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Fan Ownership

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Author Topic: Fan Ownership  (Read 17080 times)
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« Reply #340 on: March 11, 2019, 11:17:46 am »

I was at the meeting along with about 100 fans, Trust members, journalists, NTFC employees and local business people.

Handing out this document at the meeting was a mistake, it doesn’t represent what was discussed, has some very silly statements and should be disregarded.

We heard from fan ownership at Portsmouth and Exeter direct from the people involved and it was interesting to hear their experiences. In these two examples it was proven that fan ownership in Pompey’s case saved the club from oblivion and steadied the ship for a few years before being acquired by Michael Eisner and in Exeter’s case has enhanced community involvement and given the trust an equal voting position on the board (50/50) giving fans more say on what happens off the pitch.

There are a lot of business models for this approach and Andy/Kevin from the trust were clear that this is not a hostile takeover bid and the purpose of the meeting was to see how others have done it and start to discuss fan ownership approaches that might work for the Cobblers.

Exeter’s model might be great for Northampton Town. Especially to provide clarity over off the pitch decisions/direction and actually make visible improvements to our ‘community’ stadium.

It does also seem that some local businesses would want to be seen to support the community through this initiative.

My concern on what I heard yesterday was an uncomfortable undercurrent of negativity from the Trust panel and some involved people who were asking questions about the current owners.

If the true intention of this is an Exeter style model for the Cobblers then everyone needs to buy into that including the current owners and it doesn’t sound at the moment that this is the case. This for me is the sticking point and needs to be addressed before I’m interested in joining any future meetings.

The bit in bold is the key bit for me.

In order to get anywhere near fan ownership the Trust has got to earn the trust of the people it claims to represent and start acting in true partnership with the current board at NTFC to secure a handover. The current behaviour I am seeing suggests that nothing of the sort is happening, and they're actually alienating the NTFC staff.

I am a supporter of fan ownership in principle but the sheer naivety of the discussions & the document handed out yesterday is absolutely frightening.
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