A: Am I happy about what’s happened? No. To be honest I didn’t want anyone to go but certain people had different views and so we move on.
Peter Dennerly is a great man and I really didn’t want him to go. I was amazed when I was told how old he is because I genuinely thought he was in his late sixties. He’ll be missed but he deserves his retirement.
There have been differences on and off the field but I’ve just been over for a week and we had two really constructive board meetings. Simon Haworth was delighted with his budget and in the next few weeks we hope to have more news on his plans for players. The academy is working well too with young lads developing.
Q: Is the club struggling financially?
A: We’re not about to go under but do we lose money every year? For sure. We’ve had some major cash flow problems over the last few months. Our new financial director, Keith Smart, has had more than a few sleepless nights.
But we’re clear about our strengths and weaknesses and what we have to do. Our costs are too high and our revenue streams are too small. Changing that situation is our biggest priority this season.
One thing that would help is having more jobs done by volunteers and at some point over the next few months I’ll be organising a volunteers’ evening.
The board and I are extremely grateful for every volunteer the club has and for what they do. But I’ve got to be honest and say that that the number of volunteers at other clubs is greater than the number we have. That equates to us having higher costs.
If we could get some of the jobs we’re currently paying for done by volunteers, the money saved could be the difference between Simon Haworth taking on a ten goals a season striker and one who could score 30. All these amounts of money stack up.
Q: Are you happy with the progress of the restructure you announced in early December?
A: In terms of Chris Horrocks, no, but we move on. Stalybridge Celtic needs some new directors, so if there any people who wish to join the club at a very senior level I would ask them to get in touch.
But we need people at all levels. Even if you’re not a business person maybe you could lend your time or your skills. The more help we get the more help there is for Simon Haworth.
Q: What did you make of last season?
A: The squad was very young, but even so we were only heavily beaten once and that was at Basford in gale-force winds. Our results against the top seven clubs were very good. I think our young squad will have benefited hugely from the experience.
We were definitely short of an effective centre-forward. If we’d had one we would have finished much higher up the table.
Q: Do you see light at the end of the tunnel?
A: I sincerely believe we’re making progress. Last week I attended two good, long board meetings and the board was united as an organisation.
Wendy Mackie and I spent a really good two hours chatting with Simon Haworth and his words to me at the end were that he was made up with it all. As a board we’re backing the gaffer financially and believe in Simon and Gaz (Gareth Roberts) totally.
Q: Do you have a message for the fans?
When Simon gave Pav’s Patch that explosive interview a few weeks ago a lot of people thought it was aimed at them, or it was aimed at me, but actually it was aimed at everyone in the club.
It’s been a difficult year but Simon, Wendy and I just want everyone at Stalybridge Celtic, from the board to the fans, and everyone in between, to come together.
The board are moving forward together and that’s the critical thing. No organisation, whether it be a political party, a business or a football club, will enjoy success unless it’s united.
It’s absolutely critical that everybody now gets behind Stalybridge Celtic and I’m talking about the whole club — the manager, the board, the players and the fans. We all have to pull together in the same direction.