SUCCESSFUL local businesswoman Wendy Mackie has been appointed Stalybridge Celtic’s new chief executive.
And the 46-year-old mother of three, who lives not far from Bower Fold, admitted her move into football has been a culture shock.
“You have to remember it is a man’s world and I have done well that everybody has accepted me,” she explained.
Wendy, who runs Stalybridge-based training company Works4U, admitted her appointment must have come as a shock to everybody at the club just as it was for her to suddenly find herself in charge of the day-to-day activities at the football club.
“It is different to running a business, but we have a good off-the-field team and I think we can bring in the revenue for us to be successful,” she explained.
Rob Gorski, chairman and majority shareholder, has given Wendy the goal of doubling annual turnover to £500,000 in the next couple of years.
Wendy will also be involved in trying to secure the funding to lay an artificial 4G pitch that can be used 24/7 and which Mr Gorski says is vital for the future prosperity of the club.
That could cost as much as £650,000 with Celtic needing to find 30 per-cent with the remainder secured from grants.
It was only through sheer chance that Wendy, whose hobby since the age of 18 has been buying, renovating and selling buildings, became involved with Celtic.
She explained: “I drove past the ground every day and could see the former Indian restaurant getting more and more rusty.
“I contacted director Bill McCallum to find out what was going on and he introduced me to Rob and that is how it came about.”
Wendy has taken over the former restaurant that is currently being refurbished – she has even had it re-roofed – so she can create a new training centre in addition to her company’s base on Ridge Hill, the area where she was raised.
It was 30 years ago that Wendy and her father Norman Mackie set up Works4U to help young people with mental health issues and disabilities find employment.
The business, which today employs 24 people, was recently accredited to become a specialist post-16 college where GCSE and A Levels can be studied for along with other specialist courses.
And with her business to expand at Bower Fold, Wendy is hoping to create further full-time jobs.
Wendy, a former pupil at Ridge Hill Primary and what is now Copley Academy, has always worked with local authorities dealing with young people with disabilities to get them into work.
• Wendy has organised a Fizz Fashion Show fundraiser at Bower Fold on Monday, November 19, from 7pm. Tickets are £5.