Posted on Companies House website this morning is the departure from the ARFC BOD of Lorraine Simpson and the appointment of a new BOD member in the form of Alison McGowan who I believe might be the current chairperson of the ARFC Supporters Trust.
I wish Lorraine well, as she took on a difficult situation at the club.
The club website states in relation to the appointment of Alison McGowan 'The Supporters Trust has benefitted greatly from Alison’s drive, leadership and organisational skills for the past 2 years'. Hopefully she has the financial qualifications required to take over from Lorraine, but it is not stated what she will be doing on the ARFC BOD.
Nothing against any of the members of the ARFC BOD, as I am sure they all put heart and soul into everything they do for the club, but it is a real concern that since Ronnie took over the only members to be appointed to the BOD and who have been willing to stay the course are Trust members. None of those appointed seem to have any particular area of expertise or business background that the club can utilise to its advantage (not to mention spare cash reserves to plough into the club if/when the need arises).
Ginty, there are always fitba people who would get involved at Boardroom level, if invited to do so. A lot of them have moved on from their playing days, have done well in business, and are keen to give something back. When it is in your blood, it is attractive to be directly involved on a Saturday.
A slightly different slant on what you have said above is that some people take a look at who they are working with and don't want their reputation in business to be damaged.
Two good men left because of that and there has been a well orchestrated diatribe to discredit them. I am aware of why Lindsay Hamilton resigned and believe that Craig Downs went because of his frustration at how the club was being run. It is easy to find the backgrounds of these 2 on the LinkedIn website, which I have copied below;
Board Director and Trustee of Charity Turning Point Scotland. Non-Executive Director of Social Enterprise GTS Solutions CIC.
Founder and Chief Executive of two IT consultancy and support services businesses.
Built executive boards. Managed investor and stakeholder relations. Developed and implemented company business plans. Fronted sales & marketing strategies.
35 years’ experience in Sales and Business Development. Sold into Financial Services, Corporate, Government, Public Sector, Charity, Third Sector, Education and SME marketplaces.
Former Scottish Committee Member of The British Computer Society, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Mentor and business adviser to start up companies at Informatics Ventures and Entrepreneurial Spark.
Craig's professional experience is that he has gained so far: Health and Safety trained- level 1, Principle Investigator, Mental Health first aider, management in stress, recruitment and deployment, budget figures and projection, power point presentations. Diploma in FCI and Graphical Engineering Communication. Project site management for plant both in the UK, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong Asia, Craig manages vast numbers of plant, managing the workshops and engineers and inspections of both new plant and existing plant(s) on site
Specialities: Understanding Core values, Working well under pressure, making deadlines, Flexible to all working conditions.
Projects that Craig has managed: Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station (new build) Forth Crossing Bridge £1.4 Billion project. Hong Kong International Airport Value $6.2 billion Tuen Mun to Chek Lap Kok Southern Connection Viaduct Section $8.66 billion Kennedy Town MTR $4.76 billion Central to Shatin link $3.4 billion.
Craig manages over 400 items plant from on all sectors from Railway, Aviation and Marine.
He has in-depth knowledge on all fields .
I'm sure you, or anybody with a modicum of common sense, will agree that these individuals have more to offer ARFC than the conveyor belt of ARFC Supporter Trust members who are now running the club.
If Ronnie and the BOD had anything other than self interest at heart they would be onto these 2 gentlemen begging them to return and to bring others of the same quality with them.
Your Paragraph 2 is what I was referring to in my post to you.
In regards to these 2, it would appear at first glance that they would be great assets to a club such as our.
But , Linked In is a marketing platform where what is written on it is done so by the person. That isn’t to make assertions on either men.
However I believe talk is cheap, what did the guys contribute when they were on the board, where was their vision what was their knowledge of football. I judge them on what they do not what they say and what I will say is they 2 men (who I don’t know personally) made up 50% of the 4 man committed that hired John Brogan as manager, alongside Messrs Boyd and I believe Hunter. That anyone thought that giving JB the gig after interviewing him whilst failing to pick up on the fact that the only licence he had was for his TV and thinking that going down the road of signing lower league junior players was a good idea , doesn’t strike me as someone we should be desperate to throw weight behind. I’d go as far to say that boardrooms at lower league and junior clubs can attract people desperate to boost their egos and think they know more than the football men. Mr Hamilton with professional football background should have known better than this. Although I believe he may have been an ex team mate of JB. You could also throw David Douglas name into the ring, who also done a lot of charity or social enterprise work at Clyde Fc. I imagine his LinkedIn page would also look great. I’ll leave it on this note. Craig Whyte to the outsider looked a fantastic businessman and am sure at the time could’ve made his LinkedIn look great. Ask these questions. Why are you wanting to be involved at Albion Rovers? What do you want to get out of it?
With Cv like the above it’s a wonder why they’re not at Celtic or Rangers as they RFC could certainly do with the acumen
Ginty, the issue of the appointment of John Brogan was obviously a very big mistake. I am not privy to why he was selected, or who backed his appointment. Needless to say there could have been differing opinions by the BOD members, but ultimately he was selected by a majority or possibly a unanimous vote. I think that subject has been well debated on here and should now be laid to rest, as it serves no purpose.
