 he bought non-league Billericay Town. The purchase of the club was swiftly followed up with signing a number of ex-Premier League players who had recently retired or who without a club, including Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant.

It caused more headlines than the average non-league side and Billericay consistently went viral on social media, with Tamplin painting huge murals on the walls of the stadium, getting the squad to join him in singing R Kelly songs in the changing room before kick-off on matchdays and leaving a game early because he had a ‘business meeting’.

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During his time at the club he appointed himself manager, sacked himself, asked the players to give up part of their wages during a poor run of form, rehired himself again and eventually put the club up for sale because of the negative attention that he received during his time there.

The club’s costs also spiralled out of control given the relatively huge salaries Tamplin had dished out compared to Billericay’s league rivals. He also faced allegations for drug offences and for bullying a former player.

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The club did enjoy success under his tenure, however. The team won the Isthmian League Cup in 2017 and followed it up with promotion to National League South the following season.

Now, it could be Romford’s turn. They will be the most talked about club in the Isthmian League North Division, win or lose. For every fan that’s concerned about the negative publicity that it can bring, there is also the fact that last weekend’s match against Brentwood yielded their biggest attendance of the season.

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The Essex side are bottom of the league with five points from their first 11 games. After sacking manager Paul Martin, Tamplin told BBC Sport: "Paul's a better manager than me but I've got the connections and the deals were being done as long as I was looking after and managing the players.

"The minute I get to the National League I'll step down [as manager] because then I couldn't do what others do, I know my limits."

Romford lost their first game under Tamplin at the weekend 4-1. Today they signed five players that played for Tamplin at Billericay. Expect more of the same.

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