RAITH Rovers last night (Wednesday) announced some changes to the structure of the club’s boardroom.
Lifelong supporter Tom Morgan, a retired accountant, is taking over the role of commercial director from Bill O’Neil, who is stepping down after five years on the board.
In addition, Turnbull Hutton has “reluctantly” taken on the role of club chairman – a position which has been vacant since the resignation of Dave Somerville 18 months ago – with fellow director Eric Drysdale taking on the newly created role of chief executive.
The remaining board members – vice-chairman Mario Caira, Alan Young, Tom Phillips and Dave Wann – are unaffected.
A board statement read: “Earlier this season Bill O’Neil intimated his intention to step down from the board.
“In addition, as supporters will already be aware, Bob Mullen (secretary) has been absent through serious illness for the last five months, putting a lot of pressure on the remaining staff at Stark’s Park.
“The directors have taken time to carefully consider how best to respond to these developments, and also best equip Raith Rovers for the challenges it faces in what is a very difficult period for Scottish football.”
In welcoming Mr Morgan onto the board, a club statement read: “A life-time supporter of the club, Tom is well-known locally and will be a huge asset.
“Tom and Bill will be working together over the next few weeks to effect a seamless handover of key responsibilities. Accepting the offer to join the board, Tom explained: “I’m looking forward to the challenge of continuing and building upon the good work done by Bill and the team.”
Departing director Mr O’Neil added: “I have enjoyed the challenges and successes both on and off the field, and would take this opportunity to wish the team, the board and the staff all success in the future”.
Oh his return to the chairmanship, a position he previously held in 2004, Turnbull added: “I am happy to help the club through the current turmoil in Scottish football to what I hope will be calmer waters.
“At that point I would hope to retake something of a back seat.”
The move to create a new chief executive post was described as “essential for a club of our size and potential going forward”.
Eric Drysdale, who will assume the role on a part-time basis, commented: “The challenge of helping shape the club for all the challenges that lie ahead excites me.
“Our employees are our greatest assets and I look forward to working with them all to best support the efforts of the team on the pitch.”
Meanwhile, club secretary Bob Mullen will be returning to light duties next month and in a further development Derek Pringle, who has been working part-time with the commercial department, has also decided to step down next month.
The board stated: “We would wish to take this opportunity to thank club staff and volunteers for their commitment and professionalism through what has been a testing time behind the scenes.”