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CHIEF EXEC: We were delighted that Nigel could join us

Lively London Branch event a success

28 September 2021

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens met with supporters prior to the Sutton United game on Saturday, at a fan event organised by the London Branch.

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“I really enjoyed being able to meet and chat with fans face-to-face again after such a long time,” he said. “There is no substitute for a conversation up close, one-to-one, in person. 

“As always, the passion of fans comes through and It’s really important to be able to experience that. It’s valuable to be able to listen to what fans think first-hand and to hear what’s important to them.

“It’s also good to be able to provide answers to the issues raised. The main topics were the football on the pitch, even before kick-off, and investment into the club.”

Dave Brown, chairman of the London Branch, said: “It was a lively London event and we were delighted that Nigel Clibbens was able to join us.

“He got a chance to talk to a lot of our members, and I know they appreciated being given the opportunity to do that.

“Hopefully we can organise something similar in the near future because it’s great to see club officials and supporters come together in this way.”

“As I explained to the fans on Saturday the Holdings Board, comprising all the owners, continue to work on the same ‘investment programme’ as detailed by John Nixon at the Fans’ Forum held at the end of May, with the same interested individual,” Nigel commented.

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“This process is unchanged and there is nothing new to report at this time. As we have seen in the past, giving a running commentary, making announcements on the process, or putting timeframes on such things can be counter-productive and unhelpful in both raising expectations or getting a deal done.

“I don’t want the club to do that again. I have said this before, the three individual shareholders also do not want to that, or do anything else that has consequences which could be detrimental to the club, or a deal, in the short or long-term.

“They do, however, fully understand the desire from fans for updates and progress. They have been asked for radio and newspaper interviews this week, but at this particular time they believe the club’s best interests are not served by personal interviews, so have declined the invitations.”

“CUOSC has different issues to face compared with the three individual shareholders,” he added.  “That means it has to deal with them differently. They also need to update fans, and again in a way that doesn’t create consequences that could damage the club.   

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“For all of the ‘owners’ the priority remains the best interests of the club, and they all continue to put that first before anything else, even if that means they are less engaging with fans and can provide less detail than they might otherwise wish to. 

“I can assure supporters that announcements will be made if there is something to report, and I will continue to give them updates as and when the situation progresses, on behalf of the club.”

And following the disappointment of the Saturday trip to Sutton, he commented: “Chris [Beech] made his thoughts on the game loud and clear for everyone to see and hear.

“David [Holdsworth] recently gave an interview to the local media about our overall longer-term approach to football at the club, and also his view on the short-term this season, before the Salford game. 

“David will continue to do this as the voice of football matters at the club, as director of football, but not on a week-to-week basis, responding to results.”

“On the train home I met fans again, and got more views after the game,” he continued. “The Holdings Board and everyone within the club, from the top down, is focused on doing all we can to get back to that ‘three-point feeling’ Chris talks about. 

“The support from our fans at games has been excellent and can be vital in playing a part in driving the players on, indeed we saw that with the come-back against Scunthorpe. 

“We are all looking forward to this week’s games, starting with Everton U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night, and then Forest Green Rovers here at Brunton Park on Saturday, and we also look forward to putting the weekend’s disappointment behind us.”


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