When we took over the management of the team in October 2010 we did so on the understanding that there would be little or no resources available to us to bring in the level of players we would have liked to contend at the top of the table. Nonetheless we were prepared to take up the challenge and assembled a squad of players that we believed were more than capable of holding their own in the VodKat League Premier Division.
In the early days we were closely supported in our efforts by a backroom team of volunteers who helped the club to run smoothly and provided facilities for us to go about our task with optimism for the future. We brought in a whole new squad of players and the spirit of that squad in training, and in matches, was a credit to the players and testimony as to how much they enjoyed playing at Dark Lane, and for the people of Rossendale United.
Unfortunately, just before Christmas, the committee of volunteers supporting us left the club, they said, on the grounds that they were not being supported by the club’s owner who was failing to take responsibility for his business. The football management team met with the club owner Andrew Connolly and we were assured that it was ‘business as usual’ and that he would support the team until the end of the season, after which he would decide what to do for the future of the club.
Since that meeting we have had nothing but problems. Contract players were not paid their wages, the ground was not prepared for matches, dressing rooms had to be cleaned by us, we had to call plumbers to fix burst pipes, electricians to fix floodlights and with next to no match day volunteers the whole infrastructure of the club began to crumble. As a direct consequence of bills not being paid to both the Vodkat league and FA, the Club was then suspended from registering players leaving us in a difficult position to replace injured or suspended players. Also, those players showing any degree of ability were being ‘cherry picked’ by other clubs. We sincerely thank the supporters club for bailing us out by providing a cheque to pay the league so that the registration embargo could be lifted, without this we would have struggled to field a team in time for our next opponents.
The final straw for us came on Tuesday 22nd February when we turned up at Dark Lane for the league game against Runcorn Linnets and the water had been cut off, forcing the postponement of the match. Efforts were made to contact the club owner Andrew Connolly and we were told that he was away on holiday in Spain. We were left with the task of explaining to club officials, referees and to both home and away supporters as to the reasons why we could not play. We have since heard that other utility bills are outstanding meaning resources such as electric and gas could be turned off at any time.
We would like to assure everyone that we have worked tirelessly to bring in and motivate players in the most trying of circumstances, when many others would simply have walked away. We are not a team of quitters and believe passionately that, given the opportunity to do so, we could build a team capable of not only remaining in the Vodkat league Premier Division, but a team capable of challenging for honours in the future.
We can do no more as the circumstances we now find ourselves faced with makes our position at Rossendale United untenable, leaving us with no alternative other than to resign. We would like to thank the supporters of Rossendale United for sticking with us and having faith in our abilities. They have supported us through thick and thin and have spurred us to recent good results. We believe it would have been a successful second half of the season which would have seen us climb the table. We worry for the club we have grown to love over the short time we have been here.
We are all devastated that our time has been cut short and hand on heart can say that we did not know it we was only a period of time until the utilities would be turned off. We just cannot lift players and motivate them to win points when we have been told that the inevitable is about to happen and the club will be shut.
We have spoken to all players individually and will continue to support them by finding alternative clubs.
We sincerely hope the supporters understand our position; we simply can’t give and do any more.
Yours in Sport
Paul Colgan, Garry Brown, Paul Williams
Member since: 11th April 2012
I'm Isabella, I live in Bury and I have an interest in all things local and current.