The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 14th June 2012
....Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South club.
John Rowley gave Ward the bullet shortly after taking over as Kidsgrove chairman last month, and then appointed Stone Dominoes' boss Shaun Hollinshead as his replacement. But the club's four shareholders will meet tonight when the saga could be turned on its head.
Groundsman Ian Cooper, businessman Paul Holdcroft and Sentinel Charity Football Competitions chairman Alan Vickers are standing for appointment as directors.
If their election is rubber-stamped, as expected, an immediate board meeting could see Hollinshead given his notice and Ward asked to come back.
However, Hollinshead said: "It is a strange situation, but I don't think it's anything that can't be overcome.
"I'm not interested in the politics, and until I'm told otherwise I will just carry on doing the job.
"I've already started talking to players and getting my team ready for the new season. It is a challenge I can't wait to get my teeth into."
Shareholder and former Kidsgrove chairman Terry Hillman has led the revolt.
The 58-year-old grounds-work firm owner from Burslem said: "John did not consult with shareholders when he made these decisions. He cannot run this club on his own.
"We spent a lot of money to get Kidsgrove into this league and we want to bring people in who will get more money into the club so we can progress further, not fall backwards."
Former Kidsgrove striker Vickers, aged 64, hopes the Seddon Stadium soap opera can be resolved as quickly as possible.
He said: "It is fair to say that John jumped the gun by getting rid of Peter as manager. It is not a foregone conclusion, but it is possible he could make a return.
"I have known Shaun for many years and he is a good manager himself. It is an unfortunate situation."
Kidsgrove have four shareholders following the death of another former chairman, John Bailey, in 2005.
Hillman, Sue Allans, Stan Brown and Ernie Langford all hold an equal stake in the club.
Rowley replaced Mick Fitzjohn as chairman last month. It is understood both will be asked to remain as directors.
Fitzjohn will return from Cyprus in time for the meeting, and his stance is likely to sway any decisions.
Rowley, aged 72, said: "This is all making the club look ridiculous. There should be no problem whatsoever, but I know there's been a lot of stuff said on internet forums.
"The shareholders have a certain power and I understand that three of them will vote the same way. After that I am in the dark.
"Shaun knows what could happen. I couldn't appoint him without letting him know and I will continue to back him. He was over the moon to get the job and I think he deserves a chance at this level.
"At the moment we are just carrying on as normal. It's all we can do. People seem to think the club runs itself by magic during the summer, but it doesn't.
"I don't know where I stand myself. The one certain thing is that if it all goes pear-shaped again I won't be back in a hurry to clear things up."
Hollinshead, a former Kidsgrove player, has arrived at the club with two assistants, his former Stone colleague Phil Bath and ex-Norton boss Dave Johnson.
Bath said: "If it happens, it happens, that's football - but our fingers are crossed that it won't."
Ward led the club to the Fourth Qualifying round of the FA Cup last season, the furthest they have ever gone in the competition.
An injury crisis meant the team finished thirteenth in the league, but `Grove also picked up their fourth Staffordshire Senior Cup title in the six years under his watch.
Ward says he has kept his distance from any club politics since being dismissed.
He added: "At the moment I am just a sacked manager. I obviously didn't want to leave, and going back would be something I'd consider."