Statement re. Myfootballclub.co.uk

The board of the Brakes Trust would like to make the following statement with regard to the recent approach by myfootballclub.co.uk to Leamington FC.

Background info on MyFC can be found here:
http://www.myfootballclub.co.uk/myfc2-invite

And a wiki page on their background:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyFootballClub

The Brakes Trust were approached by Jim Scott late last week to seek our feedback on the club having a potential linkup with MyFC. [* See additional statement below also]. We learned that MyFC were to be voting on a future club to be involved-with, and that Leamington FC were in the final two vote-off.

The Trust welcomes this communication from the LFC board and hopes that it will continue. However, at the time the information was very limited and hence the Trust gave a deliberately cautious, noncommital response.

Over the weekend the Trust’s board members discussed this issue at length and also sought external advice. Our decision on Sunday was to prepare a statement for presentation to the Club if the outcome of the MyFC vote was Leamington FC.

Our prepared statement voiced our extreme concerns and recommend careful diligence but it is now no longer relevant given the final outcome and the Club Board’s statement today.

The Trust recognises the very serious concerns raised over the last 24 hours by our members and the wider Brakes fanbase as a whole.

 – On behalf of the Brakes Trust board.

……..

Additional statement and responses to questions.

The Brakes Trust board would like to make the following amendments and clarifications to the statement which was published yesterday (09.07.13).

– The Trust statement above says it was first advised late last week when infact it was 2 weeks prior to that. 

This is an unfortunate error and we would like to make the following clarifications.

The Trust was first approached informally 2 weeks previously. A discussion between Jim Scott and Adrian Barton involved letting Adrian know about LFC being entered into the MyFC voting process but that talks were based upon sponsorship/social media links etc (benefitting all parties, MyFC members and Brakes fans alike) and excluded any consideration of a board position for MyFC.

The club’s communication with MyFC was not discussed by the full Trust board because at that time no threat was perceived. In hindsight, this was an error given the background history of MyFC. The Trust should have become more genned-up on the situation and communicated caution. That said, the club had (at face value) a sponsorship opportunity, so going public could very easily have derailed that.

Again we must stress that this was a difficult position and with limited information. The approach at the time, rightly or wrongly, was to see how the saga played out.

– The Trust didn’t tell members what it knew soon enough. 

The Trust were contacted again by Jim Scott late last week when it was revealed that Leamington FC were in the final two vote-off and that now it had become a very real and pressing issue which needed to be acted upon. This was communicated to the whole Trust board on Friday afternoon/evening. At that time, information was still limited and far from the fuller picture which is now available.

On Saturday the Trust Chairman Adrian Barton together with Nick Rogers and Secretary Nick Hallworth were all booked on Board Member Development training provided by Supporters Direct in Birmingham. It was a coincidence that such an event allowed for professional advice on the situation to be sought. However the SD contact with the most experience of MyFC (and the Ebbsfleet history) was not contactable on the Saturday so a message was left for him to get back to us asap.

On Sunday the whole Trust board spent a lot of time preparing a response to the overall situation yet there was still a lot of uncertainty about what exactly was going on. The intention was to provide a considered and appropriate response, hopefully (at that time) after receiving advice.

Why was an urgent reaction not kicked off after the initial contact?

We can see now from the Slough reports that their deal is purely a sponsorship arrangement, yet the philosophy of MyFC is to have influence at a club. So we still have mixed messages and limited information – and we had even less information back then.

But yes it is conceded that the Trust team should have acted to discuss and learn more about this situation sooner.

..

The Trust team recognises that mistakes have been made on the handling of this situation and we hope that a full and open clarification like this is welcomed.

We have seen that there have been numerous responses and opinions on this statement across the various social media sites. It is our responsibility to engage with members and your feedback is highly important to us.

The comments section below is open and members are encouraged to air their thoughts. We will endeavour to respond to all points raised where required.

(Note: comments are moderated so may not appear immediately. Please allow a little time for comment responses, if necessary).

6 Responses

  1. S Payne says:

    I think many will be concerned that no information on this was made available until the day the outcome of the vote was being announced. Fans will be disappointed that the club did not seek to gauge their views in advance. The material circulated by MyFC suggests that clubs have been making their case to MyFC in recent weeks, so I think there will be disappointment that nothing had been made public prior to the club committing itself as a candidate in the vote.

  2. Chris Fincham says:

    A bullet dodged but that was down to luck it seems.. The club were naïve in their actions and just a little research about MYFC’s business intentions at Ebbsfleet would have provided sufficient evidence to refrain from entering into discussions with such an organisation. There may be a cashflow situation at the club, as there is elsewhere but too much hard work, enthusiasism and good will has gone into making the club a succesful non league entity to allow for it to become someone else’s plaything.

  3. Simesy says:

    I think the club thought it could get what it wanted from MyFC and had certain requirements of its own which ultimately – and thankfully – MyFC couldn’t agree to. For sure the correct outcome has been arrived at, but perhaps not from the idealest of modi operandi. It’s a learning curve, however, it is good to see the club liaising with the Trust.

    I hope that Slough look at their “win” very carefully, and tell MyFC “thanks, but no thanks”.

  4. Dave Falp says:

    What exactly were the Trust asked? To give their backing? And what information about the deal was given to the trust? More than has been made public? From the outside we see MyFC’s history, are told they have completely changed their MO and not to worry, but we are only told what they didn’t want, not what they did want.

  5. Pauline Fletcher says:

    Thanks to the Trust Board for their honest and open admittance of exactly what when on, including the errors, and in openly answering fans questions.
    I am glad the Trust has made it’s position clear as to what it’s response would have been had there been any further discussions with Myfc.

  6. graham hobbins voice of the brakes says:

    to be fair until vote had taken place there was nothing to disscuss the has every right and i would expect them to look at every avenue of income and as i understand it once vote result was known arranegments were in place to call open meeting at a point where there was something to talk about

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