Proac­tive plans to big up Blues

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RUGBY UNION SHELDAN KEAY

MAC­CLES­FIELD Rugby Union’s new busi­ness di­rec­tor Jonathan Marsh is ex­cited to lay out his plans for the fu­ture af­ter he joined the club.

Marsh ar­rives as Bill and Bev Roberts de­part, with the duo leav­ing the club af­ter years of loyal ser­vice.

Marsh al­ready had con­nec­tions with Macc, af­ter play­ing an in­stru­men­tal part in ar­rang­ing the club’s spon­sor­ship deal with Hal­li­well Jones.

He now has a num­ber of other plans up his sleeves, and he is look­ing for­ward to mak­ing that clear to sup­port­ers.

“The main fo­cus of my role is to make money for the club. His­tor­i­cally we’ve been quite re­ac­tive, but I think we need to pur­sue a more proac­tive pol­icy and go out look­ing for busi­ness,” he said.

“That’s par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant if we press ahead with the plans to build a new club­house, as we’ll need to pay for the work some­how.

“So the main fo­cus of my job here is to pro­mote the club and sell the club as a func­tion venue to a much wider au­di­ence.

“Even­tu­ally, when and if we do get the new club­house, I would re­ally like to run that as a proper pub.

“It would be great if the bar could be open nearly ev­ery night as I think this could be a real draw for the club lo­cally.

“That’s my plan any­way, al­though I haven’t yet dis­cussed this with the com­mit­tee. I don’t re­ally see why the idea wouldn’t prove to be suc­cess­ful as there’s a new hous­ing es­tate nearby, and the new club­house would be the only pub within the lo­cal area. I also want to pro­mote the club­house bet­ter as a func­tions’ room were we could stage Christ­mas par­ties, birth­day par­ties and wed­ding and fu­neral func­tions.

“We also would like the club­house to have a gym as well, so there should be lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties to fur­ther in­crease the club’s rev­enue.

I’ve only been do­ing the job for a week and a half, but it’s cer­tainly been en­joy­able. I also have to say that it’s been a bit of a chal­lenge be­cause the role is so di­verse.

“I’m cur­rently do­ing Bev’s job as well as my own, so I’m learn­ing new things ev­ery day. Many peo­ple mis­tak­enly be­lieve I’m di­rectly re­plac­ing Bill and Bev Roberts, but that’s not ex­actly the case.

“The role is new one, and will have a dif­fer­ent re­mit. Hav­ing said that, I will be un­der­tak­ing the tasks that Bill and Bev did, but then over time my role will change and I will start to take on other tasks which will hope­fully al­low me to take some of the work­load from other com­mit­tee mem­bers.

“I’m look­ing af­ter the ad­min­is­tra­tion for mem­ber­ships, pay­ment sub­scrip­tions and reg­is­ter­ing play­ers with the RFU, and also deal­ing with the CRB checks for coaches. All of this is new to me, but I’m en­joy­ing the chal­lenge none­the­less.”

Marsh never played for Mac­cles­field Rugby Club in the past, but he doesn’t see that be­ing a prob­lem.

“I may have never played club rugby at Mac­cles­field – my rugby has pri­mar­ily been school­based and army-based – but I have a lot of per­sonal and pro­fes­sional con­nec­tions here through both my son and my pre­vi­ous job,” he said.

“I’m pas­sion­ate about Mac­cles­field Rugby Club and know that it has a very bright fu­ture. “My real job was in the army. I was a sergeant in the Royal Elec­tri­cal and Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neers, (REME) and I was also in the Spe­cial Forces.

“I did that for 13 years, and from there em­barked on a ca­reer change which took me into the mo­tor in­dus­try. I be­came a sales man­ager at Hal­li­well Jones, a BMW deal­er­ship in Wilm­slow, and a club spon­sor.

“I played a piv­otal role in ar­rang­ing that spon­sor­ship deal with Hal­li­well Jones be­cause my son played rugby for Mac­cles­field Rugby Club.

“I re­alised there was a bit of po­ten­tial for spon­sor­ship with the com­pany I worked for, and they were happy to use me as a con­nec­tion in the ar­range­ment.

“It’s worked very well so far, and has proved to be mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial. We man­aged to sell a few cars to staff and mem­bers and in­crease our lo­cal pro­file, whilst the club ben­e­fit­ted from our con­tin­ued spon­sor­ship.”

‘If we do get the new club­house I would re­ally like to run that as a proper pub’

●● New busi­ness di­rec­tor Jonathan Marsh hopes to pro­mote Mac­cles­field RUFC as func­tion venue

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