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Aldershot Town chiefs baffled by Shots Trust resignation from club board

(Aldershot Town chairman Shahid Azeem)

Aldershot Town’s board of directors say they are baffled by the decision of the club’s supporters to relinquish their seat on the board due to a lack of confidence in the way the club is being run.

The Shots Trust were first granted a place on the club’s board back in July 2016 making chairman Tommy Anderson the youngest football club director in Europe at the age of 21.

But following a Trust Board meeting last Wednesday, the decision was taken to give up its seat, accusing the National League club’s leadership as “woefully lacking”.

“This decision has been taken with a very heavy heart, but one with the Trust’s best interests,” Anderson said in a statement.

“As chairman, who was chosen to represent the supporters at board level, I no longer have confidence in how the football club is being run and the decisions made day to day”.

The full statement read: “Following a Trust Board Meeting on the 10th October the decision has been made for the Trust to reluctantly relinquish its position on the Football Club’s Board of Directors with immediate effect.

“Over the past 12 months, there have been changes to the Football Club Board with decisions being made that in the Trust’s opinion neither strengthens the Club’s management structure or delivers results through strategic planning. In fact, we believe the exact opposite to be true and that the Club’s leadership is woefully lacking.

“Whilst acknowledging that the Board position we accepted back in July 2016 was an honour, the Trust can only partake as a prominent Board member if full facts and disclosures are given with regards to the day to day operations, and if opinions given are listened to with dignity and respect.

“This decision has not been taken lightly but has been done so that the Supporters Trust can regroup and look at how best it can support the wishes of our members. The Trust will continue to support [manager] Gary’s [Waddock] playing budget for the remainder of this season.”

In response, the club claim that there was never any indication that the Shots Trust were unhappy with the club’s leadership throughout their two-year tenure on the board and insist they have always been transparent with supporters

A statement issued by the board of directors in response to the resignation read: “On Monday evening we received notification from the Shots Trust that it was their intention to relinquish their place on the board of directors. Unfortunately I only received the email from the Trust chairman, Tommy Anderson, two minutes before a statement was placed in the public domain.

“It is regrettable that, as the decision was apparently confirmed on 10th October at the Trust meeting, no contact was made to the football club explaining any concerns that the Trust had which would be in line with normal business practices. I, therefore, cannot address specific concerns as they have not previously been discussed with me or at the board meetings

“Since joining the board, Tommy has attended all board and finance meetings, and, as far as I am aware, been given unfettered access to all club documents. He has been an integral part of all decision making. Board minutes show that he has supported all decisions and there is no record of any disagreement or dissent. I have no knowledge of any information request being denied

“In 2016, I invited the chairman of the Trust to accept a seat on the board. I wanted to give our supporters a voice in the running of the club, plus an insight into the issues and problems involved. Whilst we will not engage in a public debate with the Trust regarding this situation we will make contact to request clarification and further evidence to substantiate certain parts of their statement.

“I also believe that clearer messages of communication will be required as we move forward to help alleviate any concerns that supporters may have with regards to the football club. It will be my intention to re-introduce the Fans Forum which have not been held for some time now plus a regular update from the Board via our YouTube channel.

“I believe it is of paramount importance that everyone who cares about our club all pull in the same direction. It’s no secret that many clubs at our level operate in a very difficult environment, this has always been the case. I am proud of how we have managed these challenges over the last five years. I and the board would like to give you all our assurance that we will continue to do so.”

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