Evening Yields Pledges From Candidates

November 21, 2005

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Tonight’s Open Forum yielded a turn out with less than expected, with numbers probably affected by the very poor weather. Despite this, both candidates used the opportunity to speak well and openly. Each candidate was given ten minutes to make their address, and there was good participation from those present during the questions and answers session that followed.

Many questions were raised and answered by the candidates in a most open forthright way. Questions asked were largely questioning how the candidates would deal with specific situations, and how well equipped they were to deal with them should they arise. How would they relate to the ordinary supporters on the terrace? How would they balance the duties of a director with the responsibility of representing the supporter?

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A good deal of time was spent discussing how each of the candidates would find the time needed to work as a director and fit it into their life as it is now. Both agreed that time management skills would be key to them being able to perform the role, and both gave an insight into how they felt they were able to balance their time sufficiently to enable them to achieve this. This subject was explored further when the subject of Supporters club duties came up. With both candidates being active on Supporters club business committees, they were asked how they would be able to continue with these roles in addition to the directors duties. Both said they were confident they were able to spread their time over both roles.

The needs to be accountable and accessible to supporters and demonstrate pro-active leadership were also debated, along with the need for somebody to work towards pulling all the supporters groups to work together were also discussed. Both candidates had ideas as to how this task could be tackled and clearly relished being given the opportunity to try to do so.

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Finally, the whole election process was debated. Has it been handled in the best way, and could it be done better? There have been a lot of new things happening at the Supporters club this season and it is all a learning process. The possibility of match day ballot boxes in the future was discussed and I am sure this suggestion may well be revisited at committee meetings.

All in all, despite the lower than expected turn out, it was a lively evening with some good questions raised and honest and frank answers given.

Next up is the election itself, which will take place at the Supporters Club AGM on Thursday 1st December at 7.30pm in the Bristol Room at The Memorial Stadium.

Our thanks go to all those who attended the evening and to BBC Radio Bristol, GWR Radio and Jed Pitman at ITV sport for their help in publicising the evening.

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