Avignon Green wrote:
Avignon Green wrote:
I have great admiration and respect for all those involved in the contingency group and the GT's. Through all of their efforts they have helped to ensure PAFC's exit from administration and in no way do I begrudge them being given a few "perks" by way of a thank you from both James Brent and the wider fanbase.
I do however feel that John Vaughan has a point in his original post in that the Contingency Group seem to have transformed into the Consultancy Group. Again I believe it is a positive thing that the new owner is engaging with fans but feel that any official meeting (and the original post does give the tone of an official meeting) should be organised through either the trust or an official supporters group, otherwise there seems to be no point in the Trust even existing.
If the club is serious about progressing both in the short and long term then it needs to project an inclusive image and I'm afraid consulting a group of well meaning but unelected fans representatives drawn from a small cross section of people is not going to help the club reach out to the less dedicated supporters who Argyle will need to attract if they want to progress out of the lower leagues.
Please tell me where he should start then in his reaching out ?
Firstly with an inclusive group such as the Supporters Trust or if they are unable to adequately represent themselves during the this transitional period, then with one of the many other organised supporters groups such as PASALB. I have no problem with James Brent seeking advice from any individual supporters on an informal basis whomever they may be, what I disagree with is the Contingency Group becoming some kind of official fans' voice. This may not be the intention but it will certainly be the perception of many non believers.
The Contingency Group includes representation from the Trust and although the leadership might not have been elected, I think we can safely assume that the vast majority of it's approx 1500 members nevertheless consider the Trust represents them (otherwise you would see discontent on these boards). If people feel the Trust does not represent them, then they can join up and put your views accross. If they think their your voice would not be heard, they can start an alternative group and contact James Brent to ask for a channel of communication to be opened. It really is that simple. At the moment, the Trust is the closest thing we've got to an an official fans' voice. That's better than nothing and its by no means as unrepresentative as it need be if other people get off their arse and say and do something constructive about it rather than just nit picking and sniping at every little thing from the sidelines.
I agree with some of your post, however your claim that those who disagree with the direction of the trust will join up and seek to change things for the better is in my opinion sadly inaccurate. What is far more likely is that they will become disillusioned with it and not bother renewing their membership. This disillusionment will only be confounded when the trust is sidelined by the Contingency Group, yes the trust has a token representation within the group but it is not leading it as it should be, seeing as it is the largest supporters group of it's kind. Also your claim that there would be more dissent on here from trust members if everyone wasn't in agreement with their direction is a little presumptuous. Only a minority of the Trusts 1500 members post regularly on here, I myself am a trust member and feel uneasy with the direction (or lack of) taken.
Again I will re-iterate, I have no problem with the people involved in the Contingency Group and broadly I have no problem with James Brent seeking advice from those who have the club's best interests at heart. My issue is with how it is presented, you might call this nit picking, but in my opinion at this key point in the trusts development perception is everything. By calling this a meeting of the Contingency Group as opposed to a Trust meeting with other representatives present it gives the impression of an unelected elite group of fans claiming to represent the wider fan base.
The Trust needs to be seen to have an active role and influence as as well as having clear goals for the future if it is to develop beyond the hardcore supporters, being sidelined at this crucial time in the club's history will see it die a quick death and diminish any long term democratic voice available to supporters.