JED McCrory will have to leave behind an ambitious five-year plan to get Banbury United into the Football League to take control of Swindon Town.
The businessman is set to swap life in the Southern Premier for a League One promotion fight after his consortium reached an agreement to take over at the County Ground, subject to Football League approval.
He will be allowed to continue his interest in both clubs until the summer, when it is expected he will be required to cut his ties with the non-league club to ensure he abides by FA and Football League regulations which don’t allow an individual to have interests in more than one English side.
Roy Mold is interim-chairman of the Banbury United Supporters Club and, while he is shocked to see the man who has rejuvenated his club move on after only six months, declared McCrory as the best man he has ever worked with.
“He has told us his ambition was to get Banbury into the Football League inside five years, and hopefully he will put something in place which will allow us to carry on with that, or someone else will come in,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a shock to all of us, but we will look at it as being his decision because of course what he does is up to him. He certainly will be missed here though.
“Knowing Jed as I do, I am convinced he will call a supporters meeting to explain exactly what he is doing and why, and I don’t think there will be anything but good will for him.
“He has done a lot for the club, and I have worked alongside him ever since he came here and everything he has done is for the good of the club.
“He always listens to the supporters, and you have to say he has turned the club around.
“I have never worked with a better man. There is no other man who could have done what he has done, because he has worked so hard for the good of Banbury.”
During his brief spell in Oxfordshire, McCrory has invested in improving the facilites at the Spencer Stadium. He has also spent money to improve the squad by loaning talented youngsters from the likes of Reading and Peterborough, which has seen the Puritans rise to 12th in the table, despite starting the season without a win in eight games.
Mold believes McCrory is a true football fan, and insisted stories of him buying pints of beer to entice new fans to Banbury were far from being publicity stunts of bribery.
“He loves the game so much, and that isn’t always true of every chairman you meet,” he said. “He has of course been to our home matches, but he goes to most of the away ones too which shows how he is committed to the club, you won’t find many chairmen willing to do that at this level.
“Jed is a man who listens to people, and I can’t say enough about him.
“Some people don’t agree with his ideas but I support him.
“He did our clubhouse up and has also invested in the playing squad, and he has always been so open with the fans when he has been doing it.
“Some look at him buying drinks for the fans as being a form of bribery, but for Jed that is a form of thanks. He will always thank people.
“He is a very down to earth man, and what you see is what you get.
NEW OWNER BRINGS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE TO THE BOARDROOM
JED McCrory will bring a wealth of experience to the Swindon Town boardroom, with business interests encompassing the communications, property, leisure and sporting industries.
The 42-year-old, full name Gerard Martin McCrory, is based in Evesham in Worcestershire but holds directorships at companies registered in Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Stroud.
McCrory acquired control of Southern Premier side Banbury United in September, as a part of the Ordicium Ltd bid where his two partners were Martin King and Perry Deakin.
The Advertiser understands Deakin, formerly of Port Vale, is not involved in the takeover of Town.
Although a Luton Town fan, McCrory has thrown himself fully into life at Banbury since taking over, and has invested in updating the club’s Spencer Stadium home as well as funding improvements to manager Edwin Stein’s playing squad.
With his help the club have battled back from not winning any of their first eight games to sit 12th in the Southern Premier, with a late charge for the play-off places not beyond them.
“There is none of this behind the scenes stuff with him.”