Windsor Football Club announced a change of chairman on Saturday morning as long serving founding director Kevin Stott stepped down from his role leading the East Berkshire side.
Stott was replaced by James Anderson as the clubs figurehead and he was on hand to watch the Royalists beat his former club Woodley United on penalties in the Bluefin Sport Hellenic League Challenge Cup after a 2-2 draw in normal time.
Football in Berkshire spent some time talking through what’s in Mr Anderson’s inbox in his first week in the role at Windsor, how he got it and where the Stag Meadow lease sits in the list of priorities.
What’s led you to take on the role of chairman at a non league football club?
I’d been working with the club initially on the community side, really formalising the charity work, then have got more involved in the other aspects of the club, so this has felt a natural step.
At the club there is a really good core of volunteers and really this role is as much about supporting them as anything.
How did the change come about? Were you approached or did you put yourself forward?
I have a very good relationship with Kevin Stott. We’d had a few informal conversations around the role in the past and, with the start of the new season, now felt as good a time as any.
Is the lease still a concern, is it something you’ll be looking to resolve in the short term?
Securing a long term lease for the club is the number one priority and I will be meeting with the Crown Estate at the earliest possible opportunity. The long term lease will allow us to invest in implementing revenue streams which will in turn, future proof the security of the club.
Is there any danger of Windsor not being at Stag Meadow?
Without pre-determining any conversations with The Crown Estate, I can’t say for certain. However in all the dealings that the club has had with them to date, there has never been any indication that they don’t want Windsor FC to be at Stag Meadow and of course there is no desire from our side to not be there either.
You have a bit of a blank slate manager wise, how involved will you be?
We have received some great applicants for the managers role which is encouraging. We’re very fortunate at the club to have a number of very experienced volunteers behind the scenes, some of which will form part of the team along with me, who will be interviewing shortly and then making a decision on who the new manager is from there.
Windsor are one of the clubs at step 5 with some absolute stalwart fans, what would you say to any of them worried about the change and Mr Stott ending his time as chairman?
You’re right, the fans are great and they support the club fantastically. All I would say is that we all want and are working for the same thing. A sustainable club that is enjoyable to support and is in the right shape to go into every game with the hope of victory. If on top of that we can provide a clear pathway for young Windsor lads to progress from playing youth football to first team football, we’ll do alright.
Obviously you had a short spell in charge of Woodley United and almost kept them in the Hellenic Premier, is that something you’d like to do again down the line? What did you take from that spell that might help you in your new role?
I think what Woodley United taught me was that there is no such thing as an ‘on field’ team and an ‘off field’ team, but instead whether you’re number 9 or the person who puts the cones and the half time squash out, everyone is giving up their time and is as important as each other. Woodley was exemplary for that and that group of lads, particularly in the second season, were really special.
The press release mentioned you were working around club community work, is there anything you can tell us about that?
Yes, we’re really trying to use the football club as a vehicle to meet the needs of the community which, amongst other things, has included establishing a partnership with the Windsor Homeless Project to support the excellent work they do with some of the towns most vulnerable people.
Thank you James for your time.