Newport County AFC can today announce that former chairman Les Scadding has agreed to transfer his shareholding in the club to the Newport County AFC Supporters Trust.
The Trust will now work towards taking over the day to day control of the Club, subject to Football League approval.
The current board will cooperate fully and assist the Trust during this period of transition, before stepping down.
Director and acting chairman Howard Greenhaf has released this statement, on behalf of the board.
“Following several weeks of negotiations with Les Scadding and the Supporters Trust, the Supporters Trust has agreed to take over the running of the football club, giving the fans a fantastic opportunity to take the club forward to the next level.
As you are all aware, Les has retired as chairman and has been looking to secure outside investment to continue the success the club has achieved over recent years, which follows on from the previous regime under Chris Blight and Matt Southall. Everyone has played their part from David Hando to Les Scadding,
Unfortunately without this investment we were forced to set a reduced playing budget for the coming season. Our new manager was aware of the budget prior to agreeing to join the club and has assembled a squad that we believe will be competitive in this league and to meet the aspirations of our loyal and passionate supporters.
We want to be more than just competitive, so with the help and support of the fans through the Supporters Trust, we believe we can raise enough money to provide Terry with an increased playing budget and push the club forward and hopefully into the play-off positions, where the club was for a majority of last season.
To enable the club to raise these funds the current board will work alongside the trust during this period of transition, before stepping down. Newport County will then become owned entirely by the fans/supporters. We all believe that this is the best way forward and will secure the long term future of the club.
We have come a long way in a short period of time, from the good old days at Spytty Park, where the shed was rocking during our promotion from the Blue Square South.
Unfortunately Spytty Park didn't have the facilities, or was big enough for the next step to the Football League and it was a tremendous strain for the club to up sticks again to move to Rodney Parade.
The supporters of this wonderful club deserve credit for the way they embraced the move. Understandably some fans were not happy moving, but did it anyway as they knew it was vital for the growth of the club. There aren’t many clubs that have asked their fans to move as many times as we've asked the Amber Army, but wherever we've been we have been blessed with fantastic support.
Since moving from Spytty Park we have trebled our fan base and established ourselves in the Football League. We have been to Wembley twice and enjoyed that incredible win over Wrexham to get the club back into the Football League after a twenty-five year absence.
We now have a successful academy that has just been awarded ‘Elite Player Performance Plan’ category 4 status and has produced several players who have stepped up to the first team squad.
‘County in the Community’ has achieved charitable status and runs a programme that takes us into many local schools and runs a fantastic scheme which will hopefully encourage today's kids to be the next generation of fans and maybe even players.
We have transformed a rugby ground into a football stadium, with the help of Rodney Parade. Installing the stadium with facilities such as new barriers, away stands, new away entrance, new disabled facilities, new sprinkler system, new drainage, new floodlights, and new away bar, new gates, fencing, and catering facilities have combined to enhance the match-day experience for both sets of supporters.
Rodney Parade have very kindly given us the use of the ‘Brecon Suite’, as our own dedicated bar. This included them removing some of the rugby memorabilia that will allow us to showcase our own history on match days. Rodney Parade is currently waiting for us to name the bar before putting up a welcome sign on the main gate. It could aptly be called the ‘Scadding Bar’, in honour of Les.
The pitch at Rodney Parade was probably one of the best in League Two last season, improving from being one of the worst the season before. The drainage was completed and we didn't have to postpone any games last season. This season we can expect even more improvement, which hopefully you will all see at our first home friendly against QPR.
Away from Rodney Parade, we are back training in Newport at Llanwern High School, where we have exclusive use of their facilities to train on a daily basis. We’ve come a long way from not having a permanent training base and even spent two seasons at the university grounds in Cardiff!
We have also transformed ‘Bar Amber’ into our new training headquarters with a gym/physio room, showers, managers/staff offices, canteen and leisure area. This has allowed the players to meet and have breakfast before training and come back for lunch after their training sessions.
At Rodney Parade we have our own shop and ticket office and in the coming weeks we will also have new offices which we will relocate to.
On the staffing front you may be aware of the hiring of a very capable and experienced general manager in Jason Turner. Jason will be in charge of managing the day-to-day activities of the club. Aside from the hiring of manager Terry Butcher, we have secured the services of Russell Osman and Steve Marsella who will assist Terry on footballing matters and they have recently appointed a new Physio Gary Aldridge. We have also hired a new Academy manager Grant Kalahar, who has a vast experience working with youth players.
These key appointments will make the club a stronger outfit as we go forward.
Finally all we ask is that you the fans, that now own this wonderful football club, get behind the Supports Trust and take us forward onto bigger and better things.
Many thanks to all the past and present staff, directors, volunteers (of which there are too many to mention) but you know who you are, and the fans that have taken us to where we are today.”