All change in the Cambridge United boardroom

PUBLISHED: 09:30 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 21:15 18 December 2017

ILIFFE

Personnel and structural change at the Abbey Stadium

A new structure pending a January takeover at Cambridge United has been announced after the resignation of Dave Doggett.

It was revealed the U’s chairman stepped down after nearly five years, and also left his place on the board of directors, after Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Newport County.

And on Sunday night, the club put out a statement announcing potential investment from former chairman Paul Barry and a structure to take United forward in the intervening period.

It is unclear why Doggett decided to resign, but a statement from the club read: “The board – on behalf of everyone at the club – would like to place on record thanks and appreciation for everything that Dave Doggett has done for Cambridge United during his time as chairman.

“During this period the club returned to the Football League and has enjoyed considerable success on the pitch – with memorable moments at Wembley and in the FA Cup in particular.

“As a result, Dave leaves Cambridge United in a much stronger position as a football club, on and off the field, and also as a valued partner across the community.

“We will always be grateful for his passion, leadership and commitment and we are sure we speak for every supporter of the club.

“While the board will miss Dave’s drive and experience, the board will continue to benefit from the deep knowledge of the football club and wise counsel of Eddie Clark and Renford Sargent and Dave Matthew-Jones all of whom have also been instrumental in the turnaround of the club over the last few years.”

But they have announced that they are in advanced discussions with largest shareholder Barry about further investment.

He has recently increased his shareholding to a significant minority interest, which is expected to increase to a controlling ownership position in January.

The board took a unanimous vote in October to approve the further investment.

And the statement read: “The reasons are straightforward. First and foremost, Cambridge United will have an owner who is a lifelong fan and someone we know will always put the interests of the club first.

“This further investment also represents a significant vote of confidence in the current strong foundations of the club and its prospects for the future.

“This will help provide greater financial stability which is essential for any club at our current level and will put Cambridge United in the best position to realise its ambitions centred around the potential redevelopment of the Abbey Stadium at the heart of the community in the Abbey Ward, and Cambridge as a whole.”

But in the interim period, the board have established a sub-committee of directors to provide closer support and oversight to the club, and to act as an important link back to the board.

Graham Daniels, who is also the chairman of the Cambridge United Community Trust, will oversee the football side of the club.

Shaun Grady, Vice President of Global Business Development at AstraZeneca, will oversee the business side of the club and will run the board meetings in the interim period.

And Steve Chamberlain, the chief financial officer at Darktrace, will provide oversight of the club’s financial affairs.

The club’s statement added: “In the new changed circumstances for the club, and in preparation for the new ownership, the board has asked the executive committee to undertake a review of the existing operational procedures within the club.

“The board recognise that change inevitably creates some uncertainty, but we believe this clarity around ownership in the New Year will ensure that Cambridge United is best placed to progress and fulfil the common ambition of everyone associated with the Club – playing at a higher level, in a new stadium and doing even more for the city and community in which we are proud to play an important part.”

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