Earlier this month Simon Olorenshaw was confirmed as the fourth chairman of City Fans United and Chester FC.
His appointment came following the resignation of club legend Grenville Millington, who stood down from the role on December 1.
Olorenshaw, who works as head of asset management at Merseyrail, is a season ticket holder at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium along with his wife.
Fresh from his election, Olorenshaw spoke to The Chronicle’s Jim Green about the condition of the club, his ambitions and his priorities for the future.
This is the first of a two-part interview and the second will be published on Thursday.
JG: You’ve been in position for a couple of weeks now, how do you assess the condition of the club?
SO: I think we’ve got a good foundation. There’s lots of things we need to work on and certainly I’ve already started looking and for me I’m concentrating on the three pillars which are the youth, the community and the first-team, and for me they are all equal.
Which of the following do you see as most important for the new board?
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I’m starting to look at how we can put a structure in place that supports all of that. As I say, the foundation is there but I think we need to do a bit of tweaking and put an arm around a few people and bring them all in the right direction.
JG: When you look around the board room, are you confident that skill-set and experience can drive the club forward?
SO: I am. We’ve got a good, strong board and I think the mix of the existing board members and the new members will allow us to do that. We’ve identified there’s a couple of portfolios where we are still slightly lacking and we’re going to co-opt a couple more members on.
We’ve already started talking to those people and I want to wait until the paperwork’s sorted but hopefully early in the New Year we can announce two more appointments.
JG: You talk about the three pillars upon which the club is built and success will depend, what are your immediate priorities?
SO: For me the next six months is about establishing and settling the youth set-up so we’ve got a real foundation for the club and we’re a long way towards that and we’ve got a few exciting things hopefully coming up in the next couple of months.
It’s about very much supporting the community trust and getting more of the community feel back into the club because I’m conscious a lot of people feel we’ve lost that connection and again the third priority is making sure we’ve got a first team out there on the field that can hold their own and do what they need to do. I’ve got a meeting with Steve (Burr) on Wednesday to talk about the playing budget and see where we can take it.
JG: Picking up on that last point, football is the core business of the club and on-field success is always going to drive other things so what can be done to support the management team to take the club on to the next level?
SO: What we need to have is a good strategy in place and that’s not just a strategy for the off-field but on the field as well.
We need to be looking at this season where we think we can position ourselves and the next couple of seasons so we can set those stones so that we’re building towards that point to get us back into the Football League at the right time for everything.