Cambridge United announced this evening that, as previously communicated, Dave Doggett has stood down from his position as Chairman of the Football Club and member of the Board of Directors.
The Board - on behalf of everyone at the Club - would like to place on record thanks and appreciation for everything that Dave Doggett has done for Cambridge United during his time as Chairman. During this period the Club returned to the Football League and has enjoyed considerable success on the pitch - with memorable moments at Wembley and in the FA Cup in particular. As a result Dave leaves Cambridge United in a much stronger position as a football club, on and off the field, and also as a valued partner across the community. We will always be grateful for his passion, leadership and commitment and we are sure we speak for every supporter of the Club.
While the Board will miss Dave’s drive and experience, the Board will continue to benefit from the deep knowledge of the Football Club and wise counsel of Eddie Clark and Renford Sargent and Dave Matthew- Jones all of whom have also been instrumental in the turn -around of the Club over the last few years. The Board also benefits from the guidance of Christoph Loch as a fellow Director as the Dean (Chief Executive) of the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, as well as the other Board members mentioned below.
Cambridge United also announced that the Club is in advanced discussions with Paul Barry, currently the Club’s largest shareholder, about further significant investment in the Club. As is well known, Paul is a lifelong Cambridge United supporter who has given considerable financial support to the Club during the many challenges of recent years. As Paul Barry indicated publicly in July, he has recently increased his shareholding to a significant minority interest in the Club, which is expected to increase to a controlling ownership position in January.
The decision of the Club to support this further investment was taken by a unanimous vote of the whole Board in October. The reasons are straightforward. First and foremost, Cambridge United will have an owner who is a lifelong fan and someone we know will always put the interests of the Club first. This further investment also represents a significant vote of confidence in the current strong foundations of the Club and its prospects for the future. This will help provide greater financial stability which is essential for any Club at our current level and will put Cambridge United in the best position to realise its ambitions centred around the potential redevelopment of The Abbey Stadium at the heart of the community in the Abbey Ward, and Cambridge as a whole.
In the interim, the Board has established a sub - committee of Directors to provide closer support and oversight for the efficient and effective operation of the Club and to act as an important link back to the Board.
Graham Daniels will oversee the football side of the Club. As is well known, Graham is a former professional footballer who played for Cambridge United in the 1980s. Graham has lived in the city for many years and been a Director of the Club since May 2013. Graham is also currently Chairman of the Cambridge United Community Trust.
Shaun Grady will oversee the business side of the Club and will run the Board meetings in this interim period. Shaun is Vice President of Global Business Development at Astra Zeneca and has been a Director at the Club since September 2016 following his relocation to Cambridge with his family. Astra Zeneca became the Club’s first ever Community Sponsor earlier this month.
Steve Chamberlain will provide oversight of the Club’s financial affairs. Steve is Chief Financial Officer at Darktrace in Cambridge having previously held the same role at Sepura and before that was VP Finance at Autonomy. Steve has been a Director of the Football Club since February 2016.
In the new changed circumstances for the Club and in preparation for the new ownership, the Board has asked the Executive Committee to undertake a review of the existing operational procedures within the Club.
The Board recognise that change inevitably creates some uncertainty, but we believe this clarity around ownership in the New Year will ensure that Cambridge United is best placed to progress and fulfil the common ambition of everyone associated with the Club - playing at a higher level, in a new stadium and doing even more for the City and community in which we are proud to play an important part.