Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle attends Showgrounds media event

Patrick Mitchell, Simon Magee, Ranald McGregor-Smith and Michael Anderson of Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle attended a special media evening at the Showgrounds on Tuesday prior to the supporters’ ‘Meet the Owners’ event.

Reporter Michael Anderson, who provides the Causeway Chronicle coverage of the Bannsiders throughout the season – along with photographer Maurice Bradley – engaged with the new owners and CEO.

He received a comprehensive update on progress since the takeover.

During the event, owners Ranald McGregor-Smith and Patrick Mitchell and CEO Simon Magee shared insights into their vision for the club, progress made thus far, and future plans.

The club stated they are eager to share these developments with our local press and it’s a welcome development as we all want to generate the club in a positive light.

Ranald and Patrick explained that they had already attracted new investors.

“Ranald introduced this guy, he’s a former work colleague of his,” explained Patrick.

“He has no connection with this part of the world but I think it’s really nice that a successful stock broker in London with one of the big banks was prepared to put in his own money and invest in a club he had never visited before.”

The person in question has since been over on a couple of occasions.

CEO Simon Magee admitted the process to turn full time has probably come quicker than anyone originally expected.

“I don’t think as a club we ever came out and said we would go hybrid, although it was an option” stated Simon.

“But when we sat down and looked, the time just felt right, with twelve players out of contract.

“We originally said we would try and do it over an 18 months period but in theory we started in January with the three or four signings we made and we’ve probably done it a little bit quicker than we thought.”

The club reckon a squad of 22 will be required so more new singings will be arriving in due course!

The owners also confirmed they will be strongly putting forward the club’s case when it comes to stadium funding.

Work is also continuing behind the scenes with a new kitchen almost completed – all crucial aspects of a full time set up.

“We want to be able to give the club that support. Today we have had electricians and builders in,” added Patrick.

“We want that when full time training starts, we have facilities where players can come in and have a healthy breakfast and lunch under Junior Mendes control.”

A lot of topics were covered during our time together and both Ranald and Patrick reiterated that they believe that the new model will be sustainable.

There’s certainly plenty going on behind the scenes as the Bannsiders prepare for the beginning of a new era.

There’s no doubt that these are exciting times for Coleraine Football Club! 

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Maurice Bradley