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Old 23rd July 2020, 11.32:17   #1-0 (permalink)
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Default Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

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New document today - in the usual Chairman review:

These are unprecedented times, with all football in the UK having been suspended since 19 March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has also put a huge question mark on when we see live football again, with some suggesting it could even be the new year.

This has certainly put a strain on the finances of every football club, and how many will survive to the end of this situation is questionable. The Football Club board at Wrexham have acted swiftly by furloughing all employees to give the Football Club a chance to see this through. Thankfully, due to the rigorous financial regime that the Football Club undertake, and the fact that the Supporters Trust hold, at the time writing this, £213,000 in the WST account, will hopefully see us through this time of uncertainty.

This calendar year we have only had income from two home games, and with the loss of the Lionel Ritchie concert and other planned events, our income stream has been greatly depleted.

With all of this in mind, we need supporters to get behind the Football Club, whoever is in charge, until we recover from this setback. We have all seen the call for heads of certain people; but I deplore those who take to personal abuse of individuals who are working extremely hard to ensure we have a Football Club to go forward after this pandemic.

The way to remove anyone from the positions that they are in, is by democratic procedures that we have in place as a Fan owned football club, and not by using what can be described as bullying tactics from people using social media as a tool for their own agenda.

The Annual General Meeting has always been a way to go forward. If you are unhappy with what is happening and with the way things have been run, you can either vote for the people you want on the Board or stand for election yourself. The door is open to any member to do this.

However, having said that, we do need people with the skills to come on board; people who have the capabilities to represent the running of the business side of the Football Club, whilst also, most importantly, the time and availability to give to the Football Club cause.

From my own position, I understand the need for change, and to have new faces come on board which I welcome, and, it is with this in mind, that I will be stepping down from the Chair of the Supporters Trust and the Board as well, to ensure new faces get the chance to bring a fresh approach to both the Trust and Football Club Boards. This decision was made last year when I decided to give one more year, as I really felt that last season would be the year. How wrong was I?

The proposed EGM at the latter end of the year never received enough votes to back the resolutions that were being put forward. We, as a Board, tried to engage with these people, who remained behind their usernames on social media, but the offer was turned down. I did not agree with all the resolutions that they made, but as a Board we did want to discuss how we could improve the way things are and could be improved by mediation. However, the fact that the Trust Board get accused of a lack of transparency, these people disappointingly declined the offer to discuss their issues

Hopefully, this year’s AGM will see the call for change that they feel is needed, and that we see people who will put Wrexham Football Club first as previous Board members have. After all, we are all fans of Wrexham AFC.
Looking back, there is no doubting that this past season has been a huge disappointment for us all.

Pre-season, and everything looked quite promising. Several new signings had been made by the manager Bryan Hughes to add to the squad that reached the play-off the previous season. Fans were obviously hopeful going into the new season as was shown by the attendance at the opening game of the season when we beat Barrow 2-1.

However, just one further win in the next eleven games proved otherwise, and this led to the replacement of Bryan Hughes as manager. Brian Flynn took temporary control, before Dean Keates was chosen from four candidates interviewed to take up from where he left us a couple of years go.

Following on from last year, the interviewing for the new manager took place, and the Football Board put forward their proposal to the Trust Board with the reasons to appoint Dean over the other candidates. The Trust Board were unanimous in agreeing with the decision to appoint Dean as manager of Wrexham AFC. Not every appointment pleases all fans, but the Board made their honest decision in the best interests of Wrexham AFC. Going forward, I wish him well when the new season eventually starts.

Last year also saw the addition of Wrexham legend Dixie McNeil to the Football Club Board. Dixie had been a player, manager, and president of our Football Club since arriving in the Town in 1977. He was invited onto the Board to add his football and managerial experience of dealing with players, as well as his business experience. Thank you, Dixie.

John Mills has, already at the time of writing, indicated that he will not be standing at this year’s AGM due to his personal workload. I would like to take this opportunity to thank John on behalf of the Supporters Trust for his service and efforts on both Boards. His expertise in helping with the IT of the Football Club has saved thousands of pounds for the Club over the years. John joined the Trust Board in 2009 and has been on the Football Club Board since 2012.

I would like to thank all the Football Club Board for what has been a difficult year for all concerned. As well as John and Dixie: Spencer Harris, Gavin Jones, Mark Williams, and Phil Salmon have all continued to do an excellent job in taking our Football Club forward off the field. Their time-consuming workload must be admired and respected, and with being almost nine years of fan ownership, they have gained invaluable experience in the running of a professional Football Club.

