BRIAN Holmes is back in the hotseat at Hucknall Town after admitting: “I can’t let the club fall to pieces.”
Former millionaire businessman Holmes (68) was elected to replace Steve Greaves at an extraordinary general meeting of the club held.
The meeting also ratified the ousting of Greaves in a controversial vote of no-confidence by members and potential shareholders only three months after his takeover of Town.
“I didn’t particularly want to do the job because there is so much work involved,” said Holmes this week. “But there was no-one else.
“I will see it through to the end of the season, get things straightened out a bit and see where we go from there.”
Town have been in turmoil since the breakdown in relationship between Greaves and chief executive Liz Morley over the way in which the club’s finances were managed. He threatened to quit before coming back with a vision for the future, which the club rejected.
Now Holmes is hoping to steer Town through calmer waters — almost three years after he gave up the chairman’s post, which he had held since taking over the club himself in the summer of 2001.
“I am not anticipating any issues,” he said. “I have always got on well with Steve Greaves, and I will probably go to see him and have a chat. I will make my peace with him.
“I have already had a meeting with manager Des Lyttle, who is a decent bloke. He’s articulate and has his head screwed on.
“Des seems content, and I have told him I am here to help.
“But the main reason I have taken the job on again is because Liz Morley has everything at her fingertips. She knows the finances backwards.”
Holmes was at the helm during Town’s glory years when they won the Unibond League title in 2004 and then reached the FA Trophy final at Villa Park in 2005.
He estimates that he pumped more than £500,000 into the club until stepping down after retiring from work and enduring financial and health problems.
However he admitted this week that he deeply regretted his decision to resign at the end of the 2008/09 season when he was replaced by Dave Gamble.
Publicly, Holmes is reluctant to criticise the Gamble regime. But privately, he winces at the “right mess” the club sank into, which culminated in relegation on the field and huge debts off the field.
“When I was a director at Derby County, I was given a manual by the then chairman, Sam Longson, on how to conduct your business at a football club,” Holmes remembered.
“Sam had loads of trouble with Cloughie but I bet he couldn’t have imagined some of the trials and tribulations we’ve had here at Hucknall over the years!
“But I am still enjoying the involvement and I can’t let it fall to pieces.
“Life is tough at the moment. Money is no longer the vital ingredient in local football that it once was.
“But our finances are not bad at the moment. We will find our way and proceed with plans to turn the club into a limited company.
“Then in the summer, we will sit down with Des and decide on the future. A lot will depend on improving our commercial activity.”
Sunday’s meeting also elected Town’s much-respected football secretary, Tony Knowles as the club’s new vice-chairman. Other committee members include Morley, Geoff Gospel, Dawn Scotney, Anthony Coleman, Nigel Bramley and Andy Graves, while Holmes reserved special praise for the work of volunteers Dave Stevens and Bob Scotney.