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New Rochdale owners target sustainable success

Spotland
Rochdale finished 11th in the National League last season after relegation in 2023 [Getty Images]

Rochdale's new owners say they have big ambitions for the National League club but warn fans they will not "just throw money at the first team".

The Ogden family completed their £2m takeover last month and targeted promotion back to the EFL inside three years.

Rochdale were relegated from the Football League for the first time in 102 years in 2023 and finished 11th in the fifth tier last season.

Cameron Ogden, who became co-chairman with Simon Gauge, said manager Jim McNulty would be backed, but the club would not be spending big money like Wrexham.

The Welsh side secured back-to-back promotions from the National League to League One under the backing of Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

"There will be a budget that Jim can work with, but I just want to be clear," Ogden told BBC Radio Manchester.

"While there is a correlation between wage bills and the ability to be promoted, from our perspective we have to be sensible and take it carefully."

He added: "We’re very different from the Wrexham project, but they’ve done a very good job in galvanising a community and following a story and obviously I’d love that to be the case with Rochdale."

Ogden bought an equal stake with his brother Edward and sister Tiffany, after a personal approach to the family.

"Two of my dad’s mates from school asked ‘can you come and help out Rochdale, they’re in need of some help’," he said.

"The club does so much for the community and I think that’s what immediately excited us.

"We never thought this was something you could make huge amounts of money from - this was something that was much more than that."

As well as promotion, the new owners also want to broaden their appeal within the community.

"There’s so much more than the 90 minutes on a Saturday that this club can do for people and that’s what we’re going to try and figure out," Ogden continued.

Plans to create a sports hub is one way of doing so, but Ogden insists that ambitions on the pitch must be balanced with making the club financially sustainable.

"We feel that’s something that will develop over the next six months or so if we can find a place, but that will definitely require further financing," he said.

"And there are other areas, but a lot of it has to make sure that if we're doing it, it's about investing to make the income stream sustainable.

"That's the real thing, if we’re going to put money back into it, not to necessarily just throw it at a first team budget."