Farnham Town chairman Paul Tanner has spoken of his delight that former Bedfont Sports manager Paul Johnson has taken up the reins as new manager.

Johnson has taken over less than a fortnight after Sean Birchnall quit the Combined Counties Premier South club.

He will be in the dugout for the first time today (Saturday) when Farnham travel to play Knaphill.

Tanner said: “We were grateful that someone of Paul’s stature would be interested in chatting to us, and seeing his excitement straight away, everything fitted nicely,” he said.

After a bitter social media spat between the club and Birchnall, Tanner admitted mistakes had been made– on both sides.

“I’ve been taken aback by a lot of what has been said,” he said.

“I felt things weren’t done the right way on the media side on both sides. Things were said on both sides that I didn’t agree with.

“Keyboard warriors have had their say but I’d rather they just called me up and we had a chat for half an hour so I could tell them what we are planning to do here.

“Everyone has their opinions but Farnham are in a good place. But when you have Rita Ora on your arm and others are walking around with Janet Street Porter, a lot of people are going to get jealous.

“It’s about opinions and I know where I would rather be – Rita Ora comes top of my list.”

Farnham are in mid-table after some stutters while Birchnall was putting together a his new squad. Tanner knows promotion may not be  possible this season now but isn’t ruling anything out.

He said: “At our level of football, we never seem to have time – decisions have to be made quickly. This one has been made over just a week or so but after talking to Paul, you get the right feeling about it.

“He has a lot of experience, a lot of professional backing and the right mentality about the package we have to offer. Everything felt different – I’m feeling better than I have over the past couple of weeks. I’m back on the right track – it has all been quite tiring.

“It’s a changing period for us because of what has happened.

“To have someone of the stature of Paul and his backroom staff  coming in is great for the club. We wanted someone who understood and knew where and what our direction will be eventually – but nobody is looking to set demands.

“We want to do the best we can this season and for results and performances to be turned around. No doubt at our level there will be players who will already be thinking of leaving, and we hope we will be able to bring in a small crop early on, and build results and performances towards the last ten games, maybe before. And we’ll see where the season ends.

“The new people know what we want to achieve and they are fully behind that and very confident. Their credentials shout out that they are able to do this .

“Johnno has had eight years at Bedfont Sports where they have built a team who have won promotion from Step 6, Step 5 and play-offs in Step 4.

“The timing, with Johnno standing down, meant anyone  with half a brain would want to make contact once the opening was there, and things moved rapidly over a few days.”