Ritchie Jeune will step down down as chairman of Kettering Town at the end of this season but will remain the sole owner of the club.
In a statement released this afternoon (Friday), Jeune offered an apology to the club’s fans for the manner of their failure to achieve promotion from the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division this season.
And he confirmed he will hand the chairmanship to board member David Mahoney for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons but will stay on the board and on the club’s football committee.
The Poppies’ failure to earn promotion or a play-off place this season has seen the pressure being piled on manager Marcus Law from the club’s fanbase.
But Jeune has confirmed Law will remain at Latimer Park and is “ more than aware of what is expected of him and his squad come the start of next season”.
In a long statement, Jeune said: “I would like to apologise to our fans, not for failing to make promotion as nothing in life can be guaranteed, but for the manner of our failure.
“Our fans have given the club 100 per cent support. Opinions may differ but everyone is committed to the success of the club.
“Far too often this season we did not represent the club on the pitch in a manner fitting of the club’s badge. When we did start to find some pride and determination it was far too late in the season.
“In reviewing the season everyone from the players, manager, backroom staff, board and chairman must accept their part in what has been a disappointing season. Change is needed to ensure that we do not repeat the same mistakes for a second year.
“As chairman, ultimately everything lands on my desk. This season due to business ventures related to the growth of Kettering Town FC,
“I have been out of the country and absent from too many home games. This undoubtedly influences the direction of club on and off the field.
“Even though while away I communicate with the manager, it means that much of the information used in the decision making process is third hand.
“It is with that in mind that I pass the chairmanship of the club for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons to board member David Mahoney.
“This is not a knee jerk reaction to the premature ending of our season; this is something which I identified as an issue back in December, and it was then that I asked David to take on the task of guiding the club over the next few seasons.
“I will remain sole owner of the club, I will remain a board member, I will remain on the football committee, I will continue to lead the ground development project. All other board members will remain in the same roles as they have occupied.
“I have known and worked with David for over 10 years. His commitment to the club since I invited him to the board has been above and beyond.
“We cannot expect to succeed if we have a Chairman attempting to respond to the needs of the manager and club 10,000 miles away.
“I know David will give this role his full commitment. I and the board will offer him our full support and I hope you will do the same.
“Many fans have been vocal in their views on the manager and I fully understand the frustration that comes with poor results.
“Marcus set out a plan with me when he first arrived at the club. I have supported him throughout the last two seasons. Many do not see all the work which goes on within the club, nor do they see what happens behind the scenes.
“As disappointed as I am with the season’s outcome I still have belief in the manager and players within our squad.
“Going so close last season to being way off course this season, means that things need to improve on the pitch next season.
“After very open but constructive talks with the manager yesterday, he is more than aware of what is expected of him and his squad come the start of next season.
“He is also aware that there is only so much support that I can give before,however reluctantly, changes would have to be made.
“I hope that fans will take a balanced reflective view over the performances over the last two seasons and start the new season with a positive outlook.”