THE NIGEL Jones and Paul Bowden era at Stalybridge Celtic promises changes, off the field first.
How does a club make the most of what it has? What can be done to make the ‘matchday experience’ better?
Will it get more people through the turnstiles at Bower Fold?
In the second of a series of articles from The Correspondent’s interview with one of the new owners, Nigel explains how the scenery will change.
NIGEL Jones hopes to make the most of what Stalybridge Celtic have at their disposal – and changes will happen.
The new broom at Bower Fold hopes to bring success on the field – but the priority is sorting things out off the pitch.
And that means things will change at the stadium, with a planning application already going in, so the occupants are in control of more things that bring in income.
Do that and manager James Kinsey can have more money at his disposal, which in turn can bring success.
Nigel, who has already brought Shaun Bishop, whose bar has proved a success, on board, said of claims Celtic have not made the most of what it has: “I think that’s probably fair to say.
“The old social club in the corner of the stadium, that’s derelict now, needs to come down.
“Making the most of what we have is exactly what we’re going to look to do. We’re going to try and maximise the playing budget as at this level.
“It makes a difference, it really does. That brings you success, you get the best team, you win the league.
“To do that, though, we need to build gates – we need to get people through the door. If you get people through the door, they want facilities. They want something to eat, they want something to drink.
“We want to manage inside of the ground better. Everything seems to be leased out – the big Bower Fold Events space, fine it’s too big to run that anyway.
“But what about the bar we’ve already got? How can we maximise all of that?
“What’s happening with sponsorships? We’ve a big club, a big ground and a nice space. The fact the area around Shaun’s bar is by far the busiest at matches says it all.
“Clubs have to make the most of matchday revenues, otherwise they’ve no chance and with natural growth, I’d like to get back to step three quickly.
But Stalybridge Celtic should be in the Conference North – and it would be nice to see gates of 1,000. We’d want a four-figure gate as you can get revenue where you can do things.
While changes will happen at Stalybridge Celtic, one thing will certainly not happen – the pitch will not be replaced with an artificial surface.
Even though Nigel revealed previous majority shareholder Rob Gorski mentioned the possibility.
And while progress is wanted, the rise will not be meteoric.
Nigel added: “It’s important to set expectation wherever you are.
“If you make lots of promises – I’m talking 3G pitches, making League Two and promotion after promotion, a charge to Wembley, you set fans’ expectation.
“They expect the world if you promise it to them. We’re trying to be grounded.
“Every non-league team talks about 3G pitches and Football Foundation money, as if it’s a slam dunk and it gets distracted by it.
“When we were going through the process of buying the club, Rob said all of that. We thought, ‘If it’s that easy, mate, you’d have done it already.’”