Inside the Box – March 2018
Through entirely my own fault, having been somewhat distracted by other matters that have required my attention, I missed the print deadline for this month’s edition of “The Albion”. I understand readers of the hard copy are to be treated to a weather résumé of the past couple of weeks which I would find hard to argue against being more entertaining than my regular contribution.
With the medium of the Club Website still being available to me, I decided to conduct a Q & A with myself; that way I only get asked the questions I want to answer! On a more serious note, please do not hesitate to contact me through the usual channels should you wish to discuss any of the following, or indeed anything pertaining to Stirling Albion.
Q: What are your thoughts on the recent media coverage in respect of Child Protection matters?
A: Firstly, I would wish to make it abundantly clear that no one within the Stirling Albion family has done anything other than apply our Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy, to the letter of the law and without exception. In answer to your question, in common with every self-respecting decent human being, I was disgusted and dismayed by the way some media fora chose to headline the “story”. Whilst I accept that within the body of the coverage, there was a statement confirming that I personally wasn’t implicated in any wrong doing, the “damage” had already been done. Whilst I am an old school believer in the age-old nursery rhyme “Stick and Stones”, the emotional distress caused to my family remains close to the surface.
Q: What is your view about the recent resignations from the Supporters’ Trust Board?
A: I don’t have one. Only the individuals concerned can answer to the reason(s) that gave rise to their resignation.
Q: Where do you stand in relation to the Supporters’ Trust Executive Board directive to instigate a Club EGM to remove you as a Director of Stirling Albion?
A: Outside, I guess! Seriously, though, I am a great believer in democracy and on this occasion, I believe a small minority are acting contrary to the views of the majority they were appointed to represent.
Q: What are your views on the “Consortium Bid” to invest in the Club?
A: I am a staunch supporter of fans’ ownership and in the right hands, I believe it is broadly the right model for football clubs in the current era. Therefore, if you’d asked me less than a week ago, I would have been somewhat more cautious in my response. Following on from Wednesday’s Open Meeting, subject to all the t’s being stroked and the i’s being dotted, I am most certainly supportive of the offer. The opportunity for accelerated growth and progress both within the community and on the pitch is something that simply cannot be achieved without substantial investment and “added value” in respect of business acumen.
Q: Is that stance not being somewhat critical of what has been achieved to date under fans’ ownership?
A: Not at all. I’m immensely proud of what I and my fellow Club Board Members, supported by Andy Todd, Community Engagement Manager, Neil Mackay, Club Administrator and most recently, Andy Kennedy, General Manager, have achieved over the past seven years. The clearance of debt has been a gargantuan task and to have achieved this within the timeframe we have, and at the same time substantially improve the Club’s financial stability is great testimony to all those who have contributed. However, the opportunity to take a huge step forward simply must not be missed.
Q: Where/how would you be placed if the “Consortium Bid” were successful?
A: I honestly have no idea! One thing for certain, however, is that my passion as a supporter of Stirling Albion would not diminish. The Binos (Beanos!) have been a huge part of my life for well over 50 years, my son’s since attending his first game in December 1994 and more recently my wife’s – on the basis of if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Both have helped me enormously, and on a voluntary basis, with many of the day-to-day mundane tasks of keeping a football club in order.
Q: Again, if the “Consortium Bid” were successful, how would you feel about stepping down as Chairman?
A: Delighted! It’s time for much younger blood to step in and provide fresh ideas, impetus and energy. It’s also well past time for me to reacquaint myself with my family and give them the love, time and attention they deserve. In any event, the “chairman” element of my role occupies a very small percentage of my time; I’d estimate well over 90% of my entirely voluntary “working” week involves administrative tasks, cleaning the dressing room and washing the kit!
Q: So, you’d be happy to carry on with your non-executive element?
A: Absolutely, with one proviso; I don’t ever again have to don the Marigolds to bail out a urinal following a weighty contribution from an over-indulging Hospitality Guest!
Q: Thanks for your time.
A: A pleasure as always!