Grantham Town chairman Pierpoint stands down

Barrie Pierpoint
Barrie Pierpoint
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Grantham Town this week announced that club chairman and director Barrie Pierpoint has tendered his resignation.

Mr Pierpoint made his intentions known to fellow members of the board and club management via an email on Tuesday morning, a decision that was made, he said, “with deep regret and after much deliberation and consideration”.

He joined the club intially in an advisory capacity at the beginning of this year but soon took on the role of chief executive officer.

Mr Pierpoint subsequently joined the board of directors and became chairman at the start of the 2014-15 season.

A statement issued by Grantham Town’s board of directors on Wednesday reported that Mr Pierpoint had resigned his posts at the club “due to other work commitments and personal interests . . . which would have interfered with his future work for the club” – a declaration which Mr Pierpoint told the Journal he had not seen and with which he was not fully in agreement.

Speaking to the Journal, Mr Pierpoint said his reasons for leaving were manifold, but centred on lack of support for what he was trying to achieve for the club. He said: “I came there with a mission and a purpose to change the club. I recognise that the club’s got potential. That’s why I was there.

“I came here on a voluntary basis knowing that it was going to cost me a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of effort, to do a job that people wanted me to do. But they didn’t want you to do it – because they are fright-ened of change. They don’t like the speed I’m going at.

“I thought, if five directors all put in £10,000 each, that would see us nicely through to the end of the sesason. The majority didn’t want to do that. So, I’m not doing it on my own. It’s not my football club.”

Mr Pierpoint said that in the eight or nine months he had been with the club, he had lost more than £40k in lost client fees in his personal businesss, and had spent £13.5k out of his own pocket.

He said: “I’ve got through £53,000 into that club and I was still prepared to put about £30,000 in. Why would I do that? Because I was one of the people that set the bud-
get, and all the directors agreed the budget. We needed some stability financially.”

Mr Pierpoint said that he was disappointed that his and chief executive officer Keith Horton’s efforts to engage with local business had not so far come to fruition.

He said the club needed more support from local businesses, the community and football fans. Also he emphasised that it was essential that the club was run properly as a business if it was to be successful.

Mr Pierpoint said: “By and large, it’s a super club with a lovely bunch of volunteers. The best thing we’ve got there is the supporters’ club, that’s very active and raises money. I embrace them and appreciate what they did.”

He said his decision to resign was as a result of him not being happy for some time which had left him feeling frustrated: “I’ve not walked out of there and left it in a mess. Everything I did at that club was not for Barrie Pierpoint – it was for the club, the supporters, the players, the managers and the community at large. That’s all I did it for. I have a pride when I do something.

“I wish the club all the best. I love all the people there.”

Grantham CEO Keith Horton praised Mr Pierpoint’s efforts in his time with the club: “The organisation and structure at the club have progressed massively over the last 10 months. None of that would have happended without the drive that Barrie brought to his roles at the club.”

Director Michael Bird said the club had no immediate plans to appoint a new chairman: “The club now has a good infrastructure upon which we can build.”