Highlighting the growing gap between them and us.

Highlighting the growing gap between them and us.

Joined: February 27th, 2009, 4:10 pm

October 4th, 2009, 8:36 am #1

I no longer post on either forum, but I have kept my user id so that I can go on and view, I still have a passing interest in the club and did attend Formby away a couple of weeks back, the board will do what it sees fit, it won't consult the issue with the trust or hold it on file until the AGM, it will just go ahead like it has in all other aspects of the club since its formation and do as it likes.

For me this just alienates further the fanbase and increases the chasm between the board, the trust and the ordinary terrace fan.

No one can surely deny especially with this decision that a them and us mentality exsists.

If it does go to Trust Membership only it must surely rank as one of the smallest web communities on the internet, it would be interesting if the club issued the figures of trust membership for each year, view the decline and think of a way of a real way of increasing trust membership instead of offering gimmicks like exclusive web access, just how many people would be actively posting if this idea was implemented? 15 ?
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Gregor
Gregor

October 4th, 2009, 8:44 am #2

I agree with you mate .It to me is just another excuse to restrict the club from developing. yet again the so call boards Idea of the less indians we have the more safe we are on the board.
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Tufty
Tufty

October 4th, 2009, 9:11 am #3

I bet the board spent a good few hours debating this at their meeting on Thursday night. Ignoring issues such as no shirt sponsor, no decent fundraising events, falling gates, lack of PR in the town and that shocking picture of Headley with his collection tin on the back of a local paper which done more harm for the clubs image than any posting on the official forum.
Its always been a little closed clique between certain board members. I was hoping the introduction of Dave Rose and Bucko would have diluted that slightly. The problem stems from the top of the board downwards, can you honestly say that Derek is really in touch with the fans, even in touch with the people of Runcorn? This is a man who spoke publicly against the club playing at Widnes, yet was the first person over there for the trial game at the stadium and a person who spends more time abusing match officials and opposition players than he does shouting support for his own team; actions which arent really in the best public image of the club.

The problem they now have with closing the official forum, is it simply sends more people towards unofficial forums.
The number of trust members is only a small percenatge of match going fans and an even smaller percentage of people who follow the club with passing interest. As a result, the number of trust members who will actually post on the official forum is a very small number indeed.

The majority of criticisms are constructive, yes you will always get the odd slaging match, buts thats just the nature of football and the internet message boards. I cant see in any way how posts on that forum would prevent people from getting involved or prevent sponsors from coming forward, as whats written simply echos what people are saying on the street.

The main problem with the club, is that the core people on the board and a core part of the fanbase are of the same tunnel mentality. They follow Runcorn FC as its an escape for them, a simple way of getting out of the house and standing with the same people every week. Most people go more for the social interaction than they do for the football itself. As a result they are happy to go to Widnes, Prescott, Witton etc. They are happy with NWCL football (They would be happy with West Cheshire Football) and they are happy with 100 fans each week, they would even be happy with 50 fans each week as long as their mates still attended.
Thats why the club hasnt progressed over the last 2 years.
The failings of the original club are still there and dont get addressed.
The move back to Runcorn is more a result of the Council needing to develop a run down site, than it is about having a Runcorn team in Runcorn, as the very small financial injection from the council themselves proves (Take a look at what Widnes Vikings get given each year).

The trust membership and trust run club is a great model to follow, however Runcorn Linnets dont utilise this model. They simply use it as a motto to trot out when they want. I cant stand the judas twats at FCUM, but take a look at how their trust run club is run and cunsults its trust members and you will see a huge difference, yet both clubs are meant to follow the same model and constitution. How many crucial decisions are even consulted with trust members before they are agreed, never mind put to a trust vote?

When the club was first set up, I was encouraged by its aims and objectives and thought this was the future of football back in Runcorn. Since then that has fallen away and its evident that the main people involved are not the right people for the job and are not willing to involve anyone else incase it conflicts with their own personal objectives.

Looking at Runcorn Linnets and Runcorn Town, everything that the town of Runcorn needs in a football club is evident at Runcorn Town, from PR to social events, from developing a club to developing a structure of a team.
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Cowboy
Cowboy

October 4th, 2009, 9:59 am #4

Tufty,

That's the most insightful and honest appraisal I've ever seen from you and I think probably sums up the feeling a great many of us have. Spenner, Daz, Gregor, Glyn, Myself to name but a few who wanted (and did) give time and effort in support of the club but became increasingly disillusioned by some of the crazy decisions.

