Fans Forum Update.
The Club would like to thank all who attended our Fans Forum on Wednesday evening for their valued attendance and contribution.
For those who were not able to attend, the evening covered the following key points:
Our Chairman Iain McInnes was joined by our CEO Ray Stainton and representatives of the Board along with the first team management team of Craig McAllister, Matt Tubbs & Louie Bell, for an open and welcome discussion on GBFC club affairs.
Iain opened the proceedings by outlining his thoughts on the progress and challenges since the takeover some 14 months ago.
‘In opening can we firstly empathise with and acknowledge a number of initial comments from the floor about the mistrust felt by sections of the fan base engendered by the alleged and historical mismanagement of the club.
‘This mistrust is a major obstacle for everyone and is slowing the potential recovery and growth of their club.
‘What needs to happen now is for our supporters to come together and put aside their understandable concerns and focus on what will drive the club forward and deliver what the supporters want and deserve in the future.
‘Working with our supporters we will do our very best to deliver on whatever we agree upon in the most transparent and inclusive manner.
A selection of the key points discussed:
- The club have stabilised its operation and everyone involved with the club is committed to working for the good of its supporters and the long term future of the community football club.
- Financially our current level of income is nowhere near enough to fund the day to day running of the club, and is dependent upon the Chairman making up the shortfall on a monthly basis.
- As owner of GBFC, Iain is willing to continue with his support, but stated that for the club to prosper going forward it cannot be solely dependent upon one individual and therefore the club’s management & financial model must include a growing involvement from its supporters.
- With this in mind, the club were pleased to welcome Ashley Brown & James Mathie from Supporters Direct, who gave a presentation exploring the options available to supporters groups, who want to take a more proactive role and become a recognisable contributor to the management and running of their community club.
- A separate update on this ‘Gosport Supporters Trust Initiative’ will appear on our website shortly inviting additional supporters to become involved.
- The assembled supporters were invited to ask any questions related to the evenings topics along with any general concerns in an open Q & A session.
- Player / Manager Craig McAllister answered questions directly related to team affairs and the general performance of the team so far this season.
- Key team questions centred around why our unfortunate injuries so far this season to a considerable number of the squad, were preventing us from fielding a consistent team selection.
- Supporters requested better communication from the club on all player related news.
- Going forward the Club will introduce a weekly ‘Squad News’ feature on its official website.
- General questions raised including seeking reassurance from the club’s management, that all financial contributions from the support base would be used for the direct benefit of the football club.
- The lack of general local business support & secured sponsorship was highlighted and it was agreed that assistance from the local supporter groups by way of introductions would benefit negotiations going forward.
- Home match day attendance numbers were discussed. Currently we are averaging between 150 & 250 supporters which is disappointing for a club of our size. It was agreed that if we could attract another 100 supporters per game it would considerably benefit our financial situation. It was agreed that a ‘Bring a Friend’ initiative was to be encouraged.
The Chairman closed the forum with an assurance that we are all here to build a sustainable Football Club for the local community to enjoy going forward, and reiterated that to achieve this, there has to be a coming together of all factions involved in football representing GBFC and become ONE Gosport Borough Football Club.