SUPPORTERS’ TRUST EXPOSES BOARDROOM SHORTCOMINGS AT FORTHBANK
Following in the wake of issues raised in recent weeks over Stirling Albion’s financial position, the appearance in the public domain of the Albion Supporters’ Trust Annual Report for 2003 poses further questions as to the governance of the Club and its relationship with its supporters.
Trust Chairman, Dick King, indicated, “The Annual Report sets out in succinct terms for the information of Trust members the obstacles which have been continually created by the Club’s Directors to avoid engaging with the Trust and, thereby, with loyal supporters.
“We have gone out of our way to extend the hand of co-operation to the Directors with a view to the Club and Trust working together for the benefit of the Club and its future. Some 14 months after our first meeting with the Directors we are still awaiting formal responses to our ideas and to our invitation to explore ways of taking the Club forward in a positive way”.
The Annual Report details how offers of financial assistance by the Trust were rebutted by the Directors, although after much to-ing and fro-ing, the Club eventually accepted Trust sponsorship of a player.
Mr King said, “In the current climate where Motherwell, Dundee, and, very recently, Livingston, have been taken into administration, no football club especially one like Albion with a deficit in excess of £1m, can afford to ignore its supporters’ approaches to provide tangible assistance in a number of ways. It reflects poorly upon the judgement of Albion’s Directors that they have chosen to spurn the views of those upon which the survival of the Club relies”.
The strained relationship between the Trust and Albion’s Directors contrasts starkly with the healthy relations enjoyed by the Bairns Trust and its parent club at Falkirk.
Referring to next month’s AGM of the Trust, Mr King said, “At Falkirk, the Club invited its Trust to nominate a representative to serve in the boardroom thus giving the supporters a real voice and a chance to contribute ideas for the way ahead. Bairns Trust nominee on the Falkirk Board, Michael White, has accepted our invitation to be our guest speaker at our AGM and members will have an opportunity to hear how great strides have been made in advancing the club through mutual respect and co-operation.
“How shameful it is that Albion’s supporters do not have the same opportunity to work with the Club because the Directors choose to remain closeted in their Ivory Tower, uncaring of the ideas and concerns of the Forthbank supporters.
“It is indeed a bitter irony that the Directors’ attitude prevents the Trust from fulfilling our mission statement – Working with and for Stirling Albion FC to take the Club back to the Community”