As fans may be aware, Trust Oldham and Push the Boundary (PTB) met with the Football Supporters Association (FSA) on 9th March.
It was agreed at the meeting that the Trust and PTB would issue statements following the meeting to outline what each group took from the meeting, key points raised and matters to focus on moving forward.
We would encourage fans to read both statements.
FSA representatives have extensive experience in advising supporter groups on how to effectively engage with clubs. They are a helpful, independent sounding board and we thank them for their support.
We covered a broad range of matters but principally focused on:
- The apparent continuing cash flow constraints faced by the club (HMRC legal proceedings and reports of unpaid salaries relate)
- The proposed purchase of Boundary Park by the club
As separate but related matters, we considered:
- Whether and to what extent key information regarding the club and its financial position is being shared with the Trust on a fair and reasonable basis and how any such issues can be resolved
- Completing the review of the club accounts for the year ending 2018 as a priority (accounts for the year ending 2019 are due shortly)
And as an overarching matter:
- How the Trust can be more effective
We are entering a period of potentially substantial change within the football club. We must collectively do what we can to ensure that this change happens in a way that benefits the club and its long term health. We will work constructively with all parties, including Brass Bank, to achieve this.
We need to understand many things, including the proposed terms of the sale of the ground and how this is to be funded. We do not yet have answers to these questions. We need to also explore the potential for conditions to be put in place which ensure the sale enhances the future of professional football in the town. We will need to seek legal advice on a number of matters in this area.
Overall, we need to make a step-change in how the Trust seeks to utilise its legal rights within the club to the best effect. The term ‘healthy pressure’ was used to reflect the approach which the Trust should be looking to take. We welcome that feedback from PTB and the FSA.
As a priority coming out of the meeting, engagements with the club should be sought on a more frequent and formal basis going forward. We also expect this to extend to the wider Trust Board and to PTB where appropriate. This is about using engagements with the club more effectively in applying this healthy pressure.
As fans, we share the same ultimate goals and want to see the same things from our club. We are committed to communicating this to the club and ensuring we use our respective positions and the different tools at our disposal to realise that. We welcome the constructive feedback from PTB and their efforts to hold the Trust to account. Our respective agendas and areas of focus can and should be complementary. We hope a period of constructive two-way dialogue lies ahead.
Meetings are taking place with the club over the next two weeks. Further updates will be provided on the outcome of these discussions.
10th March 2020