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Taking the strategic initiative

There was a very interesting exchange on the fans forum thread earlier today in which @Covered End and then @Pico drew attention to @rikofold's excellent showing at the fans forum meeting, and pointed out what a potentially powerful team of fans we could put forward to engage the Board on a strategic level.

I totally agree with that thinking and I suggest that the best way to achieve such an outcome is to stop waiting for the club to get things rolling and actively propose the first meeting of the Strategy Group to the club. Fan attendees, dates available, draft agenda - the lot. If we leave it to the club, I suspect they will continue to drag their feet and even then make a mess of it.

Just look at what these instances tell us:

- the "crisis" meeting with the fans was hi-jacked by KM's powerpoint presentation, thus seeking to pre-empt debate on the key issues. No notice, no pre-reading, no chance for the fans present to re-group and adjust tactics

- the fans forum meeting again hi-jacked, but this time by KM's pre-prepared and pre-emptive document. No notice. Not much time to read and consider responses.

- both meetings packed with CAFC staffers who were clearly briefed to give support to their boss.

- the Target 20k fan representatives, with genuine respect to all of them, chosen on a fairly random basis of group representation rather than their intellectual, leadership and debating capabilities.

- the long awaited yet constantly referred to Strategy group still not set up.

All of these, in my view, tell us that the club is scared. Scared of an open debate, of being caught out not knowing their answers, of being quoted verbatim outside the meeting, of coming up against people who are more powerful intellectually than they are.

I don't know whether, in recent weeks, the CAS Trust have made any progress in pursuing their long desired dialogue with KM. If the club remain reluctant to engage meaningfully with the Trust, then let's use the Strategy Group (which the club themselves offered) as the vehicle for that dialogue - on our terms. Get a team together, draft an agenda, prepare our own powerpoint presentation and/or discussion document which covers the issues we want, in our way (which we should send to the club in advance so there is no excuses for any subsequent failure on their part to respond fully).

If they then refuse to meet, it would clearly give the lie to their "offer" of a strategy group and be more fuel for the protests and associated media campaign. We could even issue our document as an open letter in the press.

We could choose a great team from the likes of @AFKABartram, @rikofold , @PragueAddick , @Airman Brown , @Grapevine49 , @Tutt-Tutt , @Fanny Fanackapan @RodneyCharltonTrotta and Steve Clarke (does he come on here?) as well as too many others to name.

How about it guys? Let's take the strategic initiative.


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    You could quote the recent national Working Party proposals at them as an example of "best practice". Among other things, it says in effect that a club should not seek to bar any individuals from participating, just on the basis the club doesn't like them, and that the club shouldn't try to water down the dialogue by flooding meetings with too many random people.

    "3.34 The Leagues will recommend that this representative group of supporters includes the club's Supporters Trust. The Leagues will advise clubs that no individuals should be excluded from the meetings without good reason, and, if attendances at these meetings is restricted to a small group of supporters – which is the preference of SD/FSF– a significant proportion of this representative group of supporters should be elected, selected or invited to these meetings in line with basic democratic principles."
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    Think @Henry Irving and @Covered End should be on in front of some of your suggstions.
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    Think @Henry Irving and @Covered End should be on in front of some of your suggstions.

    Wouldn't argue, and there may be many others too as I said. We have some very talented people amongst our fans - so why wait for the club to try to dictate, again, who will be there and what the agenda will be.

    Key point is - let's stop waiting for the club to get off their arses and make the running ourselves. They have played it very long with the Trust but i don't see how they can credibly refuse to engage when they themselves have said they WANT to set up a strategy group, whether or not that team includes one or more members of the Trust Board.
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    I like the idea of taking the initiative on this rather than waiting for the club.

    The Thursday before the Reading game seems a logical date due to the footballforafive game two days later.
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    I would vote for nla to attend too, as well as those mentioned above (including Henry, believe it or not)
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    Can I ask that before someone puts this in the diary that they have a chat with Steve Clarke.
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