New owner wants successful new dawn at Stalybridge Celtic

STALYBRIDGE Celtic stand at the dawn of a new era after businessmen Nigel Jones and Paul Bowden took control at Bower Fold.

Already a new manager, James Kinsey, new players and new board members in Taran Dhamrait and Shaun Bishop have been brought in as a new way of working is being introduced.

And The Correspondent sat down with Nigel, previously involved at Wythenshawe Town, to detail what he wants, what Celtic can achieve and what will be changed.

In the first of a series of articles, he outlines why they bought the club and what he wants to see on the pitch, sooner rather than later.

NIGEL Jones did not take long to realise where Stalybridge Celtic need to be and where the club can get to – higher.

Just being mentioned on Twitter proved that and the sooner they get up the footballing pyramid, the better.

New boss James Kinsey has already been backed with several new signings as the new era takes effect after Nigel and Paul Bowden bought out former majority shareholder Rob Gorski.

 Nigel Jones – CREDIT TARAN

Like any ambitious investor, though, he wants to see results – and time is of the essence after just a glimpse of the inner workings at Bower Fold.

He said: “Year one is all about trying to get success on the pitch and building momentum from there.

“Early momentum is important.

“I looked at the playing budget for last season, which was clearly cut mid-season for reasons we know about, and we wanted to reverse to the start of last year as a minimum.

“I’ve got trust in James and I know he’s been working hard to secure players. I’m confident we’ll have a good squad come matchday one.

“We came down, so we should have enough in the locker to do well at step four – by that I’m looking at promotion.

“The level the club is at doesn’t quite add up, does it? The facilities are great and the history is really strong.

“And what surprised me positively was the level of reaction on social media. I was at Wythenshawe for three years and it was barely noticeable.

“Then I came here and I’m being told by my wife that I’m all over Twitter. I’m like, ‘What’s that? I’m not even on Twitter.’

“People at work are saying, ‘The new Ryan Reynolds!’

“And I’m impressed by the set up. Clearly the club has seen better days and higher levels.

“I came from Wythenshawe in step five to Stalybridge in step four but you look at the facilities, the ground, the board, the governance, you’re looking at step two, if not step one.

“That’s really impressive and gives us something to build on. It’s hard not to be impressed by the set up but it needs TLC and investment.”

The deal to buy Celtic has been greeted with great enthusiasm and is seen as a new dawn after last season’s turmoil, which saw fans raise money to meet a shortfall in the club’s budget.

But one question remains – why?

Why would a man originally from Colwyn Bay, who lives in the Manchester area, and a business partner who lives in Bristol buy a club that was relegated?

Well, the answer is fairly simple and their success has been proven.

Nigel added: “In many ways, the sale was ridiculously quick. We’re talking less than six weeks from start to finish.

“Paul and I have a couple of racehorses together and investments in a couple of other things, one of which is a brewery in Bristol.

“He visits often as he’s based down there and I never go, so I said, ‘Why don’t we buy Stalybridge?’ He replied, ‘That’s miles away.’

“My response was, ‘Yeah, as is the brewery.’

“You’ve a football club with great history here and if we can apply the right level of financial governance to it, which Paul is very good at, and get some success on the pitch, there is potential.

“It’ll be a case of managing the money the club gets a lot better, rather than chucking cash at it.”

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