MP Caroline Ansell has met with the new owner of Eastbourne Borough FC to discuss the vision for the club ahead of the new season.

Caroline went to the Priory Lane ground to meet with Simon Leslie who has recently taken ownership.

The businessman has huge ambitions to see EBFC rise into the fully professional leagues from its present National League South position.

“Simon has big ambitions for EBFC and I am really impressed with his plans for sporting excellence and his desire to see the Club move up the leagues,” said Caroline.

“For my part, I was pleased to be able to take up final transfer agreements with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport so players were registered in time for the start of the season. And I’ll be there, cheering them on, watching the first match of the season on 5th August against Hampton and Richmond. The Minister for Sport asked me to relay his very best for the first game too.”

Caroline contacted DCMS and spoke to the sports minister Stuart Andrew to ask him to step in to ensure all was resolved in time.

During the visit, the MP was told the club was set to open up a new coffee shop on site and a new club shop with further ground improvements to come. 

“Going forward, Simon brings important new investment for the next chapter in the Club’s life.  There are ambitious plans for the youth section and the women’s game too – very much in focus this month very with our Lionesses in Australia & New Zealand. All great news. 

“The much-loved ground, home to EBFC for the past decades, will see some tlc and a number of new initiatives are coming including fresh donuts at the new Spooner’s coffee shop.  I’ll have to work hard to get past!

As well as the football club, this site hosts a highly regarded nursery, archery and an indoor bowls club. 

“Change can take some careful negotiation and the support of members and residents is hugely important, I know that is very much understood.  There are exciting times to be part of too, ” said Caroline. 

Simon, who co-founded INK – the world’s leading travel media company, said: “I was lucky enough to meet the energetic Caroline Ansell and was blown away with her enthusiasm, excitement, and passion for our project.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Caroline to really put Eastbourne on the map.”