June 26, 2022
Dear <<First Name>>
New CUFC 1921 Board representatives
Sadly, our Trust Director on the 1921 Board at Carlisle United for the past 5 years, Jim Mitchell, has had to stand down, with immediate effect, due to ongoing health issues. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jim for all his hard work whilst he has been the Trust Director on the 1921 Board and wish him well for the future as he deals with the health issues that have forced his resignation. Jim will also be stepping down from the Trust Board at the AGM in July 2022.
We would like to announce that our new director on the 1921 Board will be Nigel Davidson. Nigel has been a member of the Trust Board for over 8 years, initially joining as a co-opted member and is the current Vice Chair. Nigel also represents the Trust on the Carlisle United Supporters’ Group, where he is also the EDI Officer for the group, working closely with the groups, the club and the community on EDI issues. Externally, he is a representative of the national ‘Fans For Diversity Guidance Group’, run by the Football Supporters Association and Kick It Out. He holds a senior role in HR in local government and has been a supporter of Carlisle United for over 40 years.
We would also like to announce that our new alternate director for the 1921 Board will be Carol Wilson. Carol has been a board member for several years and has supported Carlisle United for many years. Carol is the office manager at a local primary school in Carlisle, where she is also a school governor, has a responsibility for safeguarding and is a director of a small company.
Frank Beattie, Trust chair, said: “I’m sure this has been an agonising decision for Jim but as we have told a number of people over the years our own health has to come first. Jim has been a dedicated member of the CUOSC board and the 1921 board and has worked hard for many years, bringing the concerns of supporters to both boards. We would like to thank Jim for the work he has done and hope that he can enjoy this well earned rest.”
CUOSC are backing boss Paul Simpson to turn around the Blues fortunes on the field in the new season.
And we are also calling on all fans and supporters’ groups to work together to help him strengthen and develop the bond between the club and the community.
We know the majority of fans want to see change in the boardroom and CUOSC will continue to work to bring that about.
It will happen. Progress has been painfully slow but the owners, themselves, have agreed they want to see a change of control.
The main stumbling block remains the £2.5m debt to Purepay Retail but with the club determined to reach agreement about a repayment plan it doesn’t have to weigh us down.
Billy Atkinson is the CUOSC representative on the club’s Holding Board, providing a bridge between the directors and supporters.
It’s a challenging position and although he tries to be the voice of the fans, ultimately, he has just one vote. Also, the position is there by invitation only.
Like any democratic Board some of the discussions have to be confidential. As the fans representative Billy may not be in agreement with some of the decisions but they have to be accepted.
However, CUOSC believe he was instrumental in helping to bring the protracted EWM takeover talks to an end, a conclusion the majority of fans agreed with. He also played a full part in appointing Paul Simpson as manager – a decision that saved last season.
Without CUOSC’s representation on the Holdings Board Keith Millen and Director of Football David Holdsworth might well have remained in place.
It is important to remember the Trust was born out of adversity 20 years ago. Since then we have always tried to put forward the many differing views of the fan base.
It took years to secure CUOSC’s place on the Holdings Board and we have debated many times since whether it is worthwhile. But if the club and fans can work together it has to be a benefit.
Being on the board and running a football club is a complicated business – the Trust gets pulled in every direction by the Football League, the FA, players and supporters’.
But CUOSC’s relationship with the club has dramatically improved thanks to Billy and Jim Mitchell, our representative on the club’s operational board*. Both have been involved in some important decisions at boardroom level - something that would never have happened in the past.
Working well with the club and supporters is the key to success. This is not always easy as those on the board will confirm.
In the future, fans around the country look likely to get a bigger say in the running of their clubs when the recommendations of the government’s fan-led review are implemented.
We are already in a very strong position with a 25.4% shareholding that is the envy of many supporters’ trusts.
This is something we would never give up lightly especially following the outcome of the review. And following the collapsed EWM takeover we have promised we will not consider dilution again without putting it to members first.
The £13,500 raised by our Carlisle REUnited campaign, which ran during the height of the Covid pandemic, has now all been handed over to the club.
It helped towards the cost of new training equipment and will also aid with improvements to the fan-zone behind the west stand.
We look forward to welcoming some new, positive blood on to the CUOSC board at next month’s AGM.
