A message from the HTFCSA Chairman in response to claims made against the HTFCSA

Hello all,

Ten years ago a small group of like-minded supporters and club officials met to discuss the forming of a supporters club/trust in order to help bridge the gap between Hednesford Town Football Club (HTFC) and its supporter base. A decade later the Hednesford Town Football Club Supporters Association (HTFCSA) is still running and has contributed thousands of pounds to various projects and supporter enhancing features around Keys Park along with helping to develop stronger community links.

On Thursday 16 July 2020 during a ‘Meet the Chairman’ event held at Keys Park, and broadcast via Facebook, I was surprised to hear criticism of the HTFCSA and myself. I could not let this pass without commenting further.

During the evening I was disappointed to hear that there wasn’t a deeper understanding of the work of the HTFCSA that has been undertaken during the last decade – which in my opinion portrayed the organisation in a bad light in a public forum. This included questioning why supporters should become members when they would be paying money into something that is apparently disconnected from the club. If those making these statements had taken the time seek further information about the HTFCSA they could’ve seen for themselves the thousands of pounds that have been invested over the years on items such as a new club shop, two defibrillators, disabled shelter and grounds maintenance equipment among many other items. While without the work of the HTFCSA there would’ve been no community presence for HTFC around the Cannock Chase District since 2010.

Towards the end of the meeting a statement was made that the HTFC owners had been in touch with me via email regarding funds held by the HTFCSA. I do want to confirm at this point that they did state they didn’t feel comfortable in asking about our funds – a point that was mentioned during the meeting on Thursday 16 July.

I can also confirm at the end of May 2020 a request for £500 towards the purchase of new advertising boards was made by a HTFC volunteer and former HTFCSA Committee member, not the club, and provided as requested.

On the morning Wednesday 1 July 2020 I received an email from HTFC Chairman Graham Jones which stated we had rejected a second request for money towards this project. I confirmed to Graham on the evening 1 July 2020 that the HTFCSA had never been asked for the extra money towards this project – I did though point out that the said volunteer had asked for money towards a new toilet door, which was rejected and I explained in my reply to Graham on 1 July. At no point was the precise cost of the boards included within the email I received on 1 July. Included within my reply I confirmed that the HTFCSA could investigate allocating additional money for other items that had been put forward – only receiving a response to that email after the meeting on Friday 17 July 2020.

I mention this as it was stated during the open public meeting on Thursday 16 July that I’d replied to said email on 1 July with: “no you’re not having more money towards it”; that the answer came back as a “no” in regards to more money being spent and that “no you can’t have it, we will look again in late summer because we have already spent enough funds.”

What I can tell you is that I never used the word “no” and did not decline such a request for more money to be allocated to the purchase of more boards. Instead I had outlined the position of the HTFCSA and was waiting for a further reply from the club as to what exactly they wanted me to ask the Committee for.

Following on from the above I received a strongly worded email from the football club on Friday 17 July 2020 which indicated that a ban on attending Keys Park is set to be placed upon a female supporter of HTFC for over 40 years and a HTFCSA member for the last ten years following perceived ‘negative actions being aired’ during the Facebook Live. Included within this email it was clearly stated that if further negativity was received then the club would have no issue in publicly speaking on the matter and placing further banning orders on people. I would advise all supporters to now think before speaking, posting on social media or the forum as it could lead to a potential banning order being enforced.

Throughout the meeting on Thursday 16 July, although I will admit that there was praise for myself, there were also undertones that the lack of an AGM having yet taken place for the HTFCSA, due to COVID-19 and subsequent transition period between myself and the new Chair taking over, had led to delays in the football club finding out the information that they desire in order to be ready for the new season. As such at midnight tonight (Tuesday 21 July 2020) I shall immediately end all involvement with the HTFCSA, bringing forward my resignation as Chairman by three weeks, for this to no longer be a potential issue.

I’m extremely sad that this statement will likely be the final action for myself, and my family, for a football club that we have given thousands of hours to both as supporters and perhaps more importantly as volunteers. Many friendships have been formed and we have all been on a journey through good and bad times over the course of the last 25 years of my involvement.

I’d like to end by wishing everyone all the best for the future and I look forward to seeing how the next chapter of our beloved football club develops in years to come.

Thanks,

Scott

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