New St Johnstone owner targets top six finishes and competing in Europe

Adam Webb wants success on and off the pitch after taking control in Perth.

New St Johnstone owner Adam Webb targets top six finishes and competing in Europe SNS Group

St Johnstone’s new owner Adam Webb is aiming for regular top six finishes and European football after completing his takeover at McDiarmid Park.

Webb has purchased a majority shareholder from Geoff Brown, adding St Johnstone to business interests that include a 10 per cent share of Cambridge United.

The American lawyer sees potential for growth at the Premiership club and wants to add new fans, grow the club’s profile and engage the existing supporter base as well as raising the standards on the park.

In an open letter to supporters, published on St Johnstone’s website, Webb paid tribute to outgoing owner Brown and his son Steve for their years of service to the club before setting out his intention for “a new chapter”.

He wrote: “Rest assured I will work tirelessly to make sure this is a chapter about values, integrity, success on the pitch, excitement in the stands and service to the community.

“First, a note of gratitude. We must all thank Geoff Brown for his 38 years of tireless and successful service to the club. If you want to understand steady, sustainable football leadership, you need only study Geoff’s tenure at St Johnstone.

“I am honoured that Geoff found me to be a worthy custodian for the club’s next chapter and supporters should take comfort knowing that Geoff has agreed to continue advising me in the years ahead. I am looking forward to attending the first game of the season with Geoff on July 13.

“Thanks also to Steve Brown – who led the Saints as chairman during 12 amazing years, including the historic cup double – for his warm welcome to the Saints family. Steve has also graciously agreed to be a resource as we move forward.

“Another huge thanks to Stan Harris, who has agreed to continue his service as chairman during this transitional period. Stan is a true servant-leader who has never taken any pay from the club despite working full-time as our CEO for the past year.

“And a final thanks to you the supporters, to the players, coaches and all staff and employees of the club for the generous welcome you have shown to me and my associates. Your optimism for the future of the club inspires us.”

‘Our goals are achievable’

St Johnstone finished in tenth place in the Premiership last season under manager Craig Levein, avoiding the relegation play-off on goal difference.

Webb acknowledged the team’s 16-year run in the top flight, and the double cup success of the 2020-21 season but believes the club can grow.

Targeting a growth in commercial revenue and sponsorship, he said that would feed into an increased playing budget, with aspirations set high.

“The essential element toward growing the club will be playing competitive and exciting football,” Webb said.

“Craig, Andy and Gus have signed a dynamic group of players. We, as owners, have to give the coaches the necessary tools to work with.

“In the coming years, our goal will be to gradually and sustainably increase the player budget. We will also improve the training facilities, changing rooms, gym, physio areas and technology. These enhancements will aid recruitment and performance.

“Our ambition is to finish in the top six, compete in Europe and do well in cup competitions year-after-year.

“This is possible, but it will take time. Working relentlessly together, we will take one step each day and advance the club.

“With your patience and support, our goals are achievable.”

The new owner also pledged to develop the women’s and youth teams at the club.

Supporter engagement

Webb revealed that he had already had some discussions with supporters and vowed that major changes would not take place without some sort of consultation with supporters.

The Atlanta-based lawyer asked for emailed suggestions as to how to improve the club but also said that he would like to see an expansion of online discussion about the team.

While expressing an intention to grow the club’s official social media channels and website, he also said there was a need for “independent YouTubers, podcasters and social media influencers to tell the Saints story”.

Webb also vowed to continue the support for the St Johnstone Community Trust and confirmed that outgoing owner Geoff Brown would be donating the net proceeds from the sale of his shares to the Trust.

He concluded “I can’t promise a cup final or European qualification this season, but I can promise that we will be working every day to make St Johnstone a club that you are proud to support.

“Please help us build something special for this community. We will not complete the task in a month or even a year but, with your positive energy and support, we will get the job done.”

St Johnstone begin the new season away to Brechin City in the Premier Sports Cup on Saturday.

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