As well as John and myself, also not standing at this year’s AGM is Trust Board member Sarah Smith-Howard, as she plans to get married this summer. Sarah has been on the Trust Board since being co-opted in 2016 and has worked on the Fundraising and Membership group during that time. Thank you, Sarah from all the Board, and you have our best wishes for the future.

The Trust Board has also seen the departure of Johnathan Hughes, Simon Rhodes and Mark Jones and we thank them for their service to the Football Club cause.
One further loss was that of our independent secretary Alan Fox due to his own increased workload. Alan had been the independent secretary of the Trust since 2012, and his help and advice since has been a great help in the smooth running of the Trust over that period. Thank you, Alan.

The loss of these people, and the reasons given, have one common denominator and that is time. The availability to give justice to the role of a Trust Board member is important. I have always told new Board members that family and work come first, whilst being a Board member that supports a professional football club comes very close behind.

Alan’s replacement was Josh Williams who had settled into his role when coronavirus hit us. It has also meant an increase in Josh’s workload which has seen him ask to temporarily step down until the situation improves. The Board acted swiftly, due to the timing of the Trust’s Annual General Meeting, and appointed former secretary, Lindsay Jones, to oversee the running of the 2020 AGM.

The Board co-opted new Trust Board members during the past year. One of these was Matthew Scott who joined the membership team to help Sarah. Matt has brought a new dynamic that has been positive for the Board, with plenty of fresh ideas that we will, hopefully, build on next season. These include new member benefits and setting up Corporate membership for next year.

The Finance Revenue generation group co-opted Matt Davies and James Harrison to assist Bryan Still, and this past year organised the Christmas raffle which raised several thousand pounds towards the Club’s youth setup. A Murder Mystery Night and a Sportsman’s lunch were held during the year, which, unfortunately delivered an exceedingly small loss.

Other events had been organised for this calendar year such as our first ever Beer festival as well as the Player of the Season dinner. However, like the football, they had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Overall, for the Financial year, our Fundraising income was down £21,394 with the primary factors being the end of the Build the Budget campaign (£14,357) and lower Christmas raffle takings (£5,840).

The Community group has been ably led by Steve Lloyd and Rob Stock, whose aim at the start of the season was to deliver a range of community initiatives, focused on diversity and inclusivity throughout the season whilst building and enhancing the standing of both Wrexham Supporters Trust and Wrexham AFC within the community.

During the season, the group delivered on their objectives by organising another grassroots football day which was attended by over 800 young players and their coaches. They have also supported community ventures such as mental health support, food bank collection, hosting a Macmillan coffee morning, a Memorial Day for the Gresford Colliery disaster and supporters who were sadly no longer with us.
In conjunction with the Club’s Disability Liaison Officer, Kerry Evans, we also supported the level playing field week of action campaign with the brilliant “Sign of the Times” choir performing. The group were also to support Football v Homophobia campaign, but sadly, the designated match against Torquay was postponed.
The group has also been working with Public Health Wales with a view to promoting various Health initiatives through the Club over the course of the year. They have liaised with Supporters Groups throughout the season, as well as setting up recruiting volunteers for the setup of a youth dragons group which will be looked into progressing next season.

The Junior Dragons continue to thrive and grow in numbers with membership increasing by 11 to 656. They hosted a hugely successful Christmas Party with over 150 in attendance as well as holding several other successful events throughout the year.

Sadly, both Rob and Steve have recently decided to step down from the Trust Board at the AGM. We thank them both for the excellent work they have done.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the Club’s DLO, Kerry Evans, for the excellent work that she has done for the disabled supporters, none more so than the organisation of away travel and setting up the new Autism friendly/Quiet room at the Racecourse under the Mold Road Stand to enhance our standing as an autism friendly stadium.

With performances on the pitch, and the negativity within a section of the fan base, it has been a difficult year for the membership team, which has seen adult membership drop by 115 to 2,702.

Our treasurer, Brian Phillips, who will take questions on the Trust’s account at the AGM, has reported that membership subscriptions dropped by £3,744 on the year. Also down was Build the Budget income by £14,357. This initiative saw the last bit of income in 2018 when a further £15,103 was received. There are still a few people that are contributing, but only £746 was received in 2019.
I would like to thank Brian for all the hard work he has done in trying to keep on top of membership subscriptions whether it be by Pay pal, standing order or even by cheque. Thank you, Brian.

