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  • Southport FC chairman steps down after ‘vitriolic’ protests

    Ollie Cowan

    hours after sensationally quitting as Southport FC chairman, Charlie Clapham took a parting shot at supporters of the ailing club

    Following Port’s relegation from the Conference North league, fans mounted a campaign calling on the club’s board of directors to step down.

    The main target of their discontent was Mr Clapham and at a board meeting last Thursday (April 20) it was decided that both the Chairman and Vice Chairman Sam Shrouder, would step down with immediate effect – citing personal reasons for the decision.

    However in a direct statement to fans, Mr Clapham made it clear that the ‘vitriolic’ campaign to see him leave the Merseyrail Community Stadium had made it impossible for him to stay.

    Commercial Director Haydn Preece and director Dave Barron will also step down at the end of June.

    In the interim, board member Nigel Allen, a long time Yellows fan, will take control of the club until July when a full meeting between the board and the supporters club will take place.

    In a statement published on the club’s website, Charlie Clapham said: “While both Sam and I have personal reasons for resigning our positions, the recent attacks that have appeared on social media and in the press following the open meeting of the Trust in Yellow supporters club has meant our position is untenable.

    “We take our decisions with heavy hearts but in the best interests of Southport Football Club in both the short and hopefully long term.

    “Haydn Preece shares the same views in regards to the vitriol and ridicule that has been aimed at the club and himself personally. David Barron has been shocked by a section of the supporters by the behaviour towards myself and the Board.

    “Nigel Allen and Liam Watson are considering their positions while Nigel has agreed to act as Interim Chairman until June 30.

    “At that time the Board will seek a meeting with the Trust in Yellow board to establish their views for the future.

    “The call for change has come from them.

    “The board will urgently seek to establish any level of interest in bringing in investors who may wish to take a controlling interest in the ownership of the club.

    “I would like to place on record my thanks to Sam, Haydn and David and my family for their support towards me over the many years they have worked with me.

    “I would also like to thank Ken Hilton along with all volunteers and supporters who over the last 35 years have treated me with respect – ‘thank you.’

    “The Board will work diligently over the coming weeks to find an outcome that will ensure the security and sustainability of your football club.”

    Meanwhile Mr Preece, said: “It has been a horrible season and the last few days have been the worse ever.

    “There has been a small group of people who have said and done too much and it was wrong for them to treat the Chairman the way they did. We need to look at ourselves and support the club. We are all custodians. We now need to go back a step while the silent majority take a step forward and express their views.”

    Mr. Allen said he hoped supporters would show their appreciation of the retiring board members at next Saturday’s game.

    He confirmed that the club are likely to go part-time for the coming season.

    “We have got targets and we’ve got players. We must look forward not back, collaboratively,’ he added.

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