Portadown chairman Roy McMahon has made contact with the ‘Times’ to issue a personal apology to the Portadown supporters.
An apology and full statement on behalf of the Board of Directors was delivered to the ‘Times’ last week within a special question-and-answer session.
However, the long-serving chairman has now taken the step of making a direct apology in the aftermath of the damning Irish Football Association ruling that sparked widespread anger.
The IFA verdict confirmed a 12-point deduction for the Danske Bank Premiership and a decision to award Coleraine a 3-0 win - punishments in relation to issues over the contract status of player Peter McMahon and non-payment of fines.
“As chairman, I want to apologise directly to the fans for the grief caused by the whole situation,” said McMahon. “The aim now is to learn from past mistakes and move forward together.
“I would urge the supporters to get behind the team so we can all progress as a club.”
Recently-installed director Peter Hunniford wasted little time using his role to strengthen links with the fanbase.
Hunniford, who previously served the club as part of the sponsorship committee, was promoted to the Board of Directors last week as part of a move to restructure the top-tier set-up.
Hunniford was quick to outline his plans to meet with representatives of the various supporters’ clubs - and started that process by sitting down with members of the Shamrock Reds. David Jameson, the club’s vice-chairman, was also present at the meeting.
“The meeting was arranged at Peter’s request and he told us he wanted to meet with all of the fan groups to discuss a way forward for the club,” said a spokesman for the Shamrock Reds Supporters’ Club.
“David Jameson was also in attendance and we had a frank discussion regarding the Irish Football Association ruling.
“All of our members in attendance felt it would be a major step forward if chairman Roy McMahon issued an apology on behalf of the Board of Directors for the mistakes that had been made.
“We want to make it clear that this was not intended as an insult to Roy or a witch hunt as we fully recognise the contribution he has made over many years and is still making to keep the club on a good financial footing.
“The decision to have a representative of the supporters’ clubs on the Board of Directors was described to allow for transparency in the workings of the Board of Directors.
“We were told the main focus at the minute is to appoint a new manager to take us forward.
“Our members want to place on record our thanks to Pat McGibbon for all his tireless efforts while in charge and wish him well for the future.
“Peter said he would be interested in any ideas for future fund-raising for the club and, to assist with this, he asked if Shamrock Reds would send a member forward to the Portadown Supporters’ Society, as he felt this was the way forward.
“Iain Livingstone agreed to represent Shamrock Reds.”