The ushering in of the ‘next phase’ begun in earnest today as Clive Nates was elected to chair Lincoln City.
He will be assisted by a new vice-chair too, Roger Bates. Despite it being very much ‘business as usual’, any change in chair brings a new era with it. We’ve looked at the Bob Dorrian era, a time when distrust became trust whilst on the pitch abhorrent became exciting. The long wait fir trophies ended in style with two in a year and we regained our Football league status. That’s quite a tenure.
Much of the revival did coincide with Clive’s announced arrival at the club in December 2015, attracted by Bob’s enthusiasm and passion as well as our own association with Everton, albeit a brief one. That was rubber stamped in February 2016, after which our fortunes certainly changed dramatically. The official press release states that Clive and his partners will continue to invest in the club through Sportvest and a further injection of funds will be made ahead of the forthcoming season.
Commenting on his appointment Clive said, “I am honoured to have been elected as Chairman of this fantastic club and I will continue to devote much of my time and efforts towards helping us make further progress. An inclusive, collaborative and open management style has been adopted and I will work closely with the Board and especially my fellow Executive Committee members Roger Bates and Kevin Cooke, as well as Liam Scully, Danny and Nicky Cowley in taking the club forward for the benefit of our fans, the community and the city. I especially want to thank our fans for the incredible sup-port I have received since joining the club and hope this will continue long into the future.”
Whilst Clive has been around for a couple of years, Roger Bates is part of Lincoln City heritage, one way or another. He was the co-founder and driving force behind Deranged Ferret, the institutional fanzine that often spoke out against the board and club. A lifelong Imp, Roger joined the Board of Directors in 2011 having previously been an Associate Director. It wasn’t an ideal time to join the board of the football club and he too has endured the rocky ride captained by Bob Dorrian.
Since that time he has been the director responsible for the club’s Youth Academy, tirelessly raising money to plug gaps left by our relegation from the league. Under his leadership, the Future Imps Fund raised over £300,000 to ensure the Academy survived during the non-league years. I’ve had the pleasure of donating on occasion as well as helping out with the recent Away Days book and believe me, Roger’s hard work and enthusiasm is as intense as anyone else connected with the club.
Commenting on his election Roger said, “Having contributed to the running of the club in a number of ways over the past seven years, I feel honoured to have been chosen as Vice Chairman by the Board of Directors.”
Today’s announcement won’t mean anything different at first, but it is a marker in the sand. The change from Rob Bradley to Steff Wright wasn’t meant to mean huge changes, but it did. Bob simply took the mess handed to him and rebuilt as best he could, but each chairman’s spell is defined by something. I believe, firmly, this change will be defined by further success and an ascent of the Football league.
Also, from fanzine editor to Vice Chairman…. Rob Bradley went from fanzine editor to Chairman. It’s about time I started earning a few bob to continue the fine tradition isn’t it?
The Stacey West wishes Clive and Roger every success in their new roles, at this moment in time there are no two better people to fill those positions.