I'm absolutely certain John doesn't need me to defend him and he might not thank me for writing this, but once you start digging into old club politics you will always uncover opinion, gossip and agendas, and it can be difficult to know for certain what to believe. Or perhaps there is simply no "story" to uncover in the first place!
In my view the situation is simple. John comes to Swinton as a successful businessman very experienced in Rugby League, and we should just judge him on his record with the Lions (as also applies to the rest of us). John's experience should be invaluable in helping to structure us going forward (following an incredibly difficult 6 months for which the players and coaches deserve a huge amount of respect & praise). Let's look to the future as ONE TEAM, and extend a big Swinton welcome to both John Roddy & John Duffy. If there must be a judge let it be history.
On the contrary, we have met the Koukash camp on several occasions, the latest very recently, and have maintained friendly & frank dialogue. But, at risk of repeating myself, there is no new stadium yet, & there has been no indication of any forthcoming take-over yet (let alone what form it might take should it ever happen). As and when the present Board has to make a decision it will be done in the best interests of the club & its fans. As far as we're concerned all options are possible. But let's say for argument's sake MK stages a total buy-out, I still think a strong Supporters Trust would be important as a method of bringing a strong and cohesive fans' message to the owner. MK has already proven at Salford that he is very willing to engage with supporters' groups.
John joining us is a totally separate matter from Dr Koukash's reported plans for Swinton town centre. As we've tried to emphasise on a number of occasions, we can't just sit on our backsides gambling the club's existence on a situation beyond our control. Quite the opposite in fact, and we must try and build the club regardless of the Koukash plan (hence the great news of John joining us). Meanwhile although we've had friendly ongoing dialogue with the Koukash camp, the fact remains that the club has never directly received any intimation of a take-over or investment (either with or without a new ground). Naturally we desperately hope Dr Koukash achieves his town centre ambitions & that, if successful, they include a stadium for the Lions. At that point no doubt we will enter negotiations with Dr Koukash and do whatever is in the best long term interests of the club. But if Koukash's plans do not materialise then naturally we keep the club going & try to grow the business, until such a time that a new stadium is (hopefully) possible. There is no secret plan or smokescreen here, all the facts (at least as far as Swinton Lions are concerned) are already in the public domain, and as at today's date we remain open-minded with regard to the proposed Koukash stadium.
As far as the Lions are concerned we know what we need to do to improve crowds. A mixture of (1) local ground (2) winning matches (3) investment of resources in terms of promoting the club amongst businesses and public. One of these items is outside the club's power, one costs money (at least in terms of squad investment), & one costs time and money. But from where we started the season we HAVE made progress (and I don't mean down the league table). Of course the big disappointment is that we've not won more games, but we're not a million miles off. Please keep the faith, we've had some very interesting meetings recently and things might be looking up. Regardless of what division we're in next season this club is far from finished.
I certainly think it's time that the fans of all clubs outside of SL realised we're all pretty much in the same boat, and be a little bit more respectful of one another's efforts and heritage. Some of the goading & delinquent behaviour seems to be getting worse and there hardly seems to be a game where something unsavoury doesn't happen. Maybe we at Swinton should take a lead & take the idiots on with humour rather than succumbing to their level.
Talking of wingers. None of us ever saw him play, but he won 5 cups in one season and is Swinton's greatest try scorer ever under RL rules, Our first ever Great Britain cap & tourist , Frank Evans. 197 tries for Swinton. RIP..
Yes it was. What's impressed me so far this season is the belief to stay in every game to the bitter end, regardless of the end result. The players are really responding to Watto & that gives us great encouragement. Now the toughest test so far tomorrow, and I hope we give it a real go.
Today myself & Marshy had a very productive & worthwhile meeting with Mr Mark Harrison, head of Swinton High School (which is now an independent academy).
We discussed the use of the school as a possible centre for club community development work, and how the school itself might assist in those goals. We hope to engage the students with an ongoing presence from the club, including lectures, player involvement, displays, joint projects, tickets etc.
Most exciting perhaps is the school's impressive record on accessing grants, and they soon hope to construct a top class training facility on site, including the latest 3G AstroTurf pitch, which is suitable for pro RL training in all weathers. In other words hopefully a permanent training base for the club in the centre of the town.
Early days at present, but this is something both parties are extremely keen to explore and expand upon over the coming months. The Supporters Trust will also play a key part. More info to follow as it develops.
Posted by steve wild
on 31 January 2014 - 03:58 PM
The Trust has taken on responsibility for the production of the matchday programme. We urgently require (1) Player sponsors (2) Programme advertisers.
To sponsor a player costs £150 plus VAT. This entitles you or your company to be named with the player in the programme for the full season, & for a mention whenever that player is announced on matchday. At the end of the season you will receive that player's jersey. Please state your preferred squad numbers or names & we'll try to accommodate.
Programme advertisements are a very modest £150, £75, or £40 for a FULL SEASON plus VAT. (For full, half, quarter page). Please email your requirements, preferably with a copy of your required advert.
Please spread the word and do what you can as we really need to get this finalised within the next week to ten days. Many thanks.
All offers to firstname.lastname@example.org or I can answer general enquiries on here if preferred.
Posted by steve wild
on 23 January 2014 - 03:42 PM
For the benefit once again of BGR, (although the Trust's responsibility lies with it's members & Swinton fans).
Koukash has publicly stated a desire to take the club on PROVIDED that his town centre redevelopment plans are okayed by the local authority.
So what was the Trust and remaining board members to do in the meantime? Sit back with fingers & toes crossed, or maybe fiddle whilst Rome burns? Or try & secure the club so that there is something left for Koukash to take over? And to make sure the club still exists if he doesn't.
Posted by steve wild
on 10 January 2014 - 01:50 PM
Like Riggy says, the Trust certainly hasn't been idle & more news will follow within the next 5 days. Judging by this forum, everyone has been really patient since Christmas & that's been very helpful.