Barry Collins has explained his reasons for leaving Lewes FC, where he had been a director, citing the club’s overwhelming preoccupation with their equality campaign.
Collins also gave plenty of credit to the club’s efforts, detailing his overall reasons for stepping down in the following post:
On Tuesday night, I tendered my resignation as a director of Lewes FC. It was a miserable moment for me, because it was a great privilege to be voted in as a director, it was a role I loved doing and I gave it my all.
I had planned to step down at the end of the season, as I felt I’d done my bit and didn’t want to re-stand for election next autumn. Alas, a recent incident — which I’m not going into further detail about here or elsewhere — left me convinced that much of the hard work I and others had put into building the club’s reputation had been needlessly squandered.
That, combined with a long-term frustration at the direction in which the club is headed, left me with an unshakeable feeling that this wasn’t a board I wished to be part of anymore.
The club has become overwhelmed by the single issue of the equality campaign. I joined a football club and feel like I’m leaving a political party.
I had my doubts about the pay parity initiative, I still do (my side bet is it will be abandoned as impractical once either of the first teams is promoted without the other), but there’s no doubt it’s brought a lot of attention and success to the club. Elevation to the WSL was won on the back of it, attendances are well up and Fran Alonso’s revamped side have made a very good start to this season. It’s been much more successful than I ever imagined it would be and the board members who drove it deserve credit.
All of that is great, but it’s not the be all and end all. The equality campaign has become an internal crusade that trumps all else. Just last month, a couple of directors suggested it should be the board’s “priority” to attend a literary festival the club was running an equality event at, instead of a game at Margate on the same day. My view was that we were running a football club, not a think tank.
There are some board members who can’t seem to accept that some people’s primary motivation for being part of a football club is the football, not the club’s politics. A democratically elected board of directors should represent a range of views, but some on the board crave groupthink.