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Page last updated at 08:07 GMT, Friday, 17 June 2011 09:07 UK

Irving Weaver takes over at Harrogate Town

Simon Weaver
Simon Weaver has been manager at Harrogate Town for two years

Irving Weaver, the multi-millionaire father of manager Simon Weaver, is the new owner of Harrogate Town.

He has taken over from Bill Fotherby after the 80-year-old decided to stop funding the club.

"We're going to try and put Harrogate further up the football pyramid," the chairman of Yorkshire-based Strata Homes told BBC Radio York.

"There is a fixed budget, it's a realistic budget. This has got to be on a business footing."

Irving Weaver, who had a net worth of £46 million according to the 2009 Sunday Times Rich List, was first approached by Fotherby at the turn of the year.

"The options were we either match the player budget with an income stream that's going to be dramatically reduced, [or we] ask the team to come out of the Blue Square [Bet] North and go down two or three leagues to suit the situation.

"It was a difficult one for me because of the awkward angle of the manager being my son. I didn't like that situation."

He added: "But what am I going to do? Am I going to walk away, go home, or do we try?"

It doesn't sit easily with me, the fact that my father's involved behind the scenes

Simon Weaver

Harrogate Town finished last season in 12th place and Simon Weaver accepts that the unusual set-up at the club will put extra focus on the team next season.

"It does put more pressure on me," he said. "It doesn't sit easily with me, the fact that my father's involved behind the scenes, but it's definitely going to make me more motivated to succeed for Harrogate Town.

"An outsider may say there's nepotism here. My father probably wouldn't have got involved if it hadn't have been for my involvement.

"But it's about getting on with it now I think, and making the job a good one by primarily good results on the pitch, but also off the pitch."

Joining Irvine Weaver as a director is Harrogate businessman, and father of striker Adam, Tad Nawakowski. He has been brought to the club to try and increase links with the local community.

Last season Town regularly attracted around 250 people to games at the CNG Stadium, but Irvine Weaver says that needs to be increased to 700 to break even.

"I want to take care of the business side of it [the club].

"If we perform on the pitch, if we keep our pricing structure realistic, if we show initiatives off the pitch to get revenue in and embrace the community, then I think we've got a chance."

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see also
Midfielder Tait joins Harrogate
06 Jun 11 |  Non League
Harrogate deny financial problems
02 Feb 09 |  Non League
Harrogate reprieved from the drop
18 May 10 |  Non League
Weaver named new Harrogate boss
21 May 09 |  Non League

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