A NEW era at Northwich Vics began on Wednesday when the takeover led by Mancunian Jim Rushe was completed.
Northwich-based businessman Nick Bone, fellow company director Paul Stevenson and new chairman Ian Campbell will sit alongside Rushe on the new board.
“I am delighted – now Northwich can moved forward at last,’ said Rushe.
The announcement ended three turbulent years under Mike Connett.
There was success and failure on the pitch but his personality split fans into pro and anti-Connett factions.
Debts threatened the club with extinction after they spiralled to an estimated £600,000, debt two-thirds of which was owed in taxes.
Vics looked doomed when Rushe and his colleagues appeared on the scene eight weeks ago.
He said: “It is nobody’s fault it has taken this long, but I’m happy with the deal.”
Details are not being made public, but settling the debts is the main price of acquiring the club. A nominal sum to complete the purchase was handed to Mr Connett, who continues to own the stadium and catering rights through his company Beaconet.
The new owners have signed a 25-year lease at an annual rent of £25,000, though Vics will finish this season free of charge.
Mr Bone, who lives at Great Budworth, and Mr Stevenson are both directors of Encia, a brownfield regeneration company, who have agreed a £25,000 a year sponsorship deal.
The club has lurched from one financial crisis to another for 30 years.
Mr Rushe said: “We can’t do anything about the past. Some clubs are run successfully and within their means and we will learn from them.
“Northwich is expanding and needs entertainment. Why shouldn’t that be Northwich Vics?
“Marketing people will be involved and we will bring in professionals where they can do a job.
“Ours will be a community club and one run transparently. We are ambitious. We are confident of staying in the league and going higher, but it will be one step at a time.”