Chairman's New Year Message
Happy New Year to everyone connected to Clyde Football Club! I hope you had a relaxing time over the holiday period and you managed to get some rest and family time.
Well, 2019 was an amazing year for Clyde. We started the year in third place, travelled up to Peterhead and, despite going a goal down, we fought back to secure a well-deserved win that set the tone for the year. Personally, I think that was the moment that many of us truly believed that we could get promoted. It was our first ever league win at Balmoor and we just kept going after that.
To get promoted was a wonderful achievement and everyone played their part. The players were fantastic – they never gave up and secured so many points with late goals. The camaraderie with the supporters grew stronger every week and there was a real buzz of excitement around the Club. The play-off match at home to Annan Athletic was probably the best atmosphere I have experienced in my time at the Club.
Just before the end of the season, we secured Danny Lennon and Allan Moore on new contracts and this showed the faith that the Board has in them as a management duo. I can’t begin to tell you how important they are to the Club. They are the most talented management team I have worked with and they are complimented by a strong backroom staff, that work hard to provide the best for the first team squad.
We have had a mixed first half of the season. We had a poor Betfred Cup campaign, but we have had a great run in the Tunnock’s Cup, beating Queen of the South and Arbroath along the way. In League 1, we have beaten the early title favourites, Falkirk, both home and away and we have had strong victories against Airdrie and Dumbarton, showing that we have nothing to fear in this division. We have been too inconsistent though and heavy defeats away to Stranraer and Montrose showed us that we still have a long way to go.
Staying in League 1 is, obviously, our main aim. A year of consolidation to build on, but we have had an horrendous list of injuries to cope with and this has dented our ambitions of a place in the promotion play-offs. This still remains an ambition and the January transfer window is vitally important for us. We did not strengthen last January, but we are looking to do that this year and we are all working hard to secure some additional quality to bolster the squad. We are also starting to talk to players about extending their stay at Broadwood.
Off the park, it was announced at the AGM that we have a new six-point strategic plan and a new Club organisational structure, which we will start to fill and announce in the coming days and weeks. The Club has many hard-working and talented volunteers and they will be rewarded with a more structured position at the Club, to recognise their potential. We have also had some Board members leave in the past year and we recognise that we are lacking in some areas, so we are actively looking to strengthen the Board with a handful of new appointments this season, as and when the right candidates are identified.
I would also like to take this opportunity to clarify my own position. I was delighted and honoured to take up the post of Chair of Clyde FC last February and I have thoroughly enjoyed my year in the post. It has been a tough year for me, both personally and with my day job, and the demands of this role is not one that can be underestimated. I have been considering my position for a while now and I have decided that I need to step down and allow someone else to take over that has the time and energy to commit everything to it.
I am deeply saddened to be leaving Clyde. It is a wonderful Club that I have genuinely fallen in love with. I have the best of relationships with Danny and I would do anything to support him, as I genuinely believe there is no limit to where he can take us. We have a great base at Broadwood, a fantastic relationship with NLL and a dressing room full of talent, energy and passion, led by a brilliant management team. I will miss the trips on the team bus, I will miss going into the manager’s office after the match (win, lose or draw) and I will miss the good people at the Club. Everyone has welcomed me - despite not growing up as a Clyde fan - but this Club will forever be in my heart and I will still attend matches when I can.
I will step down over the next few months once a few things are in place. The position of Chair is currently split three ways, so we need to find three replacements to ensure the next candidate does not burn out. We need to find; a Finance Director, to give the Board a Financial presence; a Sporting Director, to help Danny and Allan build a squad that is suitable and work within a budget; and a new Chair that can help to run the rest of the Club. That is currently being delegated across the rest of the Board, as well as keeping the links going with the Community Foundation - including the Schools of Football and Clyde FC Powerchair.
We look ahead towards a massive game in January in the Scottish Cup against Bonnyrigg Rose, who are flying in the Lowland League. This will be a tough match for us, but it’s winnable and the rewards are significant. As we look back on a decade gone, 2010 started with me working at RBS with a really good friend, Brendan, and has ended with the two of us preparing to face each other in the Scottish Cup. I wish him well, but not too much luck!
Finally, a massive thank you to everyone that has supported Clyde in the past year. We have sadly lost a few supporters and ex-players who passed away last year, but we have gained some new supporters from our promotion campaign. We rely on our support turning up week in, week out and you have delivered that in great numbers last year. You have also continued to give generously through Club ownership, season tickets, lottery, Bully Wee Fund, Christmas Raffle, dinners and events and generous donations. On behalf of the Board, we thank you greatly for this and we want you to know this is incredibly appreciated. Without you there would be no football club! A big thank you to all of our sponsors and our wonderful volunteers.
I thank you deeply for all your support over the past twelve years and for allowing me to serve your wonderful Club in that time. I’ve been Chairman, Finance Director, Project Manager, Football Agent, sat in SPFL Disciplinaries and league meetings, run the Cumbernauld 10km as Bully, minibus driver, washed the kit (never again!), played for Bully Wee United and scored at Broadwood, an unofficial scout spying on the opposition and an agony aunt and coffee-maker at 5pm most Saturdays. Most of all, I’ve been a supporter. I’ve sat with my head in my hands, I’ve jumped in the air, I’ve cried and laughed, I’ve let my passion overflow in the tunnel and I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it. I’ll miss it enormously, but it is time to move on and let someone else take us to the next level.
I hope 2020 is a great year for you all, one of good health, happiness and success and I will say goodbye to you all when I see you over the next few months.
Thank you and best wishes.