Two in the frame for Falkirk chairman’s job following departure of Martin Ritchie

Who will sit at the head of the table in the boardroom?
Who will sit at the head of the table in the boardroom?

Martin Ritchie’s dramatic U-turn on his future as Falkirk chairman has created a vacancy at the heart of the football club.

Sources close to the Bairns have indicated two candidates have been championed behind the scenes for the position to replace Mr Ritchie – Andy Thomson and Doug Henderson.

Talks have taken place in the boardroom over the successor but consensus could not be reached which prolonged Mr Ritchie’s tenure at the helm, though he is understood to be keen to vacate the position as quickly as possible.

As well as the duo of directors, Lex Miller’s name has been mentioned given his lengthy duration in the boardroom. Miller, who is the longest-serving director on the board – excluding the chairman – will not be in the running for the role citing “other business interests” when asked by The Falkirk Herald if he would fancy stepping up in the wake of the chairman’s AGM announcement.

Martin Ritchie said the time was right to go after achieving “stability” for the club but admitted there would be “challenges ahead for the new chairman to get their teeth into”.

This includes advancing and finally resolving the issue of completing the stadium and east side of The Falkirk Stadium site – something former MP Doug Henderson has focussed on in his role on the property side of things since becoming a director last December.

However, many view Andy Thomson’s credentials as particularly strong having been involved with the club for a number of years via The Falkirk Football Programme, Falkirk TV and the management committee before becoming a director in 2011.

Thomson, with his accountancy background, has had his hand firmly on the financial tiller to steer the Bairns through the recent stormy financial waters towards making the significant improvement discussed on Thursday night at the meeting of shareholders.

Lawyer Margaret Lang was also revealed as a new member of the boardroom at the meeting which was told the Bairns are now ‘debt-free’.

However the news was overshadowed by Mr Ritchie’s bombshell revelation, just nine days after denying there would be a “dramatic announcement”.