Steve Collard, whose company Commsplus is the Hyde Park operation’s main sponsor, is mapping out a plan to save tens of thousands of pounds a year, which would be reinvested in the playing side.
Mr Collard aims to see The Titans win two promotions in the next five years to lift them out of National League Division Two South via Division One to the English Championship. His long-term ambition is to go one step further into the Premiership, which features the top 12 clubs in England.
Mr Collard, who has assumed control of the club for the next 12 months, said: “Money was being wasted and it’s my intention to see the club being run in a more businesslike manner. “It has a turnover of £850,000 and makes a good profit, but you can’t run a club with a management committee meeting of 15 or 16 people once a month. The club’s got to change its constitution. You can’t run a semi-professional club like that. It needs to be put on a more commercial footing to release cash to the rugby playing side. We need to be on top of the cashflow. We’ll sit down with two or three ‘grandee’ members and rewrite the constitution and present it to members before Christmas. There will be a very small board of directors.”
Mr Collard said his firm has sponsored the club for seven seasons, contributing between £50,000 and £70,000 each year.
He added: “The club has been drifting year after year. It couldn’t continue to be run as it was. They’ve been appointing third parties to help run it, such as accountants, when you could do that in-house. We could save tens of thousands of pounds a year. That will be put into success on the pitch from The Titans down to the kids.
“I’m not getting a penny out of this. We put in a lot of money as do other sponsors and this is a change that was needed. I want to reverse the club’s financial fortunes. I’m feeling very positive. A lot of work has been done on the ground and there are four of five new players, including one from a Premiership club.”
Mr Collard plans to meet Tony Rowe, chairman of Exeter Chiefs, who he has helped turn into one of England’s top sides.
This article was first published on the Somerset County Gazette and was written by Phil Hill.