Reaction To Media Interest
Further to the story first published in Insider Magazine yesterday, a further story by the Manchester Evening News today and coverage on Radio Manchester we would like to take the opportunity to clarify a few issues. We must make it clear that we have not been behind these articles but having become aware late on Wednesday night felt it necessary to speak to them and today issue the following statement.
Over the last three months we have undertaken a great amount of work which will lead to the open public meeting early next year and there is a lot more to do. During our planning and research stage we have spoken to supporters, shareholders, potential providers of finance/ donations, interested parties, various industry professionals and most importantly have the full support and regular input of Supporters Direct, the organisation that assists and supports the establishment and operation of Supporters' Trusts. We are keen to ensure that we do as much planning and research as possible before we unveil our proposals at an open public meeting in late January 2007 or early February 2007.
We publish everything that we are doing on our blog but will not comment publicly about the people, organisations and companies we have been dealing with unless they are happy that we do so.
Our mission statement is clear and should not be misinterpreted:-
"The supporters of Manchester City appear to be increasingly disillusioned about their club and generally feel remote from it. Crowds are falling as fans see themselves as less important than other external stakeholders. We see a democratically constituted Supporter's Trust as the ideal vehicle to try to reverse this, being independent from the club management but ideally working with them, to ensure that the paying fans are recognised as key stakeholders in Manchester City's future.
We want to create a mass-membership organisation, covering every element of our fantastic support, where everyone has an equal stake and whose actions are democratic and transparent. We see a trust as a channel that is run by the fans, for the fans and with the club's best interest at its heart. We also recognise the excellent work that Manchester City already does in the community and wish to support that and spread it further, wherever possible. We do not see the trust as simply a pressure group but do see it engaging with and challenging management where we feel their actions are not conducive to the best interests of the club and its supporters.
We see a trust as the appropriate umbrella for existing shareholdings and also as a vehicle for potentially acquiring further shares, wherever possible. However membership will not be limited to existing shareholders of Manchester City plc but all members will become shareholders in the trust for an affordable subscription, thereby ensuring it is accessible to the widest possible constituency."
Supporters Trusts are on the increase right across the UK and now Europe, in fact there are currently 8 in the Premiership. Supporters Trusts are backed by Uefa and the government. Supporters Direct is the national body that assists these organisations, which now includes over 150 across the game. We wish to confirm that this project is not meant to lead to a takeover of Manchester City Plc as has been reported nor is it a vehicle for regime change we cannot state that enough and have been doing so publicly for over three months.
Finally, there is no hidden agenda, we are not the front guys for someone else and not stalking horses (as much as some would like to think). We are four supporter/ shareholders with a vision which we hope the majority of true City supporters will support as passionately as the great club we all love.
Colin, Colin, Miles & Ollie