Murfitt stays on - for now

PUBLISHED: 11:17 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 13:27 04 May 2010

COLIN MURFITT: Soham Town Rangers chairman

COLIN MURFITT: Soham Town Rangers chairman

COLIN Murfitt will stay on as Soham Town Rangers chairman next season - but still wants to hand over the reins once he feels the club is financially secure. The decision is a u-turn by businessman Murfitt, who initially claimed that he wanted to step down

COLIN Murfitt will stay on as Soham Town Rangers chairman next season - but still wants to hand over the reins once he feels the club is financially secure.

The decision is a u-turn by businessman Murfitt, who initially claimed that he wanted to step down from the chairmanship by August to concentrate on watching his beloved Arsenal.

But after receiving a card signed by players and club staff urging him to stay on, he has changed his mind.

"They want me to stay on," said the 57-year-old. "I don't want to stay on but I can't just walk away.

"I shall be doing more or less the same as before but I won't let the club get into debt."

Murfitt has been widely seen as being responsible for bankrolling the club during his time there, although it is believed that manager Ian Benjamin has been told he will have a tighter budget to work with next season.

"I had a card signed by five or six of the players," Murfitt said. "They want me to stay on and it still gives me time to go and watch Arsenal. I shall be going there, definitely."

Murfitt will step down, however, once the club is financially secure in the long term independent of Murfitt's involvement.

"The club needs a new chairman," he said. "But until they can get someone, I will do the job. I don't want to see the club get into trouble."

Murfitt and his family are virtually part of the furniture at Julius Martin Lane. He has been involved for 20 years, while his father Fred was a player and his mother Win was tealady.

His firm, CJ Murfitt builders, is the main club sponsor and he was instrumental in bringing footballer-turned-Hollywood superstar Vinnie Jones to the club as president nine years ago, a position he still holds.

Other changes behind the scenes see Bill Gray appointed vice-chairman, while outgoing secretary Chris Abbott has been replaced, with Karen Prewett taking the role of club secretary. Brian Eley takes the fixtures secretary mantle.

Club funds received a boost this week with the news that the sportsman's dinner held at Julius Martin Lane on April 13 raised more than £12,000.

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