New owner's programme column from Saturday's game against Hartlepool
First of all, may I thank all the Crawley Town supporters and staff who were so welcoming to me on my previous visit to the club for the Plymouth game.
It was great to stand behind the goal and experience their passion for our club. It helped convince me even more that my decision to get involved with
Crawley Town is the right one and it is great to have finally concluded the sale in the last ten days.
England is the home of football and I have always had a love of football in this country. Even in a relatively short time, I have begun to understand that our fans are as passionate about Crawley Town as those supporters of much bigger clubs.
To travel five or six hours to a game, as our fans do on a regular basis, shows an incredible loyalty which is unique to English football and, I believe, one of its strengths.
For the past ten years I have been the elected president of a successful Turkish club Kayseri Erciyesspor and, through my involvement, I have gained experience and knowledge of running a football club.
In the last 12 months I have been actively looking for the right English club to whom I can apply my football philosophy. When I heard about Crawley Town, which was formed in 1896 and has a long history, I knew it was the right club, not least because of the potential it has to grow.
We have been working on the sale since last October and I would like to thank the former board of directors for their help in concluding the sale and to wish them all the best for the future.
With the knowledge I have accrued, allied to the hard work and professionalism of the existing staff on and off the field and the new appointments we are in the process of making, I’m sure we can succeed.
We would love to take Crawley into the Championship within the next 8-10 years. It will take a lot of dedication and I believe we will need a foster a real togetherness between everyone involved, but it can be done.
This week, some of our senior staff will be meeting representatives of the Supporters Alliance to try and forge a stronger relationship for the future between us.
As Mark Yates, our manager, has said recently, it is important that we try to finish the season as strongly as possible, to give us momentum to take into next season and enthuse our fans for the future of the team. We will give Mark and his staff as much support as possible to take the club forward.
There is a lot more that we can do: promoting the club better in the local community, driving sponsorship and commercial revenue up, which will help fund better signings for the team, and making some improvements around the stadium to improve the experience for our fans. It has been ten months since we had an operational scoreboard but we now have a new one in place, a small sign that we want to improve things for our supporters. All I would ask is patience.
If you have any ideas on how we can change things for the better please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
A new and exciting chapter can begin for Crawley Town, a journey that I want us all to take together.