Bill and Bev Roberts may have left Macclesfield Rugby Club after years of loyal service, but the work goes on regardless. Their replacement at the Club is Jonathan Marsh, the new Business Director. Many of you will already know Jonathan, as he was instrumental in arranging the Club’s sponsorship deal with Halliwell Jones. However, others may not yet be familiar with him. So we thought it might be a good idea to introduce him to the membership. Here’s what Jonathan had to say when he spoke to the Club earlier this week.
What’s your connection to Macclesfield Rugby Club?
“I may have never played Club rugby at Macclesfield – my rugby has primarily been school-based and army-based – but I have a lot of personal and professional connections here through both my son and my previous job. I’m passionate about Macclesfield Rugby Club and know that it has a very bright future.”
What’s your background?
“My ‘real’ job was in the army. I was a sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, (REME) and I was also in the Special Forces. I did that for 13 years, and from there embarked on a career change which took me into the motor industry. I became a sales manager at Halliwell Jones, a BMW dealership in Wilmslow, and Club sponsor.”
“I played a pivotal role in arranging this sponsorship deal. Because my son played rugby for Macclesfield Rugby Club I realised there was a bit of potential for sponsorship with the company I worked for, and they were happy to use me as a connection in the arrangement. It’s worked very well so far, and has proved to be mutually beneficial. We managed to sell a few cars to staff and members and increase our local profile, whilst the Club benefitted from our continued sponsorship.”
What’s exactly is your role at Macclesfield Rugby Club?
“My official title is Business Director. Many people mistakenly believe I’m directly replacing Bill and Bev Roberts, but that’s not exactly the case. The role is new one, and will have a different remit. Having said that, I will be undertaking the tasks that Bill and Bev did, but then over time my role will change and I will start to take on other tasks which will hopefully allow me to take some of the workload from other Committee members.”
So your ultimate role will be a more senior position?
“That’s the ultimate plan, yes. It’s hoped that the other associated tasks that Bill and Bev did will eventually be undertaken by volunteers, but in the meantime, with Bill and Bev’s help, I will also be taking on their previous duties/tasks, and, combining these with my new commercial role.”
“Ultimately, the main focus of my role is to make money for the Club. Historically we’ve been quite reactive as a Club, but I think we need to pursue a more proactive policy and go out looking for business. That’s particularly important if we press ahead with the plans to build a new Clubhouse, as we’ll need to pay for the work somehow. So the main focus of my job here is to promote the Club and sell the Club as a function venue to a much wider audience.”
“Eventually, when and if we do get the new Clubhouse, I would really like to run that as a proper pub. It would be great if the bar could be open nearly every night as I think this could be a real draw for the Club locally. That’s my plan anyway, although I haven’t yet discussed this with the Committee. I don’t really see why the idea wouldn’t prove to be successful as there’s a new housing estate nearby, and the new Clubhouse would be the only pub within the local area. I also want to promote the Clubhouse better as a functions’ room were we could stage Christmas parties, birthday parties and wedding and funeral functions. We also would like the Clubhouse to have a gym as well, so there should be lots of opportunities to further increase the Club’s revenue. Ultimately what I want to do is to make more money for the Club.”
How have you enjoyed your time at the Club so far?
“Well, I’ve only been doing the job for a week and a half, but it’s certainly been enjoyable. I also have to say that it’s been a bit of a challenge because the role is so diverse. I’m currently doing Bev’s job as well as my own, so I’m learning new things every day. I’m looking after the administration for memberships, payment subscriptions and registering players with the RFU, and also dealing with the CRB checks for coaches. All of this is new to me, but I’m enjoying the challenge nonetheless.”