Wednesday, 7 May 2008

So, farewell then, Ben Hayes

Not only has the term of office of Ben Hayes come to an end, but so has the role of supporters' director. The club explains in the E-mail Bulletin:

'The increasing demands of corporate law have led to a heavy burden on the elected fan, with a number of legal responsibilities and potential risks. The board has discussed how best to continue the role, because we see it as important and something that makes Charlton special. We feel we have come up with an improvement that not only continues the direct link between the club's directors and supporters, but also allows us to tap into a wider pool of opinion.'

This will take the form of a supporters' forum, although how its members are to be selected is not yet clear. Certainly not by election, but the supporters' club might play a role, although there are those who are sceptical of its representativeness.

I think that increasing legal constraints mean that the concept of a supporters' director has had its day. It was always a difficult role, sandwiched between the fans and the board, so that the holder had to explain board policy to the fans whilst transmitting fans' concerns to the board. S/he could deal with catering issues, but not with on pitch performance which is what concerns supporters most.

Anyway, thanks to Ben and his predecessors for their dedication and hard work.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Wyn but don't assume that there won't be an election.


Wyn Grant said...

Thanks for that. That is interesting to know.

Anonymous said...

Just so long as Ben hayes is not standing again - what a waste of time/space he was.

I disagree with WG. Fans can see the causes of footy problems with their own eyes - but to turn up for a game against Stoke and be told that the club is moving to Croydon MUST NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. The role of the elected fans director is as a safety net against lunatic boardroom decisions, and it is a travesty that this has been taken away from the fans at a time when the club needs their trust.


Blackheath Addicted said...

I think it's fair to say you'd get good odds at the bookines on the chances of us turning up for another game against Stoke and being told that the club is moving to Croydon - again.

The club doesn't deserve any criticism for the proposed change. A director cannot be a representative of anything other than the board and, as the club notes, there are legal restrictions on a director's actions. As long as the club maintains a good line of communication the intentions behind the fans' director can be maintained (I think).

Anonymous said...

Indeed, but if the club DON'T maintain a good line of communication then the fans are powerless to do anything about it, and starved of board-level information. Any director who is not happy with proceedings can resign, and his legal obligations are terminated. This is exactly what I would expect from a fans' elected director who was privy to information that he thought was in the fans' best interests to know, but was legally prevented from discussing.

Now the board can play snakes and ladders with our club as they wish - and announce any kind of "done deal" that they wish, e.g. mergers/groundshare/property sale and lease-back/outright sale etc.

Look at the unrest Liverpool now have as a result of boardroom shenanigans. we have been down this road long agao and learnt our lesson, yet the club is taking away this hard-fought benefit at a time when the board need the fans trust. Something is not right behind the scenes I tell ye, but I can't put my finger on exactly what.