Delighted chairman Wayne Bradley says he hopes Alfreton Town can start moving forward again after luring Euromillions winner Lee Mullen to the club as director and financial backer.
Mullen and his wife Susan landed the lottery in 2011 and went on to invest in his local club, Grimsby Town, as they gained promotion back to the Football League and played at Wembley in the FA Trophy final.
Now he is on his way to Alfreton after leaving the Mariners in January, although he is still a shareholder at Blundell Park, and Bradley believes the appointment could trigger an improvement in on-the-field fortunes for the Reds.
“With added vigour, focus and desire, I can see a bright horizon for the club,” said Bradley, who has been in the hotseat at North Street for 18 years.
“Football clubs have a habit of looking for success but, more to the point, of draining finances in the search for that success.
“That is why the headlines, in many cases, will talk of clubs failing or disappearing off the football map, or being disappointed with their lot in the particular division they are in.
“Therefore I am delighted we have overcome that hurdle and we have brought in a new board member who is going to bring investment into the club. I am hopeful he will be instrumental in the latest saga of us continuing our spiral upwards in the football world.”
Alfreton endured their worst season for many years when plunging to as low as 18th in the National Conference North in 2016/17, which also marked the end of manager Nicky Law’s successful reign at the club.
With another ex-Grimsby man, John McDermott, being appointed the new boss, Bradley is confident fans can start expecting better.
“Supporters, quite rightly, want to gain success and the club appreciates every supporter it has got,” said the chairman. “We will look to deliver for them, but all within safe budgetary constraints.
“Lee is joining with an initial stake in the club that he is comfortable with. That could well grow as time develops.
“More significantly, he comes in with huge enthusiasm and takes on the job with a huge breath of fresh air. He wants to see a club of Alfreton’s ilk rise upwards and onwards.”
Bradley revealed that Mullen’s connection with Alfreton blossomed during his time as a director at Grimsby.
“He always enjoyed visiting Alfreton Town,” said Bradley. “It’s not many seasons ago that we were in the same division and had some good old battles. He enjoyed the crystal picture Alfreton paints. We are what we are. We achieved what we achieved. We are honest in our endeavours and Lee has, for many years, been an admirer of our efforts and methods.
“I chatted to him about where he might go in the football world and the opportunity came around for us to have a specific conversation. He was delighted to be invited to become involved.”
Bradley stressed that the appointment would not mean Alfreton’s “personality” changed, but he was hopeful that results on the field would improve.
“The sooner we can assemble our squad for next season, the better it will be,” he said. “I hope we can build a side full of guts and desire and be good enough to compete with the best in the division.
“These are very exciting times and we move foreward with added positivity.”