By Ky Capel
Thursday 19h March 2009
RETURNING chairman Ian Ridley believes it is absolutely
vital that Weymouth avoid relegation from the Blue Square
Ridley was unveiled as the Terras new chairman at a
Press conference yesterday afternoon and returns to the Wessex
Stadium for a second spell at the helm, having originally
left the post four and a half years ago.
The Mail on Sunday journalist will be joined on the board
by new vice-chairman, and former main sponsor, Dave Higson
and directors Shaun Hennessy and Paul Cocks, whose rescue
package was accepted by the previous regime on Monday.
Ian Winsor is set to remain on the board while representatives
from the Terras Trust and supporters club will be co-opted
in due course.
The Terras, who have been forced to field a patched-up side
in each of their last six games, have suffered seven defeats
on the spin and are six points clear of the drop-zone.
And even though the club is some £500,000 in debt,
Ridley is adamant that Blue Square Premier football must be
He said: The easiest thing in many ways would be to
go down because the costs go down, but the problem with that
is we spent a lot of time trying to get into the Blue Square
Premier and we dont want to give that up lightly.
This is the Premier League of non-League football and
we want to stay in it. In terms of revenue, AFC Wimbledon
could come into this league next season and theyll bring
1,000 people with them, which is money into the football club.
We want to be playing Oxford United and other big clubs
Luton Town next year maybe. We want to be in amongst
that and its easier to attract revenue, sponsorship
and TV money so we want to be in there its absolutely
vital we stay up.
The easy and safe option would be to go into the Blue
Square South but we dont want to do that.
And funds have been raised to bring in fresh blood in order
to boost the Terras chances of survival.
Ridley added: Weve given Alan Lewer a bit of
leeway to get players in and hopefully hell be able
to do that to get the six to nine points we need to stay up
because we definitely want to stay in the Blue Square Premier.
Off the field its about managing the debt, and
our finances, and well re-evaluate where we are at the
end of the season.
Boss Alan Lewer, who added midfielder Ben Gill to his ranks
on Tuesday, is looking to sign two new faces before Saturdays
home clash with Kettering Town.
He said: Im waiting on things at the moment.
Ive got to bring people in quickly and hopefully therell
be another two in time for Saturday.
Budget-wise? I dont know. The immediate thing
is to bring players in and thats what Ive started
to do. Whether we can afford it as a board I dont know,
all I can do is ask the questions. If I cant have it,
I cant have it and if I can then I can. Ive just
got to get on with it day by day.
Lewer also revealed that James Coutts, who was on the verge
of joining Dorchester Town last Friday, is set to stay at
The manager added: Hes staying. Ive spoken
to him and theres no problem there. He didnt want
to go and no one wanted him to leave so hell stay at
Supporters were given the chance to meet the new board last
night at a fans forum at the Wessex Stadium.