Mossley chairman quits

MOSSLEY are looking for a new chairman following the surprise resignation of Ray Moreland.

And days after Callum Irving became interim chair, he too quit the board of directors in what was a turbulent week off the field as Stephen Porter takes over until a permanent appointment is made.

Mr Irving will remain involved at Seel Park, however, helping the club with grant and funding streams.

Mossley AFC interim chairman Stephen Porter

He admitted the departure of Uppermill-raised Mr Moreland came “out of the blue”.

But he added no reason was given in his letter of resignation while Mr Moreland did not return The Correspondent’s telephone calls.

Mr Irving leaves with praise from the club which on its social media said “we thank him wholeheartedly for his contribution”.

“I am disappointed to see Ray leave. He was at every game and supported the club financially,” Mr Irving added.

Mr Moreland, who was previously on the board at Halifax Town, served the Seel Park club for six years as a director, vice-chairman and stepped up to become chairman last season to succeed Gary Dean.

Travelling may have been an issue as Mr Moreland, 67, lives in Market Drayton, Shropshire, and he is still working as a senior partner in a Stoke-on-Trent criminal law firm.

Mr Irving described himself as “very much an interim chairman” explaining he does not have the time to devote to the role, which will be discussed at the next board meeting in early October.

Days later and Mr Irving had also stepped down, explaining he had stood down as vice chair one month earlier, though he remained a director.

He said: “When Ray stepped down, I put up my hand and offered to help.

“The decision to step down was for a number of factors, 80 per cent down to work and family, 10 per cent due to frustration with football as a whole and 10 per cent for internal stuff at the club.

“I am behind with a lot of my contract work and it is time to shift the balance back to that and my family.

“There has been no fallout and the board asked me to reconsider my decision.

“I will still be involved at the club, but in a less visible way and I am stepping away from the day-to-day operational side.”

Mr Irving admitted the job had taken over his life.

“I was interim chair, director of football and was involved with the youth section, women’s side, commercial activities and as a steward of matchday,” he explained.

Mr Irving was also deeply upset by the incident in the Emirates FA Cup tie when a St Helens Town flag was spat on and damaged by home fans and had to deal with the repercussions as interim chair.

He was also uncomfortable with the decision to restart football at a time when the country was still gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Groups of more than six cannot meet and yet we can have 400 in Seel Park does not sit well with me,” he said.

Mr Irving would have preferred a localised Greater Manchester league along with the FA Cup and FA Trophy rather than attempting to have a full league campaign.

He admitted there had been “some differences of opinion” about the way the club is being run and he found himself in the minority.

Mr Irving stressed, however, there had been no fallout and he will continue to work for the club.
Much of Mr Irving’s work has been driving forward fundraising efforts.

He has this summer secured grants totalling £9,000 from the Football Foundation.

This has and will go towards helping the club to comply with Covid-19 guidelines as well as ground improvements and work to the pitch.

Mr Irving is also a key figure in plans to develop Egmont Street Playing Fields into a sporting complex for not only Mossley AFC but for the town as a whole.

He added the club is in good shape on and off the field and in Mr Porter they have an able interim chair.

“Steve is a good friend and Mr Mossley. He was at Wembley in 1980 and will do a fabulous job and would get my vote to be chair,” he said.

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