Jermaine Pennant lifts lid on Billericay Town spell

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

Former Liverpool and Arsenal midfielder Jermaine Pennant has discussed his time at Billericay Town under the stewardship of then Chairman and Manager Glenn Tamplin.

Image credit: Essex Live

Pennant, 37, signed for the then Isthmian Premier League side Billericay Town back in July 2017, signing a two-year deal at the club. Pennant only stayed at the Essex based side for four months before leaving the club after a fall out with Tamplin. Speaking on the I Had Trials Once podcast Pennant mentioned that "the owner (Glenn Tamplin) was a bit crazy" and in Pennant's opinion Tamplin "bit off more than he could chew" at Billericay Town.

Despite Billericay paying Pennant "League One level wages", due to his issues with Glenn Tamplin and the way that the club was being run, Pennant mentioned that he "just had to get out of there" and left the club on "very good terms" according to Tamplin, however according to Pennant, that certainly wasn't the case.

During his time at Billericay, Tamplin stated that he had invested £2 million into the club for improvements and a new pitch. Speaking on the I Had Trials Once podcast, Pennant described that when Glenn Tamplin left the club that "he got a couple of his mates to go on pitch with a Range Rover and tear up the pitch".

Tamplin has since gone on to become owner of Isthmian League North division side Romford, purchasing the club in November 2019 and immediately making himself manager. Pennant was less than complimentary in regards to Tamplin's football management skills, comparing Tamplin's management style to something "better suited to Football Manager (the computer game)". Tamplin explained on social media, after leaving Billericay, that the main reason was due criticism on social media regarding his son Archie Tamplin. Please view Tamplin's full statement on his reasoning to leave Billericay Town below.

Glenn Tamplin's time at Billericay was certainly an eventful one. After investing millions into the club, he purchased a number of players who had once plied their trade at a higher level. The likes of Jermaine Pennant, Paul Konchesky and Jamie O'Hara all joined the club, who were at the time playing one league below the Conference South/North leagues. In Tamplin's last season at the club, Billericay Town purchased Matt Rhead from League One side Lincoln City. Unfortunately for Rhead, like Pennant and many other Billericay players, he fell out with Tamplin soon after joining the club. If you would like to listen to Matt Rhead's interview with the Undr The Cosh podcast, where he discusses his spell at Billericay, then please click on the link below and sign up to the Undr The Cosh patreon. The Undr The Cosh podcast is hosted by former Preston North End strike partners Jon Parkin and Chris Brown.

In terms of Pennant's time at Billericay, Pennant mentioned that he actually found it more difficult than his time in the Premier League with Liverpool. Pennant explained that "at times, it was just a bit sh*t", bemoaning the lack of quality at a lower level than he has been used to due to "not knowing what he teammates were going to do".

Pennant, started his career at Notts County before moving to Premier League giants Arsenal at the age of 16. Pennant stated that in hindsight, he "wished he had of stayed at Notts County for another season or two". Unfortunately for Pennant, he was unable to force his way into the first team reckoning at Arsenal. This was despite Pennant scoring a hat trick on his full league debut against Southampton, even though the Nottingham born youngster had been out the night before, with Pennant revealing that he "didn't get back until 6am in the morning" on the day of the match.

Pennant went on to feature for sixteen clubs in his career, playing in England, Spain, India and Singapore. Pennant looked to be on the verge of a call up for the England squad during Steve McClaren's tenure as England manager, however no call up ever materialised. Unfortunately for Pennant, he remains to this day, the only Englishman to start in a Champions League final but never gain a call up for his country.

Pennant mentions that he feels that he could still do a job playing football, despite not playing football competitively since the end of 2017. Since then, Pennant has been doing some work in the media for TalkSport and Sky Sports News. Pennant mentioned to The I Had Trials Once podcast hosts Jordan Hulme and Gareth Seddon, that he is currently presiding in Hale, Manchester and living with his good friend and current Huddersfield Town defender Danny Simpson. Hulme, currently plying his trade in the Conference North for Altrincham stated that he get Pennant a deal at Altrincham "for £250 a week", with Seddon laughing off the remark, stating that Altrincham would not be able to afford him (Pennant).

Within the podcast, Pennant discusses a range of subjects, from the time he started the Champions League final, to when he turned up to Bury wearing his Champions League final medal when he wasn't getting picked for the North West side, in attempt to rile then Bury manager Lee Clark. If you would like to listen to the full podcast then please click on the link below.

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