Mr Garlick joined Rochdale in August 2005 as General Manager/Secretary and was promoted to Chief Executive/Secretary the following year. The last decade at Spotland Stadium has been the most successful period in the club’s history, with the club making its first ever visit to Wembley in their Centenary season, playing in the League Two play-off final at the end of the 2007-08. The club also secured another play-off place the following season.
Garlick has been a key figure alongside Dale Chairman Chris Dunphy and Manager Keith Hill, and the trio have shaped two promotions to League One in 2010 and 2014, respectively. They have also established the club as a League One outfit.
Dunphy, Garlick and Hill can also claim considerable success in the transfer market with Hill and his staff developing players such as Grant Holt, Rickie Lambert, Adam Le Fondre, Will Buckley, Chris O’Grady, Matt Done, Scott Hogan, Craig Dawson and Glenn Murray, which has allowed Garlick to negotiate in excess of £5 million of transfer income. The notable off field success has continued with the acquisition of the Ratcliffe Arms and the return of full ownership of Spotland Stadium back to Rochdale Football Club.
Chris Dunphy commented: “Colin has played a significant part in the club’s progress, both on and off the field, over the last 10 years or so. There is no doubt that Colin has enhanced the reputation of the football club and has represented Rochdale Football Club very well. He is well respected with everyone at the club but also within the game. On behalf of my fellow directors, players, staff, management and supporters I would like to thank Colin most sincerely for his tremendous contribution over the years and wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”
Colin Garlick said: “I can honestly say that this has been one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made in my life. Rochdale, the directors, staff and supporters have been my life for the last 11 years. I have made so many friends from what has been an amazing time for me, the football club and everyone connected with it.
“I had indicated to the Chairman and Directors that this would probably be my last season as I looked for a new challenge and one that was a bit nearer to home. Traveling, in particular, has got so much harder over the last couple of years with the A34 and M60 becoming more and more of a challenge on a daily basis. I also feel with the club regaining ownership of Spotland Stadium and the Ratcliffe Arms that the club has a great opportunity to kick on and move forward. That challenge may be best served with a fresh pair of eyes and maybe a younger pair of eyes."
He added: “When I became aware of an opportunity to join Port Vale it was just too good an opportunity to turn down as it offered me the chance to remain in football and minimise my travel. I look forward to a new chapter in my life.
“It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work for Rochdale Football Club over the last 11 years. To bring that to an end was quite an emotional moment for me when I spoke to Chris (Dunphy). I am very proud of what Team Rochdale has achieved together over this period of time and I am extremely proud of the small part that I have played in that success. What has made it so enjoyable is the people that I have worked with and for - the directors, management, staff and supporters. I would like to thank them all and wish them and the club all the very best for the future.
“I don’t mind admitting that I will have a tear or two in my eye when I drive away on my final day but I will take with me so many good memories, and above all, some lifelong friends.
Colin Garlick will assist Chris Dunphy and his board of directors with the recruitment, selection and transition period of his successor.