At January’s Guildhall meeting James Brent laid out some of his future plans for the club. This included the creation of a ‘Green Army Supervisory Board’ or ‘GAS Board’ that would both represent fans and be able to hold the board to account. In the last few weeks, the Argyle Fans’ Trust Board has participated in three discussion meetings about this proposal. The meetings have been run by Prof David Wheeler, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University and Dean of their Business School, and have included representatives from other Argyle supporter groups in addition to a number of interested “independent” individuals.
Prof Wheeler, having listened to the various inputs, presented his final proposal at the third GAS Board discussion meeting on 21st April. His presentation, with some post-meeting updates, can be viewed here (PDF file).
As should be immediately obvious, the GAS Board has been renamed the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Board. As proposed, it will run for an interim year with six supporter group representatives (likely to include 2 or 3 Trust representatives, with one perhaps co-opted for specific financial/legal skills) and six representatives from fans who take out an a Club Membership. It will then be up to the Interim PASB to set up its constitution, its priorities, and begin work. We understand that the club plans to distribute a newsletter describing the PASB, and including a nomination form for individual representatives, at the Cheltenham match on May 5th.
The Trust Board has already made two statements about the proposed PASB, the first to James Brent at the recent first meeting about the 20% share offer, when on the goals of community involvement and holding the club to account we said:
“While we believe that evidence across the country suggests that supporters trusts are the best way to achieve those goals, we believe the ‘GAS Board’ is an innovative concept and it is one in which the Trust wants to play a constructive role, especially given our experience in setting up an organisation with rules, regulated powers and responsibilities, membership, a secretariat and financial/fundraising and election management. We believe the Trust’s role will be particularly important in the time it will take for the GAS Board to find its feet and decide how it will be run.”
The Trust Board also responded directly to Prof Wheeler through the discussion group, where we said:
“The Trust was set up to be a democratic, transparent and accountable focus for Argyle fans to ensure the club is run in the right way. We’ve been doing that and we’ll continue to do that, and the concept of a supervisory board is another way for the Trust to help influence decisions. But the real test of what the GAS Board can do will be in the detail of what powers it has and how much notice the club has to take of it. We will look to contribute to that process to ensure that the Board is set up in the right way.”
The Trust Board would welcome feedback from our membership on the PASB proposal. Please send any comments to our Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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