CRAWLEY TOWN SUPPORTERS’ ALLIANCE STATEMENT – 26th JULY 2015

CRAWLEY TOWN SUPPORTERS’ ALLIANCE STATEMENT – 26th JULY 2015

In response to the ongoing discussion on the CTFC.net Forum, the Board of the CTSA wishes to advise as follows:

The CTSA is surprised and disappointed that, having tried to speak directly with the Board of Crawley Town FC for over a month, our repeated requests have not materialised into any proposed dates. Regrettably, it appears that the Club are actively avoiding meeting with us, as supporters’ representatives. We have previously been instructed that all communication with the Club should be via the CEO and we continue to respect this. However, this has not resulted in a response, until yesterday, where we were told that they are meeting next week and will come back to us.

In March, the Ownership Statement was updated, although the change was not mentioned in the Club’s news feed. The CTSA wrote to the Club seeking clarification of the new statement on Club ownership and Director appointments.  In response, the CEO advised that they did not wish to expand on the change in the Ownership Statement.  We have subsequently established from the public statement from Ian Carter that both Ian and Susan Carter’s shares were sold to Matt Turner for a nominal fee.  This would imply that Mr. Turner is now the majority shareholder in the Club, although we are unable to verify this at Companies House, as the annual return of shareholders for Crawley Town Football & Social Club Limited is overdue.

It is not clear to us why there was no public comment on the sale of a majority stake in Crawley Town FC as we believe that is a matter that would be of interest to many supporters.

In respect of the funding of the Club, the Club was approached in March with concerns that had been raised, by a member, regarding the source of funding for the Club and the identity of the Club’s Far East benefactor.  Concerns were raised regarding the source of funding, the application of the Fit and Proper Persons’ Test and the League Regulations regarding Shadow Directorship. To avoid unnecessary fallout at the time the dialogue with the Club was kept confidential. However, nothing the Club has said has removed our concerns and the matter has now emerged in the public domain.

Whilst much has been publicly said over the past month regarding ownership and funding, the primary concern of the CTSA has always been the position of the Club and, in the light of previous ownership difficulties and administrations, its ongoing viability.

If, indeed, Matt Turner is now the majority shareholder, we would like to hear from Mr. Turner on his vision for the Club and, given significant losses in recent years, funding arrangements to ensure the Club’s ongoing survival and the competitiveness of the playing squad. This is something we would like to discuss urgently. Without transparency, and open and honest discussion with the Club, we are unable to work together in the best interests of everyone.  It is saddening for those of us on the Board and indeed the majority of fans who give their time, support and money to the Club, that we are being actively alienated through in-action and avoidance.

Finally, in respect of the sale of the Club, the CTSA has not been able to clarify whether the Club is still for sale. It has been suggested in the media that potential buyers have come forward, however without dialogue with the Club we are unable to say whether this is the case, and, if correct, the credibility of the potential buyers.

In summary, we will continue to push and attempt to ask the questions on behalf of our members and continue to seek clarity and direction from the owners of the Club on the ownership structure, the source of funding and the sale of the Club.

In the meantime, with a new season about to start, we urge supporters to get behind the Manager and his playing squad.

For, and on behalf of, the Crawley Town Supporters’ Alliance.