The ink had barely dried on the newsprint on the story of changes in management at Clitheroe Football Club when the snipers had their guns loaded and the newly-appointed manager firmly in their sights.
Carl Garner had resigned as chairman after more than five years and had taken the reigns as manager following the resignation of Pete Smith.
Pete had done a fantastic job at the club in his time there and had taken the club to its highest ever position in the football pyramid, together with a final appearance at the Reebok Stadium last season in the Lancashire Cup Final.
Unfortunately, for personal reasons, Pete left the club and with his wishes Carl took the reigns. I got involved with the club at the same time as Carl and, believe me, it was not really a good time off the field due to the financial problems the club was going through.
Having taken the chairman’s position, Carl – together with a hard-working committee – set about putting the club in a strong position off the field. Not even the snipers can have a go at what has been achieved in the past five years, but now is the time to get things right ON the field.
I have personally known Carl for more than 16 years and, believe you me, although he will be the first to admit he has no experience at this level of management, his knowledge of the non-league scene and football in general is second to none.
He will be out there looking for new blood to bring into the club with a view to building a successful team for years to come.
This is not Abramovich taking the reigns at Chelsea, Kenwright at Everton or the Glaziers at United... this is a guy who only has the club’s interests at heart.
Maybe the results since he took over may just have a few people thinking again and the snipers putting their guns down. He said to judge him by Christmas and, who knows, by then the people of Clitheroe may hopefully realise they have the “Special One”.