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Walter Gleeson aims to drive AFC Telford to National League

AFC Telford United investor Walter Gleeson has confirmed his aim to help lead the club back to the National League.

Walter Gleeson at AFC Telford where he is a shareholder
Walter Gleeson at AFC Telford where he is a shareholder

Gleeson, a wealthy entrepreneur based near Bridgnorth, joined the Bucks board at the turn of the year as a new shareholder and is working closely with board members to send the club in the right direction.

The businessman, co-founder of music resale giants Music Magpie, has invested off the pitch at the New Bucks Head to help ensure the club are built on solid foundations and reliable revenue streams. He insists the priority is to drive income so AFC Telford remains sustainable before looking to progress.

Gleeson, a lifelong football and Villa fan born in Birmingham, told the Shropshire Star he wants to see his financial support help life AFC Telford back to the summit of the non-league pyramid and draw in regular crowds of in excess of 2,000 – similar to the 2,600 that watched Paul Carden's men secure safety on a dramatic final day last weekend.

"I'd love to see Telford back in the Conference proper, you'd have to ask the manager (when) and about expectations," Gleeson said.

"But if you said in the next five years they are back in the Conference proper and getting regular 2,000-plus to the games, which creates a great atmosphere and a buzz around the town, I think that would be quite exciting.

"When I was driving into the ground (last Saturday) there was a lot of traffic, people about, I thought 'this is going to be a big day today and that it would be a good crowd', but 2,600 is a fair number."

Gleeson said boss Carden would be backed with the profit the club make once they identify and drive revenue streams. He smiled: "I don't think we'll be signing Cristiano Ronaldo just yet!

"I've said to the guys I'll be there to support them in any way I can, we don't want to just throw a load of money at the club and then it waiver in a season or two and we're back where we were.

"Nobody will enjoy that, least of all us as the directors."

The director added: "I'm there whenever they need me or want me to come and attend things.

"We had a shareholder meeting, unfortunately it wasn't as well attended as we hoped it would be, but I want to meet all these people and understand their passion, what they think and where they think the club should go.

"It's a community really, it's understanding what the community wants at the club.

"We as directors are custodians really, we're there to make sure everything works OK, but if the fans are saying they want to see better football, or whatever, we are driven by them really."

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