Key board qualities – and a wasps’ nest

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A BOARD MEMBER?

Dons Trust Vice Chair David Growns looks at what you should bring to the table.

You should know by now from the many announcements that it’s election time again! I think it’s safe to say that the club is currently experiencing the widest range of activity ever, and the Dons Trust Board (DTB) is in the thick of it. So what does it take to be a DTB member in these exciting times?

Collectively, the DTB needs a mixture of talents to be able to interpret information and make decisions across the whole range of its current activities. Skills in finance, PR/communications, IT, marketing and planning, and commercial experience in other businesses are all useful. You don’t need years of experience in these areas – we are ably and expertly advised – but you must be able to think strategically and act decisively.

There are monthly DTB meetings and three general meetings each year to attend and contribute to. But there is a lot more going on, and the DTB needs members who are able to get more actively involved. Outside the regular meetings, we need DTB members to lead and contribute to working groups, attend and represent the Dons Trust at external and matchday events, contribute to the occasional workshop, and fundraise – to name but a few activities. The commitment is a lot more than a few hours a month. If you think you can make that commitment, please consider standing for election.

Nominations close at 2.30 pm next Saturday, 25 October – the day of the Tranmere Rovers game.

A NEW TWIST IN THE COVENTRY SAGA

Dons Trust Chair Matt Breach reports a new variation on a sadly familiar tale.

No sooner than fans around the country were celebrating the role of fan power in helping Coventry City return home to the Ricoh Arena, than a new threat to City has appeared on the horizon. Raising the very unwelcome spectre of sports franchising in Britain on a scale not seen since the theft of our club 12 years ago, “London” Wasps RFC have announced that they have purchased Coventry City Council’s share in the Ricoh and will be moving there in December.

On the football side, this shows that Coventry’s owners were at the very least misleading about their campaign to push the Arena’s owners to sell for a knockdown price, as Wasps have paid a (reported) sum that seems very reasonable for a share in a high- quality facility with a large non-football income stream. More pertinently, it puts City back at risk because Wasps are now the lead organisation at the stadium, and the RFU Premiership rules dictate that their games and needs must take precedence. Coventry City thus face the prospect of seeing games moved at short notice, and the owners’ repeated claim that they need to own a stadium in order to survive must revive the threat of another move away from Coventry.

Another set of fans is also suffering here. Although Dons fans might not think followers of the oval- ball game are as passionate about their teams as football supporters are, a large number of London-based Wasps fans have expressed outrage at this move and see it as the end of their club. The move has been announced in the same manner and with the same excuses as the owners of Wimbledon FC did back in 2002: “We aren’t making money and we might get relegated if we don’t move.” I’m sure we all know the answer to that: find your natural level based on the support of your local community.

Given that the move takes Wasps even further away than the one that took Wimbledon away from its community, I believe we should all have sympathy with Wasps fans and help their campaign to, at the very least, start a new amateur-level Wasps team to support. They won’t be a club we’ll be lining up a pre-season friendly with, but I hope you’ll join me in wishing them well with whatever they choose to do to promote rugby in North-West London.

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