AFC Sudbury appoint Andrew Long as chairman to succeed long-serving Yellow Philip Turner
Vice chairman Andrew Long, a qualified lawyer who has had a big impact on off-the-field processes since coming into the club at the end of last season, is stepping up to take over from Philip Turner with immediate effect.
Turner, 75, had announced his intention to stand down from the role he has held over three long spells since the club's inception in 1999 at the end of the season.
But with a board re-structure taking place, leading to a new set-up at the top of the club, he decided the time was right to bring the date forward.
His presence at the club will continue though after the club decided to name him as Lord Andrew Phillips' successor as the club president.
A statement released by Turner via the club's website today, following on from last night's postponed home Bostik League match with Maldon & Tiptree due to a floodlight failure, read: "I have decided that the time has come for me to pass on the baton of the club’s chairmanship to someone else and I am delighted that, with the board’s unanimous approval, Andrew Long has agreed to accept the appointment.
"In the relatively short time he has been with us Andrew’s knowledge and commercial experience has been of enormous benefit and I am sure that under his guidance and leadership the club will go from strength to strength.
"I have always believed that I would know when the time was right to stand down and in Andrew, I am certain that I have found the right person to take over."
It continued: "His position has been strengthened with the appointment of four new directors; Danny Laws, Mark Morsley (first-team manager), Ben Davies and Ian Brown, who will be joining Richard Instance and Darren Theobald.
"Each of the directors has been appointed to head up a specific area of responsibility and as a team they all have the talent and commitment to manage the development of the club as we plan for the future.
"I am sure that everyone connected to the club will wish Andrew and his new board every success as he takes on this important responsibility."
It went on to add: "Having passed the chairmanship to Andrew I have been offered and have accepted the position of club president.
"I consider this to be a great honour and I will do my utmost to ensure that the club continues to develop and successfully move forward into the future."
Andrew Long, who has been down at the club today assisting the engineers to diagnose and rectify the power source problem with the club's recently acquired LED floodlights, told the Free Press he was delighted to accept the role, but would have big boots to fill.
"It is an honour and privilege to be asked to replace someone like Phil, although they are big shoes to fill.
"He is a hard act to follow as with his chairmanship of Sudbury Town he has been a chairman on and off in Sudbury for about 30 years."
Speaking about appointing Long as his vice chairman back in October, having initially come to the club as a director with responsibility for managing media, Turner wrote: "I met Andrew through playing golf and about two years ago he advised me that he was getting rather bored as, following his retirement from one of the major oil companies, he did not have enough to do.
"Having been a chairman of a football club for more years than I wish to remember that was music to my ears and immediately suggested that he might like to visit AFC Sudbury to see how we ran things with a view of getting involved as a volunteer.
"Andrew certainly made an impact when he arrived. We very quickly realised that in Andrew we had a volunteer who had much to offer the club, not least his experience as a qualified lawyer combined with his commercial background.
"We had no hesitation in inviting him to join the board of directors and since then he has re-organised the way we operate and his guidance on staff, financial and legal matters has enabled us to introduce new procedures and systems that will help to ensure the club’s successful progress is maintained for the future.
"It was pretty obvious that he had a solid knowledge of football tactics and after a bit of delving into his background discovered that whilst he is a dyed in the wool Blues (Birmingham City) supporter he was also a successful footballer, having played for Birmingham Schools in the national final against London Schools and the progressing to play at centre-back in the Southern League with Nuneaton Borough, Solihull and Halesowen Town.
"He also played Birmingham League Cricket for Kings Norton and presently plays golf with a respectable handicap of about 10.
"He is a great fan of heavy rock music and can converse in depth with the club’s two aged rockers - Nigel Booth and Darren Witt for hours about what he calls proper music and the merits of Black Sabbath, ACDC and Iron Maiden.
"I am sure Andrew will be a great asset to the club and I am delighted that he has agreed to become my vice chairman."
* Meanwhile, the postponed game at Brentwood Town on Saturday has been re-arranged for Tuesday, February 19 (7.45pm) while an announcement on a new date for the Maldon & Tiptree game is set to be announced soon.