The Electoral Management Group (EMG) is pleased to announce the receipt of three successful nominations from candidates wishing to join the Board of the Argyle Fans’ Trust. These are Jon Sparkes, John Petrie and Andy Symons.
As there are fewer candidates than there are vacancies the Electoral Management Group will declare the three nominated candidates duly elected at the AGM on 24th November. The three new Board members will be available at the AGM to answer questions from members.
Under the AFT’s Rules, the Board must consist of at least six, and not more than twelve, members to operate fully. There are two members continuing their service (Ed Shillabeer and Tim Chown) which means that with the three valid candidates the Board will be one member short of the minimum laid down in the rules. Therefore the Board will also seek to co-opt at least one volunteer as soon as possible after the AGM.
Candidate statements follow.
As one of the founders of the Argyle Fans’ Trust, and then a co-opted board member following this, I have a great deal of experience in carrying out the activities of the Trust, and in strengthening the voice of Argyle supporters. Having been involved in many different areas of the Trust, I feel that I have the expertise and knowledge needed to help the Trust progress.
I firmly believe that the Trust should be looking to work with the club, the community and other supporters’ groups so as to promote itself, the club, the community and the role of the club within the community. I intend to work towards building successful relationships with other supporters’ groups by trying to establish regular communication between all groups so that we can help each other be successful. I believe the Trust should be a friend to the club, and help where possible, but it should not be afraid of being critical where needed; I am not afraid to ask questions where needed or of being publicly and privately critical.
I also see the PASB as an opportunity for the Trust, and other groups, to firmly establish themselves as key parts of the governance of our football club. It is an opportunity that the Trust must seize upon so that we can meet our objective of increased supporter governance within the club. There have been many problems with the PASB, which led to my withdrawal from the election, but these should not be allowed to stop it being developed into a key part of both the club and the Trust. I believe that, between the Trust, other supporters’ groups and the club, the PASB should be reviewed and its definition and processes improved upon to give all of us the body that we want.
As a member of the Fans Trust I believe strongly in its core objectives of supporter and community influence in running the club.
After a initial period of being formed from a situation where our clubs future was in doubt, the AFT now has an opportunity to work with the club and the newly formed Supporters Board to help make our club to be the best it can be on and off the field.
As a chartered accountant with many years experience of volunteering as a Treasurer in other sports organisations I am able to assist the Trust keep control of its finances and meet its reporting obligations.
Firstly, I would like to thank current Board members Tim Chown and Ed Shillabeer for nominating me.
I am 46, and have been following the Greens for 38 years. All of my family, for generations, have been Argyle fans, and it’s something that I’ve passed on to my son, George, who is in his first year as a season ticket holder, at the tender age of 5!
The Trust faces many challenges in the coming year – the most significant being a satisfactory conclusion to the debate around the club’s offer of a 20% shareholding. The members must of course decide, but I hope the decision will be one based on fair analysis of the benefits of the shareholding as well as the costs. If the offer from the club allows supporters a real say in the affairs of the club, it must be taken. If it turns out that the Trust gains little from the share purchase in terms of influence and input, it shouldn’t go ahead. The terms of the offer must be right for the Trust and its members.
I would hope to aid the Trust by working proactively to grow membership. The target should be to have a majority of Trust members amongst the home crowd. Introducing Trust memberships as part of the club membership would be one way forward and I would hope to persuade the club of the benefit of this. As well as the Gazebo being present on matchdays outside the Devonport, I would like the Trust to spread the message further afield, with a City Centre presence on those Saturdays where the team is playing away.
I would welcome your support, and would happily make myself available at the Gazebo on matchdays to answer any questions you may have.
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