Another Open Letter
To the owners of Kidderminster Harriers Football Club
Further to our recent exchanges we, as representatives of Harriers supporters are most disappointed at our failure to persuade you of the importance of maintaining and improving the longstanding, successful relationships we’ve had with your predecessors (with one recent exception) since 2003, and of the need for you to meet with us, without preconditions.
It’s now clear that our members and other committed Harriers supporters, require us to make further efforts to communicate on their behalf, and to convince you of their discomfort with the present lack of clarity/openness following the change of ownership, You must, by now be aware that several hundred fans, including season ticket holders, have decided not to attend our club’s matches and, those of us who care are concerned that many of them will never return.
We did invite you, and/or your representatives to attend the supporters’ open meeting, after the Boston United match, as we believed this would help you to better understand supporters frustrations and give you the opportunity to explain your ‘vision’ for the club and your plans for the future. Unfortunately, however, you decided to decline the invitation and the meeting went ahead in your absence.
It was made clear to attendees from the outset that this was not intended as a vehicle for KHIST to communicate any particular message but an opportunity for harriers fans (not just KHIST members) to raise their own questions, discuss genuine concerns and suggest necessary actions in an open forum. It was very much hoped that there would be some consensus as to how KHIST can best represent supporters’ interests, in the light of the club’s continued, gradual decline and the lack of acceptable communication with supporters since the change of ownership.
You’ll understand that there were various impassioned expressions of anger, dissatisfaction and frustration but nevertheless contributions were positive. There was considerable support for those suggesting the need for direct action/demonstration but, on reflection, it was resolved that, notwithstanding the lack of communication so far, we would, in the first instance, try again to secure your responses and communicate these, before deciding on any further course of action.
Whilst we did not take minutes of the meeting, we are showing below some notes prepared by an attendee for your attention. These are not all embracing but the content is accurate and clearly shows the need for concerns to be addressed. We are still of the belief that the best way of renewing a strong, mutually beneficial relationship is to have the ‘face to face’ meeting, initially suggested by Richard Lane, as soon as possible. With this in mind, we understand that it’s planned to announce a new board of directors by the end of the year, so can we now, please, agree to meet shortly after that announcement?
We can but request you to give respectful attention to this expression of the genuine concerns of people who have the best interests of the club at heart and let us have an early response These people are not trouble-makers …… they are the past, present and, hopefully, the future of OUR Club.
Many thanks for your attention
KHIST, on behalf of Supporters
Saturday 7th December 2019
Ian Nash opened the meeting at 17.10 hours, stating it was an opportunity for fans to ask questions.
Rob Jones, a supporter of 35 years said that whilst he was pleased with the new arrangements, he was worried about the level of commitment / investment from Richard Lane and wants to know more about the plans for the club going forward.
Ian Nash acknowledged Richard Lane had indeed already invested a lot of money, without that we may not have a club to be discussing today. What the future holds though we don’t know.
QUESTION FROM FLOOR – Whilst not an expert in football, the style of play does not seem to be working, how can fans be happy watching it? The play is extremely negative.
John Davies responded to this by saying that the new manager can only work with what he has got unfortunately. The new manager has only just come into the club, the Gateshead at home match on the prior Tuesday was a really low point.
Someone commented that Richard Lane was only interested in the football academy.
Ian Nash took the opportunity to explain to the room that himself and Dave Williams had previously met with Richard Lane, back in early September. Since that point there has been very little communication from the club.
RESPONSE FROM FLOOR – There is such poor communication out of the club. In a statement from the new manager he said he was excited about the drive and ambition from the club, we as fans know nothing about this drive and ambition.
Dave Williams stated Richard Lane said he would hold a fans forum but nothing has developed, He had been invited to the meeting but had chosen not to.
The latest communication from the club to KHIST was asking about what KHIST had achieved over the last 3 years,
RESPONSE FROM FLOOR – Where is Colin Gordon in all of this?
FURTHER RESPONSE FROM FLOOR – He works with Richard Lane. He is part of the academy.
QUESTION FROM FLOOR – I sent a long email to Matty Paddock as I had no other contact to get in touch with, I love the football club and had a sleepless night before pressing send on the email. I said I wished the club would be back to where it should be, we had a great atmosphere once, bigger crowds and I am so sad that’s gone. All I got was a 7-line response after pouring my feelings into that email.
The cloud of mystery over who even owns the club is very very sad. Can we please have our football club back.
This was met with applause.
DISCUSSION FROM FLOOR – This club will go down unless something is done, who owns it, why won’t they communicate with fans and KHIST? KHIST have been a big help to the club in the past.
FLOOR – If KHIST are being ignored, what are the next steps? Why are your emails being ignored and when you do get a response, who is it even coming from? Why does Matty Paddock respond and not Richard Lane?
FLOOR – We need to include fans, not exclude them, this club is dying.
FLOOR – I talk to other fans, they can’t be bothered to turn up anymore, don’t like the game, the football or the lack of respect for fans? Why is it so hard to communicate?
FLOOR – I am a season ticket holder and didn’t go to today’s game, I can’t be bothered. If Colin Gordon is involved then count me and a lot more people out.
I am not interested in the academy or a full-time squad at this level made up of under 23s.
I want a football club.
FLOOR – I was told all Richard Lane is interested in is the land by the academy, that and Rugby.
FLOOR – We cannot just sit here and do nothing, is not attending an option?
Do we turn our backs on the game – what do we want to achieve from this?
FLOOR – All we want is to identify who owns our football club and to be communicated with.
FLOOR – If there are no Directors, who will even take notice of this.
FLOOR – We need action now, it’s clear trying to email isn’t getting us anywhere
FLOOR – Do we meet and demonstrate outside the ground and go in late?
Some members at this point began to leave the room whilst further discussions took place on what the next steps could be in order for the club to acknowledge fans and communicate.