There has been much discussion in the past few weeks about the proposed sale of some of the Trust’s shares to Swansea City’s majority owners.
Following a lengthy consultation process back in the summer, the Trust board recommended a deal to its members that would see the Trust selling some of its shares to the 27-strong consortium, with club chairman Huw Jenkins also taking part in the purchase.
The Trust board strongly recommended the deal to its members and on the strength of this recommendation, almost 75% of Trust members who voted elected to take the deal. However, a great deal of water has passed under the bridge since that members’ vote, including the resignation of at least two Trust board members – including the long serving chairman – who cited a change in terms of the deal as one of the reasons for their departure.
At a Trust members’ forum last week, the members of the Trust board present suggested very clearly that the deal though was back “on track” and that there would be no need for further consultation with members as the board is working to fulfil the mandate given to them in the summer.
The SCSA disagrees strongly. We believe that the Trust simply must return to its members for a second vote, given the very public statements made by former board members and the recent changes in the makeup of the Trust board. Members of the Trust need to have faith that they made the right decision and that the decision, and the reasons for it, are still valid. We fully accept that a second vote may well have the same outcome as the first, but at least it will mean that the Trust board is acting on the most recent mandate from its members. It will also mean that Trust members have had the chance they deserve to consider the deal again, especially in the light of the recent events we have already outlined.
There is only one chance to get this right, whether to continue with the deal to sell shares is the most important decision the Supporters’ Trust will have to make. More than four months have passed since the last vote. It only seems right that members should be asked again for their current view, even if such a move was to delay the process slightly. Better that than to plough ahead in haste and regret it in the years to come.
We at the SCSA cannot and will not predict what the outcome will be if there is a second vote. However, we are sure that it is the right thing for the Trust to ask its members for a view again, in the form of a second vote, when final information is available to present to them.
We therefore call on all Trust members to make their voices heard and to contact the Trust to ask for a second vote. It is important that you do this and it’s equally as important that you do it politely. Please respect that request.
You can contact the Trust by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by using the contact form on the Trust website (https://www.swanstrust.co.uk/contact-us/) or in writing to 12 Dynevor Avenue, Neath, SA10 7AG. We would highly recommend including your full name and address to allow that information to be matched against the database of members. We also urge you to join the Trust if you want to make your view known on this vital issue for the future of Swansea City and you can join online at www.swanstrust.co.uk
It is absolutely key at this point that everything is transparent and open at both the club and the Trust so that both can start to regain the trust and support of the fans. We believe that a second vote on the deal is vital in starting that process.
Please make your voice heard. We want our club back. #backtojack
At the SCSA we have been inundated with messages of support this week from people backing what we have been doing. One of those people – Rhys Hughes – shared with us an excellent note he sent the Trust on this subject. Rhys has agreed that we can use some of the body of that email if you wished to replicate some/all of it.
I am writing to you today with regards to the vote that took place in the summer of this year, with regards to our shareholdings within the Club. Given the huge change in scenario now compared to the environment in which we were voting in the summer, I consider it imperative that the membership have a final say on how we best move forward from here – free of the biased propaganda espoused by the Trust some months ago.
In the few short months after the vote, it became clear that the terms in which the deal was agreed had been altered and that our ownership were appearing to “move the goalposts”. This voids the very deal that our membership voted for in the summer through false pretenses. Further to this, the toxicity of the atmosphere and feeling of opinion towards our current board members has further intensified, the membership has clearly shifted in tone with regards to the cooperation they feel we should have with them. So much so, I have little doubt if an open and credible re-vote were to take place in the coming months, we would have a very different outcome indeed!
The lack of validity of the original vote, the outlines given proving to be inaccurate and the deal put forward by the Trust and board members in summer appear to be falling apart – it is therefore of vital importance that our membership have the final say on the relationship the Trust has in the future of Swansea City. To stand in the way of a second vote would not only be undemocratic but it would be grossly neglectful of the opinions expressed by most fans, causing irreparable and long term damage both to the standing of the Trust within Swansea City but also of the future of a football club we all care so dearly about.