Doncaster based One Call Group is pleased to officially confirm its acquisition of Retford United Football Club and the Cannon Park ground for an undisclosed sum.
Billed as the ‘biggest news in the club’s 30 year history’, the acquisition will see Managing Director of One Call Insurance, Nik Springthorpe, take financial responsibility for the club. A local grassroots football advocate, he brings more than 11 years’ experience managing junior teams. Meanwhile, Simon Brammer will stay on as co-Chairman.
Strengthening the Doncaster based group’s commitment to the community, the acquisition will create a strong foundation for the club’s future; leaving it debt free and with the promise of much needed investment. Meanwhile, the club’s home ground, Cannon Park, will be held in a trust within the One Call Group.
The move also strengthens the group’s commitment to sport, with its insurance arm, One Call Insurance, having already named Sports Aid as its charity of the year for 2018 and pre-planned a schedule of fundraising events with the goal of raising £50,000 to support promising young athletes from across the UK.
Established in 1995, One Call Group is owned by serial entrepreneur John Radford who also owns League Two club Mansfield Town, controversially appointing 29 year old Carolyn Radford to the helm shortly after his acquisition of the club in 2011, making her the youngest CEO in English Football.
Retford United held an official club meeting on 10th May 2018, which provided an opportunity for staff, players and supporters to meet with both Radford and Springthorpe to discuss the future direction of the club.
Speaking after the meeting, Nik Springthorpe said: ‘Although this season ended in relegation heartache, we’re committed to creating a strong foundation to ensure the future success of Retford United, this begins with the acquisition of the ground, the clearing of debt and a promise to invest substantially into the club, improving facilities and ensuring operational stability’.
‘On that note, we’ve already begun renovating a number of training pitches, which will enable us to bring the junior teams back to the home ground, meanwhile we’ve set ourselves the target of converting the main pitch to 4G within 3 years’.
‘The reaction from club staff and fans has been one of huge adulation and excitement, something that we’re truly delighted about. We’re committed to keeping everyone involved with our plans moving forward and hope to further ignite support for the club and grassroots as a whole, both in the local community and further afield’.
‘We’ll be back next season, gunning for wins, but most importantly, working hard to install consistency into our game. Longer term, I am absolutely committed to bringing the glory days back, Retford went through a period of huge success between 2000 and 2009, winning 6 titles in 9 years and we firmly believe that, with the right structure and funding in place, we can do that and more again’.
He also added ‘My established relationships with backroom staff at Mansfield Town mean there’s enormous scope for collaboration. For starters, we’re in the process of planning a pre-season friendly; there’s also hope of doing the same with Derby County and Nottingham Forest among others.