We would like to update you following the meeting that took place, on Zoom, with Chris Galley (Acting CEO & Director of Football), Reuben Watt (CTSA), and Mat Cowdrey (CTSA) on the 23rd December.
Firstly, we would like to thank Chris for meeting with us. We appreciate that he is very busy and so we are thankful that he was able to meet us this side of Christmas. Whilst we were only able to meet for a short time, it was a useful meeting to address the CTSA’s concerns following our open letter that was released on the 10th December 2022 (https://www.ctfcsa.co.uk/2022/an-open-letter-to-wagmi-united/).
At the time of the call Chris did not want to go into any more details surrounding Nichols or his potential transfer at that point as discussions were still ongoing. At the point of the call he was still contracted to Crawley Town FC and any discussion on his future would have been a breach of his and the club’s confidentiality.
In regards to the rumours about the whole squad being transferred; Chris assured us that this was NOT the case. He said that he would never transfer list a whole squad. At the time of the article claiming that the whole squad had been transferred, the club were trialing some new software surrounding transfers and part of the trial included putting the players up for transfer. The Crawley Town squad have been told that the whole squad have not been put up for transfer.
The issue was raised on the call that no formal Board meeting has taken place since WAGMI took control in April. It was acknowledged by the CTSA that engagement with the club and owners has been generally good, but this is not the same as formal governance. Whilst there have been understandable delays in getting this moving due to Preston’s health and the change in management, it was acknowledged that to carry on like this would be unacceptable. Given a lack of CEO at present at the club, Mat Cowdrey took the action on behalf of the club to produce a draft Terms of Reference for the board on the basis that a meeting would be held early in January, ideally in advance of any Fans Forum or CTSA AGM and then be scheduled in line with the Terms of Reference on a monthly basis going forwards. The Terms of Reference will then be agreed at the first Board Meeting and held in place going forwards.
It was noted that the club wants infrastructure that is well above what it currently is which includes a proper scouting and analytics department. This was pleasing to hear and Chris was keen to highlight some of the good work WAGMI United have done more recently such as a new training ground with grass pitches, hiring a chef to help with nutrition and developing the medical team.
The CTSA are planning to meet Chris again in the new year to carry on these conversations. Chris was also wanting to do a fans forum, alongside the owners, after the busy January Transfer Window has finished.