For the second time in six months the ownership of North Ferriby United has changed hands. East Yorkshire’s answer to Del Boy, Jamie Waltham, is no more as he handed the club over to new owners, Carl and Terry Chadwick of Chadwick Builders.
Waltham made it clear at a fans meeting a few weeks ago that he wanted to pass the club on and this was for two reasons. Firstly the clubs fans unanimously voted in favour of staying in the Village of North Ferriby rather than relocating to Dunswell as was Waltham’s vision. Secondly Waltham has gone to do charity work in India and understandabley felt that he wouldn’t be able to commit to the club from so far away.
The new owners are said to be making a £30,000 investment over three seasons, effectively clearing the club’s debts. This will allow them to compete in the Evo Stik Premier League next season and hopefully gain some stability. Everything seemed to be very much up in the air recently so it is pleasing to hear this news even if it means the club has had three different owners in six months.
While only in charge since November 2017 it’s been a rollercoaster ride under Jamie Waltham. He has done some good things that he should be credited for. The wage budget has been slashed from £5,000 a week to £1600 a week with Waltham stating the club is now in the best financial state it has been in years.
He has changed the culture of the club so it is now based on local players. As he rightly points out though that did not hinder the club on the pitch as although they were relegated the club showed signs of real promise under new manager Chris Bolder and hopefully he will continue his good work next season.
As many people will point out across Hull you have to take the rough with the smooth with Jamie Waltham and some of his statements during his time in charge were baffling to say the least. No sooner had he taken over did he propose to move the club to Dunswell as he felt the village didn’t support the club and he would get more people through the gates at Dene Park. When that proposal was met with scepticism by the fans he came up with a novel way of proving his point.
He told residents of the Village that if they didn’t come and support the club he would look at turning the ground into a traveller’s camp to bring in more money for the club whilst potentially reducing the value of house prices in the Village by up to 10%, or so he claimed. The council took this statement seriously enough to put concrete bollards outside the entrance to the ground however these have since been removed.
When Waltham basically told the fans, “it’s over to you now” things looked ominous, the club was in debt and the small fan base was never going to raise enough money to stay at this level. Luckily Carl and Terry Chadwick have stepped in and the club is now officially theirs along with the stadium naming rights. Hopefully after a turbulent few months things can settle down a bit now and Ferriby can sustain themselves at the Evo Stik level again.
Goodbye Jamie, it’s been memorable!