Andy Leese

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Andy Leese

Postby adrian » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:30 am

I just wanted to place on record My thanks for everything Andy did for the club. He did a very good job over the last 11 seasons and I'm sad to see him go. Andy gave me and, I'm sure, all Chesham fans some if the best days we have ever had, especially the cup runs of the last two seasons. He will surely go down as one of Cheshams best ever managers.
The decision seems a strange one as there is little point at this stage of the season. Surely this should have been discussed at the end of the season. Even if the board felt things weren't going well, a change now will make no difference this season. The board have questions to answer and I feel they should also consider their positions at the end of the season. I think the club needs new owners and a new board with fresh ideas to take the club forward. This board have now stagnated and seem to be taking unpopular decisions and this is a very unpopular decision judging by other supporters I have spoken to today. The time for change has come.
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby Peter Brown » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:42 am

A new board was appointed in July last year. So how has it stagnated? You have a completely re vamped clubhouse and Bar, a pitch that has never been is such good condition, virtually debt free and finances being better controlled now than ever in the last few years. But if you can make it better, why don't you offer your services to the club as to what you can do to raise money, sell tickets etc and if you know of a rich benefactor who wants to plough lots of money into the club get him to approach us. I'm sure existing shareholders would discuss this to who ever.
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby ColinW » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:12 pm

Sad to see Andy go. He has done a lot for this club and given us fans some cracking seasons and the club is in a better place than when he arrived. Thank you Andy for all you have done. You have given us memories that will never be forgotten and you will go down in the history of the club. You will always be welcome in the bar. Hope we can all buy you a drink and give you the top send off you deserve.
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby adrian » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:23 pm

Regarding the bar, clubhouse and pitch, yes they have been massively improved but that's more to do with the cup run money than the board. The board arranged for the work to be done with the money raised by Andys team. None of that work would have been done without the cup run so I'm not sure why the board would take credit for that.
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby Charles Manchester » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:15 pm

Having "signed" Andy and Jon in the first place, I do feel very sad that Andy's tenure has come to an end. It's been a long and fruitful tenure, though; there have been bad days and good days - more good than bad. I'll never forget the promotion play-off against Slough Town. Not having been on the board for years, I wasn't at the board meeting last night but I'm sure there were reasons for the parting of ways and I'm sure that different people will have opposing views on the validity of those reasons. Sometimes it's best not to hang out dirty washing.

I'll also never forget the shenanigans that make football what it is. And there's the rub. Money. What should a club do with prize money etc. when there's a good FA Cup run? The reality is that owners, directors, benefactors and sometimes in this case the manager too put hard earned cash into the club. These people are no Abramovitch billionaires - they may have more than a few quid but they don't have almost unlimited wealth. So is it unreasonable if some prize etc. money gets spent on the ground to get something tangible and a large chunk of it allows the owners, directors, benefactors etc. to have a year off putting in those tens of thousands of pounds? Adrian, it's a team thing, football, and not just on the pitch. Very often quite a dysfunctional team (and that's no understatement!) but there would be no days at Bristol Rovers or Weston-Super-Mare (or Stotfold) without an awful lot of money going into the club and without stalwarts helping out where they can, including supporters buying their tickets. It wasn't Andy's team that won the money, or anybody else's team, it was the CUFC team of which Andy was an important part.

I just wanted to put some perspective on this. Andy's reign was always going to come to an end one day. In some ways, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. Let's celebrate the good times, buy him beer whenever we see him, but not forget that none of it could have happened without the financial and infrastructure support that is less readily visible.

Oh, and one final point that I'd like to address to Andy. I'm sure he'll read this and laugh. If you're that good, why didn't you ever take us to the first round proper when it was my money? Just saying ...
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby adrian » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:28 pm

Thanks for your perspective Charles. Of course, i understand that people are putting money into the club as you did and the infrastructure helped Andy and the team with the unforgettable cup runs. Andy was always going to go some day. I just don't understand the timing or reasons behind it. I feel this could have been discussed at the end of the season to allow Andy to leave on his own terms if he felt it was the right thing to do and with his head held high.
I also agree that the money should be spent on the bar, pitch etc as it can then be used to hire out the chess suite etc and bring in extra revenue. That's a much better way of doing things than spending it on player wages etc. I appreciate everything the various chairmen have done over the years and I will forever be thankful to you personally for saving the club when you did. Hoefully, the club can move forward and improve further while pushing for the conference south.
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby RyanW » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:26 pm

I think at the end of the day the decision has been made. Andy has had my backing for the past 11 years and would have continued to have it next year, as a club we've been through thick and thin.

I do think the decision allows both Andy and the club to make a headstart on preparing for next year - Andy is and will be a prize catch for many sides at our level aspiring to get to Step 2 (both in ours and the Ryman league - Andy if your reading this I hope it's the Ryman as i couldnt cheer against you after all you've done for the club)

At the end of the day, all good things come to an end.

So please as a supporter, I urge all of us to get behind Jon and the team tomorrow and for the remaining games. Let's go out on a high, and build for next year.

Because this club can and should be in the Conference South with Hemel, St Albans and Wealdstone where the increases in gate and league prize money can help us build a sustainable Step 2 side.

