Fans Forum Review
We’d like to thank everyone that attended last night’s fans forum organised by KHIST. Around 150 supporters attended the sold out evening up the Aggborough Suite.
KHIST board member Phil Wright has kindly produced a very brief report for those supporters unable to attend.
In attendance were – KEN RAE (CHAIRMAN), COLIN YOUNGJOHNS (PRESIDENT) AND KHFC DIRECTORS GEOFF COLES, JOHN DAVIES, GINO RUFFINATO AND DAVID WILLIAMS TOGETHER WITH GARY WHILD (MANAGER) AND ROD BROWN
Dave Pountney started by (On behalf of KHIST) thanking everyone for not only attending the Forum but also for supporting all their fundraising activities and in particular the LOTTERY that has now generated over £100,000 since 2011. Details
£32,000 had been handed to the Harriers since June 2014, in exchange for shares, including a cheque later in the evening for £2500.
Steve Miller (BBC Hereford & Worcester) who compered the Evening invited Ken Rae to comment on his arrival at the Club and he explained that initially he was the Project Manager at Aggborough with specific responsibility for all the Stadium Infrastructure. He had been elected as Chairman when Mark Serrell resigned.
Brian Murdoch was first to question the Board about “events leading up to the dismissal of our then Manager Steve Burr because at the time when we played Peterborough United at Home in the F.A.Cup everything was fine but what followed put the Club on a downward spiral with the eventual sale of JOE LOLLEY.” JOHN DAVIES then outlined what happened when the Directors met Steve Burr at The Gainsborough Hotel to discuss his “move” to Forest Green Rovers F.C. and “the reasons for asking Gary Whild to take control for our fixture at Barnet.”
Questions were raised on many topics:-
Why did Steve Burr change his mind after stating that he wanted to be the longest serving Manager at the Harriers?
Why was he dismissed after six weeks following his “return” from Forest Green Rovers?
What were the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Andy Thorn and his Assistant – it was explained that “whilst this decision was unanimous there were no other people interviewed and they were presented to the Directors by the former Chairman as the Management Team.
Why was Gary Whild not appointed immediately when Steve Burr was dismissed? It would have saved the Club hundreds of thousands of pounds
Was it a unanimous decision to put Gary on “gardening leave” and Ken Rae said No.
When Andy Thorn was appointed he didn’t want Gary as assistant manager who immediately retorted “No – it was the other way round!”
During the evening GINO RUFFINATO explained how MARK SERRELL had saved the Club when there was a £350K Overdraft and personally funded Jamille Matt during his residency problems.
Ruth Serrell had worked 40 hour weeks as Company Secretary and neither of them had received a penny for all their hard work. He went on to explain that “as a Shareholder Club it was impossible for anyone to take any monies from it.”
The Chairman on behalf of the Board apologised to the Supporters and acknowledged that they had failed and made a mistake by appointing Andy Thorn to be Manager which had cost the Club a lot of money including Compensation and Agents Fees.
Gary Whild said that the Club should have found a way to keep the better Players until the end of the Season but stated that it would be a backward step to go part time because young Players are always looking for a full time opportunity to progress hence the reason SIX from the Academy had been signed up some of which may well earn money for the Club in the future
A question was then raised as to why Ernie and Kath Lane wanted to “bring in the Fraud Squad” to which the Chairman replied that it was simply a misreading of the Accounts and that the Club were extremely grateful for the way they had agreed to pay the deficit on a regular basis.
There then followed discussions about the state of the pitch and how the Club had paid £1000 for an expert’s recommendations but could not afford the £160,000 option. However £50,000 was spent but this Summer Drainage Works from North to South Stands would take place to complement the earlier work “across the pitch”.
Karl Davies just prior to the interval introduced the Charity TOWARDS TOMORROW TOGETHER.
Dave and Becky Pountney sadly lost their Daughter Charlotte last year and were organising a 35 Mile Sponsored Walk to Telford Utd F.C. for our Away Match on Saturday 4th April. Around 56 people are taking part some of whom stood to warm applause. It was hoped to raise £10,000 and a bucket collection was held on the night that raised £485.44. Walk Details
Rod Brown was then invited to talk about his background in Football and his experience in business whilst also setting out his initial plans to help the Club raise much needed funds.
He intended to research the whole background and interview as many people as possible during the next 6 or 8 weeks which would help him formulate a Plan for the Future at Aggborough.
This will include looking at all income streams and how they can be increased or perhaps restored if they no longer produce monies for the Club, and this was vital for the Club to survive in the League since the Harriers probably have one of the lowest Playing Budgets which in turn affects our League Position.
In answer to a question about actively seeking new investment in the Club the Chairman stated that the three major Shareholders had declined an invitation to transfer their Shares when the Club had been approached by two different investors.
The Manager then confirmed that Jordan Tunnicliffe had been loaned to Hednesford for financial reasons and to give him regular appearances in their 1stXI
The Club Shop struggled to provide Stock for fear of it not being sold and the Chairman confirmed that this would change for next Season.
Geoff Coles Chairman of KHIST finished by thanking everyone for attending the Forum but also for supporting with all their fundraising activities and particularly the Lottery which had increased by 31% since the launch of Agents selling tickets.
Ken Rae closed the Meeting by adding that the Board were most grateful to KHIST for all their help without which the Club may not have survived and finally that these these Forums would be convened every three months.
Thanks to Steve Miller (BBC Hereford & Worcester) for giving up his time once again and hosting the evening.