It was encouraging to witness the unanimous agreement of shareholders at the EGM converting the club to a Community Interest Company (CIC). We now have the right structure that fits around a football club. It has been a long, and at times difficult, process but one that has benefitted from considerable input from shareholders and supporters alike. Many cautions as well as expectations have been noted through the process, and they will not be forgotten.
It is the responsibility of the Board to leave the club in a better condition for successive generations; it is also the responsibility of the members to support that process. The work required in the next five years will be enormous to ensure that the long term decline of our club becomes a piece of history. The structure of governance and transparency we have adopted sets such high expectations that even for a relatively open club such as ours, it is going to be very challenging, and will require a culture change for many.
Getting a unanimous vote last night was an achievement, but it was just the beginning. The job of ensuring that our club grows in a sustainable manner on and off the park remains the overriding challenge and the change in structure does not alone deliver that goal.
The CIC acts as the catalyst for building a cohesive structure across the club linking seamlessly all of the activities that operate in its name. Currently we have too many operations that work in isolation. Whilst integration can only benefit everyone involved it is obvious that change is not easy, it will require a positive and ambitious spirit to be adopted by everyone to pull everything together.
Whilst the rules of the CIC are now in place, it will take time to get up to speed and deliver on them, but the process has started and there is no way back.
The success of any member owned organisation is not down to the Board, it rests in the hands of a fully engaged and involved membership supporting their Board to achieve. It isn’t going to be easy for anyone, however if we work together then the benefits will flow to our Club. The Board will do everything it can, supported by other volunteers, but we all need the support of as many members as possible.