On Sunday 8th January, Reuben Watt, Sam Jordan, and Mat Cowdrey met Preston Johnson at the stadium. The CTSA would like to first thank Preston for meeting with them during what is a busy time for him and the club.
Over the past few weeks, we have heard Crawley Town fans express their views on the current goings-on at the football club whether this is on social media or at a football match. It was brought to our attention though that some of these expressions of dissatisfaction have escalated to personal abuse and threats of violence against members of WAGMI, in general, and on occasion their families. The CTSA are extremely concerned about these threats directed at the ownership group and club staff. We will be working hand-in-hand with the club to ensure that these are investigated and correctly dealt with.
During the meeting on Sunday, a number of matters were discussed in confidence. We are grateful for Preston’s honesty and candour in the meeting, and whilst we cannot share the specific details of some elements of our discussion at this time, we are satisfied with the evidence and information presented that allows us to support the statements below.
Below are the notes from our meeting which have been signed by the CTSA and Preston Johnson:
- The CTSA are here to ensure that the club is run properly, with appropriate governance and financial probity, they are also here to help bridge the gap between the club and the supporters.
- The CTSA now has over 500 members with a lot of these being very concerned about the club that they love.
- For many CTSA members, there have been a number of ‘red flag’ moments coming from the club recently, similar to those experienced with previous owners, leading to a range of concerns among the fanbase.
- The club expects to interview for a permanent CEO when Preston returns to the UK in early February.
- The CTFC Board will hold a Board Meeting before the end of January.
- A Chief Financial Officer is at the club and has been since WAGMI United took over
- Proposed Terms of Reference for the board have been sent to Chris Galley by Mat Cowdrey. This ToR includes a position on the board for a CTSA representative. The representative will be voted on and approved at the next CTSA AGM. Criteria to fulfil this role and stand as a nominee will be released in advance of the AGM.
- Preston wanted to clarify that any current blame directed at Chris Galley for the running of the football club is misdirected and should be placed on Preston/WAGMI United.
- Preston has stated that despite rumours to the contrary, the club/WAGMI United are not short on money
- The owners have enough money in holding to last at least 2 more seasons, based on expected loss, which is a requirement under EFL Rules and evidenced to the EFL
- All funds are held in cash, not cryptocurrency
- The ownership group has not reduced in size since they purchased the club. Whilst some members may have less direct involvement than previously, the size of the group remains unchanged.
- The club have not failed the salary cost management protocol (SCMP). Rumours to this effect are unfounded.
- Players are not being released solely for financial reasons, but rather for strategic and tactical. It is likely that the current squad size will reduce during the transfer window to allow for other players to be brought in.
- Preston has said that they are hiring a manager with League experience
- No manager at the club has been told to play certain players. The only exception has been Tom Nichols. The intended sale of Tom was a situation made clear to Matthew Etherington when he joined.
- George Francomb, Jake Hessenthaler, and Tony Craig are currently training with the squad.
- The set piece coach left when Kevin Betsy left
- Preston does not have concerns about bringing in new players after what has happened in the past. Engagement from other clubs and players remains positive.
Media and communication
- Preston was not able to comment on Eben Smith’s tweets.
- In the future, the CTSA and Crawley Town FC are to work more closely together to help with communication between the fans and the club
- There are plans to run a Fans Forum in the near future with the purpose of looking forward to 2023
Going forward the CTSA will continue to hold the club to account and we look forward to meeting with the owners, alongside a fans forum, in the near future.
10th January 2023