The amount of pixel space being taken up by the Addicks Supporters Director election has shown how much fans value the opportunity to vote for one of their own to have a voice on the Charlton Athletic FC board.
Of course how much value the position has in reality is unknown, probably because in the past, previous incumbents of the post have failed to satisfactory communicate matters to fellow supporters. Then again how much can the fans' director actually say outside of the four walls of the boardroom? 90% of the content discussed at any board meeting should remain confidential. In these days of intense media coverage, the slightest slip of the tongue could have huge recriminations for the club.
I think Richard Murray sees the role a lot differently to those fans that will vote for one of the four candidates.
The role for me is about linking together the supporters, all supporters, not just those aligned to CASC, to the board. Quite rightly Murray, Simons, Varney et al have always considered themselves closer than most football boards to the men and women in The Valley stands, however I don't believe for a minute they have the time or the inclination to trawl through message boards and blogs or the desire to rub shoulders with fans in pubs around the ground on a matchday.
The board members definitely don't attend many away games, something to many of us that separates the absolutely committed supporter to just
a passionate one.
Therefore this person should provide the chain between the voices on the terraces and the men in the suits. I think it is imperative that this person has no other allegiences within the club. It is a representative role and it is impossible to be impartial when you surround yourself with only a few people. Knowing a lot of people doesn't matter in this context either, we are not looking for a Mr Popular, we are looking for someone who can listen, can communicate, is trustworthy, is engaging, articulate, plausible and most of all different to what the board have had to deal with in the past.
I want this person to mold the role a bit, push acceptable boundaries and make us feel that the supporters director role is valid, because at the moment in many ways the function is flawed.
Success will be in a two years time at the next election when blogs and websites are buzzing at the thought of electing a new fans director because the last one actually made a difference. Otherwise we just let the shareholders pick who they want, because that could easily happen.Inspector Sands
(all you need to know is up in the top right corner of the page), Net Addicks
and the Official Site
have been providing a useful source of information about each candidate, and season ticket holders have until the end of January to vote either online
or at the Leyton Orient or West Brom home games.
Firstly I admire all four candidates for standing. Brian Cole
is a huge character but I think that the board will already have a mindset about his ability. It's a shame because he is a strong candidate and an engaging person.
The fact that the club clearly prefer Sue Townsend
to win is a reason for me not to vote for her. Secret squirrel things aside, her communication skills to anyone outside of Maidstone have been zero. It's 2006, no website, no vote.
On paper Ben Hayes
is a very strong candidate with an excellent track record, he has some good ideas on communication but I think he's not impartial enough and will get bogged down with trying to satisfy people within his own CASC branch, who will no doubt consider they'll have an inside track into the boardroom. I want someone to be able to reach out and be reached by all supporters.
So it was close but it's Vince Nieszwiec
for me. He is more all encompassing, he is different, he is raw, he is tenacious, he ran a smooth and irresistible campaign, he's one of us and he's kissed Derek Hales for fucks sake!
Come on Vince, bring it home son.