Search begins for City

New owners begin search for football man to take on chairmanship

NEW St Albans City owners Lawrence Levy and John McGowan are on the hunt for someone from the “footballing world” to come into the club and take over the chairmanship.

The local businessmen completed a deal to take over at Clarence Park from former chairman John Gibson last week and the duo admit they need someone with an intricate knowledge of non-league football to come in and help them in their bid to restore the club to its former glory.

The chairman will be responsible for everything on the playing side at the club including deciding on the manager’s position.

“We’ve put money in and we’re going to put structure in but we’re going to delegate tasks to the people who are good at those tasks,” Mr Levy, pictured below, told the Herts Advertiser.

“What we need to do is to try to recruit a chairman who has got the footballing knowledge to be able to do it. We’re not going to be getting involved in the footballing side, that’s not our job.”

One area Mr Levy and Mr McGowan are keen to improve is the club’s links to the City’s plethora of youth clubs in a bid to give budding local footballers the opportunity to progress all the way through the youth game and into adult football. The club used to have strong ties with St Albans City Youth and players such as Craig Mackail-Smith and Chris Seeby progressed all the way through to represent the senior club but under the previous regime those links were eroded and the new owners want to set about restoring those ties.

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“The youth are totally disengaged,” said Mr Levy.

“There’s no feeder to come into the club except from Oaklands, the so called St Albans Academy which is run by John Gibson. You had a new reserve team that didn’t have any kind of local youngsters coming through except from the academy. There is no throughput, there is no way through.

“We’ve both got boys that live and go to school in this town and they all play for either Harvesters or St Albans City Youth and we thought here’s an opportunity.”

Despite the new regime still being in its infancy Mr Levy has already met with Saints City Trust chairman Ian Rogers to discuss how the two parties can work together and Mr Rogers hopes the change of ownership can help the club move forward.

“As a supporter I want to draw a line under everything that has gone on in the past and move on,” Mr Rogers told the Herts Advertiser.

“I want to get back the enjoyment of watching a game at Clarence Park. It was a positive meeting and he (Mr Levy) had a lot of positive ideas, a lot that I share with him.”

Mr Rogers added: “I explained what we can do for the club and that’s mainly getting people to help out. We’ve talked about matchday organisation and Lawrence is keen to get us on board.”

The trust hopes to hold a fans forum with the new owners where supporters will be able to have answered any questions they may have. No date has been set for this with the new owners keen on having the chairman in place to deal with questions regarding on the field issues.