A major milestone at Maidstone – Q&A with co-owner Oliver Ash

11th May 2022

Fresh from Maidstone United’s table-topping season, we chatted with the club’s co-owner Oliver Ash to discuss what’s set to be a year of celebration.

Following an astonishing season which ended in promotion to the National League, the club and fans celebrated after their final match (which they won, of course) last weekend. But that’s not the only reason they have to crack open the champagne this year, as they approach the 10 year anniversary of their purpose built Gallagher Stadium.

Hi Oliver, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! First things first, congratulations are in order – The Stones are champions again and you’re celebrating 10 years of your 3G stadium pitch!

Yes, it was a major landmark for the club, returning home after some 20 years in the wilderness without its own stadium.


Can you tell us a little bit about your role as co-owner of Maidstone United?

I help to run the club alongside my 50% joint-owner and colleague Terry Casey, who lives near the stadium. This means that he does the lions’ share of the day-to-day workload while I, living in Paris, spend my time on a few specific areas, such as commercial activities, political and strategic issues and matters concerning the stadium and pitch.

Maidstone United Co-Owners Oliver Ash & Terry Casey
Maidstone United National League South Champions

How have the past 10 years been at Maidstone following your trailblazing 3G pitch installation?

The players took to the new 3G pitch quite easily. Our supporters have grown to love the surface because they know postponements will be few and far between. They also know that the 3G gives us a fantastic financial advantage over other clubs and enables us to increase our playing budget, thereby attracting better players. They know it is also good for playing football. As for our community players, they love playing on a top quality 3G surface at the stadium.

A recent article in Kent Online notes that the club has made a profit each and every year since the construction of the Gallagher Stadium, how much of a role has the 3G pitch played in this?

It has been absolutely essential. Without the 3G pitch we would not have built the stadium and all of the success we have had would simply not have been possible.

The switch to 3G was made to ‘eliminate match postponements, create a new revenue stream and establish the stadium as a hub for the club’s youth and community teams’ – do you feel these goals have been achieved?

Absolutely. We cannot imagine operating without the 3G pitch, which enables the club to operate 7 days a week. We are still actively campaigning for 3G to be allowed in the EFL, as it is our aim to get there in due course. We are confident that EFL League 2 will agree to allow 3G pitches in the next few years.

Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with our partners FieldTurf and why you chose their artificial turf system for your stadium pitch?

We met Fieldturf at a SAPCA conference back in 2011. Amongst the various companies we met they were the most professional and they realised we needed a lot of information. Trust was built up early and they guaranteed they would be our sole contact during the construction process should any issues arise.

When it came to undergoing a refurbishment in 2016, you chose to work with FieldTurf again – how did you find working with S&C Slatter for the build?

S&C Slatter were highly professional and knowledgeable. Any issues were quickly dealt with. Reactivity was excellent.

I understand that our dedicated maintenance division support the care of the surface – how is the pitch performing to date?

This current pitch has been excellent. No major issues, no major player injuries, no dissatisfied customers!

Maidstone's 3G pitch constructed by S&C Slatter
Maidstone United players celebrate their promotion

Has the switch to 3G proved to be the right choice for Maidstone?


Would you have done anything differently looking back?

No. See above!

Finally, following your recent promotion, what’s next for Maidstone United?

With the men’s first team we are keen to rise up the English football pyramid to the level at which the club can continue to be stable and sustainable and not require subsidising just to exist. We also want to grow the other amateur community teams and activities so the club can become an ever more valuable asset for local people. We will not put this fabulous community asset at risk by imprudent management.

Thank you so much to Oliver for taking the time to do this interview with us. We are proud to have played a part in the club’s journey and look forward to seeing what lies ahead.

A huge congratulations to Oliver and everyone at Maidstone United for their promotion to the National League and for the 10 year anniversary of their truly trailblazing home ground!

Photos kindly provided by Maidstone United, credit: Steve Terrell

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