Club Back The Trust?

Tuesday, 28 August 2001, 0:00
4 mins read
Now we know a few things that went on last week regards the presence of players at the meeting and the reason why it was stopped. The basic facts are that two members of the steering group had made contact with Alan Curtis and he was prepared to back the trust and also kindly donated a first division shirt which he arranged to have signed by some of the first division squad.
The same two members of the steering group met with Curt last week and he was more than pleasant to them and indicated that he did not see an issue with players attending the meeting should they so wish. Even Mike Lewis stated several times in public that the trust was welcomed by the club so again you would not see support from within as an issue.
I had been told personally a disturbing comment after the Oxford game that although the official line was that the trust was a great idea, behind the scenes noises were being made that it was not to be backed and was not a viable option for the future of our club.
That aside, and back to the meeting with Curt and the two members of the steering group. And enter John Hollins. By all accounts very pleasantly until he found out that these two people were from the supporter’s trust. Oh dear. Our beloved manager then stated very categorically that the trust WOULD NOT be supported by his players. Apparently Mr Hollins classes the set up for the trust in the same view that he sees groups like the MAGS and the Internet Supporters – and we all know that is not a very good one.
But it was not just this blinkered and untrue vision of the various groups it was the matter in which he did it. To quote one of the two people sitting there ‘it was like watching Basil Fawlty on speed’ Mr Hollins is clearly not in control of the way he is operating at the moment and having an opinion is one thing – expressing it like a lunatic is another.
Now Mike Lewis is said to have tried to get Hollins to change his mind. Maybe he did, who knows but at the end of it, Mike Lewis is in charge and if he wanted John Hollins to change his mind then all he really had to do is pull rank on him if it meant that much to him. But he didn’t so we are left wondering whether the conversation that I had after the Oxford game is indeed true and that he does not want to back the trust in reality despite saying all the right things.
Now there are a group of supporters that have worked tirelessly over the last couple of months to get the trust to where it is now and they should be commended for that. Anything that pumps money into Swansea City should be welcomed and certainly by the man who is supposedly looking for new investors all the time.
Surely, the meeting yesterday would have been given a little more credence had two or three of the players been there – surely Nick Cusack as PFA rep for one? But again we are told that Nick wanted to be there but of course he comes under the Hollins ‘ban’ on players attendance.
Mike Lewis gave the trust an open letter of endorsement which they decided not to acknowledge at the meeting yesterday and why should they? If the line behind the scenes is not to back the trust then why acknowledge a false (which is what it would be on that basis) endorsement.
The letter said (according to the Official site) ” The Club has, and will continue to support the endeavours of the Supporters Trust Initiative.” So much so that we will not support it in person.
and one more comment ” Rightly or wrongly the Board and our management team feel that to involve the playing staff at this stage would be inappropriate. This should not be seen as a rebuff. We feel that our involvement in your meetings should come at a time when you have been able to move forward positively and approach us with a proposition. You may take the same view in the interest of your independence at this stage.” What independence? The idea of the trust is to invest in the club with ultimate aims being fans on the board of the club. Yes it is being set up to be run by fans for fans but working with the club and yet at this stage, those in charge are making it clear that they do not want the fans to work with the club.
What is it here? A case of paranoia. That maybe there are things going on that they do not want people to know about? I don’t know but whatever the reasons taken by messrs Hollins and Lewis they are wrong. The meeting yesterday SHOULD have been backed by players and staff at the Vetch with their presence but the actions of two men stopped it happening.
It’s not just the trust. It’s contempt for fans in general. Last year we had the banning of the MAGS from a sponsorship game and I have heard that several people (who will remain unnamed) would like nothing better than to see Roger’s Testimonial Year fail just so that myself and Keith Haynes can be left with egg on their faces. If it fails because of them, only one person will suffer and that is Roger – does he deserve that because of some personal grudges?
Does the trust deserve to fail for the same reason? The answer to both is a simple and emphatic no.
Now then. John Hollins will no doubt blame the two people he met last week for this comment but he would be wrong. This information was passed to us by someone other than these two people, after discussion with someone in the steering group it was agreed that we would not publish it until yesterday’s meeting had passed.
My personal feeling is it was totally unacceptable from two people that are running OUR football club. Contempt for the fans is not acceptable and no matter what they think of us, the feelings of the fans is getting far greater – yesterday’s crowd showed that. 3300 for a Bank Holiday Monday crowd? Get real, that is a clear statement that the fans have had enough. Back the trust on that basis as it appears that there is no chance of anyone at the club doing so in anything more than words.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the sooner Hollins and Lewis go, the better for Swansea City Football Club.
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