John Coleman has hailed the new investment in Accrington Stanley as ‘a watershed’ and ‘one of the biggest events in Accrington’s history.’
Local businessman Andy Holt last night got the support of shareholders to come on board and he will clear £1.2m of old debt and secure around £600 000 of new capital for the Reds.
The deal, which is subject to ratification by the Football League, will see Mr Holt become a director of the club and he and his company What More UK will hold more than three-quarters of the total shares, giving him a controlling interest.
“In the immediate future it won’t make a big difference but it’s a watershed and one of the biggest events in Accrington’s history and that’s going back to the rebirth of the club and getting back into the Football League,” said Coleman.
“We have always been swimming against the tide and maybe now we are just jumping into a boat. The club has been debt ridden for years and once in that situation you are always fighting fires and living hand to mouth to keep the club afloat.
“We aren’t going to have the riches of some League Two clubs but just to have the debt wiped out is a massive boost for everyone behind the scenes who have battled to keep the club afloat for years.
“It’s a dream come true for people behind the scenes as now it’s a case of doing everything properly and not cutting corners and just having to make do.”
Looking into the future, Coleman says there will be positive changes.
“Going forward, the infrastructure of the club will change, the facilities will be updated and the experience of going to Accrington and playing for Accrington will be better for everyone concerned.
“If we can develop a training ground and so on it is a big boost for the players and the staff.”
However, Coleman says the club will not change its philosophy on the playing side and there will not be big money additions in January.
“We have to have a model and it’s to attract young hungry players who are motivated by their own ambition and not money.
“If we can foster that to our advantage then some of the young players can go on to earn millions. They won’t do that at Accrington but we have given them a platform and they will have helped us so everyone benefits.”
But he said the stability would help everyone at the club.
“When you have a group of men who are married with children and you have to tell them they aren’t to be paid for a couple of weeks it is hard.
“We have always been paid here whether it’s six, eight and ten weeks later but hopefully we shouldn’t be in that position now and, with development on the ground, it will make it an overall more attractive proposition for people to come to Accrington and it will be easier to attract players.”