“THIS was a big club once — and it can be a big club again.”
That was the message from new chairman Derek Blow (pictured) as he got his feet under the table at Hucknall Town this week.
Blow might be of pensionable age but his ambition and vision remain firmly intact — as befits a man who made his name in the optical trade.
And he is determined to use his assets to revive The Yellows after they fell on hard times.
“We are trying to sort things out,” said Blow. “There is a lot going on and it will take time.
“But I am looking forward to the job, and I think we can do it. We will get it sorted.
“We need to get the club on a sound financial footing and make sure it is run sensibly.
“Clubs on their way down the non-league pyramid always find it harder than those on the way up. But my message to fans is: have patience, support us and come and see what we’re all about.
“There is no miracle cure but we will do our best to push the club on.
”It’s going to be hard work and I am prepared to work hard. But this will be all about Hucknall Town Football Club, not myself.
“My job is to get some stability and self-respect back in the club — and also to get the fans back because we cannot survive without our supporters.”
Blow arrives at Watnall Road after five years as chairman of one of Town’s Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Division One South rivals, Rainworth.
He has brought with him from Rainworth commercial manager, Steve Peat, and also appointed this week another ex-Rainworth chairman, Brian Reece, as the club’s new safety officer, to replace John Coleman.
“Steve has a wealth of experience at this level and above,” says Blow. “He has lots of contacts and is already bringing companies on board to back us.
“Commercial revenue has been zero in recent times here. I don’t know what’s happened with local businesses but I would like to think they will be able to support their local football club.”
Blow will be making further appointments in the coming weeks as he beefs up Town’s flimsy off-the-field management structure. But he is also keen to hear from any volunteers willing to offer their help. In particular, the club badly need a public relations officer.
“I have met Liz Morley, the club’s chief executive, and we got on very well,” adds Blow.
“She has done a difficult job, with not a lot of help, so I am looking to get other people on board.
“However they must be prepared to come in and do some work. I don’t want directors who just make a cup of tea on matchdays.”
That work ethic is one of the qualities that has endeared Blow to new manager Brett Marshall, who he is sure is the right man to restore The Yellows’ fortunes.
“I am confident Brett is a good manager,” adds Blow. “He has a good record.
“He has been given the budget he asked for. But money is tight and there will be no £150-per-week players here.
“Those days are all finished. We will be bringing in a level playing-field on budget and discipline.”
Among other plans Blow has in the pipleine are to revamp the club shop at Town’s Watnall Road ground and to maximise the revenue potential of the Talk Of The Town social club by increasing the number of functions,
But the club’s proposed move to a new stadium is “on hold for a couple of years”, he says.
“Property and land values have dropped too much,” adds Blow. “Planning permission is still there but the value of our site has dropped and until it goes back up, I can’t see anything happening on that front.”
As a result, he hopes to be able to make improvements to Town’s current ground, admitting “it needs tarting up a bit”.
That comment could well apply to the whole club. So Blow is urging fans to give him their backing.
“If I can get the support of the fans and everyone else at the club, and if they come along the route with me, I will get there.
“I don’t want any of the backbiting, innuendo and lies of the past.
“Things will be very straightforward with me. What you see is what you’ll get. If I say I’m going to do something, I’ll do it.”