ADE MacDonald has moved to reassure fans that Weymouth FC is in the right hands.
Earlier this month, the club appeared to be in turmoil again after disputes in the boardroom spilled over into social media, leading to Paul Cocks walking away from the Trust and Nigel Biddlecombe threatening to step down as chairman.
Those rifts appear to have healed for now but there are still fears they could be reignited at next month’s AGM when the published accounts are set to show a loss that is expected to run into five figures.
MacDonald, chairman of the Weymouth FC Supporters Association, has witnessed the infighting first hand but still reckons the current regime is the best option to continue the club’s bid to re-emerge from the wilderness.
He has also told the board that the WFCSA are ready to play a more prominent role in that quest, which has led to the group making two proposals that would not only see them become the new guardians of the club’s majority shareholding, but also hold joint chairmanship.
In a statement to the club’s supporters, MacDonald said: “After a few mixed messages from in and around the club over the past few weeks, I felt it was important to give fans an independent view as the WFCSA representative to the football club board.
“I’d also like to give details of some proposals WFCSA has put to the directors as to what we feel could be the most beneficial way to take the club forward over the short and much longer term.
“Looking back over the last few weeks since the end of the season, it was of course disappointing to see some less positive press coming the club’s way surrounding problems within the boardroom.
“I currently hold the privilege of representing fans in the boardroom and report back to WFCSA’s own board with complete honesty and impartiality.
“I do wholly support Nigel Biddlecombe’s recent comment when he said that the past 15 months have been a ‘massive learning curve’ for everybody.
“Most regular fans wouldn’t believe how difficult it can be at times to run a football club.
“The directors are all individuals, all with different abilities and all with strong and often varied opinions on things.
“However, the most important thing to remember is that, before any of that, they are all Weymouth FC (WFC) fans.
“Although they might sometimes disagree, each one of them has the very best interests of the club in the forefront of their minds and that is why supporters can be assured that WFC is in basically the right hands.”
He went on to add: “Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking to many different people, including some directors, learning opinion on how best we can take the club forward and also protect it along the way.
“In particular, it has been very satisfying to strengthen our bonds with Wessex Fantasy Football, led by Ian White.
“Those guys are 100 per cent genuine Terras and I am certain you will see them move on to even greater levels of support shortly.
“Within WFCSA we feel that it’s now time to begin to steer WFC towards becoming a genuine community club, run by the fans, and in order to begin moving towards that we have offered two proposals to the WFC board for consideration and discussion.
“Our first proposal may seem startling to begin with. WFC has a large pool of unsold shares that offer the chance of revenue.
“In fact, WFCSA has always actively encouraged fans to become part of their club through share purchase.
“However, we’ve taken a close look at income from share purchase over the past couple of years and, while a good number of fans have bought shares, we’re confident that if less were ultimately available, those fans would continue to contribute through other terrific initiatives, such as Wessex Fantasy Football or the Claret & Blue Lottery, provided that they could see their club being run efficiently.
“Our second proposal should in no way be misconstrued as detrimental to the WFC board of directors. We are simply offering to practise what we preach by becoming more involved working alongside them.
“Eventually a genuine community-owned and run WFC will only be as strong as its levels of support dictate. Our aim now is to help bring people together and begin to build as one.
“In our written proposals to the board, we have included much more substance and points for discussion.
“For any of this to advance we will be giving fans and shareholders more information and opportunity to discuss every point and option.
“Meanwhile, fans can continue to support the club through Wessex Fantasy Football, the Claret & Blue Lottery and Big Merv’s Bingo.
“The commercial department is also now releasing a range of sponsorship options for the new season, many of which can be attractive to fans.”
To read the full statement and to find out more about the WFCSA, visit uptheterras.co.uk
Proposal 1: From the pool of unsold shares, WFCSA be gifted a due amount to increase its shareholding to 51 per cent of the overall share value of the company. Further to that, investigative work should begin to examine the option of converting WFC from a privately owned company to an independent provident society or community interest company, which is the model required for a genuinely recognised community club.
Proposal 2: WFCSA to assume joint chairmanship of WFC alongside the club directors’ own choice of chairman.