Dave Walters has sold his majority shareholding in Hastings United Football Club Limited, according to the club website.
As reported by www.hastingsunitedfc.co.uk, Walters - who has been at the helm since February 2004 - has relinquished his roles as director and chairman at The Pilot Field.
Walters has agreed a deal with Dave Ormerod, a lifelong fan of the current and former incarnations of Hastings United, and a man who will be well-known to a large number of Hastings United supporters.
He is a former club treasurer and a one-time management committee member, and will take control of boardroom affairs with immediate effect. The formalities are expected to be completed by the coming weekend.
Announcements will be made in due course with respect to the constitution of the new board and administrative structure for the club.
At this stage, though, Ormerod is hoping that United’s volunteer workforce will remain actively involved, and that the supporters’ club will continue to operate.
He intends to arrange meetings with all volunteers and with the supporters’ club committee as soon as possible to discuss their valuable roles in United’s future plans.
Looking back on his time in charge, Walters said: “The last 11 years have provided the rollercoaster ride that I fully expected when I bought the majority shareholding from the late Mick Maplesden.
“I knew that there would be ‘lows’ and sincerely hoped there would be some ‘highs’ along the way as well, and I certainly haven’t been disappointed in either respect.
“The obvious high points were the play-off winning season of 2006/07, which culminated in two great away days at Dover and Tooting & Mitcham that secured promotion to the Ryman Premier Division under Nigel Kane’s management, and the never to be forgotten FA Cup run during the 2012/13 campaign when Sean Ray led United to the third round and a trip to take on Championship side Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, an incredible and memorable achievement that may well never be repeated.
“The relegation suffered at the conclusion of that same season was a significant low point of course, but the current season has quite frankly been a disaster.
“More money has been spent on players’ wages this season than in any of those previous 11 seasons and yet the club finds itself in a desperate position in the table and in a real dogfight to avoid dropping into County League circles.
“It is enormously disappointing to be leaving in such a situation, but I firmly believe that the time is right for both myself and the club.
“Off the field of play, the financial position is strong, with a six figure sum in the bank, despite the large loss that will be made in the current trading year, and I am proud to say that the club has never been in debt during my time as chairman, nor even had an overdraft facility.
“This could not have been achieved without the considerable support of my two director colleagues, Simon Rudkins and David Murphy, the latter of whom is also stepping down, as well as Chris Russo during her time at the club.
“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to them and to the numerous other people who have helped to keep the club afloat over the last decade or so. I wish you all and the club all the best for the future.”
Ormerod was quick to pay tribute to Walters for keeping the club on such a sound financial footing over the years, something of a rarity at non-league level these days, and for the healthy state in which he leaves things, thanking him for his hard work and dedication, and wishing him well in his own future endeavours.