Nixon: It's been a PR failure but get behind club
FORMER Lewes FC assistant manager Billy Nixon spoke exclusively to Sport Express to urge disillusioned fans to show faith in the Board '“ and get behind the Rooks' new-look side next season.
Nixon, who won back-to-back promotions with the Rooks as Jimmy Quinn's assistant, admitted recent events had been a "PR failure" for the club but insisted he trusted the judgement of the Board who had made a "brave and difficult decision".
Speaking from his base in Spain, he said, "This whole episode has saddened me because people I admire are at odds with some of my personal feelings.
"I have steadfastly supported the Board because many years ago, when the club was days from folding, it was Martin Elliott and his friends who kept us going.
"I went to his office and asked him to help. He formed a board, paid the bills and then supported Jimmy Quinn over a few years of good progress.
"He and Kevin Powell never interfered, and the late Alan Waters was a friend.
"From Spain, I watched in pride while Steve King took the club up and up.
"I think Steve has done a wonderful job and is now a Lewes legend. I respect his achievements and liked him when I met him last season at the Pan."
But he added, "Football has turned into a business. Leeds United lived the dream and it caught up with them. it will take a while for them to get back into the Premiership '“ let alone Europe '“ again.
"No one has sympathy for Peter Ridsdale who watched the money ebb away. No one blames the players or manager for failing. But they did.
"If the Lewes Board have put the brakes on so that there will be a football club and not a financial black hole, then I think it is a brave and difficult decision.
"The Board failed in the PR department and ended up looking worse than they should have in the circumstances. I hope they address this soon.
"As for the proposed takeover, I don't know the details but if the Board have refused it then so be it. I trust their judgement as they have steered us well until now. Will there be another bid? I don't know but I wait with interest."
Talking of the new management team and players, he said, "After some of the comments I've read, if I were Kevin Keehan I'd be gutted. There have been things quoted that are disgusting.
"I've spoken to Kevin and wished him well. He is looking at some of our youngsters '“ do people know how good our under 18 team is?"
Staunch Rangers fans Nixon added, "(Keehan) is trying to build a squad from scratch. Good luck to him and all of the lads. As a life member of the club, I support the club. If Gordon Strachan was the manager I'd still support the club!"
Turning to the Supporters Club, he said, "As a member, I've seen quotes that do not represent many of us. I'm hoping the officers of the club can put the problems of late behind them and get on with preparations for the new season.
"In conclusion, I've looked at Active Lewes and it seems a brilliant idea to me '“ and the people who suggest that it's a way for Martin Elliot to build flats on the Pan are the same people with extreme views on the takeover.
"My biggest hope is that we can all get together again and get back to supporting the team.
"There are some great supporters on either end of these differing views. So what? Things are the way they are.
"Come on you Rooks."