Falkirk: Fan 'abuse and threats' blamed as chief executive Craig Campbell resigns

Falkirk Stadium
Falkirk credit Craig Campbell for bringing investment to the club

Fan abuse, "some of a threatening nature", has been blamed as Falkirk chief executive Craig Campbell resigned following relegation to League One.

Former chairman Martin Ritchie told the club website that Campbell had become "the target of the fans' frustrations".

"It is extremely disappointing that a member of staff has been subjected to such abuse from a minority of fans," he said on behalf of the club board.

The news comes shortly after they delayed appointing an interim chairman.

That decision was announced last week after talks with potential new owners "progressed faster than we had anticipated".

A consortium of fans and local business owners is just one of a number of bids on the table, with groups from United States, India and Italy believed to also have offers on the table.

Whoever comes in will need to find a replacement for the man Ritchie credits for "bringing in £1.5m of investment, which created the South Stand Gym and Behind the Goals bar and community area, the Woodlands Games Hall and pitch, and the new pitch development currently ongoing at east side of the Falkirk Stadium".

"Following a prolonged period of public verbal and online abuse, some of which reached very personal levels, and some of a threatening nature, Craig has taken the decision to leave his post for the sake of both himself and his family," the former chairman said.

Ritchie last week promised announcements, within the next two weeks, "on ownership and on management change" as well as player signings.

"The club has been speaking to potential investors and buyers for some weeks," he said. "This activity has intensified over the last two weeks with a small number of very serious proposals emerging, including proposals from the fans' initiative."

A consortium led by Kenny Jamieson and fellow supporter David White are among those bidding for the 62% stake currently held by the majority shareholders group, which includes Ritchie.

"All the proposals include plans for immediate cash injection into the team, strategic football development and long-term sustainability of the club," Ritchie said.

"We are now confident that there will be a change of ownership in the near future. We have therefore put plans for an interim chairman on hold for now, in the expectation that a prospective buyer of the club would want to decide who the chairman should be, whether interim or permanent."

Ritchie said that, despite inevitable cost cutting with "our cash reserves depleted", Falkirk would still expect to have the largest player budget in League One.

"Falkirk Football Club is gearing itself up for the most extensive period of change since the 1998 provisional liquidation," he added.

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