Perhaps the board should rename the forum "Sycophants Reunited"

syc·o·phant (sk-fnt, sk-)
n.
A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.


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New Linnet
New Linnet

October 4th, 2009, 2:07 pm #5

I gradually lost interest in the goings on at the club as I wasn't impressed with the way things were going off the pitch and was certainly less than impressed with the people running the show. I still keep a look out for the results but they look flaky too. However, I received a couple of e-mails about this in a 'look at what they're doing now' vein. I thought it was a bit of a wind-up at first but I shouldn't have been that surprised really.

I posted the piece below on the offal forum, as Cowboy refers to it, around August of last year. If it hasn't already been deleted then it will soon be gone as Pol Pot and his merry band of thought controllers wind the clock back to year zero. Bear in mind that around 14 months has passed since the piece below. Has anything improved/changed?



"The following piece will doubtless be disregarded by some but to be honest its no longer of any consequence to me what a number of individuals may think. At least I will have had my say, put my point of view across and can sit back and expect a few anonymous jibes on DYPAM. If anyone wants to take issue with my opinion then fine, Ive popped my head above the parapet so at least have the courage of your convictions to put a name to your posts. If, however, that is the backbone of some (and it wont be too difficult to guess who they are) then this club will really go places. Sadly those places will continue to be opposing grounds in the NWC league.


Ive avoided posting on this forum since October for a number of reasons, the main one being that I preferred to keep my own counsel to wait and see how various issues panned out. My first serious misgivings were realised at the AGM last December. If the anti-Christ of Runcorn (aka Tufty to some) had attempted to sabotage that AGM he could not have done a better job. It was a wretched evening. I lost a good deal of respect for quite a few that night and, in some cases, lost all respect entirely.
All too obvious set pieces, such as the £500 cheque from the supporters club to kick off the ground fund (funnily enough it was launched again a few months later I seem to recall). Trust members being told to shut up when raising issues that certain committee members didnt agree with. I turned up expecting much much more than the orgy of self congratulation I witnessed. I walked out before the end in total disgust. I would expect that sort of contempt from the Chairman or Chief Executive of a Premier League club, not a committee member of a SUPPORTERS TRUST at a North West Counties league club.

I also stopped going to the FSG meetings after 3 or 4 efforts, the last being around the time of the AGM. The final straw for me was after Urkey had mentioned collecting old mobile phones to raise cash.
The following is an exchange there which, to the best of my recollection, went thus:
Ooh, I dont like mobile phones me. No time for them
No, neither do I. Wouldnt have one if you gave it to me
After that I put on my cloak, got into my stagecoach, went down to the GPO and arranged for a telegram to be sent to King George V to bring these outdated viewpoints to his attention and to enquire if we were still at war with Kaiser Bill.
For crying out loud this is the 21st Century. The only thing which didnt happen that evening was figures being spoken of in terms of pounds, shillings and pence.
I could have even tolerated some corporate sounding idiot banging on about blue sky thinking and win-win situations if it actually got us somewhere. Not inane waffling about duck chases and fridge magnets. The words flogging, dead and horse sprung to mind. It was all too Little Britain for me. Id prefer to watch that show on the TV, not sit in the middle of rehearsals.

Returning to the ground fund, I suggested around August / September last year that the tote monies be siphoned off to bolster the fund. Now I realise that such a decision cannot be made at the drop of a hat but it must have taken a good three months to tie it in with the ground fund. Why so long? Are our accounts so unwieldy and complex? Or was it just a collective fear of making a significant decision?
With the Labour party style dual launch of the same project (AGM and Sportsmans Evening) we have, eight months on from the first announcement and taking the £40k commitment from the brewery out of the equation, managed to raise a total of just over £18,000. Probably nearer £11,000 when the tote monies are removed from that sum.
So, only another £192,000 to go. At this rate how much is our share going to have to be when we actually reach £250k? A damn sight more is my best guess.
Where is the commercial acumen within the committee, someone who can get out there and, to coin a phrase, sell sand to the Arabs? Failing that, how about using the abilities of others? It seems that theres a sense of paranoia around the place, that somehow calling in the assistance of those with the requisite skills will undermine the current incumbents. Far from it, a realisation that others need to be called upon to assist would be welcomed by many Im sure. With the current approach its going to take an infinite number of bucket collections to raise what we need.

