Exclusive: Multi-millionaire Rob Northfield to return to Harrogate Railway

Rob Northfield
Rob Northfield

Multi-millionaire Rob Northfield is to return to struggling Harrogate Railway in an advisory role.

The former chairman has approached the Evo-Stik First Division North and could add financial clout to their relegation survival fight.

Northfield owned Harrogate Railway when the club reached the second round of the FA Cup in 2007

Northfield owned Harrogate Railway when the club reached the second round of the FA Cup in 2007

Nigel Corner will remain in control of the club as chairman, with Harrogate businessman Northfield acting in a supporting role.

"He has said he will help in any way he can," Corner said.

"He has seen the club struggling and thinks he can help. If he can help I any shape or form it will be good.

"It will ensure the club have a successful end to the season, and that would be to survive relegation."

Railway have only picked up 13 points in the league since Lee Ashforth took over as manager in the summer and the club faces a battle to retain its status in the Evo-Stik Leagues.

Ashforth's side are currently second bottom but are within three points of safety, with still more than half of the season to play.

Corner insisted the addition would not lead to changes in the managerial structure at Station View.

On whether Northfield would replace him, Corner said: "No, he's not interested in that, he's done all that."

Northfield, who owns the Harrogate-based change management consultancy 2inspire, was chairman at Railway in 2007 and was in charge for the club's historic FA Cup run to the second round in the same year.

However, his exit at Railway in November 2008 left a mixture of feelings among the club's supporters.

Northfield was last in charge of a club at Tadcaster Albion where his financial backing helped the club win NCEL Division One.

But he walked out at Ings Lane shortly before the 2013/14 season.

Northfield has also owned National Premier side Guiseley in the past.

Corner added: "The guy has vast experience in non league and hopefully he can help me. It gives us a really good chance to stay up now, even though I thought we had a good chance anyway.

"Rob is a very good motivational speaker and it could be on that side of things that he gets involved rather than financial support. But he could also put some funds into the club.

"It's a great bonus and asset for the club."