Running an organisation like ours is hard. By its democratic nature, people will come in with differing views, differing opinions. They will clash, and they will fall out from time to time. That should never overshadow the good things a group like ours does, but inevitably it will.
I made a decision last week, born out of frustration, to try and shake things up. I called people out, and I made a gesture for change. I didn’t expect change to come, but it did.
John Hobson has led the Cooperative since day one. He has done some incredible work, raising money for the club, for the fans, and for charities, and what he has done as part of the Town to Town project, is one of the most incredible feats any Boro supporter has ever done, and he deserves praise for that now and forever.
He made a decision to step down. It’s clear from last nights meeting, that my vote of no confidence would not have unseated him. I never expected it would, and to that end, his resignation was a shock, but he is staying on the board, and he can continue to contribute as he has always done.
All this however, leaves the Coop at the start of a new era, one I firmly believe we need to grasp.
We have four slots open on the board, and an AGM coming, where three board members are up election. We need new board members, now more than ever.
What is clear to me, is that right now, we’re not capable of delivering what we said, in terms of a bid for the club. I’ve been here nine months, and despite the best efforts of a lot of people, we’ve failed to get there, and I’m embarrassed by that.
I also feel, that there are many people who don’t know what we are. What we do. What you can do. For too long the message of the Coop has been passive. It’s there, but it doesn’t seek you out and engage you like it should. I’ve challenged that and pushed us forward, and that might be where the friction came from.
But last night we agreed we have to move forward, or this will all die.
We can only move forward however with new blood. When me, a 35 year old, middle aged bloke with a mortgage, wife, two kids, and countless more greys, is called a youngster, I know things are wrong.
We need more people, we need younger board members, we need female board members, we need board members from different heritages, we need board members who are new to the club, new to the town.
So we’re going to do a fans forum. A chance for you to talk to our board. To ask us questions, to give us hell, to tell us what you want us to do, and we will listen, we will answer and we will act.
And hopefully, someone, somewhere will take what they hear, and come and join us, and not only as a board member.
We now need a chair person.
I want that person to come in from the outside. I want someone new, someone with drive, someone to lead us to a better relationship with the club. We’ll be announcing the full nomination process soon, but please, if you think you can help us, to help your fellow fans, please step up. We have never needed you more.