ROCHDALE Hornets Mark Wynn has announced he is stepping down from his role as chairman and also from the board at next month’s annual general meeting after ten years in the post.
Mark took over as chairman in 2009 following the reformation of the club as a supporters owned organization, working in the role on a voluntary basis alongside his day job where he runs Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Circle.
Following the original club going into administration due to debts of around £850k, the ‘new’ club was managed by Sponsorbank, a third party management company appointed by the Rugby Football League, who subsequently lost a further £120k.
Once Mark took over in his role as Chairman, alongside a newly formed board and office staff, the club managed to straddle the financial issues and eventually broke even the year after and he regards this as one of his and the supporter owned clubs greatest successes.
“It almost comes across as trivial but I’m walking away with all taxes paid and they have been paid for the full duration of my tenure, the rent has been paid for the full duration of my tenure and I can hang my hat on the playing side and the business side but it’s difficult to put a pin on just one thing.”
“When I took over the previous administration had gone into administration, when they finished counting it was something like £850k in debt. A management company was brought in in the interim and when I finally took over they had lost a further £120k in the first season. We turned that around and broke even the following year. That must rank alongside beating Toulouse in Toulouse.”
On the field though the club has gone from strength to strength and floated around the play off places from 2010 to 2012, reaching the semi-final under John Stankevitch.
Eventually in 2013 the club clinched a historic Grand Final victory over neighbours Oldham to gain promotion to the Championship under Ian Talbot to win their first trophy in 91 years. Fortunately, they wouldn’t have to wait as long for a second. Just three years later it was Alan Kilshaw’s men who recorded a historic victory in France defeating the unbeaten Toulouse Olympique in the League 1 final to be crowned champions, making the 2016 team the first Rochdale Hornets side which could call themselves Champions in 97 years.
Further changes to the board also see’s directors Wendy Hamer and Luke Harrison step away from their duties as the club looks to develop its leadership model.