Marcelle Lazarus, the new co-chairman at Accrington Stanley, is confident of helping the cash-strapped club stay in business.
Stanley was served with a winding up order in May for unpaid taxes. An outstanding £308,000 bill must be paid by November and Lazarus, 47, a mother of six from Whitfield, has been looking to develop the club brand with her contacts in the sport.
Like many people, she first heard about the club through the nostalgic milk advert. She said: “We’ve inherited a massive debt but people from the football world have been fantastic and I’m confident that we will get out of this mess. We will survive. Being a woman in football is difficult as men think we’re ignorant. I’d be lying if I said I know a lot about football but I have a simple philosophy towards life.
“When you stay happy and focused on what you want to achieve, everything has a knack of working out the way you want it too. I am looking forward to really getting stuck into moving things forward.”
A member of Heaton Park Synagogue in Manchester, Lazarus has a mobile phone business. She has built up a large portfolio, dealing with high-profile footballers. She also has close links with clubs including Liverpool and Manchester City, who gave her her first job in football, as well as local speedway side Belle Vue Aces, with which has set up a link with the club.
Lazarus said: “At the moment the club is somewhat undersold. I know that with some positive involvement we can really develop the name and the brand of Accrington Stanley.”
A series of fund-raising initiatives have been launched with Premier Division Burnley helping to raise £50,000 from gate receipts from a friendly.
Co-chairman David O’Neill said: “Marcelle has a lot of experience in dealing with clubs and footballers at all levels, and will be a valuable addition to our board.”