Over the past few months, the club has been going through turmoil as it tried to get to grips with a mounting debt problem and a lack of funding. Competing in the upper tier of football is far more expensive than some forecast and the lack of fresh substantial funding has caused the board of directors severe problems.
As a sponsor, I have been made welcome by most of the directors and I’ve offered to help and, until recently, was rebuffed by some that thought I had a hidden agenda and that’s never been the case. My family has a history with the area and the club and the chance to help was something my wife asked me to do and have done.
My first job is to clear the debts the club has incurred and install a more business-like structure so that we can be sustainable.
I need to look at the way the academy operates and ensure it has a clear pathway for the players to play in the first team. One player in ten years coming through is unacceptable and it needs to change if the club is to be here for another 150 years.
Close to my marketing heart is the need for the club to improve the match day fan experience. Better selection of hot food, a wider variety of beers and cold drinks and the clubhouse needs a revamp. A sports bar where fans can watch a game before the game or have something to eat in a sporting environment. The fans experience is paramount and if we get this right, we can increase the reach of the club and attract more players, fans and volunteers to help run it.
Our local community links need rebuilding but not to the detriment of the clubs philosophy and history. I will be reaching out to the local teams and looking ta ways we can help them with pitch hire etc. There might also be the possibility for us to work together coaching players and coaches for the benefit of both parties.
Former Chairman John Hughes will remain as a Director and Graham Jones will remain as Vice Chairman. Brian Jones remains as a Director and we have invited Jayson Starkey to join the board and represent the academy.
Our search for a permanent head coach will also start with immediate effect and updates will be on the website in due course.