On this day in 2017, Southport chairman of over 30 years Charlie Clapham releases a statement announcing he is stepping down with immediate effect. The statement in full read:
At yesterday’s Board Meeting the first item on the agenda was the future position of the Club going forward.It was confirmed by Charlie Clapham that Sam Shrouder, Haydn Preece and David Barron would stand down as Directors at the end of the Clubs Financial year end the 30th June 2017.https://southportfc.net/club-statement/
As Chairman I confirmed that I would step down with immediate effect (21st April 2017) Sam Shrouder will also step down with immediate effect whilst both Sam & I have personal reasons for resigning our positions, the recent attacks that have appeared on social media and in the press and media following the open meeting of the Trust in Yellow and supporters has meant our position is untenable therefore we take our decisions with heavy hearts but in the best interests of Southport Football Club in the short and hopefully long term.
Haydn Preece shares the same views in regards to the vitriol and ridicule that has been aimed at the club and himself personally, David Barron has been shocked by a section of the supporters by the behaviour towards myself and the Board.
Nigel Allen and Liam Watson are considering their positions, Nigel has agreed to act as Interim Chairman until the 30th June 2017 during which time the Board will seek a meeting with the Trust in Yellow Board to establish their views for the future as the call for change has come from them following the Open Meeting.
The Board will urgently seek to establish any level of interest in bringing in investors who may wish to take a controlling interest in the ownership of the Club.
I would like to place on record my thanks to Sam, Haydn & David and my family for their support towards me over the many years they have worked with me, I would also like to thank Ken Hilton along with all volunteers and supporters who over the last 35 years have treated me with respect “Thank You.”
The Board will work diligently over the coming weeks to find an outcome that will ensure the security & sustainability of your football club.
On behalf of the Board
Charlie Clapham MBE
As a result, planned protests by Southport fans – including showing red cards at Clapham at games – are suspended.
Trust In Yellow, the independent Supporters Trust also release a statement
The Board of Trust In Yellow acknowledge the statement released by Charlie Clapham MBE on Southportfc.net and would like to put on record our appreciation and thanks for the many years of hard work and financial commitment that he has given to Southport FC since the early 1980s.
The same applies to the other departing Directors particularly Sam Shrouder who has been a loyal and supportive Vice-Chairman to Mr Clapham and has himself shown great commitment to the club over many years. Haydn Preece has shown great enthusiasm and has worked extremely hard to create some very positive community and business links over a number of years for the Club and Dave Barron, in his short time as a Director has introduced some excellent initiatives that have been very valuable to the Club.
The Board wish all departing Directors and their families well in the future and it is our hope that the service of Charlie Clapham MBE should be honoured in a major way by the club and his experience in football should continue to be used in his in his role with the Vanarama National League and on the FA Council.
The Trust never wished for the discussions on the club’s future to include any personal abuse and have been meticulous in trying to ensure that our official statements and discussions at the open meeting have been conducted in a way that respected individuals. We are sorry if any of the directors felt that a section of the supporters went too far which is something we would never condone.
As discussed in the statement the Trust Board will look to work with and support the Club Board over the coming weeks to find an outcome that will ensure the security and sustainability of the football club. Alongside this statement is a copy of the open letter the Trust Board wrote to the club before hearing of Mr Clapham’s resignation.
The Trust Board will meet over the next few days and issue a further statement next week.