Date: 20th December 2013 at 2:08pm
Written by:

Please find details , taken from the Supporters Coop website,from last nights meeting.

The newly-elected Supporters Co-op Board met with County Chief Executive, Ryan McKnight on Thursday (19-12-13)

A wide- ranging discussion took place about the future relationship between the Club and the Co-op as well as general Club matters.

There was a mutual recognition that both parties needed to change and learn from past mistakes. It was necessary to create a dialogue.

We stressed that the way fans had been treated in recent times was unacceptable and Ryan said he wanted to engage with fans and involve them much more in Club affairs.

The positives about the “County family” were recognised but there were issues here about acting in a business-like manner.

It was agreed that a “protocol” document, based on Supporters Direct guidelines, would be drawn up as the basis for dealings between the Co-op and the Club.

Whilst this would spell out the need for mutual respect, it would recognise the need and right of the Co-op to act independently as the supporters` representative body – something that Ryan wholeheartedly supported.

Specific areas that would be taken forward include:

? A space for the Co-op to meet with fans within EP on match days;
? Co-op article in the match day programme;
? Regular meetings with the Club.

Other issues to be discussed further include:

? Ways for the Co-op to work alongside the Club;
? Co-op members undertaking various roles on matchdays;
? Possible Co-op support for the Club lottery;
? Attracting younger people (teenagers) to matches;
? Joint community projects

The present state of the Club and its precarious situation were jointly recognised.

The effect of this on present and future support could be seriously damaging if things were not changed for the better.

As for tomorrow`s march, whilst recognising Supporters` feelings, the Club was taking a neutral stance towards it.

Ryan hoped that the Club would have been advised of the Co-op`s stance in advance if the proposed Protocol been in place but recognised the requirement for the Co-op to support it.

Whilst mindful of the difficulties still to be overcome, the Board believes the meeting was a helpful basis for developing a much improved relationship between Club and fan, with supporters having a positive influence on Club affairs.

Both the Co-op and Ryan agreed that the meeting “had the potential to start a serious club/supporter partnership (at last), and regular meetings is the correct way to communicate effectively between the two.”

Ian Brown


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