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Worthing owner George Dowell could succeed outgoing chairman Pete Stone when he steps down

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Worthing owner George Dowell has thanked departing chairman Pete Stone for his ‘good work’ at the BetVictor Isthmian League’s Rebels before revealing he could succeed him.

Stone announced he would be standing down this week, 18 months after taking on the post with officials blaming an ‘increasing workload’ for his decision.

Appointed back in March 2018 when majority shareholder Dowell stood down as chairman but continued as a director and owner, he will officially leave next week.

Stone had been involved at Woodside Road, pictured, for a couple of years before his appointment having been brought in by Dowell to help oversee off-field matters with his business expertise.

Dowell hailed Stone ahead of the club’s trip to Hastings United on Saturday in the FA Cup in a statement confirming his imminent departure.

“Pete Stone has decided to step down from the role of Worthing FC chairman and will vacate the post in the next week or so,” said Dowell.

“Over the last few years, the vision, drive and commitment that Pete has brought to Worthing FC has accelerated our growth and our reputation in the region and beyond.

“However, Pete has informed us that with an ever-increasing workload in London, it has become increasingly challenging to focus on both.

“The club will make a further announcement on a replacement in due course, and in the meantime would like to thank Pete for everything he has done and hope to see him at Woodside supporting our teams.”

DEPARTING: Outgoing chairman Pete Stone, left, with manager Adam Hinshelwood at a meeting with fans

Dowell also told the West Sussex Gazette that he’d learnt a lot from Stone and hoped to put the experience to good use.

Dowell said: “He has definitely helped in the areas that he’s been involved with, for sure. He’s an experienced businessman and I’ve learnt a lot from Pete. Hopefully that can now be taken forward.

“I’ve still been involved with the club as much as ever, just not with the title of chairman. I’ve definitely learnt a lot from Pete, he’s been good in the year as chairman.”

Dowell is not sure what their next steps as a club should be but is planning to consider all options, including a possible return to the role himself.

He added: “We’re going to put up a board of people to come up with the next step. We’ll work out responsibilities amongst the board and in due course find a replacement for Pete, we’re not going to rush anything.

“It could be something I do in the short term and then potentially bring in a bigger team around me than I had before of people that I trust.”

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