Histon FC can today announce the appointment of Dennis Greene as First Team Manager. Dennis lead St Neots Town FC to back to back promotions over the last two seasons and came into the Club last week to take First Team training initially on a short term basis. Dennis will be joined by Tony Scully who was his Assistant Manager at St Neots and as a player made over 250 senior professional appearances.
Discussions are continuing with Brian Page as it is the Board’s strong desire that he continue in his role as Scholars Lead Co-Ordinator, a role in which he excels. On reflection it is the Board’s belief that the Club is best served by enabling staff to excel in their roles rather than ask them to continually increase their workload and responsibilities, particularly when we are not in a position to offer the remuneration that would be reasonably expected. Brian has indicated that he is happy to continue in this role but we are aware that his contract requires attention. We hope that we can come to an agreement quickly now that is acceptable to Brian and that will allow us all to move on and prepare for what promises to be an important and exciting year for the Scholars.
The Club is also pleased to announce the appointment of Angus Meichan to the role of Academy Manager. Angus has been with the Academy for some time as a coach and steps up to fill the role vacated by Howard Willmott. He will be key a member of the development staff as the Club moves forward.
There has been considerable speculation and concern amongst our supporters in the wake of recent events and developments, perceived or otherwise, fuelled by half truths, guesswork and outright inaccuracies. We as a Board recognise that we have made mistakes over the last couple of weeks. Communicating the progress of important and often delicate discussions in a way that is informative but that protects and respects the privacy of those involved is an art in which we are not skilled and for that we apologise to our supporters. We would however like to explain our position now.
When David Livermore resigned as Manager we were united in our desire that Brian Page be installed as his replacement. He has been at the Club for a number of years playing a key role in the development of our young players and an invaluable role as Assistant to David during his two years in the post. There were of course discussions between ourselves and Brian and we believed we had an agreement in principle, albeit subject to contract but neither party anticipated further problems. The appointment was therefore publicly announced.
However, although Brian was aware that the confirmation of his player and staff budgets was dependent upon our securing new sponsorship funds into the Club, discussions with parties interested in bringing financial support into the Club have and are taking longer than we had hoped. This in turn meant that we were unable to make the financial commitments that Brian needed and wanted and therefore he stepped down as First Team Manager. Whilst we as a Board understand the importance of securing players to new contracts, offering new players terms and putting in place a coaching team to support the manager, we will not under any circumstances put this Club in a position whereby we cannot service our contractual financial commitments. We are acutely aware that preparation for the coming season has been less than ideal but we will not risk the existence of this Club by signing players or staff that we cannot pay for. It is true that a number of candidates put themselves forward for the role of First Team Manager and the Club conducted a number of interviews but at no time has there been any attempt to find a replacement for Brian as Scholars Lead Co-Ordinator, nor will there be.
It is important that supporters understand that Histon FC is in no danger of “collapse”. Our outstanding historical debt is under control now, we have use of our ground indefinitely for a peppercorn annual rent and the £26,000 loaned by a supporter in March to help us through to the end of last season is being paid back over a two year period. The budget and cash flow forecasting that has been done by the Board allow us to continue with the squad we have now but new funds must be secured before we make further commitments in terms of playing staff.
We realise that this has been a frustrating and worrying time for you all but the Board was voted into position by the shareholders to safeguard the future of the Club and that is exactly what we are doing, although we recognise that at this time of the year supporters wish to see new signings and the Club energetically pushing forward with preparations for the coming season.
The new coaching structure of the Club, we believe, gives us a platform to move forward and build for the future and does not put us in a position whereby we might be at risk of defaulting on our financial commitments. With Dennis, Brian, Angus and the rest of the coaching staff working together towards a common goal we believe that we now have a strong team in place. It is the Board’s responsibility to source further financial support in order to be able to give the staff and players the backing they deserve and to that end we remain in constant negotiation with interested parties.
We look forward to the new season with renewed confidence and anticipation and hope that the Club now can concentrate now on preparations for the next season and beyond.
Thursday 19th July 2012