Crawley Town chief Kelly Derham has admitted she cried when Reds were relegated to League Two as she sees the club as ‘her baby.’
The operations director has been part of the make-up at the Checkatrade Stadium for five years working on the backroom staff.
She was promoted to her new role after Ziya Eren took over the club last March as sweeping changes of the hierarchy took place.
Under her direction, along with plenty of help from staff at the club, they have taken on new direction and built a stronger match-day experience, infrastructure and set building blocks for the future.
That has built a positive mood and put the dark days of their 2015 relegation from League Two well and truly behind them.
Derham is first to admit the club is still a work in progress, but having grown up in the town from the age of ten, she is ‘proud’ to be part of the framework at Crawley.
She said: “It’s nice to walk around on match day and have people thank you and say how lovely things are at the club. That’s great.
“When people want to have a moan now about things, it is done in a nice way. They say they have a little issue with this or that. If someone does that we always sit down and have a talk about things around the table within the club.
“If something can be done, we work towards that. Sometimes things are not always instant, like the PA system, but we have worked to sorting that and I am pleased it’s working now. If I had a spare £50,000 I would have gone and replaced it.
“I grew up in Crawley and I feel part of the club. I live in Handcross now and on every drive in I think about it and how proud I am to run the club. It’s like my little baby, because of my connections, I think I’d struggle to go to any other club. I have family friends that have bought tables upstairs (in the executive suite) to support the club and support me.”
Derham believes the dark times during their relegation season and well and truly behind them now, adding: “I cried when we got relegated.
“There was so much negativity around the club, even the players, no-one was happy, it’s such a difference now and that’s really good.
“I have a good relationship with all my players, they are all my little babies. In the close season, we bought all new chairs in the offices and the players were in there putting them together - it just shows the togetherness and relationship we have here.”
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