The Board of Directors are delighted to announce that current Chairman, Brian McCarthy, is to step-up to the vacant position of Club President with immediate effect following the premature end to this season.
Having celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this month, Brian felt it was time to move out of the limelight of being Chairman and instead focus on adding his considerable expertise and experience from behind the scenes, continuing as a Board member, as he has been for the best part of the last two decades.
Brian first joined the board at Chesham United in April 2000, although he had a couple of years away between April 2002 and May 2004, he returned in time to play a vital role in saving the club from the brink of bankruptcy in the 2005/06 when it was he that actually uncovered to the board of the time the sheer extent of the club’s financial crisis that had come to light from a serious outstanding tax bill that had the club within seven days of being forced to close.
Stepping in as Chairman at that point, he, along with others, helped to facilitate the call out to local businesses, the life-saving meeting at the Town Hall and the implementation of a rescue package that secured the future of the club. Indeed, in April 2006 he made the ultimate sacrifice for the club in the final stages of Charles Manchester taking ownership.
At the time there were multiple shareholders in the club with voting rights, and the club needed all of them to agree to give up their voting shares to enable the new ownership to go through and for the club to move forward. For reasons best known to themselves, three shareholders would only agree to this if the Chairman, Brian, resigned from the club and the board. For someone so passionate for the club, and so in love with the game, it was an incredible decision he made to enable the deal to successfully go through and save the club from extinction.
In December 2007 he returned to the Board at the wish of the new owner and Chairman, Charles Manchester, where he successfully fulfilled the role of Commercial Director helping to bring in hundreds of thousands of pounds of sponsorship money to the club, priding himself on always having a match sponsor for games and securing record numbers of members of the club’s successful Corporate Patron Scheme.
When the club became supporters-run in in 2010, Brian remained on the board adding invaluable experience to the new look club made-up primarily of Supporters’ Trust representatives. That experience was never more needed than in October 2011 when the club found themselves in the unprecedented position of having a match against Redditch postponed late in the game after the referee had been punched by an opposition player with Chesham leading 1-0 and having just been awarded a penalty.
As a proud Director of the Southern League also, Brian found himself in the unenviable position of appealing against the decision of the league he represented after the Southern League declared that the game must be replayed. Any questions over where his loyalties might lay were laid to rest when he, along with the Chairman of the time, Alan Calder, won their appeal against the league in front of an FA Committee at Wembley. Brian’s knowledge of the FA, the league and how the rules operate were critical in winning that appeal.
By the time of the 2012/13 season finances were again putting a strain on the club, now supporter-owned and without the financial security of a benefactor. Brian continued to work hard with the Trust to successfully generate income, but it was never going to be enough to maintain the status the club was competing at on the pitch. Fortunately, Brian had maintained many contacts throughout the game of football and knew many people and was able to call upon his good friend, and significant sponsor at the time, Roger Payne, when the club reached another crunch point in its history.
In February 2013, having played a key role in giving the club financial stability by bringing Roger Payne into the boardroom, Brian once again took over the role as Chairman where he has been ever since, over-seeing two memorable FA Cup seasons that saw the club proudly take to the field at football league clubs Bristol Rovers, Bradford City and Peterborough United; and the incredible play-off season of 2013/14 when the team amassed enough points to have won the league just about any other year, yet ultimately missed out on promotion following a heart-breaking play-off defeat in front of over 3,000 spectators against St Albans City.
Brian continues to be an important cog in the wheel that keeps Chesham United turning, often behind the scenes and out of the eye of the general public, he has made decisions, generated income and instigated actions that have enabled this great club of ours to continue, and often thrive, through some tempestuous times over the past two decades. And he will continue to do so as a Director, shareholder and now President of the club.
A new Chairperson will be announced in the coming weeks, in the meantime we are sure that all our fellow stakeholders, supporters and sponsors, would like to join us in thanking Brian for what he has done for the club, and the town of Chesham, as Chairman and wish him all the very best in his new role.
The Board of Directors, Chesham United