Dunphy has no interest in usurping current Dale board

Former Rochdale AFC chairman Chris Dunphy has called for calm after receiving a groundswell of support for his return.

At the weekend, Dunphy shared a post on his Facebook page, reflecting on when Dale were first promoted to League One in 2010.

Supporters flocked to the comments section to ask if this meant he was planning to return to the club, which currently sits bottom of League Two.

Dunphy was asked outright if he would ever consider a return to the club.

Answering, he said: “I would be back in a heartbeat under the right circumstances, but I couldn’t afford to cover the ‘reported’ accumulated financial deficit.

“Seeing the club at the bottom of the league, it is very hard for me take and stand by and do nothing. Over 60 years watching Dale is not a habit you can break overnight.”

These comments then led to supporters taking to social media and messageboards, calling for his reinstatement as chairman.

However, Dunphy stressed this morning that his comments were not an attempt to usurp the current board, which was established in 2021 after two members were removed by democratic shareholder vote, and merely his attempt to answer the questions he was asked with honesty and to reiterate his love for the club.

He said: “I was surprised to see the reaction to posts on my Facebook page, which seem to have been taken completely out of context. I made no statements, but only answered questions asked of me as honestly as I could. In no way do I want to undermine or devalue the work of the current board. In these very different times, it is important that we all pull together and give our full support to the club. I think the current board are doing an exceptional job in very difficult circumstances.”

Dunphy stepped down as chairman and from the board in 2018, leaving majority shareholder Andrew Kilpatrick to fill the position. Kilpatrick announced his own decision to abdicate the role in February 2021, citing personal reasons, with long-time director Andrew Kelly agreeing to step up on an interim basis only.

In March 2021, Dunphy unveiled plans to make a sensational return to the role in a bid to “save this great club”, but failed to attract the necessary support from major shareholders.

Dunphy had previously sold his own shares privately to American businessmen Dan Altman and Emre Marcelli.

Dunphy was chairman during the most successful period in Rochdale AFC’s on-field history, overseeing a first Wembley appearance and two promotions.