The team is languishing 8 points from safety at the bottom of the third division, the vital academy is a few short months from being homeless, the teams agreement for its home ground runs out in just over a year, fans are disillusioned, desperate and disgruntled. So how does our owner respond? Well despite claims made on national radio our transfer window activity can best be described as underwhelming and today it is announced that another court battle is being started.
This action is further proof that SISU have no interest in the club, in the supporters nor in the community. It is time for them to leave.
More worryingly the fruitless JR1 was a battle between SISU and Coventry Council with Tim Fisher running around telling anyone who would listen that this had nothing to do with the football club as they were separate entities. This action is being brought by ARVO Master Fund, Sky Blue Sports and Leisure and Otium, therefore his claims no longer have any validity. This means that the football club is taking the council and our current land lords, as an interested party, to court.
Whilst SISU have every right to take to court who they like and it is up to the courts to decide upon the validity of their claims, it is the collateral damage that is being caused that is of gravest concern. For the club to prosper or even survive it needs fans, it needs a place to play, it needs the local community and local business on its side. Yet this type of action simply drives an even greater wedge between all the parties that should be working together for the good of the club.
Ms Seppala has no interest in the football club – she has indicated that no more money will be invested in the club and now is embarking on new, potentially terminally damaging litigation. The Sky Blue Trust has on several occasions offered to meet with her to discuss an exit strategy, an exit strategy that the Trusts legal and financial experts would even allow her to pursue her litigation but leave the football club in the hands of those who actually care – the supporters.Write comment (0 Comments)
The Sky Blue Trust does not condone anti-social and illegal acts such as the throwing of smoke bombs and multiple pitch invasions. We do not even excuse this behaviour. We do understand, however, that it was entirely the result of frustration and desperation and that many supporters are simply at the end of their tether, feeling powerless and ignored. This boiled over in an such an ugly fashion at Sixfields.
While peaceful protests and petitions have attracted national attention and sympathy they have seemingly been ignored by Sisu and Tim Fisher and this once great club is in now in total disarray and turmoil. To many supporters it appears that nobody is listening and nobody cares.
The club's owners and management along with the impotent football authorities have apparently shown complete disinterest in the plight of the club and its supporters and this led to the disgraceful scenes in Northampton. It cannot excuse them but does explain them.
SISU have stated they are unwilling to further invest in the club, they simply want to park it and not be bothered by it – this disdainful attitude to an institution that means so much to so many is simply untenable.
The scenes were ugly but borne of desperation and passion. The Trust urges all fans to keep any protests lawful and ensure these scenes are not repeated.Write comment (0 Comments)
Monday night's Sky Blue Trust meeting at the Albany Club attracted around 100 supporters to hear very informative talks by Ashley Brown, who led the Portsmouth supporters' takeover and is now Chief Executive of Supporters Direct, and Jamie Mathie the Club Development Manager at SD.
James outlined the principles of supporters' involvement in ownership, giving examples of where it has been successful and how other groups had gone about it. Ashley gave a detailed account of what had actually happened at Pompey and the model they adopted with a mixture of several thousand fans buying shares individually or collectively and a dozen wealthier fans making up the ownership.
Both stressed that it wouldn’t be easy. In fact due to the current unbalanced financial structure of football that whilst things were slowly changing for the better it would be a financial struggle for a supporter owned club to compete financially with clubs with benefactors who were willing to lose tens of millions each season pursuing the Premiership dream. However supporter ownership would give a club better gates, better community involvement, better relationships with businesses and local authorities, and local media. However, it wasn’t a panacea or an easy road ‘
Roger Ellis, the Sky Blue Trust Secretary, outlined that the Trust had been working in the background on several contingency plans to meet a variety of situations that might arise, from a willing seller, to administration and even liquidation. He stated that legal and financial experts had been appointed and had already provided invaluable advice assistance. Roger stated that the Trust had approached Joy Seppala twice asking for a without prejudice meeting to discuss a possible exit strategy for SISU but was rebuffed by SISU’s lawyers and an inaccurate story put about by Tim Fisher through the now disbanded SCG. These initial rejections will not dampen the Trust's efforts as things cannot be allowed to continue to deteriorate on and off the field any further.
The over-riding message from both speakers was that it can be done. Supporters working together can be very powerful. Not all supporters will agree but as long as a majority are on message anything can be achieved.
The meeting was then opened to the floor and a variety of questions and opinions were offered but all pointed to the fact that those in attendance all wanted a change of ownership before its too late.
There was a call from one individual asking for a boycott of season tickets - a campaign the Trust will not back as this, just like attendance at Sixfields, is an individual's decision. However it was pointed out by others that there really was no need for a boycott as people were doing it off their own bat anyway. When a straw poll was taken, 75% of attendees currently had season tickets but not one said they would be renewing next year. To make it abundantly clear, no-one - neither the Trust nor the Jimmy Hill Way - is “calling for“ nor promoting a season ticket boycott. Supporters will decide on that for themselves. It was made clear by both organisations that administration was neither desirable nor certain.
Following advice from Supporters Direct the Trust intends to conduct a large scale questionnaire of supporters to gauge matters such as what they would like to happen to their club, what their expectations would be and how that might be achieved. Details of the questionnaire will be released soon.
Another attempt will be made to meet with SISU to discuss an exit strategy. The Trust hopes that there is a change of attitude and Ms Seppala will at least hear what they have to say.