On Tuesday, representatives of the supporters who protested at Altrincham FC’s recent fixture with Stalybridge Celtic met with Robins’ Chairman, Grahame Rowley [GR], at his invitation.
The meeting discussed an agenda based on that outlined in the group’s recent post on the Club’s Fans’ Forum. At the conclusion of the meeting the following statement was jointly issued:-
•1. Both parties welcomed the opportunity to clear the air and have a full and frank discussion over the events that have lead up to the protests and how they could be resolved.
•2. GR agreed to address the issues surrounding the departure of Neil Young by way of an article to be published on the Club’s website and match programme.
•3. In the course of discussions we realised that the Club’s Board and the Group had very similar goals in terms of moving the Club forward. Furthermore, GR outlined work currently underway that, if successful, would create significant opportunities for the Club to attract new investment and expertise into the Club. The details are currently being finalised and will be reviewed at the next Board meeting held in May 2017. Following approval these plans will immediately be made public.
•4. The plans require a considerable level of ‘stewardship’ as they involve negotiations with a third party, the co-ordination of a number of professional services and consultation with Club stakeholders. With this in mind we believe that it is essential to maintain a level of company continuity at this crucial stage in the process.
•5. The Group agreed that, given these potential major developments, it is appropriate that GR should remain as Chairman to see this process through to a successful conclusion. As a result the Group agreed to cancel any further protests it was planning.
•6. Both GR and the Group agree this should not be seen as a return to ‘Business as Usual’. Far from it, as the plans would be a significant new chapter in its modern history. As per the above Chairman’s Statement, GR admitted mistakes had been made both individually and collectively at Board level, but lessons have been learned and all are determined to set the Club on a successful new course with the help of the group and indeed all the club’s supporters.
•7. The supporters’ group would again like to acknowledge the vast improvement in the Club’s infrastructure during the time that GR has been chairman. It was felt that this has significantly improved the standing of the Club within the local community, and therefore the attractiveness of the Club to outside investment.
•8. Despite a double-relegation on the field, both parties, as Altrincham supporters, felt the impending changes represented an exciting future for the Football Club, as we rebuild on the pitch in line with the objectives and targets set out at the recent Strategic Review.
•9. Both parties also agreed that it would be helpful for a supporters’ representative to be available to be present at Board meetings, and to act as a conduit for queries and concerns that supporters may have. This should be an urgent objective for a newly formed, wholly independent Supporters’ Group”.