Kidderminster Harriers have announced details of a change in the Vanarama National League club’s ownership structure amid the securing of its future, on and off the field.
A statement from the club reads: “We can confirm that chairman, Rod Brown, will continue to head up a Board of Directors which will remain intact – with football development director, Colin Gordon, having become the club’s majority shareholder.
“In the first major change of its kind at the club for more than a decade, the Board of Directors are tremendously excited about the future of the club, driven by the specific aim of bringing it closer to its local community.
“Colin and Rod met with the club’s three largest shareholders recently – Neil Savery, Jane Murrant and Barry Norgrove. All three were prepared to transfer their shares for a nominal amount to Colin, so supportive are they to Colin and Rod’s plans for the future.”
Speaking about today’s news, Gordon commented: “Myself and Rod have a very clear vision of what we see as the future for this football club – essentially it needs to once and for all become self-sufficient, and a servant to its local community.
“Over a large period of time, it is clear that our supporters have been asked, time and time again, to give their money and time in support of the club’s ambition to chase the dream on the field – while the club has not been in a position to sustain any such thing.
“We believe that, on and off the field, this club is one that needs to regain its identity and regain the support of its fan base; as a club that communicates transparently, and supports local people and families in every way it can.
“Quite simply we have to become a football club that is no longer dependant on the results on a Saturday afternoon or the receipts through the gate, because this club hasn’t been able to survive purely on those things for many years now.
“The aim for us is to be able to put the club on a level where, through its own revenue streams, it is fully self-funding – and then things like gate receipts and Season Ticket money can be a real bonus.
“I’ll be as clear as I can and say that we are working all hours with all the contacts and knowledge we have to ensure we can get ourselves out of the situation we’re in and remain a National League club – but, as things stood, if we didn’t manage to achieve that aim then the club really had no future.
“Now the club has a future, regardless of what happens – we will be working harder and smarter to be better at everything we do. We need to be able help our supporters in more ways than just putting on a match every other week.
In order to secure the major shareholding of the club, Colin has confirmed that he has made a significant, immediate cash injection in to the club, with a commitment to further deposits between now and the season to ensure the immediate viability of the company.
He added: “I should make clear that I am not here to simply finance the football club so that it can continue to run as it has done in recent years.
“I want this to be a vibrant, hungry football club that can be prosperous from its own means – that in an immediate sense has meant a financial contribution and I am absolutely fine about that.”
Gordon, a former player and a current holder of the UEFA ‘A’ Coaches Licence, had previously worked as founder member and owner of a hugely successful sports agency company.
He went on to reveal that, after dialogue with the Football Association, he has stopped working as an intermediary (agent) in order to follow through with his ambitions at Aggborough, adding: “I did not necessarily see this as a conflict of interest but the FA were quite clear that where I was concerned, it needed to be a choice between my work here at Kidderminster or my career as an agent – I was more than happy to end my involvement as an agent because I fully believe in what I want to do here.”
Chairman Brown added: “I see this as a huge, huge moment for Kidderminster Harriers.
“We are in a position to secure the long-term viability of the club and ensure that, no matter what, there will be football here at Aggborough and a team for the community to get behind.
“Colin, myself and the Board will not be doing that by just throwing money at it – we have very clear ideas on revenue streams we can develop to ensure that the club funds itself and is something the area can be proud of again. The club’s pathway and developmental structure is one of the best in the area and there’s no reason why we can’t generate both revenue and new talent from it.
“Kidderminster Harriers has a legacy of being a stable, professional, community football club and we want to build on that legacy and celebrate the good things that are here. We are proud of what we have been able to do off the pitch since the summer and we’re all very excited for the future.
Gordon’s final words were for the Harriers supporters who have endured a testing time, not only in recent months but, on the whole, over the last decade.
“If anyone doubted what we see as the future for this club then I believe they will have witnessed some of it on Saturday.
“We saw young, hungry players who were well coached and drilled, picking up a win that was fully deserved and playing some good football under tough circumstances.
“In the stands they were supported by a great number of fans who got behind them and proved what we’re capable of here when we all stick together.
“This doesn’t become a bed of roses overnight; we’re in a very serious position. But our ambition is to be a success not only at this level but above as well.
“Let’s be honest about that, let’s tell people what we’re doing and let’s be proud of it.”