Southport chairman steps down as he brands fan protests as vitriolic
OUTGOING Southport chairman Charlie Clapham has taken a parting shot at fans who have campaigned to remove him from the club.
Mr Clapham MBE has run Southport FC for decades and had, through his company Palace Chemichals, kept the club ‘in the black’ – but results on the pitch, a string of sacked managers and a relegation to the National League North left many fans saying enough was enough.
At a board meeting on Thursday April 20 it was decided that both Chairman Charlie Clapham 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 fo 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.”