Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in a working group that has come together to form a new supporter’s board. Please see below for the official release, made public this evening.
“Last week saw the first meeting of a working group put together to discuss a potential new Supporters Board.
Over the past couple of months, the club have been actively talking to individuals and groups about the possible formation of a Supporters Board, a group of like-minded people who could help shape the decisions of the club, offer constructive advice and represent the average fan.
Initially the club spoke to a range of fans groups and sites, including Vital Lincoln City, L.I.S.A, the Trust and the Stacey West. From there a group of people were assembled to discuss moving forward.
The initial working group comprises of nine members, all sourced independently. The age range is from 23 to 60’s with a spread of different characters, those living in the city, those outside the city and so on. One of the first decisions of the working group was to actively search for another female to join, given the initial collective had just one.
Whilst the members already asked come from various groups and organisations, they are not there to exclusively represent those people. The 617 / singing section have a member, but he will represent a wider group that just those. Whilst we want to have as wider-ranging representation as we can, it is not possible to form an effective working group the covers every single demographic on a match day. That would be unworkable and to be effective, the group must be able to debate and discuss, hence keeping the numbers down to ten.
The Supporters Board will be chaired by Liam Scully for the first six months, then that can be reviewed if we feel the need. The club will always have a representative on the board, for obvious reasons.
The initial working party consists of: Jackie Atkins, Julian Burley, Peter Doyle, Andrew Helgeson, Gary Hutchinson, Nick Procter, Paul Pyrah, Tony Smith and John Wilson.
The purpose of the board is to help shape the future of the club, where possible. Of course, all decisions ultimately lay with the football club, but this is a vehicle to canvass fan support, help relay the importance of issues facing fans today and for fans to feel more involvement in the day to day running of the football club.
Let us be very clear: this is not a toothless tiger and the board will be a friend to the club, but a critical one where required. This brief is being written by a board member because we already feel we must be very clear this is not just another club initiative filled with stooges: we’ve said yes because we want to make a difference. Lincoln City are in a wonderful place right now and we want to work with them to ensure the good feeling is maintained and continued for the foreseeable future.
Over the next few days we’ll be introducing the members of the Supporters Board to you in a series of articles, articles you’ll not just find on the clubs’ official channels but also on Vital Lincoln City, The Stacey West, L.I.S.A’s blog and anywhere else the board members see fit to put them.”
My own involvement came about on a recommendation from inside the club. The board has been set up to be a fresh and innovative approach to fan / club relations and I guess recently my site has demonstrated that I am a fan, first and foremost. I’ve never been involved with any other organisation or group, I speak for me and for the people I encounter on match day. It was flattering to be asked if I’m honest. I was then also asked if there was anyone I felt who could add to the demographic and enrich the group. I put a name forward and they are now also on the board. Outside of that the rest of the board were sourced independently.
I appreciate that there will be some people who wish to have been involved and were not. Sadly, for a group to be effective it also has to be streamlined to a degree. I hope this does not cloud you view of the board because I believe sincerely we can really make a difference.
I appreciate you may have questions about my role, or may just want to comment or offer topics for discussion. If so, please do not hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org and please put Supporter Board in the reference box.
In the meantime, please do be aware this is an incredibly positive move by the club and ourselves and rest assured, I have the needs of the fans at heart. I’m one of you and hopefully, along with your input, we can help towards making Lincoln City a better place than it is already.