Proposers: Stephen Adams and David Lewis-Crosby
Meetings attended in 2019 and 2020 (to 16/09/2020): 21 out of 23
Hi, I’m Luke and for the last 2 years I have had the privilege and (mostly) pleasure of being a Dons Trust Board member. During that time, there has been some big changes. We have transitioned from Erik Samuelson retiring to Joe Palmer becoming CEO. The stadium has gone from a being a bit of land to being able to host games. Covid-19 has massively affected the world and our football club. I have taken incredible pride in the actions of our fans, whether it has been the Dons Trust Bond or Dons Local Action Group.
A vote for me is a vote for fan ownership.
I passionately believe in fan ownership and believe in the power of our fanbase. We are the heart and soul of the club. I am also willing to speak out in support of our ownership model. Last year I was unwilling to budge in the face of pressure to accept outside investment that would reduce the voting rights of the Trust to below 75%. I was not willing to accept that it was the only way to address the financing issues and I was delighted with how the fanbase responded and the energy that came from the bond issue.
I have been the DT lead with regards to membership consultations. Over the past 2 years, the trust and club have consulted on a wide range of issues including the match day experience. Such surveys have now been added into the fan engagement calendar and will be happening on an ongoing basis helping to shape the direction of the trust and the club.
I trust the membership and always have done. We made this club, we climbed the leagues, we built Plough Lane. I will continue to push for the membership to have a voice. I will continue to push for fan engagement, putting out more surveys and acting on that feedback. The next few years will be crucial for the direction of the Trust and club. Any strategy must be built up from the ground up, from the membership and fan base at large. The board need to ask you what you want, and the board need listen to how you answer.
Finishing Plough Lane
I am one of three Dons Trust Board members on the stadium committee (alongside Mark Davies and Ed Leek) and a director of The Wider Interests of Football Ltd who own the land and Plough Lane stadium (alongside Joe Palmer and Mark Davies). The stadium project has been all consuming and whilst I am delighted that the team are playing there now, that feeling is nothing compared with how I will feel when we are all allowed back into the stadium. What is obvious to all however is that Plough Lane isn’t finished yet. There is still a lot to do to make it ready for our fans and having been involved for the last 2 years, I have a good understanding of the challenges we still face and what work still needs to be done going in to 2021.
As we are on the verge of going home, I could not be prouder of the journey we have been on. But make no mistake, Plough Lane is only the start. The next step is the need to become more professional in how we operate, the need to utilise the stadium as best we can and the need to provide a more competitive football team for league 1 and higher. These are challenges that I am willing to take on. I will work for you to achieve what you want.
Thank you for the trust you put in me 2 years ago when I got elected. I feel that I have helped to progress the trust and the club but realise there is an awful lot of work still to be done.
Take care of yourselves and your families. I look forward to seeing you all at Plough Lane, hopefully, sooner rather than later.