A message From Ryan.
It is with a heavy heart and deep regret that I have made the decision to resign from the position as Chairman of Colne Football Club.
It is a decision I have questioned numerous times already and one I will regret for longer but ultimately it is my time to relinquish the custodianship of this fantastic football club.
This journey, since 2017 has for me been a family love affair, with both myself and Kirsty focused on driving the club forward, improving the facilities and in general pushing the club to be better, setting standards, aiming higher.
Along the way we have both made some good friends, people who are just genuine individuals.
The mantra, the goal of the process was to create a club that the community could be proud of, not only for its on the field success, but more so for its facilities that would be used by the community as a whole.
Regrettably that has proved a task too far for me, but it hasn’t been for the want of trying.
Several applications have been submitted and thousands of pounds have been spent on a process that has been littered with obstacles and objections from numerous bodies, associations and organisations, some of which in my opinion, had a duty to help push the project forward.
The development was a dream I thought I could make a reality, but in essence it needed community backing and support. Ultimately the benefit was for the community, not solely Colne F.C.‘s first team.
I have made mistakes along this journey, no doubt. If I look back over the last five years, in hindsight there are definitely things I would do differently, appointments I would and wouldn’t make and signings I wish we’d have got over the line, but my biggest regret has to be that I never managed to create ‘one club’.
I felt back in 2017 that to prosper, any non league club needed various things to come together. Modern facilities, a strong fan base, a dedicated push towards self sufficiency and finally a fully integrated junior section with every cog pulling in the same direction.
Ultimately I have not achieved what I wanted and in my opinion I have failed in that sense. What we have done though is create memories that will stay with me for a long time.
The cup runs of 2019/20 are the ultimate stand out, with the victory at Dunston now etched in my memory, and for different reasons, the fans reaction following the defeat at Gateshead. Both still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
Young players to the caliber of Alex Curran, Olly Crankshaw and Jamie Cooke have developed here and now progressed in the game. Non league stalmarks to the quality of Alex Coleman, Hakan Burton, Gary Stopforth and Billy Priestley have all graced Harrison Drive, not to mention the premiership caliber of Ryan Taylor and Chris Kirkland, who both came to our little club due to its growing reputation and ambition.
The individuals we have seen in the Red shirt and in the dugout are a credit to the Board, the management of the day and the supporters.
The journey has been an experience for sure. At times, a dream!
I have met some fantastic and very knowledgeable people who have been good enough to pass on their experience and wisdom. I have met individuals so driven and confident in their own ability they will undoubtedly succeed at the highest level of the game.
I leave the club more humble than I arrived.
The resignation of Steve Cunningham, as a friend, was tough to accept. His passion for the football club encapsulated the fans and created an atmosphere and fan buy-in that has been tough to reproduce.
The club has appointed a fantastic manager in Phil Brown, someone we actually wanted earlier in my tenure. Phil and his management team have assembled a very good, young squad that will only improve given time.
Covid had an unprecedented effect on the football club and I feel that the energy crisis that is upon us now will unfortunately only enhance that.
I fear crowd numbers may fall however, the club has a fantastic support base and a core who will travel the length and breadth of the country to support their football club. Kirsty and I will definitely join them on a few more trips. They are a credit to the club.
A football club can only spend what it generates and ultimately when results are poor the crowds will drop. That affects both the gate revenue and any secondary spend. Supporters crave success but everything comes hand in hand and success breads success.
People don’t understand that running a football club at this level is not just about signing players. You are the cleaner, the barman, the employer, the employee, the volunteer, the steward, the press team and a confidant.
It is most definitely forgotten that for most, the position of chair at this level isn’t their full time job, even though it easily could be.
The club has pushed forward through some very hard testing times both on and off the grass. Result wise, last season being the only time we have struggled at this level of the football pyramid and it is testament to the club and its staff that we have started many a season amongst the favorites for promotion.
I’m also proud of what we have achieved away from the grass. The introduction to goalkeeping sessions were well attended, in fact oversubscribed. The new ladies team headed by Sean Howard is something I will follow with interest and we have a number of players through the U21’s and U18’s who should hopefully progress to first team regulars.
This decision, however tough it has been, has also been made with my family in mind and will allow me to spend more time with them as they grow up.
I have agonized over the decision for many an hour, even more so whilst writing this, but from my side we need a new chair, a new leader who doesn’t bare the burdens of the past.
Like I have said on many occasions, I am a fan and I still want the success like everyone else. It is, and always will be, the first result I check for.
I am the boy who lived the dream but unfortunately it is time for fresh ideas, a new impetus. I know the next custodian will face several challenges but will have a blast.
From myself, Kirsty, Booth, Lily and Freddie
Thank you x