Election Address 2

August 3, 2014

Dear Friend
I am asking for your support to be returned as a Supporters Club Director on the Board of Bristol Rovers FC.
Without doubt, my three years has been the toughest in our history. Relegation to the Conference and external delays over the new stadium has caused frustration, anger and disillusionment.
2014 Bran Seymour Smith
However, I believe by pulling together as one, we can and will turn our fortunes around. I hope you share my optimism that Darrell is heading in the right direction with his new squad. With the help of the Supporters Club, we have made it clear that we will continue to do all we can to support Darrell on the field by constantly fundraising to ensure funds are available to share in his and our ambition to have a team in which we can all be proud and returns us straight back to the Football League.
Your Supporters Club has played a major role in supporting youth development at this club. I also praise non supporters club members who have also helped to support our future. However, unless the 1st team are winning matches, then there is a cascade of disillusionment form the top down. I will personally continue to do all I can to ensure funds are available to help Darrell bring the right quality and passionate players to this club. Players must be here for the right reasons-to win football matches for Bristol Rovers FC. Football is about results and an exciting and prosperous season is very long overdue!
When I first came onto the board I felt there was a real divide between the directors and fans and with relegation, this relationship has been strained further. I have therefore worked strenuously to try to change this perception by actively presenting your views and suggestions to the Rovers board and get them acted on!
This includes:
Admission prices down – encouraged Kids for Quid
Bar prices down – Happy hours before/ after games
More youngsters attending matches – 100 children free admission from local schools every game
Former players brought back to meet fans
Celebrations of your £1m Share Scheme
New TV’s in bars
Encouraged further funding for playing staff at BRFC
Regular supporters personal and social media contact
Encouraged the introduction of new ‘open forums’ and supporters club forums to ensure fans have direct access to board members for Q and A’s
Taken up individual fans issues as and when requested
Supported board on all aspects of delivering a new stadium
Some may feel perhaps more could have been done to support the case of an individual member? Some, that by the closing down of the Fans Forum, doors have been closed to Box 1?
Some that a Fans Director MUST report all issues back to supporters, even though confidentiality agreements have been signed.
I will admit that I personally feel communication has been slow, leading to scepticism and misinformation – and yes this needs to improve!
However, I have constantly made myself available for all supporters to contact me, either personally, by email, social media or by phone.
However, I have always believed if you want answers ask directly. That is why I totally support my idea of open forums, so that you can get direct answers to direct questions from the decisions makers. I want more of these – monthly Forums in the Dribuild i.e. an evening with the manager and players. Quarterly Full Forum open meetings and the Chairman’s pre-match Q and A sessions continue in the Bristol Room.
Our challenge is to ensure this Supporters Club is at the forefront of helping Bristol Rovers get back into league football and, that we continue to play a significant role in the new stadium development.
We need to attract a whole new generation to the Mem and ensure that when you, your family and friends come to a Rovers match, you go home with a smile on your face having witnessed an entire entertainment experience. I am doing all I can to help make that happen!
There is so much more we can and will achieve together. Rovers we stand divided we fall!
Yours in friendship
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