RESPONSE TO THE OPEN LETTER FROM NORTHAMPTON TOWN FC
As long-standing supporters of our football club, all Supporters Trust board members personally know many members of staff at the club – in some cases associations and friendships go back over many years – and we have always appreciated the dedicated service they have given, and continue to give, to the club.
Like them, we too care passionately about our football club and have a determination to see it prosper on a sustainable and progressive footing in the months and years ahead.
Over a period of almost 30 years, right from its formation during the discredited days of owner Michael McRitchie, the Trust has always worked in the best interests of the club and its staff and it will continue to do so.
In the dying days of the David Cardoza ownership, the Trust ensured that staff members did not go without pay and we also paid for coach travel to ensure the team was able to fulfil a League Two fixture at Crawley.
It is inconceivable that the Supporters Trust would be publicly critical of the club’s staff members and any comments made by individuals on social media (whether Trust members or not) do not represent the view of the Trust or its board.
As for criticism of the Community Trust, again we have financially supported the football club’s community programmes and initiatives over many years.
From the days of the old car boot sales to the introduction of the Abdul El Bayati award right through to support of the befriending service, the offer of profits from the sales of face masks and helping sponsor the Women’s team in the last year alone.
We are proud of the work that the Community Trust does and we always look to support them as much as we possibly can.
We do however need to challenge the suggestion in the letter that the Trust has a ‘hidden agenda’ of ‘destabilising the club’ in pursuit of wanting to own and run the club.
This has never been our intention and suggestions otherwise completely misrepresent our true position, which is that we continue to explore viable community ownership models for the football club should it one day again find itself in crisis.
It is a wholly sensible position to adopt, given the club’s recent history and the likely advent of greater involvement of supporters in their football clubs following the European Super League fiasco.
This position was endorsed by our Annual General Meeting in November 2018, and again in a survey of Trust members (and the wider Cobblers fanbase) in March of this year.
In closing, and in our desire to find a positive and constructive way forward, we would be happy to meet with any club staff members who would like to discuss any concerns they have about the Supporters Trust and its role.
The board of Northampton Town Supporters Trust