“We were Club 42 and accepted our fate,” said Brechin City’s new chairman Kevin Mackie. “But we will be back.”
It’s just two months since Mackie took the reins at City but the smile is already back on the face of the Angus club.
The dark clouds that circled Glebe Park following the pyramid play-off defeat to Kelty Hearts have gone.
Mackie has hit the reset button on Brechin as they plays in the Highland League for the first time in their 115-year history.
Former Dundee United and Scotland manager Craig Levein has been installed in a director of football-style role.
Andy Kirk left his position at Hearts to become the club’s new manager.
Season ticket sales have broken through the 300 barrier for the first time in several years and several generous fans have made healthy donations.
Local whisky distiller Glencadam have extended their sponsorship deal and Brechin are hoping the re-opening of their ‘City Bar’ and hospitality will increase revenue streams.
On the park, Brechin have just won three games in a row for the first time in over four years.
It’s a far cry from their disastrous record of just 15 wins in 123 games following their promotion to the Championship in 2017.
Mackie pleased to see the smiles back at Glebe Park
The journey back from the Highland League is a long and tricky one as Brechin prepare to make their first road trip to face Deveronvale on Saturday.
But the sun is finally beginning to emerge from the clouds at Brechin.
“So many people get obsessed by the problems in life,” said Mackie. “I’ve always been someone who has looked for solutions.
“For me, it’s all about getting the Brechin community to buy into our plans. If we have them on board then we will succeed.
“I’m passionate about Brechin as a club and a place and I want this to work.
“I’ve never been associated with failure in my life and I don’t want it to start now. People are buying into our plans.
“We’ve sold more than 300 season tickets and had 160 paying on the gate on Saturday and young fans are turning up.
Great article about Max!! 🇺🇦❤️ we were very lucky to have him pop down to see us at our summer camp last week, a lot of the players were at the Glebe on Saturday cheering him on! https://t.co/22wm1x48By pic.twitter.com/JfvP3l9Kx9
— Brechin Community Football Trust (@BrechinCFT) July 27, 2021
“Some fans have made very generous donations and we have volunteers working almost every day at the club.
“Local tradespeople are donating their time to work on the ground and Glencadam have renewed their deal as our main sponsors.
“They had a clause in their contract that meant they could walk away if we were relegated from the SPFL. But they are sticking with us for another 24 months.
“We are winning games, scoring goals and entertaining fans.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many smiles at Glebe Park and we hope it continues.
“We want to try and go up this year but no-one is assuming it will happen as there are a lot of very good teams in our league.
“We’d be setting ourselves up for tremendous failure if we assumed we could do it in one year.
“If not this year then we re-set and go for it again.”
Kevin Mackie: We don’t want to mortgage the club’s future
Mackie has no intentions of remaining at the Glebe Park helm for several decades.
Brechin’s structure has been changed to make it an incorporated company.
The longer term plan is for new ownership of a club that Mackie hopes will be the beating heart of the community.
“Apple brings out a new updated phone every year. It’s important for a football club to make changes too by having a refresh.”
“We would never mortgage our future,” said Mackie. “We have to build a sustainable model that generates income without the need for a big cup draw against Celtic or Rangers.
“Going forward, we want an executive board that oversees finance and a football board to oversee matters on the park.
“I won’t be here forever.
“Apple brings out a new updated phone every year. I think it’s important for a football club to make changes too by having a refresh.
“It’s healthy to bring in new people with new ideas. If we can have a structure in place that means the club is sustainable then that can happen.”