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Dover ‘will not park the ferry’ against Crystal Palace in FA Cup tie

Dover’s FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace is the high point so far in a renaissance that they hope will take them into the Football League
FA Cup third round: 10 things to watch out for

Ten years ago almost to the day, Dover Athletic were wobbling at the edge of a financial cliff. So an urgent phone call was made to Jim Parmenter, who had been a director of the club in the 1990s before departing and becoming chairman of Margate Town, after which he left football to concentrate on his successful food importing business. Now Dover were pleading with him to come to their rescue.

“They owed £48,000 to the taxman because they hadn’t been paying VAT on their burgers,” explains Parmenter, who agreed to save the club even before finding out that their total debts were around £400,000. “This is my hometown club and at the time there were not a lot of good things happening in the area so it was important to keep the club,” says Parmenter, who in the last decade has ploughed in £2.5m to help hoist the club up three divisions to the top tier of non-league football, last season’s promotion returning Dover to the Conference Premier after a 12-year absence.

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