Whilst thanking people, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Carl Hogan, who after eight years, decided to step down from leading the media team at the end of last season. Carl has worked extremely hard as a volunteer to build up an excellent volunteer media team that do some great work in covering all the media aspects that is entailed in the media group work. These areas include TV and radio commentary, managing the post-match interviews with professionalism, filming the game, photographing, the overall management of the media team and meeting the visiting media on match day. Carl should be proud of his efforts and will be a huge loss. However, three of his team (James Harrison, Ollie Williams, and Colin Henrys) are stepping up to cover this work. We wish them well.

Whilst touching on the Media team, I would like to say a huge thank you to Kingsley Evans who is the voice of Dragonheart radio on Calon FM. Kingsley came on board five years ago to help restart the popular radio show, and he has done a tremendous job over that time. I am sorry that he has decided to call it a day.
I will say it again, volunteers are a huge asset to our Football Club, and we are fortunate to have so many, but you can never have enough! If you have time to spare and want to be a “cog in the wheel” in the running of the Football Club, whether it be on match days, involved with the Community group, membership group, or part of the fundraising team, then we want to hear from you. Why not volunteer your name by emailing volunteers@wst.org.uk.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank fellow co-owners/shareholders for the fantastic support you continue to give to this Football Club since the Trust took over the ownership of Wrexham Football Club. It has been a pleasure to be involved, but now it is time for others to give it a go in the difficult job of getting Wrexham AFC back to the Football League. All Wrexham fans want to achieve this goal but have different ideas of how to achieve that aim. I wish them well in obtaining our number one goal.

Wrexham fans have been absolutely fantastic in embracing the ethos of fan ownership. Yes, there are fans who do not share the views of the Board, but that is the case whatever Board is overseeing the running of any Football Club.
Whatever your opinion, true fans of Wrexham AFC really do need to get behind Dean Keates and the team when we eventually start the new season.

Old 23rd July 2020, 13.02:09   #2-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

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Old 23rd July 2020, 13.06:49   #3-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

"We have all seen the call for heads of certain people; but I deplore those who take to personal abuse of individuals who are working extremely hard to ensure we have a Football Club"

Its ok for fans to get the same treatment though in return without anyone deploring that?
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Old 23rd July 2020, 13.15:41   #4-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

I for one would like to thank Pete for all the effort he has put into activities around the Trust and the club over the years.

I hope he will still be involved with the club in some way going forward maybe we can look forward to some updates to his books on the club and its history.
I'm sure he will still follow his club and country home and away for many years to come'

Hopefully there are better times for the club ahead and that we can find a good replacement for the chairman role.

So thanks Pete and look forward to buying you a pint once football returns.
Old 23rd July 2020, 13.20:06   #5-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

Spencer can you now do the same
Old 23rd July 2020, 13.20:43   #6-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyn View Post
I for one would like to thank Pete for all the effort he has put into activities around the Trust and the club over the years.

I hope he will still be involved with the club in some way going forward maybe we can look forward to some updates to his books on the club and its history.
I'm sure he will still follow his club and country home and away for many years to come'

Hopefully there are better times for the club ahead and that we can find a good replacement for the chairman role.

So thanks Pete and look forward to buying you a pint once football returns.
Don't livestream that pint... Its a disaster waiting to happen
Old 23rd July 2020, 13.21:21   #7-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

I think he’s been a terrible chairman, and it’s nothing personal. The wst should be a strong voice of the supporters, but it’s never been like that. We didn’t need 10 years to figure it out
Old 23rd July 2020, 13.22:28   #8-0 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody View Post
I think he’s been a terrible chairman, and it’s nothing personal. The wst should be a strong voice of the supporters, but it’s never been like that. We didn’t need 10 years to figure it out
Totally agree. I thank him for his efforts but that doesn't meen i thini hes done a good job.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 13.28:04   #9-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

What screams out of this is that everyone involved in the club is well meaning but don't have the time or the expertise to run a football club. Therefore we need to put it up for sale.
Old 23rd July 2020, 13.33:55   #10-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pete Jones "I will be stepping down from the Chair "

Quote:
Originally Posted by benwilliams View Post
What screams out of this is that everyone involved in the club is well meaning but don't have the time or the expertise to run a football club. Therefore we need to put it up for sale.
Sadly - that is spot on.
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