Our owners, Chris and Alex Reedtz, have paid tribute to Jason Turner following his tragic passing.
We, like so many others, were shocked and devasted by the sudden loss of our chief executive, Jason Turner, last week.
Our thoughts continue to be with his loved ones, especially his family with whom we spent several hours on Friday as we all struggled to come to terms with the news.
It’s impossible for us to truly describe how huge a loss Jason will be, both as a friend and colleague who was ever-present in our lives since we acquired the club nearly four years ago.
His warm personality, combined with his encyclopedic knowledge of football, breadth of experience, contacts, passion, work ethic, high standards and belief in the club’s potential made it an easy decision for us to reinstate him as CEO – and we never regretted it.
In truth, though, Jason was more than a CEO. Each day he would go over and above what we would expect of him, driven always by a fierce determination to ensure the club was operating on a level which belied its position in the footballing pyramid.
While he would never be seen on camera or heard in interviews, Jason shared our willingness and desire to communicate openly with supporters, many of whom will have either received personal correspondence from him or read the regular updates he would publish on our website since he first arrived at Meadow Lane in 2016.
He was also a staunch advocate for good and fair governance – regularly speaking up not only on behalf of our club and supporters, but others too.
We should recognise the immense contribution he made in times of crisis, especially in the months ahead of our takeover when, while he was employed as Director of Football Operations, players and staff went unpaid and the club faced an ongoing winding-up petition, while also losing its EFL status for the first time in its history.
It would have been easy for someone of Jason’s experience and reputation to move on – but his love and respect for the club kept him in post, ensuring we were greeted on our arrival by the perfect man to guide us on a path to recovery.
As we continue to grieve, we must plan to honour Jason in the way he and his family deserves.
We have been overwhelmed by the flood of tributes which followed Friday’s announcement and, from 9am on Tuesday, we invite supporters to visit our club shop and leave a message in a book of condolence. In time, the book will be given to Jason’s parents who we know have taken great comfort from the outpouring of love and respect over the last few days.
We will also be contacting the relevant authorities to arrange for a minute’s applause to take place ahead of kick-off in Friday’s home match against Wealdstone – a fixture which will be dedicated to Jason and his family, who will be in attendance. More details will follow in due course.
As difficult as it has been given the circumstances, we have been in regular dialogue with our senior management team over the weekend to ensure the club is in the best possible place to continue the strides we are making both on and off the field, of which we know Jason was so proud.
We have decided that, to enable the club to adequately prepare for Friday’s match, we will reopen at 10am on Monday.
We recognise the bravery and commitment of our fantastic staff, who are facing an incredibly difficult period without the guidance, friendship and leadership they had become accustomed to under Jason. We know our supporters will be sympathetic and understanding towards them as we face up to the unthinkable prospect of life without him.
From this point, the club will naturally undergo a process of re-evaluation. Paramount to this will be ensuring Jason’s many responsibilities are covered in the short term so the club is able to continue operating at the excellent levels he established.
We must also all rally behind Luke Williams, his staff and players who all loved Jason so much and will, despite their anguish, be doing everything they can to honour his memory by making it a strong end to the season.
Finally, we would like to express our immense gratitude to club chaplain, Rev. Liam O’Boyle, whose incredible kindness and support is appreciated so much by so many.
Rest in peace, Jason, and thank you.