After his first week as part of the Senior Leadership Team at Macclesfield Town, we recently caught up with Patrick Birch for his thoughts and expectations going forward in his new position.
As a lifelong supporter, Patrick described how keen he was to be involved in an official capacity due to the long held passion he has for the Club.
“I am really excited, it is just fantastic to be here” he said.
“As you say, my experience of Macc Town is coming up here and meeting friends, but now I am coming up here to do a piece of work and I am so passionate that the work is successful – it is a great opportunity.
“The reason I am here is that I am a fan. All the colleagues I have worked with up at Doncaster, Worcester and Chester have known my love of Macclesfield Town, all my friends know that, so they feel I have come home actually getting a role here.”
In terms of the skillset he will bring to the club, Patrick described how he feels his wealth of experience in local government can benefit the Club going forward.
“I think I can bring a set of skills here that are going to really help.
"I want to see us sustain that Football League future and if we get that I think this club can go forward successfully and I can play a role in doing that.
“Being a fan, I am happy to take a quite generic role at first instance and do whatever is required to take this club forward.”
Patrick went on to shed more light on his past positions within local government and his background as a local supporter of the Football Club.
“I am very much a Macclesfield lad who went to Byron Street Primary School just on the other side of the Moss and I was fortunate enough to go to Oxford before having a career in local government.
“When I am around, things do tend happen, so I managed to work my way up in local government right the way up to Director level.
“I am from a finance background and I ended up Director of Finance and Resources, but social care was a big area for me with demands rising and resources falling you had to work really fast and meet peoples needs with the resources that you have - meaning the affect you have on people’s lives is massive.
“I like doing big projects; we built a new library in Worcester and I was Program Director for that when it was initially an idea.
“Nobody knew how it would end up and we created something tremendous, and I want to bring those skills to Macclesfield Town and take it from here and see what happens.”
Whilst this is Patrick’s first position at the Club, he has been involved with the Silkmen Supporters Trust in recent times with the aim of helping to create a better future for the Football Club.
“I joined the Supporters Trust only three or four months ago, but again it was the same circumstances.
“I was so keen to see things move forward for Macclesfield Town.
“I see this opportunity for a sustainable future; I knew we had to fight our corner and I think the Supporters Trust are doing that having been working closely with the club, we have been working with David Rutley, trying to get that future secured for our club and it was through this that the opportunity came across to work for the Football Club itself.”
In terms of his responsibilities at the Football Club inside his first week, Patrick divulged how he has been working with the EFL and Government to ensure the Club is complaint with the evolving COVID-19 regulations ahead of next season.
“There is an immense amount of work to do, I am in my first week at the present time and the initial thing I have picked up is the Covid responsibilities - we wouldn’t have been thinking Covid until very recently but now it is impacting upon everything we do.
“I am afraid I am sitting there with a bunch of papers about this large from the EFL and from Government saying what the requirements are.
“The immediate one is to get the players back training and make sure we are Covid compliant in that sense; we have got to get EFL approval before the players can even start to train.
“We are thinking ahead to when the matches start on September 12th, and then when we are inviting and bringing crowds back into the ground.
“We have a hell of a lot of planning and thinking to do to get that right, so my initial set of responsibilities has been precisely that.”
Expanding upon his immediate focus of ensuring the players are training in a safe and compliant environment, Patrick gave an update as to the current position of the Club in this regard.
“For the Training Ground the very specific thing is that the players have got to be tested before they can start training and there will be testing on a weekly basis.
“There are requirements on how the players get to training and what they do when they are training, we have got John Moorhouse, our Safety Officer, and we are going to our prospective Training Ground and we are going to size that up and do our risk assessments and see where it goes from there.
"But that is just one example, there are a plethora of things that need doing at this club right now and I will turn my hands to anything, but in the immediate future I have got my hands full doing that job alone!”
This will not be his only responsibility at the Club, however, and Patrick was keen to admit that he is willing to use his skillset to assist the Club however he can.
“I will do whatever the club need me to do to for us to progress things.
“So initially it is Covid, but going forward it is whatever the big challenges are, there are more things to be done than we have got hours in the day to do them, so there is no shortage of stuff.”
Whilst Patrick has no doubt been kept busy during his short time at the Club, he insists that he has enjoyed every moment and is looking forward to working towards helping to create a better and more sustainable future for Macclesfield Town.
“I am loving it; I am absolutely loving it - my friends would say the same.
“There is the odd gulp moment when you see the sheer scale of stuff that needs to be done, but I know why I am doing it and I just imagine that in hopefully six months or in a years’ time that we are in League Two, hopefully competing well there, welcoming fans back; and I hope bring the feel good factor of a sustainable club financially where it is clear to fans that the more money we bring in, the more we can do with that budget.
“That is what we are about at this club and what we need to be about in this next chapter, and that is what we are all working hard to deliver.”