THE chairman of Burton Albion has lifted the lid on the inner workings of the club.
Ben Robinson offered a detailed insight into the history of the Brewers’ and the club’s work within the community during a meeting of the Burton Business Club.
He told a packed out room at the Mercure Hotel, in Newton Solney, about how red tape and pre-match preparations had changed over the decades.
Today’s approach to pre-match preparations was, he said, a far cry from the 1950s and 60s when players would sometimes enjoy a glass of beer, a whisky or even a glass of champagne before kick-off.
He said: “We have had 31 managers since 1950, including Ian Storey-Moore and Neil Warnock, but in 1998 for 10 years Nigel Clough put Burton on the map.
“Our David versus Goliath cup match against Manchester United in 2006 attracted interested around the globe. We even had emails from Argentina.”
The business club heard that while there were financial rewards for the battle between the league minnows and the Premiership giant, the event was not without its headaches, including a wrangle over the pitch at the Pirelli Stadium.
“Sport has the unique capacity to bring people together,” said Mr Robinson, “and our aim is to use the power of football and brand of Burton Albion to make a difference to the lives of people within our communities and hopefully build the next generation of fans.
“We work with themes including sports participation, education, health and social inclusion.”
Alongside colleges and funding partners, Burton Albion Community Trust now has more than 1,500 participants a week across East Staffordshire. It organises activities such as park football to help reduce antisocial behaviour.
Mr Robinson said that each year Burton Albion donated 6,000 match day tickets and corporate hospitality packages, 150 signed footballs and 90 signed shirts to help the community and charities with their fund-raising efforts.