Cox urges supporters to get behind Barrow AFC owner Casson
PAUL Cox has urged Barrow AFC supporters to get behind Paul Casson – warning that without the millionaire owner, the club would not be in such a rosy position.
Casson will invest tens of thousands of his money in putting up new floodlights at Holker Street during the close-season, while AFC's accounts for last year reveal he invested close to £1m in the year up to May 2016.
That money has helped build a squad which has pushed for a National League play-off place for the first time this season.
More will be put in to build the new floodlights – with half the funding coming from grants from the Football Foundation – adding to ground improvement work carried out last summer on a new boiler and remedial work on the Brian Arrowsmith Stand.
Cox can also expect funds to help him add to his playing ranks – with Casson writing in the programme for Easter Monday's match against North Ferriby United that he wanted to build a squad for the singular aim of promotion – and the Bluebirds boss hailed the impact Casson is having on a club who before he took over in 2014 were in National League North and with little prospect of reaching the Football League.
“The whole thing about Paul Casson, is that if he's not here, then we have a different football club,” said Cox. “I think Paul needs applauding – I think he has a fantastic business acumen.
“Probably the last conversation I had with him, I realised he has an unbelievable desire to take this club forward. On top of that, he has a realistic time-frame and an understanding of where we are.
“He will be like a lot of people at this football club – there has been a massive learning curve. He has said it, everyone has said it behind the scenes, and there are lots of things we can get better at.
“This is a massive positive. Paul is spending £60,000 on floodlights – that's a lot of money, and for Paul to spend that kind of money just shows his intention with this football club. I think he needs applauding and he needs supporting, more importantly, by everybody. That's because, number one, he's human, and every decision he makes won't be right. But also, he's a man who, in the long-term, gets more decisions right than he gets wrong – and that's a positive.
“Anyone who has got to his level of business, doesn't usually fail. I just think it's a massive positive that he is at this football club, and – more importantly – I think he has an unbelievable desire to take this club forward.
“Some people might get frustrated because everything needs doing yesterday. But, even for the richest men on the planet, it's not sustainable to keep spending money, money, money – there has to be a business plan and a time-frame for us to be successful, built on solid foundations.
“There's no point having the best team out there if we have no floodlights and we can't get promoted.
“I just think he needs applauding and he needs supporting.
“It's hard for him – he's out in the States and I think it's hard to run a football club. Knowing him as I do, from emails, from talks after games, on any match day, from three o'clock until quarter-to-five, he will live, breathe and eat the game. He wants the best for this football club.
“I've had some really positive conversations with Paul. He came over a while back and the talks were excellent.
“He has an unbelievable desire to take this club forward. That excites me.”