Borough chairman hungry for new rescue mission

Iain McInnes has missed being involved in football since helping Pompey back on its feet. Picture: Joe Pepler
Iain McInnes has missed being involved in football since helping Pompey back on its feet. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Wright is in good scoring form. Picture: Keith Woodland

‘All or nothing’ as Gosport get set for Dunstable trip

  • McInnes determined to restore club’s mojo
  • Chief vows not to repeat past mistakes
  • Escape relegation is Gosport’s first priority
  • Return to National League is long-term goal
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Iain McInnes knows he faces a huge challenge in putting Gosport Borough back on its feet.

The chairman took over at Privett Park last week and the opening days of his tenure have been nothing if not eventful.

If they didn’t have Gosport they wouldn’t have anywhere to go and that was a huge motivating factor for me

Iain McInnes

One of his first acts was to re-appoint former boss Alex Pike while failing to convince Mick Catlin to stay on in a joint-manager role.

Over the past two seasons, Borough have been in financial meltdown – a fall which has included five winding up orders from the HMRC.

But ex-Pompey chairman McInnes is determined to help the Southern League premier division club put their troubles behind them.

‘Most people would think – I thought and my family certainly thought – I had been through this process at some length with Pompey,’ he said.

‘But in the few months I was out of the involvement I found I missed it.

‘I felt I’d put a good shift in at Portsmouth but started thinking why not do it at another club in danger.

‘The first time I came to Gosport I stood with three older supporters at the rail.

‘They asked if I fancied going there to give them a hand. They said they used to support Pompey but could no longer afford to do so.

‘If they didn’t have Gosport they wouldn’t have anywhere to go and that was a huge motivating factor for me. I felt then this was a club worth saving.’

McInnes admits his Borough takeover has been anything but straightforward.

The decision to bring Pike back as manager has met with criticism from some quarters.

However, McInnes insists rumours of a similar return for former chairman Mark Hook are unfounded.

Instead, he is determined to take the club forward.

He recognises Borough were maybe days even hours away from financial oblivion – with talk of liquidation on the agenda.

McInnes added: ‘The solution is not going to be quick and it is not going to be easy.

‘In the last few days I have realised the animosity there is towards some of the people previously involved in the football club.

‘I did a lot of due diligence before committing myself. What happened was down to tomfoolery and we have to make sure it never happens again.’

The new chairman is determined to look forward and has ambitions of restoring past glories to the club.

At the moment, though, his priority is making sure Borough avoid relegation.

Once that is achieved he wants to see them back in National League South.

‘I want to see the club get its mojo back,’ said McInnes.

‘One of the first things I want to do is to do away with all the negativity.

‘I want all the people who care for the club to get behind it and help us.’