Having seen the final ratification of the sale being signed and sealed on Monday, former Swinton Lions chairman Andy Mazey is now one of five new owners of Rochdale Hornets.
Mazey, along with fellow new directors Tony Sheridan, Richard Heyes, Peter Smith and current club president Paul Ormerod, have taken the Hornets from a fan-owned organisation to a privately owned club.
Having previously had unanimous backing for the change in ownership, Monday’s vote was merely a formality, and Mazey, plus the other owners, have already been putting the hard graft in to breath life back into a Hornets side relegated from the Championship in 2019.
And it was the future he can envisage that tempted Mazey back into the game, just months after resigning from the board at the Lions.
“We’d taken a bit of a leap of faith and have been helping out behind the scenes with building a quad for several weeks now,” said Mazey.
“We’ve been working with them in good faith because it was important that we got to Christmas and we weren’t in a bad place with the pre-season games due to start in the New Year.
“We weren’t putting ourselves at risk but we were helping out where we could.
“It is exciting times. Now that everything has gone through we can start investing more into the club and start executing our plans and vision.
“I can see huge potential in the club and I feel that I can do here, what I couldn’t do at Swinton.
“I was a club sponsor at Swinton and they were in a serious financial struggle before I picked them up two years ago. They were just a couple of days away from going into administration.
“We turned the club around and had a successful couple of years – from being almost relegation certainties and having the lowest budget, we finished ninth in the Championship last season.
“We brought in some great young players, had a great set of staff and got the club on a really good footing.
“But we felt it just didn’t have the potential. It was not in Swinton and we felt it was going to be difficult to do anymore with them as things stood and it would have been tough to maintain what we were doing.
“We had to move it in a different direction and we would have been Manchester Lions in 2020 if we’d have been able to do what we felt we needed to, but the fans didn’t want to go in that direction.
“We moved on at that point as we couldn’t do anymore but I saw some real potential in Rochdale as Rochdale.
“There is a first-class stadium in the town, first-class training facilities at Hopwood Hall, a player pathway and a great amateur game in the town. So there is a lot of the building blocks here that you would need for a successful club already in place.
“It just needs some investment, strong leadership and people who can put all those blocks together to build a strong club.
“We are proud of what we did at Swinton, and we did leave them in a good place, but there just wasn’t the potential to keep that going as a Championship club outside of Swinton.
“But with Rochdale, the starting position is going to be difficult as we’re in League 1, and it’s going to be a longer-term project, but I genuinely believe that all the potential we need is there.
“If we can engage the local community and the young people to get some bums on seats we can really turn this into a powerful club over time.”