Portadown chairman Ronnie Stinson’s message to fans in aftermath of promotion blow

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton.
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton.
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Portadown chairman Ronnie Stinson has called for unity in the aftermath of failure over a second successive season to secure senior promotion.

Defeat to a Carrick Rangers side managed by former Ports boss Niall Currie on Tuesday night signalled the end of the road by cementing a third consecutive campaign in the Bluefin Sport Championship.

Although the level of club debt has been significantly reduced over the past two years, the prospect of another season of second-tier income despite operating top-flight running costs marks an off-the-field blow alongside the on-pitch setback.

A meeting with the Board of Directors is scheduled to take place on Thursday, with talks planned with manager Matthew Tipton over the future of a squad assembled with high expectations.

“Now is the time for everyone to stick together as we try to move on quickly from the past and look to the future,” said Stinson. “We need to move forward together and that process starts as quickly as possible.

“We had around 600 Portadown supporters at Carrick on Tuesday, our largest crowd of the season with the exception of Boxing Day.

“That shows the passion and numbers remain and we cannot over-emphasise the importance of having as many as possible through the turnstiles next season.

“Given the restricted income we are facing due to smaller gates overall, every fan can play a part more than ever.

“Matthew has helped promote exciting young players, so that’s one positive.

“He has always worked with the directors over a budget which now stands as the lowest probably in modern club history and is only going to face further cuts.

“Everyone shares the disappointment and frustration felt by Tuesday but we will establish a plan for the next step then arrange a meeting to be open with the fanbase.”