From the chairman…

Mar 22, 2023

Peterhead FC Chairman Rodger Morrison remains optimistic as we approach the business end of the season starting with Alloa at home this Saturday.

Morrison is keen to stress that the departure of David Robertson as manager yesterday wasn’t knee-jerk and was in the best interests of the club both in the short-term and long-term. The Blue Toon stalwart has thanked the supporters who have stuck with the club during this tough time and hopes to give them something to enjoy between now and the season ending in May.

The 74-year-old had this to say, “It’s not over until it’s over. We have to remain optimistic and we know that there is quality in our squad and that with a bit of belief and a whole lot of heart, they can turn this around. What has been so disheartening over the past few weeks hasn’t just been the scoreline but the manner in which we have been defeated. Historically Balmoor has always been a difficult place to come for visiting teams, we need to make that a reality again and fight our way out of the position we are in.

“It has been an incredibly tough season for everyone associated with the club and our thanks must go to the fans who have stuck with us through a very hard time. Losing so many quality players at the end of last season was always going to be difficult to bounce back from but we could never have foreseen just how difficult recruitment would be this season, it feels as though the pool of part-time players willing to commit to the travel involved in League One football has diminished significantly and it has been an uphill struggle to lure them here even with an increased budget.

“Obviously for some fans the news of David’s departure will have come as a shock however this was not a knee-jerk reaction to Saturday’s result but a decision that the board had thought long and hard about. We totally understand the fan’s frustration with what has been a tumultuous period for the club but they are not always privy to what is happening behind the scenes, we appreciate that it is not easy given recent events but we have to ask for their trust in us as a board that we made the right call.  
When we appointed David we had two main objectives; to maintain our league One status and to give a more local identity to the team. To David’s credit, he did implement some ideas that brought more fan engagement with training at Balmoor and he did look locally for players to target however found the same pitfalls as previous managers which he explained during his fans Q and A last month.

“With regards to maintaining our League One status, we provided a considerable budget to strengthen in the January window to meet this objective however unfortunately the money being spent was not reflected on the pitch. We as a board always give our backing and complete autonomy to the First Team Manager with regards to recruitment and team selection but there were decisions that were being made this season and in preparation for next season that were concerning therefore, we felt a change had to be made to try to regain some stability as we looked increasingly like a team who had accepted relegation.”

With Alloa coming to Balmoor on Saturday, Morrison has pleaded for supporters to back joint caretaker managers Ryan Strachan and Jordon Brown who have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare the team for Saturday’s match.

“It is hugely important you back Ryan, Jordon and the players. We know that we are asking a lot given recent events but we as a board are as committed as ever to success with PFC and we hope that our fans know that and give the boys all the support they can come Saturday.”

“Ryan and Jordon are both consummate professionals and know that they do not have an easy task ahead of them but are keen to do all they can for the club. Pride on the pitch and for the jersey matters to both and their long history with PFC stands them in good stead going into the game on Saturday.”

With a lot of criticism aimed at the board as a result of David Robertson’s sacking yesterday, the chairman understands the frustration from supporters and the public.

“I understand the frustration, ultimately the buck stops here and we have to take accountability for what has happened over the past season. We always knew that this would be a very tough league but it has been more challenging than we anticipated and we apologise for the standard of football that has been on display. First and foremost, I am a Peterhead fan and have been my whole life so watching a club I have always had pride in struggle has not been easy and I therefore know how fans feel but want them to know that there are directors who work tirelessly for this club to bring in investment and our ambition for success is still our main focus.”

Moving forward, Morrison admits that we are looking at a more local approach to work alongside the talent we currently have like Hamish Ritchie and Jack Brown.

“We are constantly looking at local talent to add to the team. I keep in touch with many Highland League Managers and often take in a game to look at prospectives myself. There are some gems like our own Hamish Ritchie and Jack Brown there, it’s just overcoming the hurdle of getting them to sign on the dotted line. Working with Highland League clubs can be challenging as they often sign youngsters on long contracts and ask for very high fees to release them so we are often stymied in our aim to bring in more local talent, but we will still keep working towards that goal. Obviously, we cannot predict where our next manager will be based geographically but we will still want more of a local identity to the team if possible.”

Morrison says that interest is always there for the vacant position at Balmoor, “We will take our time to find the right candidate. We have already had applications in, some of whom we interviewed previously for the position, but we don’t want to rush this as we have to know that whoever comes in is the right fit for this club.”

Finally, a word to the supporters!

“Please be the twelfth man on Saturday, the lads need our support more than ever and if we stick together then we can give ourselves the best chance of getting something from the game!”