Chairmans' reaction to today's terrible news
Nick Higgs came to speak to the press following Bristol Rovers’ relegation to the Conference this afternoon.
He said: “I think this is the saddest day in the history of the club. I am extremely sorry we have got into this situation, I can only apologise on behalf of everybody working with the club.
“This is not something we take lightly, we will do everything we can to address the situation.
“I am devastated and I feel for everyone associated with the club.
“I understand the anger and frustration going around at the moment, but we have to take stock and think about things carefully and make some decisions which are in the best interest of Bristol Rovers Football Club.
“Ultimately the Chairman and the Board take responsibility for whatever happens at the club.
“We make the appointments and we run the club, so it is only right we should take the flack when things go wrong.
“This is a sad, sad day for Bristol Rovers, but it is not the end of Bristol Rovers, we will come back fighting.
“We have to make sure we make the right decisions now, on what is best for the club both on and off the pitch, and don’t make any knee jerk decisions, because in my experience they are usually the wrong decisions.”
The Chairman confirmed that Darrell Clarke has a contract for next season, but says that big changes will have to be made.
Nick said: “Darrell Clarke has a contract to be manager of Bristol Rovers next season, and that is as certain as anyone can be about anything at this point in time.
“I have to consider everything from top to bottom and take the emotion out of everything.
“All the efforts made to try and take the club forward have been made for the right reasons, and we will continue to do so.
“We have to look at the whole club from top to bottom. We had plans to make radical changes anyway to ultimately move the club forward.”
The Chairman also confirmed that he does not think the stadium has been a distraction.
He said: “I don’t think the stadium has been a distraction – I think they are two separate issues. The stadium and the playing side are not linked in anyway.
“The stadium plans still continue, what we need to do at this moment in time is look at the situation with the club going into the Conference, and the effect that has on both playing and non-playing staff.
“We have had an unsuccessful side for the last two or three seasons, and we have tried to do something about it, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened this year.”
And Nick is confident Rovers will come back fighting.
He said: “I haven’t got a crystal ball, I cannot possibly say how long it is going to take us to bounce back, all I can say is that we are Bristol Rovers, we have been through lots of adversity over the years, we will fight back, and we will get stronger.”