NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Neots Town chairman Lee Kearns steps down

Lee Kearns has stepped down as chairman of St Neots Town.

Lee Kearns has stepped down as chairman of St Neots Town. - Credit: Archant

Lee Kearns has stepped down as chairman of St Neots Town.

Kearns announced his decision this morning after just over two years in the role.

Kearns previously held the position of managing director before taking control of the club from his father, Mike, in December 2015.

Kearns said: “The decision for me to step down as chairman has not been taken lightly, but I believe that it’s time the club is looked after by those that have a long and established history, and those that have a very clear focus on continuing the good work that we have all put into this great club over the last six years, and in particular the last two years.

“It’s important to acknowledge the contribution that previous chairmen and owners have had, however it’s also as equally as important to recognised that we are now a community focused football club and as such those virtues must be upheld by those that have the ability to take the club into the very community that they have sprung from.

“We have worked hard over the last two years firstly to survive, after the previous chairman stepped down and withdrew his financial support (which I encouraged) and secondly to bring a number of initiatives together some of which have given us every chance of balancing the books for the first time since the club moved to New Rowley Park.

“This is a truly difficult and unforgiving industry we work in and as such we must not stop trying to grow all business interests and to improve year on year every aspect of the football club.

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“These initiatives are too numerous to go into detail, however I’m particularly proud of the club’s gift of use initiative, our primary school outreach programme, the introduction of the Learning and Sports Academy, and our ability to provide fantastic opportunities for both boys and girls who wish to pursue a career in football and in sport in general.

“The introduction of new directors in May 2016 and the board, including a community chairman Kevin Hull, and further directors in May 2017, has paved the way for control of the club to move towards a chorus of voices which I believe is the best way forward. I feel that is the best way to keep the club moving from strength to strength and therefore ensure it remains stable and financially viable.”

Kearns has also sung the praises of current Saints manager Matt Clements, who has done an excellent job since his appointment in the final days of 2016.

Clements guided Saints to Southern League Premier Division safety last term and has masterminded much-improved performances in the current campaign with his side sitting in mid-table.

And Kearns is keen for Clements to eventually take on deeper involvement in the club.

He added: “We are very lucky to have Matt and his team on board with us. They are doing a fantastic job and I know the board - as well as myself - will continue to look at ways to integrate Matt into the club’s very fabric as well as try to increase the funds made available to the playing budget over the coming seasons.

“But, at the same time, we have to be mindful we are now a club that is and needs to continue to be self-funded.

“I thank all that have supported myself and the club during the last two years - especially those that have contributed enormously during what has been a pretty difficult transitional period and here’s to further growth and success both on and off the pitch.”

Kearns confirmed a new chairman will be announced in the near future.