Trust statement

Canaries Trust statement

The Canaries Trust, like all football trusts, is governed by the rules of Industrial and Provident Societies with the aim of overseeing the governance of football clubs. This was recognised by Alan Bowkett in a letter shortly after his resignation when he wrote:

"Whatever course the Board chooses I am confident that we must and will maintain the local and community nature of our club. This is where an organisation such as yours is so important, ensuring the executive and Board is held to scrutiny and account for their stewardship. I was most aware of this during my time on the Board and am of the firm opinion the new Chair will be too."

While we are not a protest movement, nor is it our normal practice to comment directly on playing matters, we feel that the current situation has seen a confluence of the issues of governance and what is happening on the pitch which makes a statement imperative. We also note today’s statement from the Swansea Trust which paints a picture of a club interacting and communicating fully with its fans.

We are aware that a strength of feeling such as has not been seen at the club for many years is growing amongst fans who feel that they are being taken for granted and left in the dark due to lack of any meaningful communication from the club at a time when a squad generally regarded as one of the strongest in the Championship is lurching from defeat to defeat under a manager who appears to have lost any sense of direction.

While we accept that replacement of managers shouldn’t simply be dictated by fan feeling it is also quite clear that people who spend huge amounts of money to support the club every season have a right to some sort of explanation from the club as to why it is taking no action as the team slips ever lower in the league.

However as a Trust we have to look beyond the issue of who manages the club and ask serious questions about the future planning of the Board in the light of the loss of parachute payments in 2018, given the Chief Executive’s statement that promotion is the only thing that is being targeted. We well remember the end of the Robert Chase era and the dark days of 2009 and fear that without a proper plan in place and effective communication between the club and its supporters we could see a return to such times relatively quickly if that objective fails and no contingency plan exists.

As a result of the Trust’s acquisition programme the 15th largest shareholding in the club is held in trust for the fans. We strongly suggest that those fans have a right to know what the board’s thinking is for the future of this great club. If the priority is balanced books and long term faith in a manager regardless of on field success then it is only fair that that is made absolutely clear before the deadline for season ticket renewals.