* Jim Mitchell resigned as the 1921 representative after this item was published. He has been replaced by Nigel Davidson, with Carol Wilson being appointed as his alternate.
This year's AGM will take place on Sunday July 31st in the Sunset Suite, starting at 11am. Members will be able to attend on the day or connect via Zoom. All voting will take place electronically or via post, as in recent years. Candidates who wish to stand for election to the board should reply to this email or contact us on email@example.com
All candidates need to be supported by two or more current CUOSC members who should contact us via the same address. The deadline for candidates to put themselves forward is midnight on Tuesday July 12.
The trust have chosen a person to represent them on the 1921 board who has been critical of other supporters opinions and has been overheard saying “Carlisle supporters are difficult” and “usual suspects” and has recently pushed his agenda onto a previous cusg member, rather than listen to his opinion.
How then can supporters who don’t share his ideas or have alternative ones feel they will have their opinions shared in the boardroom that may not align with Nigel Davidson’s beliefs?
Do you have a list of names, that have held board positions and their length of time since the trusts inception please?
As with any representative of CUOSC's, if you have a specific issue or question you wish to raise with our 1921 rep, you can do so through this email address. If the issue needs raising with the 1921 Board it will be, or it may be dealt with via the club at another level, depending on the nature of the query.
If you subsequently do not feel your issue has been dealt with adequately, you can raise with us, with the football club or take the matter to our governing body, the FSA.
A list of club board level representatives is below:
1921 Board Representatives
2003-04 Alan Steel
2004-06 Kate Rowley
2006-16 Norman Steel
2016-22 Jim Mitchell
2022- Nigel Davidson
Holdings Board Representative
2017- Billy Atkinson
Latest from Brunton Park
United's squad reported back for pre-season training this week with two new faces joining them.
Midfielder Sonny Hilton has joined on a season long loan from Fulham. Hilton previously worked under Paul Simpson as a member of the England youth squad. He helped Fulham's under-23 squad to win their league title last season.
Forward Ryan Edmondson put pen to paper on a two-year deal after leaving Leeds United. Edmondson has played on loan at various clubs including Aberdeen, Fleetwood Town and Port Vale, who he helped to promotion via the play-offs last season.
Current CUFC squad:
Tomas Holy, Gabriel Breeeze, Scott Simons
Jack Armer, Morgan Feeney, Corey Whelan, Joel Senior, Jon Mellish, Jack Ellis
Taylor Charters, Josh Dixon, Callum Guy, Brennan Dickenson, Lewis Bell, Jordan Gibson, Max Kilsby, Jamie Devitt**, Owen Moxon, Sonny Hilton
Tristan Abrahams, Sam Fishburn, Omari Patrick, Kristian Dennis, Oluwatobi Sho-Silva, Ryan Edmondson
** No contract offered but invited back for pre-season training
Proposed meeting dates 2021-22
Venue: Online or Upperby
Next meeting: Wed July 13
July 31 2022 - The Sunset Suite, 11am
Catch-up meetings – to arrange as and when needed
Members’ Meeting Dates
Venue: Online or Brunton Park
Next meeting: TBA
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES ON THE CUFC BOARDS
To contact Billy Atkinson or Nigel Davidson, your representatives on the CUFC Holdings and CUFC 1921 boards respectively, please drop an email via firstname.lastname@example.org - you can raise any issue with them. Some things may not be relevant at board meeting level but both our reps have regular contact with various people at the football club and your issue will be raised with the appropriate personnel, should it require an answer from the club. As attendees at meetings of Carlisle United Supporters Groups we also have the opportunity to raise concerns, queries and issues in that forum as well. If Nigel isn't available, we will pass on your query to his deputy, Carol Wilson.
Next CUOSC Board Meeting - July 13
Next CUSG Meeting - June 27
Spot the player
Identify the player from the following clues:
Clubs: Crewe Alexandra, Norwich City, West Ham United
Last week's answer: GLENN HODDLE (first correct answer from Malcolm Brew)
Spot the Club
Identify the club from the team line-up and season :
Line-up: Neenan, Langan, Collins, Gooding, Gunn, Oakes, Genovese, Halsall, Cusack, Andrews, Luke
Last week's answer: DONCASTER ROVERS (first correct answer from Malcolm Brew)
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