I imagine that some of you may be wondering why I haven't posted before on this thread and the delay is responding and clarifying has led to some inevitable unfounded and unwarranted speculation. It may be helpful, therefore, that I comment as follows -
I made it clear to the ISC many weeks ago that due to work commitments I would not be seeking a nomination in the forthcoming Society Board elections. I even confirmed it to some of the more familiar posters on this thread. It was agreed with members of the ISC that I would continue in my role as Chair particularly at the time there was an expectation that at the CVA meeting on 6th May a 'preferred bidder' would be announced and that the ISC of the Trust MAY be involved in future of the club as the expected purchaser (and only bidder) at the time, James Brent and the anticipated Chairman and Chief Executive had publicly expressed the view that supporters would be more involved in the club. It was anticipated that such a deal would be complete by the 3rd June or thereabouts and I intended to step down immediately afterwards in the expectation that the club was in safe hands going forward.
However, as we all know we now have a preferred bidder who has signed an exclusivity deal (albeit on a milestone basis) that takes us through to the 14th June at least. The problem this gave me personally is that for much of the month of June and the early part of July I would not be in Plymouth due to work and personal commitments and this was likely to continue in the months ahead. I purposely do not have an I-phone or Blackberry and not every location I would be in was Wi-Fi connected. You will understand that I felt that I could not properly represent the Trust if I was out of contact at probably the most important time and not always contactable by mobile phone.
This was causing me alot of worry and distress as I felt that the Trust needed to be properly and authoritatively represented at what I anticipate to be a very difficult time. The demands of the media, are sometimes excessive, such that an immediate availability for comment or interview is all important and sometimes this cannot be shared. Clearly I was unable to fulfill that role as Chair.
I really hope the Trust as a properly organised and constituted body with affiliated supporters groups around the country can be seen as being the most influential voice of the supporters and thus has a proper legitimacy to deal directly with the club. With Chris Webb as Chair and Lee Jameson as Vice Chair I know the immediate future of the Trust is in safe hands and they will have my full support. With David Tall on board too I am sure that his knowledge and experience will be invaluable.
However, at the same time, I must say that I am firmly of the view that the other supporter's groups and fundraising organisations like the Green Taverners must be embraced with unbridled support and enthusiasm and not suspicion so a proper unified front is presented to the new owners. I really hope this can be achieved either formally or informally. I have been the strongest advocate of this since I have been Chair and if I hope to have a legacy at all in the short time I have been at the helm I sincerely hope that this can be achieved.
Finally, a few thanks need to be said. Obviously to all the members of the ISC and particularly to Peter for their support and encouragement throughout this difficult time for the club, the staff, the players and of course the supporters. Thanks to Gary, Mark, Bill and Damon for their fantastic work with the GTs and to Ian , Sue and Leigh for their magnificent individual efforts. Thanks for all the positive and negative contributions made through this message board directed at me - they certainly served to concentrate the mind and ensure that all views were considered even if I didn't share them. A final thank you, in particular to Sparksy, Edd Moore and Natalie who played a major part in getting the voice of the ISC of the Trust more widely heard on the media.
Clearly, free of the shackles I may feel inclined to comment more freely on the 'preferred bidders' but that will be for another time.