Firstly, I'd like to thank my fellow board members for entrusting me with the Chairmanship of the PST. It's a vital year as we not only look to ensure that all shareholders that want to withdraw get the opportunity to do so, we must also find a new purpose and direction for the Trust as it adjusts from a position of co-ownership to becoming the representative voice of the fanbase into the club via the Heritage and Advisory Board (HAB).
The HAB offers us a key opportunity to work with Tornante to continue the amazing bond that has been built between club and supporters over the last 4 years. I’m looking forward to working together with Mark Catlin, Tony Brown, Andy Redman and Eric Eisner on the HAB along with the President nominees and my fellow PST nominees Clare Martin and Pam Wilkins, to build a deeper level of engagement with the fans and to ensure that everyone has a route to get their views fed into the club at the highest levels.
I’d also like to pay tribute to the extraordinary service Ashley has given as chairman in two stints over the last six years. Along with Mark Trapani and Mick Williams, Ashley was part of the PST bid team that successfully rescued the club with the Presidents. Ashley had a vital role in uniting the various fan groups behind the bid and ensuring that we were all pulling together in the same direction. It’s been said to me that it was Ashley who instilled the sense of belief in the Trust board and other fan groups that it was possible to raise the money and save the club. Without his efforts, we could easily have faced a different future as a phoenix club in a much lower division. In the years of fan ownership, he always made sure that the interests of fans were understood and taken into account by the club, and continued to do so through the recent takeover discussions and sale completion.
I’m glad he’s decided to remain on the Board as I am sure I will need to call on his sage advice over the next year.
Turning back to the Community Share Withdrawal Scheme, although I am no longer the Treasurer I will keep a close involvement in the scheme to ensure that it all goes to plan. Shareholders have already started receiving their letters and application forms for the scheme. If anyone hasn’t received their letter by Friday 29th September then please email [email protected] to let us know.
I’d like to touch again on the next year. At the AGM, the PST Board was instructed to develop a new plan for the future of the Trust. To do that, we need to talk to you, the members, to see what you want your Trust to be. So, we’ll be starting a process of engagement through which we hope to find the right ways to gather feedback for the club, the right social events that will deepen the bond we share as Pompey fans and also the right goals and aims for the PST to support the club and its community of fans.
Finally, I’ll be aiming to carry on this dialog through a regular blog. It’s how I started on this path that brought me onto the PST Board and it seems to be the right way to go forward. I’ve no idea how many people will read it, but all feedback is welcome and any suggestions for things to talk about even more so.
Thanks for your support and Play Up Pompey!