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Quakers promotion "storybook ending" to turbulent season
THE Quakers’ promotion from the Northern League comes almost a year after the club was taken over by the fans during one of the most turbulent periods in its history.
Denis Pinnegar, the man who led the purchase, said he remembers vividly the afternoon of May 5, 2012, when he was waiting for confirmation of the deal five minutes before a press conference was due to take place when the buy-out was to be announced.
Mr Pinnegar, who stood down as interim club chairman in March, said the best decision the interim board made was to push ahead with the fans’ takeover of the club, regardless of the huge difficulties they faced.
“The best decision in terms of the operational needs of the club was appointing Martin Gray and supporting him in the way we did,” he added.
The former chairman said if he had been writing a book about the last 12 months, promotion from the Northern League is how it would end.
He added: “As we secure promotion I want to pay particular credit to the interim board because those guys stood up to be counted when it wasn’t easy to do so.
“To a man and woman they did their best and without those interim board members there wouldn’t be a football club.”
He added: “Nobody on that interim board had any experience of running a football club and while some of the decisions may not have been right, they were all made for the right reasons. The support of the fans was always excellent because they knew this.”
Martin Jesper, the club's current chief executive, also paid tribute to the work done by the interim board and the many volunteers who have helped behind the scenes this season.
“Looking back a year the club had no team, no ground, no money and just an idea.
“To get promotion in the first season of fan ownership is an absolutely huge achievement. It demonstrates the power and loyalty of the fan-base we have.”
Mr Jesper said the challenge was now to build solid foundations on which the club could continue progressing back through the league structure.
He added: “The fans of this club must have felt battered and bruised in recent years and the promotion is a giant step for them, the club and the community.
“We owe it to those fans to build those solid and financially robust foundations, rather than the quicksand of previous years and continue with the utmost visibility and transparency.”
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