VICTOR Searle claims Farnborough Town CAN survive in the top flight of non-League football — even without a money man on board.
Searle was appointed club executive by the Board of Directors on Monday but, as he exclusively revealed in an interview with the News, he could even take over the ownership of the club in the next few days.
But instead of relying on the finances of a Westley-esque figure at the top, Searle is calling on staff and supporters alike to club together and help self-finance the club through money-making ideas, while promising the fans the chance to get involved behind-the-scenes as much as possible.
Searle owns two successful businesses in Aldershot town centre among other interests and is a man of good pedigree in football. While chairman of Hampton & Richmond Borough, he managed to oversee the development of no fewer than nine talented young players before selling them on to Football League clubs for huge profits, while still maintaining their position in the Ryman premier division.
He then moved to Kingstonian as chief executive but was soon ousted by new owners Rajesh and Anup Khosla.
Now, however, Searle is desperate to re-vitalise his football interests after an 18-month absence, and sees Farnborough as the perfect club in which to platform his big ambitions.
He confirmed: "I've been offered the role of chief executive but I may be taking the ownership over in the next two or three days. At the moment, though, my role is primarily to negotiate on behalf of the club and make the decisions.
I've made one or two decisions in the couple of days I've been here and the first thing we've got to do is get this transfer embargo lifted.
"At the moment, what I want to do is to have a look around and see exactly what I think needs to be done to make this club run at the level that it has to.
"I don't think enough supporters have been involved in this club in the past and I want that to change. I don't want to be an Ayatollah but someone has to make decisions and I can promise you that everyone will be involved as much as they want to be with this club.
"I've been out of football now for 18 months and I've missed it terribly. Farnborough is a big club and it's got to stay big. I would just like to say that I'm going to give it 100 per cent and do the best I possibly can.
"The club, however, has to find it's own finances. I'm sure there are lots we can do that hasn't been done here before to raise money, so I'm looking forward to working with the people of Farnborough to get it right."
Searle's first job was to bring in close friend, Tommy Taylor, to act as assistant manager to Ian McDonald.
Taylor is currently trying to re-build his career after a disastrous 12 months at Darlington which ended in his sacking as manager in October.
Previously, however, Taylor, the former West Ham player, had enjoyed happy times as boss of both Cambridge United and Leyton Orient before departing to join George Reynolds and the new Quakers regime.
Taylor arrives at Cherrywood Road as an unpaid member of staff and saw his first taste of the action from the dug-out in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with Telford.
Searle is now speaking individually to each player in an attempt to keep as many of the squad for next season as possible. One of those players is Jim Rodwell, whose 14-day deadline for payment of back wages expired on Thursday, but player and prospective new owner are thrashing out a deal to satisfy both, while also discussing the possibility of Rodwell extending his deal further.
Searle added: "We've started discussions with Jim already and all we want to do is satisfy Jim and, if at all possible, keep him here. The aim is to keep everyone, but obviously if the finances out-number the sort of money we can raise to keep the club going, we have to look again. You have to realistic.
"Obviously the club can not run on the finances they have been running up in the past. That doesn't mean to say for one minute that we are going to lower our standards because the first thing we have to do is to make sure this club stays in the Conference."