Managing Director Jeremy Alumbaugh gave this address at our press conference on November 12, 2019:
Thank you for the kind words and introduction.
Thank you to everyone for attending today. To me, this just proves again how special this city and this club are and I thank you for being with us on this special day.
It is truly rare in sports that you get an opportunity to come into a position that is in a good spot. Most often when a coach or a person steps into a leadership role in sports it is because someone that came before them has not done well, or a club has been losing or struggling. Most often as a former roommate told me, “If you get an opportunity that means you have to come in and clean up a mess.” There is no mess to clean up at Chattanooga FC. In fact, it would be hard to name a club that has had more of an impact in soccer than CFC in 2019.
There are very few soccer clubs in the United States that are as authentic as Chattanooga FC. For over 10 years they have been a pillar of success on and off the field in US soccer.
In fact, I ask you to think about how many clubs in US Soccer have been around for longer than 10 years at this level. There are a few, but not many.
During this process, it was evident to me how special and unique this club is. And what an opportunity we have here to build upon this success as we look to take Chattanooga FC to the next steps.
I want to thank Tim Kelly Chairman of Chattanooga FC, the ownership group, and The Board of Directors for this opportunity. It is easy to see that everyone involved is truly engaged in this club, this community and this sport for all of the right reasons. And I can tell you, that is difficult to find. It was the biggest attraction for me when I started looking at this club, and the more conversations I had with Tim, Thomas, Paul, and others, the more I was sure that Chattanooga FC aligned with my values of what a club should be and what it can add to a community. Part of the reason why we are going to move forward in this next step as a club is because of the work of Sheldon Grizzle this past year. It has been a challenging and trying year for the club and we are all grateful for his work to make sure CFC continues on its chosen path. Thank you, Sheldon. I would also like to acknowledge our supporter shareholders who represent over 3,000 proud members of our club. It will take me a little time to meet all of them!
I also want to thank my family. My wife Tammy, and our daughter Sindey for their support. As a family we are looking forward to our move to Chattanooga, to become involved in this great city and they are looking forward to supporting Chattanooga FC. After a number of weeks a lot of difficult conversations, after all was said and done as a family and we agreed this was our next step, Tammy did text me, “What are CFC’s colors? You know I don’t do brown…” I was able to make her comfortable that our blue wardrobe was going to fit in Chattanooga. Because when you think of soccer in Chattanooga, everyone knows blue is the color.
I would also like to thank many people at Saint Louis FC. Our Board of Directors, specifically Jim Kavanaugh, Tom Strunk, and Rob Ebert. Their guidance, support, and most importantly trust has been vital. To Patrick Barry, the President. We have spent more time together than we have collectively spent with our wives as we built the club. Thank you for everything and most importantly our friendship.
To all of the staff, the coaches, the partners, the players, and the fans and supporters. Thank you for allowing us to build something special over the past 5 plus years. I will always be One of Us.
I especially want to thank the St. Louligans for their support. You have challenged me, pushed me and made me better, to where I have been able to grow into this opportunity at CFC.
We haven’t always agreed on everything, but we have supported each other through the ups and downs and I will never forget that you were willing to take a chance on a youth club that wanted to bring authentic and real professional soccer to St. Louis. Thank you.
There is a lot of work to be done here in the coming weeks and months. I truly cannot wait to get started. We have a tremendous staff and great support from the community for this club. During this process, I quickly was able to grasp that the club has strong leadership both on and off the field.
I want everyone to know that the technical side of the club could not be in more capable hands than Bill Elliott and Peter Fuller. We have been able to have open and honest conversations about the next challenges we are to face. I look forward to working with them and giving them all of the support they will need. We have a task in front of us, but one that they are prepared to take head-on.
Throughout the past 10 years, Chattanooga FC has done a tremendous job of becoming an integral part of the community. Now as we take this next step forward it will be vital that all of us are prepared for ups and downs that come with a professional season. It’s longer, more demanding, and more tiring than what the past has been like. What was once a 3-5 month sprint is now a 10-month journey.
This past year has given everyone, supporters, staff, players, and owners an idea of how grueling, how extensive, but most importantly how rewarding it can be. There is nothing like it.
When I was here at the last Members Cup game in October, I saw with my own eyes (in the rain), how this club has and can support this next step. I have no doubts.
It will take a commitment from everyone, Community partners, season ticket holders, sponsors, the Chattanooga community. And supporters. And don’t worry Chattahooligans, unlike other new members to your city in the past year, I know what club you support and what matters to you. I believe in supporter culture and will look to provide you with every opportunity to grow and prosper here. You have helped set a standard for support and that will only continue to build as we take this next step together.
An authentic soccer club with values and a vision that matches with what I believe a club should be about is the reason I am here today to accept the privilege of helping Chattanooga FC take this next step. I look forward to adding to what has already been built and assisting in this next step that Chattanooga FC is about to take. Thank you.