Aldershot FC was a club established in 1926, set up by garrisoned soldiers in the North Hampshire Town. They would spend much of their existence bouncing between the Non-League and the old Third Division (League One to me and you), right up to financial ruin and liquidation in 1992.
Truthfully many thought Aldershot F.C would have been a long time buried by that point, as the signs of financial ruin had hung over the club for the previous Four years. Were it not for a small reprieve in 1990, the club may well have ceased to exist Two years prior.
Enter Spencer Trethewy, Spencer was a 19-year-old Football mad property developer and with Aldershot being wound up by the high court on July 31st, 1990, where others saw a doomed club, Spencer saw an opportunity.
Trethewy would provide a signed affidavit to Aldershot and to The High Court, valued at £200,000 and although the club’s total debt was close to half a million, it satisfied several debtors and the club would be allowed to continue competing for the 90/91 Season.
Rule number one of How Not to Run a Football Club, make sure your new financial backer is genuine and the money is real. In the absence of the now insidious “Fit and Proper Person Test” used by Football Clubs to avoid bad owners or at very least those that are not capable of acting in the club’s best interests. Spencer’s word was taken at face value, the money, in this case, was real enough and was well spent in the three months it took the other board members to discover that Spencer had borrowed the initial £200,000 via a series of loans and had no way of paying them back or further financing the club.
Trethewy was removed from the board in November of 1990 and whilst the club did not sink into ruin immediately after his departure, it would take a mere 18 months to see Aldershot F.C ruined for good, limping out of existence with a winless streak of 16 games at the back end of the 91/92 season.
Fake IT, Until You Make It
What happened to Spencer Trethewy in the wake of his dismissal? Well, he did what any self-respecting teenage tycoon would do, filed for bankruptcy and started squatting in a £4m Holland Park Home.
He also posed as Whitney Houston’s agent, of which she filed an injunction against to stop him from doing so, and tried to start an Airline that flew directly from London to Barbados, only when he announced the venture, neither the CAA or Barbuda Ministry of Tourism had ever heard of him or his company. The company name Cunard Airways was also contentious, Cunard filed a legal suit against Trethewy for fear his association with the Cunard name would damage their own brand and that of its Luxury Liner, The QE2 and Ritz Hotels.
Unsurprisingly Spencer Trethewy would be convicted of fraud in 1994 and told to serve two years at Her Majesty Pleasure, which was reduced to 11 months on appeal.
Upon release, Spencer would claim to be a new man, literally in some cases. Now assuming his Mothers maiden name, Spencer Trethewy was no more and Spencer Day was born. This Spencer deemed himself a more legitimate businessman but his passion for Football had not subsided over the five turbulent years that followed his removal from Aldershot F.C board.
A New Day
Aldershot Town F.C had been set up by a supporters group and started life way down in the Isthmian South Division Three, as a result of Aldershot F.C extinction, and their success has been well documented since. Winning back-to-back promotions in their first two years, they reached the national conferences in 2000/01 under Terry Brown and were again promoted into the Football League in 2008 where they remained for five full seasons.
Much like Aldershot’s redemption and climb back up the Football ladder, Spencer Day would walk a similar path.
A property deal and stolen watch later and Spencer was once again Financially comfortable, the property deal involved Day taking a £3m bridging loan to buy freehold on a residential property. He later developed that property in a 6 Bedroom house enhancing the value to £12m. He was also the victim of a confidence trick, his Rolex was up for sale and purchased using a £19k bankers draft, which turned out to be fraudulent. Ironically Spencer made near double that on the insurance claim as the watch was valued at £38k.
Fast forward two years and Day turns up in the Non-League Paper as Manager and financier of Chertsey Town FC in the Combined Counties Premier League, 90pts and a second-place finish was enough to see Chertsey promoted to Southern League Division One. His success with Chertsey was enough to attract the attention of Farnborough, though it was quickly established it was more than his managerial skills they were after.
Spencer spoke with The Non-League paper shortly after being appointed as Farnborough Manager,
“It was surreal. You’ve got the job, the next day: You’re not sure you’re going to have the job very long because we might lose the club, so can you lend us some money.”
Day would cough up a six-figure sum, only this time he actually had the cash and it wasn’t borrowed from anyone. He rescued the club, secured their Conference South Status for a further three seasons and a new roof was placed on The Stadium.
Spencer Day now rather reluctantly owns 50% of Farnborough Town as well as being its First Team Manager and despite double relegation due to continued Financial restrictions, Day successfully navigated Farnborough back to The Ryman Premier via The Play-Offs in the 2016/17 Season, where they finished 20th having won 15 of their 46 games and losing 25.
To me that says all you need to know about Spencer Day, he’s an all or nothing guy and it would seem he manages his Football Teams much like his own life.
Go Big or Go Home!
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