As the season draws to an unforeseen closure, we were delighted to speak to Chairman Jeremy Alderman for the first time since his announcement to step down earlier this year.
The season hasn’t ended how you would have hoped?
No not at all, I think it would have only been right and just to see the club back in the Southern League Premier, especially after all the hard work the club has put in across this season. Which has been a testament to all the those involved in the club.
It would have been nice to have another promotion that you would have overseen.
Absolutely, but not to be after this season Even last season, there was always that feeling that we would survive even to the end. But when the time came, you saw the best out of our club. The fans were in full support of the manager and the project.
We’ve been really clear in all our communications that we are trying to build a club that becomes sustainable. We rose rapidly through the divisions and with this success comes growing pains. Shaking off the expectations and feelings about the lower leagues, and becoming focused on the targets that we set. We’ve always set ourselves stretch targets. Ones that unfortunately we’ve not be able to fully achieve during my tenure.
What targets weren’t met?
I always hoped that we would be able to reach the National league structure and to bring a decent FA Cup run to Badgers Hill. The promotion chases and joy around the club is what keeps you all going and as a chairman, that’s exactly what you want to bring to the fans as a legacy. You want to leave a club in a better position than when you found it, and not many people can deny the progress we’ve made as a club. The ground has been transformed with new stands, fencing, flood lights and a lot of significant improvements.
Cup runs...Danny Greaves is trying to his best to end the Cup run hoodoo?
Danny’s done brilliantly since his appointment, last year was a difficult time. But a time for learning. We knew that when we turned to Danny that he was right man. We knew that with our plans in place, Danny would be able to build the on-field culture and pathway as a part of the wider plan. I hope that Danny and club have a long relationship, as that means the club is being successful.
Can you take us back across your time at the club and any moments that stand out?
You can’t look passed the promotion to the Southern League Premier Division. Each and every other promotion meant a lot but this was the point where we honestly knew that we reached what we believe is our natural level. We might not have been challenging at the top but it felt right. I will miss the away travel, some long days but listening to the players at the back of the coach laughing and joking, it's been brilliant.
Is this where the aspiration of the National League came in?
No, I’ve held that ambition for a longer time, however this is where the realism of what is required comes in. The board and I knew that how we’ve operated and run over the years wouldn’t be enough to make that next step of challenging for promotion and then promotion. We needed a new plan.
This became the sustainability project?
Yes, we know that football is based on the money that the club can generate. Relying on the input of individuals needs to be on top of that revenue and not making up the lions share. It’s something that we believed in.
Your next step?
As we announced, my plan is to remain involved within the club, I will still be Chairman of the Holding company, but focused on the future developments at the club. We are still confident of securing the clubs future with the development of Badgers Hill. We have been so close to an announcement for nearly 14 months now, but we know that any final agreements need to ensure that the club comes first.
The board seems very close knit is it going to be strange with a few of the others stepping down as well?
I’ve got nothing but praise for everyone on our board, they really are unsung heroes. Everyone of them has been prepared to either roll their sleeves up or help keep the club afloat financially…often both. I would like to take a moment to single out Ivan Carver, as over the years his knowledge of football have proven invaluable to me. Gary, Neil and Brian have also been fantastic, all have become good friends, more than a chairman could hope for. I am pleased that we changed the club structure and brought the Club Trust back up to date, this I know will keep Frome Town secure for the future.
Is there anyone else you would like to thank?
There’s far too many during my time, so I think it would be disrespectful to name a list and potentially overlook someone. But I hope they all know who they are. However, I would like to thank Ian Pearce for asking me to join the club, as I came on board firstly as a sponsor. Looking back, I’ve loved it and I’ve been honoured to be the chairman of this club. It was not an easy decision to pass on the baton.
We have just come off the back of the amazing crowdfunder how does this make you feel?
I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the crowdfunder appeal, its been fantastic and it will certainly help the club after the season being expunged because of the effects of the corona virus. Again, our fans came to the help of the club, always there when needed. To ask supporters and the local community for money when I am sure they need it at this difficult time was always going to be a challenge. A few special thank yous to Ian from IMS, Staff at Natwest, our supporters club, the MNKO show with Billy Wright, Simon Hillman, Big Christmas, our anonymous donations and everyone who donated. I also want to thank Gary, Scott, Danny, our coaches and our players for all their efforts in this success.
Do you have anything final to say to fans?
Absolutely, as a chairman you can’t please everyone, but I hope that most will see the impact the board and I have achieved over the years, remembering the highs that have been achieved. Some big decisions had to be made over the years and as a board we always made them in agreement.
So, for the last time as Chairman, thank you, goodbye, take care and stay safe
As a club we would all like to thank Jeremy for all his hardwork, dedication and the significant levels of investment that has helped the club rise up the leagues. We all will remain ever thankful for his passion and drive. READ THE REACTION TO THIS NEWS