President's Progress 30/07

ARGYLE president Chris Webb gives another important update on the formation of the Plymouth Argyle Supporters' Board

Dear Supporters,
Please find below a full update on the status of the Plymouth Argyle Supporters Board (PASB) process.
I am delighted to relay that the club have agreed to finance a completely independent election process to be conducted by the Electoral Reform Society. The ballot will be via post and every club member will receive a voting form and a copy of the candidate’s election statements.
From here on, all communications on the election process – timetable, rules, etc will come via the ERS. I would like to thank the Board for this investment in the process. You cannot put a price on the value of an independent election process.
It is expected that the election will be conducted as close as possible to the start of the season and the logistics of that are being dealt with by the ERS as we speak.
Once the formal timetable is known, a hustings meeting will be called giving supporters the chance to listen to and question the 10 candidates for the PASB election.
As advertised, a meeting of the supporters groups took place on Saturday to determine the allocation of the 6 reserved seats for the groups.
Four supporters groups attended the meeting – The Argyle Fans’ Trust, PASTA, The Plymouth Supporters Branch and the Senior Greens. Apologies were received from the London Branch.
The meeting was thorough and included an open and honest debate about the PASB, the supporters groups involvement and how best to take the process forward.
The debate concluded that representation on the PASB should be about history of the supporters groups and not simply membership numbers.
Through a lot of hard work and open debate, a consensus was reached and the six supporter’s group seats will be filled as follows.
Three Seats – Argyle Fans’ Trust
One Seat – London Supporters Branch
One Seat – Exile Branches (PASTA, Midlands, Northern)
One Seat - South West (North Devon Greens, Cornwall Branch, Plymouth Supporters Club)

The only outstanding work in this sections to work with the various exile / South West groups to agree a nomination process for these seats.
Our sincere thanks go to the meeting’s independent chair Alison Lowman, who greatly assisted in finding an agreed conclusion.
It seems a long time ago that James Brent outlined his proposals for the Supporters Board at the Guildhall in January.
Firstly, it has to be acknowledged that the process has been far from timely and far from perfect. Throughout the last few months, individuals and the supporters groups have worked hard to bring us to a successful conclusion.
Part of the reason for the bumpy ride has been that we are dealing with a proposal that is not only a first for Argyle but a first for British football.
The level of supporter engagement and involvement offered by the creation of the PASB is a unique opportunity that cannot be passed up.
Supporters may have some concerns about whether the club membership is a wide enough electorate, whether the supporters groups have come to the right agreement or whether the PASB really has a place at the club.
All we ask for is time. The group is very much in its infancy and in his work with the PASB, Professor David Wheeler was very clear that the first 12 months would very much see the group find its feet.
This time next year we will see a PASB constitution and election that has been completely designed by the PASB committee with the input of the supporters.
The time to cast judgement on the PASB is in 12 months. This really is an amazing opportunity to influence the direction of our club.
Let’s not waste it.
Chris Webb
Club President