Lynch: Stability is the first priority

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NEW Eastwood Town owner Steve Lynch has said that his takeover of the club is now complete and that planning for the future can begin in earnest.

NEW Eastwood Town owner Steve Lynch has said his takeover of the club is now complete and that planning for the future can begin in earnest.

West Midlands businessman Lynch has taken complete control of the Coronation Park club following its sale by Jamie Brough earlier this month, and the process of appointing a new manager and building a new infrastructure at the club has now begun.

Lynch also owns Halesowen Town FC but says that to comply with FA rules he will be relinquishing that role in due course, though he will remain a supporter of the Southern League side.

But he says he is delighted to have come on board at Eastwood and is keen to make steps forward quickly.

He said: “It’s all happened pretty fast in the sense that I only really became aware of Eastwood’s situation when reading about the FA Cup tie with Evesham, though the takeover itself was a bit drawn out.

“It all seemed sorted at one point but then complications arose regarding other shareholders which meant I had to pull out, but those issues are no longer there and I’ve been able to take full control.

“To meet FA requirements I’ve stood down as chairman of Halesowen Town but will remain a fan of the club and divide my time as much as I can between Eastwood and there, along with the other businesses I currently run.”

Lynch says he has approached Badgers life president Paddy Farrell with an offer to become chairman, while club secretary Rachel Thornton has left the club by mutual consent along with her husband Steve who was involved in youth development at Coronation Park.

“I approached Paddy Farrell as he’s Eastwood through and through and seems an ideal person to lead the way,” said Lynch.

“I’m not much of a ‘chairman-type’ person in terms of wearing suits and shaking hands with everyone and so on, so I’d rather stand back and leave that to someone who is more suitable for the role.”

Club captain Steve Istead has been put in charge of team affairs for the next three games (see back page) while a new manager is sought, something Lynch is keen to take his time over in order to find the right person.

He said: “We’ve had a large number of applicants, some of them big names, and with Steve Istead looking after the team for a few games it gives me extra time to make sure we appoint the right person for the right reasons.

“Chris Brindley was due to take over but it was our bad luck that his dream job, just two miles from his home and with a club he used to play for, came up and he opted to go to Chasetown instead.

“But there’s no hard feelings and we have to keep looking.”

On the issue of the ground grading problems which denied Eastwood a play-off spot last season, Lynch says they will be addressed as soon as possible but that stability has to be the first port of call.

“I’m aware of the issues surrounding the ground and they will specifically be addressed in the next six to 12 months,” he said.

“But the club needs rebuilding and stabilising, and also needs to rediscover its place in the community which I think has been an area that has suffered in recent months.”