BRADFORD Park Avenue today completed the formalities of Gareth Roberts' takeover of the club.

A new team of directors have taken over the reins at Horsfall following the formal transfer of the major shareholding from Bob Blackburn to Roberts.

Joining the Texas-based businessman at the Avenue top table are Joe Mosley and Paul Wood, who are long-term friends and business partners of the new owner.

Roberts' message to supporters, sponsors and everyone else involved with the club, both on and off the pitch, is a simple one: "We're in this together and we're here to win."

The former Tong Comprehensive School pupil, who grew up in Holme Wood, added: "Our mission is to make decisions for this club that will bring success in the sport but also put us at the heart of the Bradford community.

"Avenue have a strong future and that starts this season. In the short term, our priority is to make sure we continue to play in this league (Vanarama Conference North) and we'll do that by making sure we have a strong team and a good pitch.

"We don't know yet whether Horsfall can be our long-term home but we're talking to the council, who own the site, to see what we can work out. If not, we are prepared to relocate and build on another site and we'll explore all the options.

"We're ambitious for the future but the new directors can't go it alone. We're prepared to invest hard work and money but we need the ongoing commitment of the supporters, players, staff/volunteers, sponsors and partners who have got us this far."

Roberts gained a scholarship at Oxford University and achieved a Masters degree in geology, which led to a successful career in the oil and gas industry overseas.

Business interests have kept him in Texas for well over 30 years but he has a large, extended family and some of his closest friends live in the Bradford area, so he visits regularly.

Roberts is now semi-retired and says that will give him more time to pursue his commitment to developing the club, not as a new plaything but as something that can bring real benefits to his home city.

His father died after collapsing at a school sports day held at Horsfall Stadium when Roberts was seven. One of his uncles, Fred Roberts, was a volunteer at the ground and helped out in the tearoom.

As a boy, Roberts was regularly taken to watch Avenue by another uncle, Vincent, who was a lifelong supporter and club volunteer.

Roberts has been involved in supporting the club's business from the sidelines for a few years and decided the time was right to be more hands-on.

"We know we need to build some strong working relationships with civic and business partners, so that we can secure a long-term win-win situation for Avenue and for Bradford generally," he said.

Roberts' fellow new directors were both schoolmates, with Mosley – who lives in Leeds – set to be the most hands-on of the three new faces.

His background in project management means that he is well equipped to oversee routine business but also to explore a number of ideas for the future of the club.

Wood, who lives near Harrogate, is a semi-retired businessman who will bring additional expertise to the board.

The new directorial team will be drafting in a number of other people with specialist skills to help undertake particular pieces of work on a voluntary basis.

The trio say they are grateful to those individuals who have been with the club in a range of roles for some time and have decided to stay and work with the new management team.

Meanwhile, tomorrow's Conference North match between Avenue and Colwyn Bay has been postponed due to snow.

But fans may still wish to get along to Horsfall as new owner Roberts will be holding an open fans' forum from 2pm.