Mazey positive on Rochdale talks

ANDY MAZEY believes the prospective takeover of Rochdale Hornets by a consortium he is heading could be a “match made in heaven” after talks with the club’s supporters.
Mazey held engagement meetings with members of the supporter-owned club on Thursday night and Saturday morning to outline their plans to fans.
Hornets have had three different board of directors this year amid internal difficulties, having been owned by supporters since 2009.
The consortium, which includes four former directors of Swinton in Mazey, Tony Sheridan, Peter Smith and Richard Heyes, plus long-standing Rochdale benefactor Paul Ormerod, have presented their vision of the club’s future.
It is based around a number of key “building blocks”, including playing at a modern stadium in the town at Crown Oil Arena, having top-level training facilities at Hopwood Hall College, the success in producing local players of leading amateur club Rochdale Mayfield and the work of the Hornets Foundation in the local community.
Those factors are central to the consortium’s desire to stress they have no intention to change the name or location of the club, following the controversy over proposals to rename Swinton as Manchester Lions.
There will be a legal measure written into the change in ownership of Rochdale to protect the name and location of the club, should it secure the 75 per cent approval of the club membership it requires to proceed.
Mazey told League Express: “There has been no negativity whatsoever at the two meetings.
“There were plenty of questions, but that was the whole purpose of the engagement sessions, to get everything bottomed out before we move forward.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the response.
“In any sports club you expect an element of negativity and distrust, but we didn’t feel that at all.
“At both meetings it was very positive, and in many ways it feels like a match made in heaven.
“It’s the right timing for the club and it’s come at the right time for us.”
Mazey says the potential issue surrounding Manchester was dealt with immediately.
He explained: “We addressed that elephant in the room straight away and have no intention of moving Rochdale or changing its name.
“We want to be absolutely clear on that right from the start.
“Swinton is a unique situation, where the club has played outside its town for 27 years, and there’s no such issue at Rochdale.
“I’m from Leigh and it would never cross my mind that the club would ever change its name or location because you don’t need to.
“Rochdale aren’t currently at the same level as Leigh, but there’s no reason why they can’t be.
“There’s so much potential at the club without looking at anything radical.
“It’s fair to say that some of us didn’t fully realise Rochdale Hornets’ background and history when we first talked about this.
“But we’ve learned that everything is in place to make a success of it.
“And in the talks we’ve had with fans so far we’ve been very encouraged by their support.
“We’ve done our bit in presenting the proposal and now it’s over to the members to decide if they want to move forward with it.
“What we would say is that being supporter-owned has kept the club alive and brought about a lot of good things in that period.
“We’re very respectful of that, and the members have put a lot of the things in place that we believe can help move forward.
“But at the same time we’ve done our homework and understand the limitations to that model.
“From our perspective we believe that we can now help the club move onto another level.”