Chairman Speaks To Lions Media Team

Hello,

Firstly I would like to wish everyone a happy new year!

I felt that it was only right that, as we reach the half way point, to pause and reflect.

When I took over as Chairman in the summer, my long term priority was, and still is, to have a football club that would be less reliant on outside investment and be in charge of its own destiny. To deliver on this promise, I knew that in the short term that there would be a transitional period bringing with it some tough challenges.

Quite early on I realised that behind the scenes the club needed improving, to run the football club more as a business, rather than a hobby. I believe that in any business, starting from the top, that there needs to be accountability and although we all muck in with tasks, everyone knows what their own responsibilities are. To this end, we have introduced a new financial reporting software system, brought on a qualified accountant as the clubs Financial Controller and more recently employed an experienced Commercial Operations Manager, with a proven track record in the leisure sector.

It is always sad to see a manager leave and especially one, that on a personal level, I was fond of. However, Adam Lockwood’s results didn’t match the expectations of the board and we felt that we needed a change to give us the best chance of establishing ourselves in this league. With that in mind it was decided that we would need to go full time at some point, which although we announced our intentions, hasn’t taken full effect until this week.

Going full time isn’t an overnight thing, firstly we have a squad made up of part time players who have no obligation to go full time. Most have full time day jobs to supplement their incomes and I have always maintained that the club needs to respect each individual’s circumstances. I was, however, delighted to see some players switch to full time. With that in mind Paul was keen to bring in some additional full time players to work with during the day, as well as retaining our evening training sessions. August to December is probably the worst time to find available players as there isn’t really anyone about.

You may or may not have seen Steve Parkin’s statement to supporters back in September outlining his plans for the club. Steve and colleagues are very much behind the long term project of taking the club into the Football League and delivering a self sustaining legacy for all supporters to enjoy. When I first met Steve, our vision was very much aligned, and we keep in contact on a regular basis to ensure we are moving forwards. Recognition has to be given to our major shareholders whose generosity has seen the club reach the highest level of Non League football.

Any business plan has to have a beginning and although our season hasn’t got off to the best of starts, we are where we are but we have to keep trying to pressing forwards. I have been saying for the last couple of weeks that our season starts in January, I believe Paul will look to strengthen now that players are made available from the football league.

What is important is that we unite as a club and we get behind Paul and the team. Some wins will see positivity flow through the terraces so I ask the supporters to be patient and keep with us.

James