STAFFORD Rangers chairman Jon Downing is stepping down at the end of the season.
Mr Downing, a Stafford businessman, confirmed his decision late yesterday, saying: “I’ve enjoyed my time and have been proud and honoured to be chairman of Stafford Rangers, but I feel now is the right time to step back.
“I feel a fresh new chairman is needed, someone with the ambition to take this club forward. But I’ll still have a passion for the club.” Director Ian Seddon, who joined the board last year, said he would be interested in taking over as chairman, but any decision would be taken at a board meeting during the close season.
Speaking about his decision, Mr Downing said: “It has not been easy times at the club, what with the money situation.
“But my ambition this season was to see the club remain in the Blue Square North, and we’ve achieved that, and to help balance the books. There is still a lot of hard work ahead and I think it’s achievable.
“I’ve thought hard and long about this decision and it wasn’t easy. After all I’m a Stafford Rangers supporter myself. I love the club to bits and I’ll always have the club at heart.” Mr Downing has been a Marston Road director for 17 years, including two spells as chairman, the current one for the past seven years, during which time Rangers were promoted to the Conference premier in 2006.
“I stood a very proud man when we were promoted to the Conference premier. It was the proudest moment in my life.
“It will be sad to leave, but I feel it will be good for the club for me to stand back, but I’ll not be far away,” said Downing, who helped steer the Boro through a turbulent summer last year when the club was in danger of folding.
Downing was also full of praise for the backing he has received over the years from the club’s supporters. “The fans have never ever complained to me. They’ve always supported me and to me they are the best set of supporters you could ever want.”