Falkirk chairman to stand down from day to day role

Current Bairns chairman Martin Ritchie
Current Bairns chairman Martin Ritchie

Falkirk chairman Martin Ritchie is poised to step back and work on the club’s long-term strategy with Douglas McIntyre replacing him.

The Bairns supremo is in his second term as chairman and will move from the day-to-day duties to take on a working party with the club’s long-term strategy in mind.

However after announcing his intentions to the club’s shareholders meeting - confirmed in a club statement - Mr Ritchie told The Falkirk Herald he will retain the title of chairman, and Mr McIntyre his deputy, but the responsibilities will change.

The statement, issued on the club website said: “The Chairman, Martin Ritchie, will lead a review of funding, ownership and control. This would include looking to strengthen the current Board and to have succession planning for directors. Shareholders’ and supporters’ representation and involvement will also be considered.

Deputy Chairman, Douglas McIntyre, will take responsibility for all operational and football activities to allow Martin Ritchie time to concentrate on the structural review.

“The Club will hold at Fans’ Forum at The Falkirk Stadium on Monday, December 2.”

Mr Ritchie took over the role for a second time in 2009 succeeding Campbell Christie.

He had previously been chairman in the aftermath of a turbulent period for the club which saw them plunged into provisional liquidation under previous owners until a consortium, including the current chairman and deputy, steered the club back from the brink.

However in recent weeks the chairman and the board of directors has come under criticism from the club’s supporters who revealed in a survey that only one in three had confidence in the leadership of the Bairns in 2013, a vast reduction from the 70% confidence levels in 2012.

In the same week, the club announced losses of £212,000 - attributed to the cost of laying the new pitch and the non-receipt of FIFA compensation for Mark Stewart.

The chairman made frequent references to the survey at the club’s AGM, attended by more than 100 shareholders. It heard from Martin Ritchie, Kieran Koszary, Gary Holt, David Craig and Andy Thomson on issues including commercial developments, events and The Falkirk Community Football Foundation.