The Managing Director of hi-impact and newly appointed Associate Director at Tranmere Rovers Football club, Alan Thompson, discusses his new position, and how he feels hi-impact can be a part of the club’s successes moving forward.
Who is your favourite ever Tranmere player?
“This is a really difficult question to answer because, for me, it was never a specific player, but more of a squad of players. I’ll never forget the days of Ian Muir, Johnny Morrisey, Eric Nixon, Higgins, Yozzer Hughes…all of them! This was the team that really ignited my passion and love of Tranmere Rovers. They’d still be my dream team today. “
You’ve been made a director at Tranmere Rovers Football Club, what does that mean for you and the club?
“The chairman and vice chairman, Mark and Nicola Palios have directors working alongside them as they move the club forward into new ventures beyond the football pitch. The team of directors I have joined is very strong and brings a lot of expertise and experience to the table. I hope that in this role I will be able to play my part in the club’s future and success.”
How important do you feel it is that a director is also a fan of the club?
“I know it’s not absolutely essential and, in a lot of clubs, the directors are not necessarily lifelong fans. One of my co-directors, Martyn, was a true blue for most of his life! However, since joining he has definitely realigned his loyalties to this side of the water. For me, I could only be a director in a club which I feel very close to. I think in this position, you want to give your heart and soul; being a fan makes that easier.”
What do you feel you and hi-impact can bring to this role?
“As I know that the club’s vision for the future includes education and improving the IT provision across the whole Tranmere Rovers group, I feel that I can bring a lot of valuable expertise to the table. Hi-impact is among the best in the country when it comes to improving infrastructure and creating robust and reliable solutions. All of the team are excited about what we can offer to the staff, fans, and students in and around the club and its facilities.”
Being a supporter yourself, you no doubt feel honoured to be in this position. What would you say to any aspiring young supporter who has dreams of becoming an important figure at the club?
“For me, it is important to recognise that it is not just about what happens on the pitch. For example, at hi-impact, we have been working with the Junior Media Team since 2014; exposing them to all the media opportunities that come with a football club. These kids have been so involved with media offerings, ranging from interviewing players to writing match reports and even photography alongside seasoned professionals.
“I would say to young supporters that there is an awful lot that the club can offer you and a lot that you can offer the club. This is especially true at Tranmere Rovers; a club completely invested in its community, and dedicated to developing young people in a number of ways, not just in 90 minutes on the pitch.”
What do you hope to achieve at the club in your directorial role?
“I’ve been so pleased that, already, we’ve been able to help shape the IT provision at the club, which has already started to benefit fans and staff. It’s a very complex environment, with a hotel, a college campus, a recreation centre and, of course, Prenton Park itself.
“Understanding this from an IT perspective has been challenging, but the experts in hi-impact’s tech team had no problem getting their head around the use of cloud computing solutions and have managed to improve the physical infrastructure of the IT; benefiting all involved.
“From an educational perspective, I know that Tranmere plans to continue with both its local and international initiatives. This is where I feel particularly well-placed to enhance the club’s offerings.”
How long have you supported Tranmere Rovers Football Club?
“As a child, football was not really a big part of our family. My dad was much more interested in getting me involved in mountain climbing and whitewater kayaking, as well as other outdoor adventure sports.”
“However, that didn’t stop a family friend from taking me to my first Tranmere game when I was 10 years old where we were, unfortunately, beaten by Leyton Orient. I remember exactly where we stood (there was no seating back then) and I was absolutely enthralled by the atmosphere and passion around the match. It’s safe to say that I was hooked from the start!
“I later became a ball boy as a way to be more involved in the game. Then, at the age of 16, I started working as an assistant to Richie Tierney for each match where I played the music and made announcements over the PA.
“For a few magical seasons, I felt like I was part of the team.
“After coming back from University and with a bit of extra money in my pocket, I was able to afford my first season ticket; finding my place back on the terraces once again. Now in my 40’s and having been granted this directorial role, I look forward to being a part of Tranmere’s story and hopefully making an impact that people will remember in years to come”