Just my two pence, if anyone disagrees then that's fine with me. We can always chat about it over a beer tomorrow at the game.
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby adrian » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:35 pm

I agree we need to get behind Jon and the team for the rest of the season. We need to finish a decent season on a high. As for conference south, next year will be even tougher to get there with Hereford coming up as well as teams like Kettering no doubt going for it. We need to appoint an experienced manager as soon as possible to give him the chance to prepare a team for next season so we have a fighting chance of the playoffs, fingers crossed. If we do get to the conference south in the future, it will be tough to survive as it gets stronger every year with bigger and better resourced clubs in there.
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby steviep » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:31 pm

In modern football keeping a manager for more than 3 seasons is the exception to the rule, so I'm grateful to Andy for being there and writing himself in to the history of Chesham United.

There are criticisms that I have had of him over the years, because frankly, no one is perfect and it's easy to make observations when you're a spectator, but it is different for a manager because you have these fan observations and various different chairmen to please with budget constraints which fans don't know about and player management, trying to keep a squad of players happy or just have 11 fit players to put out on the pitch. Make no mistake for any criticism I have made Andy was a great manager for Chesham and I think we should just mention a few highlights of his time here...

He managed to achieve promotion from division 1 early on with an emphatic win over Slough town.

He took us to numerous playoff games when the playing budget would not have put Chesham in to a top 5 position

He managed over Chesham's greatest Cup win of all time, the day at Bristol Rovers was a moment of genuine magic and that feeling of pride that he and the team created that day is something I won't forget.

He then defied the odds this season to take us to the First Round of the FA Cup again at Peterborough and while we may have lost, there was no disgrace whatsover with a 2-1 loss at a league side.

I'm sure most of us all know about these achievements, but it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of Andy's good work and the recognition he deserves for giving us Chesham fans some great memories, so, Andy if you are reading this, thank you sincerely for all your work, passion and dedication.

Now I know Adrian mentions the board and I think we need to be careful about this, because running Chesham United has never been easy, Charles stepped in some time ago when the club were on the brink and were that to happen again, I don't know whether it would be second time lucky.

The thing is, I don't pretend to know how much running a football club costs, but I accept that it could be well beyond the realm of the FA Cup money and I don't doubt they have difficult decisions to make and I'm pretty sure letting Andy go was not an easy decision or one that the board came to lightly. Going forward it really is important the board, fans and the new manager have a healthy, open and productive dialogue with each other, sometimes (regardless of who we might think is to blame for that) it just doesn't happen and as circumstances get tougher in the season to come we all need to be on the same page.
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby Mickeygee » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:13 pm

Excellent post steviep. You are speaking for many.

There are, of course, always going to be some genuine fans who will be pleased to see a change coming but I believe 90% of supporters would thank Andy for all his hard work over several seasons, both seen and unseen. I include myself in that.

I wonder if there may be a 14-day cooling off period in the arrangement ?

If not, the next appointment will be an important one - we can see already that promotion next season is likely to be even more difficult to achieve, given the resources of the clubs coming up and down into our league. It may be a good time to seek a transfer to the Rymans Isthmian League !

To achieve success on and off the field a Chairman fully focussed on the interests of Chesham Utd may prove vital so I hope Brian McC will be able to reduce some of his varied workload to achieve this.

A groundsharing arrangement and the scrapping of the Reserves side will make an immediate financial impact and reduce our reliance on the personal generosity of our Owner.

While we are in a period of change, who knows, next season we may even see the 'blue' of 'claret and blue' being given more prominence in the kit and an admission pricing structure aimed at increasing the attraction of Chesham Utd to local youngsters !! Forward !
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby Alan » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:20 am

All good, valid healthy debate.

Football is like no other business, you don't get involved to make money, and more often than not it costs money to get involved in running a club. It is like no other business...Other than the need for customers, the need to keep those customers happy and make them want to keep coming back. At the end of the day, as loyal and passionate as some of the supporters are, they still need treating with respect, and equally the customers, supporters, need to respect the fact that it is not all beer and skittles being a Director.

Unfortunately the failing of Chesham United at the moment is an overriding lack of understanding and respect between the Board and the supporters, and vice versa. The sooner people can believe in "One Club" and not just see it as a marketing term, then the sooner we can start becoming the club I always thought we all wanted.

Just my opinion.

Andy Leese? I've put my thoughts on my blog site, deliberately keeping my thoughts independent nowadays, feel free to check it out:
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby stanley » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:54 pm

Alan ( I've got a mean left hook) is still available..........sorry can't resist it........5-1
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Re: Andy Leese

Postby CUFC200468 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:12 pm

Like many I was both surprised and disappointed to hear that the club and Andy had "parted company", as it was put in the statement by the Chairman. I would suspect that there is much more to matters than is currently evident, but totally agree with all the valid points made in this thread as to Andy's achievements during his time at the club and how he progressed the level of the team over the seasons. In particular though, was the stability that he gave to the club after the chaos and mis-management in the few seasons prior to his appointment.

It remains to be seen where the events of last week take us, but I hope that plans are already in place going forward in the long term...

I would also touch upon Alan's comment about a lack of understanding and respect between club and supporters. I have long since thought that the club needs to engage a lot more with the supporters and the community in general if it wants gain respect. Running a club in non league football is a very difficult task and much more so than people think, but it could be made easier by building relationships so that both parties are in tandem - in effect "One Club" !

Wishing Andy all the best for the future and I will always be grateful for what he achieved in his 11 seasons at Chesham United.
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