Election Address 1
August 3, 2014
Fans Directors Election:
My name is Rod Chapman, I ‘m 60, very proud to be a Bristolian born and bred and a lifelong supporter of Bristol Rovers. Furthermore I am a season ticket holder, a member of the Supporters Club, the Share Scheme and a member of the Helpline Society.
Why stand for Fans Director ?
Since our demotion from the Football League after 94 years, changes are essential. I am confident that I can help effect that change and believe that drive and enthusiasm is needed along with the ability to confront obstacles and find solutions.
I feel the supporters believe that they do not have an effective voice at this difficult time, and are disenfranchised and powerless to act. If elected I could,with assistance, help to turn this situation around.
My Ideas for the role of the Fans Director:
I see this role as a bridge between the Supporters and the Football Club, specifically receiving and passing on information between the fans and the Board. There seems a rift between these two parties mainly due, believe, to the perceived actions or inaction of the board.
Consequently there is a feeling of mistrust and a loss of goodwill. This needs to be reversed quickly, but it will require the board to listen to our concerns and ideas. The recent forums have been a positive move in this direction which should be applauded, but this must continue.
The Board, I am sure, are hurting as much as we are, apologising and admitting that mistakes were made. So now is the time to put our differences aside and try to get our club back into the Football League. Working together, the possibilities can be endless. This requires humility on all sides, and a readiness to employ different approaches, accepting assistance and ideas from all. I feel if the board are more trusting and open, the supporters will respond positively.
Darrell Clarke will bear a good deal of expectation and responsibility this season, but thankfully he displays enthusiasm and confidence in his own ability. It is essential that we get behind him and the squad. In his transfer dealings he has shown patience and has amassed a blend of hungry, young players and experienced professionals. A good start, with promise for a great season.
Proposals: Part 1:
-Fill the Memorial Stadium for the first game using incentives to encourage all to attend regularly, with particular emphasis on families and students.
– Contact Yeovil Town directors for advice on mirroring their tremendous success with small resources.
– Appoint an Associate Director to advise on recruitment and selection of Managers & players.
– Contact the Chairmen of clubs in our local area, inviting them to the Memorial Stadium to forge closer relationships allowing an insight into fresh new local talent.
– Keep an accurate record of all players recommended to the club to be scouted, providing feedback to the supporters.
Specific proposals to improve our Match day experience:
-A variety of local and known brand beers in the bar, a reduction in queues and a dedicated cash only point.
-Redecoration of the clubhouse.
-Reduction of turnstiles queues.
-Involvement of the fans in the choice of new kits and merchandising.
-A drive to find more sponsorship.
-Regular communication with the supporters via a blog taking on ideas and suggestions, ensure they are passed on and any feedback given. Along with more respectful treatment of the fans, listening to their concerns and acting accordingly.
-Talks with Screen Soccer in regards to an end of season DVD.
-Promotion of the Gashead/Pirate brand. (Chewbacca – Independent forum)
-Strategic marketing for fans living further afield (Chris Graham – Gas list).
-A Supporter led revamp of the web site providing the fans with ownership.
-The establishment of a directory of available skills that will benefit Bristol Rovers, building up long term relationships with people who can supply goods and services, in return offering ticketing deals that may lead to additional sponsorship.
In conclusion I will represent the Supporters with enthusiasm and integrity, serving Bristol Rovers Football Club, giving the fans the voice they deserve.