Relegation has naturally brought a great reaction amongst supporters of the club both members and non-members of the Trust.
The board of the Trust will meet next week and there is a members’ meeting on the 2nd June where there will be opportunity for all members to discuss all issues in full. By that time any possible reprieve for us in the Conference Premier may be clearer.
Whatever, league we play in next season there are obviously some fundamental issues to be addressed as to the running of the club.
The Trust wrote a very detailed paper last year giving ideas as to how the running of the club could be improved. Unfortunately there was no response to our ideas from the club.
Nevertheless the Trust showed it was still prepared to cooperate and work with the club on issues where the Trust members think there is a long term guaranteed benefit to club and supporters. This is why members agreed to support the new floodlights scheme. At our last meeting with the club before the Darlington match, progress with this scheme was discussed and a full report will be given at the June meeting.
A couple of points should be mentioned at this stage.
Firstly, despite our relegation, funding for Conference North clubs from the Football foundation would still be sufficient to give us 50% of the cost of the floodlights
Although the issue of whether relegation would put a stop to the scheme was mentioned it was NOT said that it definitely would not happen. The Trust board members believe it is essential this scheme goes through.
The club’s share of the cost would be not much more that £20,000 and the club board would have to remember that the similar amount of money from the Trust as their share of the scheme would not be available to the club for simple running costs if a decision was made not to go ahead with the floodlights.
There are those who argue that the Trust should not use the money we raise to help fund such projects, as the club should have money to fund it completely itself.
The Trust members have raised money to improve facilities at the club and we believe on this issue it is vital to put pressure on the club to take action now. If we did not contribute would the scheme proceed? If it did would this produce a corresponding reduction in other moneys made available to the manager, etc? We also believe that improving facilities at Haig Avenue, such as floodlights, does make the club a more attractive proposition to any outsiders considering investing in the club.
There are many issues to ask the club especially in financial terms at the AGM and as a significant shareholder the Trust will put forward those questions (whether we get all the answers of course is another matter!).
There is a range of opinions amongst supporters about the Chairman’s running of the club over the years. Those who were supporting the club through the 80s (and there weren’t many!) will firmly believe that the club is in a better position now than then. The real point though is that we should be in a much better position than we actually are now. We are grateful to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman for their work and money over the years that has helped give us a club to support but a club with our potential should be a strong member of the Blue Square Bet Premier ... (indeed, why should we be smaller than clubs like Macclesfield, Burton, Morecambe, Rochdale, etc;)
We can agree and disagree with a number of issues as to how the club is run but one thing is certain about any football club (or other organisation). Unless you communicate properly with the supporters and let them know your plans and reasons for your decisions you will eventually alienate them and severely reduce the chances of success for the club. You may get away with a lack of communication when you are winning Championships but not the rest of the time.
Open meeting for all members of Trust In Yellow.
Thursday, 2nd June, 7-30pm. Grandstand Bar