A group of supporters at relegation-threatened Vanarama National League North club Altrincham will be protesting against Chairman Grahame Rowley by walking out of their next home game against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday 18th March after only 15 minutes.

The ‘Goodbye Rowley’ group released a statement on Thursday confirming the actions they would be taking and explained the reasons behind the decision.alty

Altrincham currently sit bottom of the National League North with thirteen points from their thirty two games and are seventeen poionts from safety.

They have won one of their last fifteen games in all competitions, that coming with a 2-0 home win against Worcester City in late February.

They face an away game at Boston United on Saturday, with the protest planned for the home fixture against Stalybridge Celtic seven days later.

The group statement read “Altrincham are certainties for relegation to the Evo-Stik League at the end of the season, and the fans are determined to show the current chairman that enough is enough.

A series of off-field decisions, arguments with fans, lack-lustre leadership and dismal managerial appointments have seen Altrincham drop from a comfortable mid-table position in the Conference National to the lowest point in their proud 114 year history, in the space of just 24 months. What makes this even more shocking is that it has come on the back of a relatively stable financial period for the club, who have been boosted over the past few years by profitable FA Cup runs and the sale of Duncan Watmore to Premier League side Sunderland.

A series of PR disasters have accompanied the on-field struggles and have continued to alienate the loyal Altrincham fan base. The recent Strategy Review from the board, where fans were prevented from asking any questions consider by the board as difficult, being the final straw.

The fans are now calling on Grahame Rowley to step aside for the good of the club so that they can unite under new leadership and move forward.

A spokesman for the supporters group says “This is our way of making our point, in a peaceful way, with no negative financial impact on the football club. It has reached a point where there is no way back for the current chairman and we call on other Alty fans to join us.

We hope this public protest by a visible proportion of the fan base gives local businessmen/women and potential investors the confidence to come forward with a credible plan to take us forward, and gives them the assurance that the fans do indeed want change.

Despite our current difficulties on the pitch we still represent a fantastic proposition for any potential chairperson to come in if only the current chairman would announce his intention to stand down and allow such individuals to come forward, change the direction of the club and get us back to where this football club belongs”

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)

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