Welcome to my new bi-weekly bit where I do my best to bring you up to date with what we’re doing in the Co-operative.
I decided to go down the route of doing this because I wanted to keep things a bit more accessible, after hearing some decent constructive criticism from other people, including Dave Axon, who’s won the 200 Club so many times, that I need to keep him onside, so he can solely fund any take over bid.
And it’s true though, what I was doing before was like a party political broadcast. It was dull, it was boring, it was procedural. It’s a far cry from the lad who used to bring you TLTV. Although that guy used to get a full nights sleep.
It’s important that we keep our own individual identities while we do this. I went into the co-op to be me, because I felt that the Co-op didn’t have a me, and it needed one. Not many places do need a me, but this was one. It also could do with a you, and the opening of our meeting yesterday was a discussion about potential new members, and chasing up members who’ve not renewed this season.
If that’s you, if you’ve not paid your £2 to join us yet, I’d love it if you did. I know it sounds a little desperate, like I’m pleading a little bit here, but that’s because I am a little desperate, and I am pleading. I don’t care. I’ve no shame. I will get on my hands and knees and beg (just beg mind, before you go down that tangent) you to join the co-operative if I need to. (I won’t, so don’t ask me to). Because seriously, in all honesty, why wouldn’t you? I mean, what possible objection could you have?
It’s not even a pint your paying for, but it gives you a say. It gives you the chance to come and join our meetings, and pipe up if we’re doing something you don’t want us to, and genuinely, we have to listen. We’re nothing without you lot after all, and regardless of what anyone might say, we’re not in it for our egos.
Even if the attention is nice.
We did of course talk, lots, about the potential of us taking on the club. Now, I would love, absolutely love, to tell you all everything we’ve done and discussed with the club, but that’s not fair on the current incumbent. Yes I know we’ve got a responsibility to you, and it’s a balancing act in getting that right, but we have to respect that if we’re going to have a proper business relationship with Lee, that we don’t drop everything on here in some big cluster bomb of information for all and sundry to pick apart. It’s just not right. All I feel I’m at liberty to say, is that we have spoken to Lee, he has spoken to us back, and dialogue is continuing.
What I can tell you we did discuss at the meeting, was the idea of having an open fans forum so that we can answer your questions about what our model will look like should we buy the club for the community. We all think that’s a no brainer. You deserve to have your questions answered, so once we reach a point where we are happy that this is going to happen, and we want to make it a proper public launch, we will go to the fans, sit down in front of you, and tell you what we’ve got planned. It’s then on you to back it or not. Doing that also gives us the chance to put our case across to any potential partners, who want to support our vision. Hell, if there’s anyone out there reading that now, who feels they can be a part of that, give me a message here.
We spent a good hour talking about the finer points of running the club. We want to talk more to SD about what they know, and how they can help us put people in place to run the club. Yes, that’s right, it won’t be us pulling the strings, as much as I’m sure everyone reading this wants me to be our glorious leader, (think about how awesome that would be for a minute…) that ain’t gonna happen. We’ll be hiring a chairman to run the club, like they do at pretty much all of these supporter run models. It won’t be me, John, or any of us on the co-op board in the top seat, however whoever it is will be answerable to the board, who are answerable to you. There’s no escaping the accountability.
We mulled over a whole raft of ways the club can make money, current, former, and future, and I think we’ve already got the starting points of a pretty good business plan, one that can easily sustain the club at this level in my mind, and give us the chance to play at higher levels. I really think the potential here is ridiculous, it’s huge.
Talking of making money, we might, and I say might here, have the chance to, in conjunction with the club, take over the running of the shop and hopefully bring back the program shop, the way it should be brought back, with Andy at the helm.
Not only would that be awesome to have a Boro icon back where he belong, this would also mean that we had a place on site that the Co-op could set up base in, and we would picking the merchandise we sell. I’ve already seen the success that we can have from when I was on the fanzine and we were selling merchandise online through that, although I’m still baffled as to why the thongs with my face on never sold. Already we’ve had some ideas, like the usual sort of stuff, mugs, scarfs and so on, to things like Boro Legend Top Trumps.
One thing about being the youngest member of this board, has been that I’ve took a real interest in the way we talk to our fans. I’ve promised already that things are going to change. Lo and behold, they have. Look at this sparkly looking website. Yeah, it’s not finished, but give it time, and I want this site not only to be about the Co-op, but what it’s about to be a Boro fan.
What would make that happen, is if our members wanted to write content for us, even if it’s just a bit of a tale of a Boro away day, or some photos of Boro fans at games, meeting other fans, you know what, anything. Anything you do, as a Boro fan, that you think is ineteresting, or relevant, or funny, or sad, that you want to share with us. Maybe someone wants to launch a new fanzine and use our site as a launchpad for that? Maybe someone wants to do videos, or podcasts, or whatever. Stick it our way and we will put it up here.
Once I’ve got all this where it needs to be, I’ll turn my attention to the social media side. We’ve got a Facebook and Twitter presence, and we really don’t make much of them at the minute, so I’ll try and figure out how best we get them going, certainly before we get to a point where our bid for the club becomes something concrete.
I’ll be around on Saturday, so if anyone has anything to ask, or wants to pay their £2 membership, give me a message on here, and I’ll come find you.
Up the Boro