Relying on HBC to bail us out to the tune of £200k is a risky game as Im sure theyre still counting the pennies after that rugby club went into administration last year. Even if the will was there then the current economic situation (spending cuts will probably be a more pressing item on the agendas of many a council) will probably be enough to make even the most accommodating of councillors baulk at the idea.
I cant see for a moment why they would be prepared to throw £200k our way anyway. Its not as though we could push the project by saying that we have a great Community Development scheme in operation involving large swathes of the youth of Runcorn, unless we pretend that were Runcorn Town for a couple of hours.
http://www.runcorntown.co.uk/fitc/index.php for useful pointers.
Id be surprised if we even have a full set of technical drawings for the ground to present to them.

Criticisms have been raised from certain quarters that the club just use the current support base as a cash cow and Id agree with them. I dont see, or hear of, anything that is being done to try and entice a new generation of fans. Its a lazy, and short sighted, approach to take. What if this seasons average gate drops by another 15-20 people? Are the remaining fans to be screwed that little bit more? I read recently that the average age of a season ticket holder at a Premiership club is 43 but that is still younger than the average age of our fanbase Im sure.
Well this cash cow now has the udders stitched up tight. Over the previous two seasons Ive been a trust member (with donation included), season ticket holder, player sponsor and bought 3 of the 4 shirts issued prior to this season. This isnt me trying to come across as a better supporter than anyone else. I just saw it as nothing more than doing my bit, as supporters do. However, Ive reached a stage where I will not just support anything unconditionally.
Despite the above contribution I havent even been contacted by anyone at the club with regards to renewing anything. How idle is that? It smacks of Were Runcorn, we dont come to you. You come to us

I had suggested at one FSG meeting that a scheme whereby tickets were distributed to schools for each match be considered as a regular and ongoing scheme, rather than the one-off as had been done for the Winsford match in the first season. The possible benefits of this far outweigh what would be a minimal outlay on the clubs part. The idea was that one senior school and two junior schools would be given a number of tickets on a junior free / adult half price basis. This would revolve around each of the schools so that each school in the Runcorn area would receive tickets for at least four home league matches per season. Initially it could be as little as 20 pairs of tickets per school until a better idea on the take up rate was established. Even if initially it only put 10 or so regulars on the gate it would be a start and could be ramped up once the return home was in sight. The suggestion seems to have just gently dispersed into the ether. Too much bother evidently. May as well leave the next generation to join everyone else in small and medium sized towns in England and have them become massive Liverpool or Man. Utd. fans.

Theres too many ego trippers around the place with too few relevant skills to back it up. Match that with inertia in certain quarters and its an unpalatable recipe. As an entity, and in some cases individually, the arrogance beggars belief. In case a reminder is needed were a decent sized North West Counties league club who play 14 miles from Runcorn and are almost £200k shy of what is needed to fund the ground. Add to that rising costs and a stagnant, at best, support base. Should the unthinkable happen and promotion to the Unibond League Div. 1 South is achieved this season how will that be financed? Im sure that Witton would be looking to increase the rent in line with the level wed be playing at. Who could blame them for that? Theyre not a charity. I dont think that Warrington Town merits yet another mention here. Also, there would be the increased travel costs to away matches, including several coach journeys. Need I even mention a wage bill that would no doubt shoot through the £1,000 per week barrier?

The truth is that we wouldnt even be missed by the league should the club fold tomorrow. Last season the average attendance was 170 (a drop of 15% from the previous season) which, assuming that around 140 of that crowd still live in Runcorn, means that from a population of roughly 63,000 approximately 0.2% turn up to watch the club. Im sure that will have the council scrambling to assist with all those votes to win.

Now is the time, in the words of a previous poster, for some club officials to stop poncing around in a club tie. Glyns resignation throws a harsh spotlight on the remaining board members now. A few have as high a profile as Lord Lucan so its time to stand up and be counted.

It seems that the skins of some are a bit on the thin side, ironic really. Someone I used to work with, a big fan of Bury, had actually worked for the club for several years. Intrigued by this I picked his brains on a number of aspects of working for a football club. One question I asked him was, what is the most annoying thing about working for a football club. His answer, without a moments hesitation, was, The fans. Theyre a right pain in the .
Itll always be the same, get used to it.

