The Brakes Trust response to the Leamington FC AGM
The Brakes Trust Board is duty bound to raise the following concerns with the Leamington Club Board to ensure the membership of the Trust and the wider football family at the Brakes is aware of our concerns. The Trust Board is accountable to its members and we cannot ignore our own responsibilities.
The Brakes Trust has raised concerns before, but it has been difficult to arrive at a clear position where we believe our concerns have been taken on board to our and more importantly to our members satisfaction and we have appeared to have been silent on issues that have arisen – which has not been the case. We also have concerns that the wider Board may not have been fully aware of both negative and in the main positive points we have raised.
1. Strategy. In the previous years of the football club especially at the start of reformation there was a clear plan of forward momentum which everyone knew about, were open to and everyone could back to the hilt. The Brakes Trust recognise how difficult this is especially when the country is in a financial malaise and challenges present themselves on a day-to-day basis. The Brakes Trust believes the supporters of Leamington FC who are the lifeblood of the club should help to formalise a strategy plan. If the team continues to perform as admirably under Paul Holleran as it has in the opening 13 league games, we could find ourselves in the Conference North and met with ground improvement challenges amongst other demands such as player wages and travelling costs.
We encourage the club board to engage more with supporters to produce an outline plan; the Brakes Trust can provide that conduit to address the challenges ahead and develop how we can build on it together for the future. It has always been a Brakes Trust objective to have supporter representation on the Leamington FC Ltd board, and if the Trust and club can work together on this as a project then it will form another positive step towards that Brakes Trust aim.
2. The Trust recommends that sponsorship and advertising should not be combined on the balance sheet, they are separate entities. There is currently no public transparency on the relationships with BPS or Calor. Whilst we understand financial agreements are confidential, as football supporters who value the club as an entity serving the community, its important that we understand any influences these organisations have if supplying fiscal support.
3. Sean Brady, Roger Austin and Mark Davison.
(i) Shaun has been an active part of the football club for countless years and there has been no statement forthcoming from the football club to what happened to his resignation. It appeared from questions arising at the AGM that Shaun stood down due to a disagreement. Whilst we recognise that this is between Shaun and the board it does lead to concern if the financial officer of the board is in disagreement and feels strongly enough to step down.
(ii) Roger Austin. Although not present at the AGM, through our share dealership with the LFC board we are aware that Roger Austin may no longer be involved as LFC Board Secretary. Two important positions stepping aside is a cause for concern, added to the club showing 4 years of consecutive losses.
(iii) Mark Davidson. Although a minor oversight, there was no declaration that Mark had been installed as acting member of the club board.
4. The Brakes Trust and/or the Leamington FC Supporters Co-operative Limited are the terms of reference. On a number of occasions we have been misrepresented on sponsorships and donations. It is important that the above names are used.
We do believe the Brakes Trust has proved its worth to the football club, supporters and very importantly to the local community and local stakeholders and we hope with the Football Club we continue to do so.
Peter Davis: Chairman.
The Brakes Trust has not yet received a reply to this open letter, so has sent another letter to the Leamington FC board asking for a response.