The tagline By the fans, for the fans is also really starting to look badly out of place now and is no more than a glib motto to be trotted out when it suits. Its like countries who rename themselves The Democratic/Peoples Republic of
You immediately know that it isnt democratic or for the people at all.
By us, for us or Always an Excuse would be more fitting based on the last nine months or so.

Even the forum is indicative of how paranoid things have become. After the last batch of criticism you now have to log in to even view posts. Then there was the message upon its reopening that the forum must be used in the clubs best interests and that issues requiring a response must go through the contact us option. The subtext of that is really, Dont criticise us publicly, isnt it? Brilliant.

Having joined the trust initially with such high hopes Im not that sorry to be leaving it behind, determined never to repeat this mistake again. I think conned may just be too strong a word to sum it up, disillusioned is more like it.
At least with being able to spin out the date of the SGM for so long I wont be there to give anyone both barrels as my membership will have expired. Mind you, even if any changes are made in the short term I can see things drifting back to as they are now. But, build walls and people will snipe from the outside as it is often the only option available.

Ill still turn up from time to time to support the team but as for the rest of it, no thanks. My neck will only withstand so much banging my head against the wall.

Trust member 88 signing out."
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urkey
urkey

October 4th, 2009, 4:01 pm #6

I agree with whats been said, by doing this the board are distancing themselves from the fans of the club. I hope they reconsider.
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runnerglyn
runnerglyn

October 4th, 2009, 5:07 pm #7

Removing people's accounts from the forum trust member or not, isnt the way to go, the board should find a better solution and maybe introduce Karma points, just deleting accounts will only alienate people old and new, i would not want to see the words " forum" on any website and be told i have to be some kind of member to contribute, thats just not the right way to work.
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final straw
final straw

October 4th, 2009, 5:35 pm #8

the board needs to remember that those elected were elected to serve the trust members and run the club on behalf of the trust membership. there seems to be a new way here, sod the constitution, we will run the club our way.

i hope the trust members will vote in december and reclaim there club, the board should always be fully accountable to the trust membership. having just read a report on the st helens fc site regarding yesterday's game at wincham park i'm ashamed, head butts, aggro and claim of racial abuse, have we sunk this low runcorn, the club captain sent off too
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Daz law
Daz law

October 4th, 2009, 6:22 pm #9

Tufty,

That's the most insightful and honest appraisal I've ever seen from you and I think probably sums up the feeling a great many of us have. Spenner, Daz, Gregor, Glyn, Myself to name but a few who wanted (and did) give time and effort in support of the club but became increasingly disillusioned by some of the crazy decisions.

Perhaps the board should rename the forum "Sycophants Reunited"

syc·o·phant (sk-fnt, sk-)
n.
A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

I think tufty posted is spot on after yeatersday game after being told That i wasnt going to be kitman and it went to co-opted board memebr and kid , I felt they dont want my help or the supporters team too as there all so stated there going to take that off the forum too. I feel like there want me to walk away . I justed hope we get enough trust member up for elections and get some these clowns off the board .

Also What i seen yeasterday in the tunnel some boardmebers shouldnt be on the board . I really felt sorry for Paul ramsden yeatserday as he never open his gob and was attack by there goalkeeper cause off another boardmember gob.

I think as trust members and supporters of this club we need to attack on this and get rid some these idiots

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steve cunny snr
steve cunny snr

October 4th, 2009, 6:30 pm #10

the board needs to remember that those elected were elected to serve the trust members and run the club on behalf of the trust membership. there seems to be a new way here, sod the constitution, we will run the club our way.

i hope the trust members will vote in december and reclaim there club, the board should always be fully accountable to the trust membership. having just read a report on the st helens fc site regarding yesterday's game at wincham park i'm ashamed, head butts, aggro and claim of racial abuse, have we sunk this low runcorn, the club captain sent off too
were you at the game, or are you just going of the st helens web site, if you are just get this right, although i do not in any way condone what steven did and i had a word with him, and as always he was honest about it, he apologised to the chairman and his manager and the players, yes he knows he could have reacted better, but he was so insensed that a player {the goalkeeper of st helens} should say such a despicable racist remark he jumped straight at the player to defend his team mate, and just to put this in some sense after watching my other son play today against a st helens player who actually spoke out against the keeper, and the keeper is saying that he called the lad a spoon. i do not think so and it was heard by quite a few people, so get all your facts right before you go off on one.
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