The point I am making about the background of these 2 men, who I know little of personally, is that their credentials are far and away more impressive than anybody else on the BOD. The point regarding LinkedIn is taken on board, but I presume that others would happily out these 2 as imposters if they were lying about their history. I feel that their differing qualities and diverse experience are very impressive. I am sure that they would be able to open doors for ARFC that the current BOD are clearly incapable of doing. In particular Craig Downs, whom I have never knowingly met, must as a result of his position have massive business contacts that he could possibly tap into for the benefit of ARFC.
I have done some more digging regarding Lindsay Hamilton, whom I have met twice in the Cliftonhill Boardroom at matches.
He is on the Board of the charity Turning Point Scotland, which helps adults with a range of complex needs from homelessness to substance misuse. It turns over £32 million per year so is a serious financial entity with proper governance and reporting. I understand that link could help the club in its Community and Trust work in the Coatbridge and North Lanarkshire area. He is also a Non-Exec of GTS Solutions CIC, a Social Enterprise which helps young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds get training, qualifications and employment opportunities. It is independently funded by the Princes Trust and other funding bodies in the security and hospitality business areas. I believe that could help the club save costs with match day security, hospitality and safety at the club, but also help young adults in the Coatbridge and North Lanarkshire get real life experience and jobs by working as part of the Club.
It sounds like these are connections which could assist the club in its Community Trust endeavours (an area which was much vaunted before it was ultimately put into hibernation by those on the current BOD who had initially championed it).
On the footballing side he played with St Johnstone in the mid 1970’s as a centre half and played with Alloa Athletic in the late 1970’s / early 1980’s.
You refer to Craig Whyte and then rightly ask questions that should be levelled at anybody who wants to become involved in the club. I believe that there is absolutely no comparison, as CW was able to buy RFC from somebody who wanted to offload it. ARFC is/was not for sale, so their intent could not have been for financial gain.
I am sure that via LinkedIn, both these guys would answer your questions if contacted. They might even tell you why they walked away, which could put that to rest as well.
The skill set you referred to would indeed be a fantastic addition to the club, of that I have no doubt. For small clubs the community work and outreach programs should be the base of the club, both from bringing revenue into the club and from creating a bigger fan base. This model has worked well at other clubs, most notably Hamilton & both old firm clubs. On this it should be noted that great strides have been taken in the community clubs setup which i believe was down to the lad Flint and Ants McMinn. Again I’ll say to you what I said to grant, I have no intentions of contacting people individually to hear their “version” of events and be caught in a lot of Chinese whispers. If these people had the best interests of the club and had fears over the running of it they should , in my opinion, inform the fans whether on here or at an AGM , which they may still do. I would only make contact if I was intending on investing in the club, which I wouldn’t do unless it was to gain control of the club in its entirety as until this happens you would be at the whim of the shareholders. Again i’ll ask does anyone know why Mr Hamilton wishes to be Chairman of the club? I wouldn’t mind hearing his plans. I’m just playing devils advocate but could it be that he sees the clubs outreach/community potential as a Trojan horse to generate further income streams for himself? Not a problem if it brings more income to the club than otherwise would. Maybe he just wants to build his cv/LinkedIn profile to aim for bigger jobs. Again not averse to this as long as it’s for the betterment of the club. When people with no link to the club or the town I always think of the phrase Beware a wolf in sheeps clothing. We’ve had people from out of the area recently who have come and gone doing no good for the club and are still skulking about Cliftonhill and this forum sometimes with several names.
I hope Mr Hamilton is the knight in shining armour and comes to the rescue but he’s been around for a few years now and the only thing I’ve seen he’s done is run a marathon for charity and be on the committee for the worst appointment in our history, which I don’t believe should be put to bed. If you don’t learn from history you’re doomed to repeat it, and I wouldn’t trust the board to pick Pep Guardiola if he appeared on the short list.
One last thing - Although I’ve had several pops at Grant, I do actually think he makes many valid points and probably agree with a lot of what he says. Where I disagree with him is the cloak n dagger stuff and how he makes some of it personal.
Grant is ARFC through and through. If he didn't live so far away I'm sure that he would be working voluntarily at the club on a daily basis. He had a pop at me some time ago about being a Rangers supporter when we were both at Coatbridge High School.
Like Grant, my concern is the welfare of the club. It is clear that we need to generate significantly more funds/income to take the club forward. That does not appear to be happening as far as I can see. The good done by the current BOD in stabilising the club's financial position has been solely down to cost cutting and some good luck in drawing Celtic in the cup. The cost cutting cannot go on indefinitely as can be seen by the product on the park. All it would need is a major problem with the stadium and the game will be up.
I am not waging war with those on the BOD, as they are all decent people. I have been in conversation with most of them at recent games without problems. I just don't see this ending well for the club if new blood is not brought in fast. The time to act is now, and those of you who frequent this forum surely must agree with that. Inactivity now will result in Lowland League football. By a miracle it might not be this season, but continuing as is will result in that at some stage. I'm sure of that.
What I've said is due to my concern for the club. This is my last post. I hope that we will not soon be hearing 'The Last Post' sounding for ARFC.
Indeed they did and Robert indicated the reasons. I `walked away` from my last job as a company Director in very similar circumstances so I wholly appreciate their position. With respect to that crazy loan my understanding it will be 2020 before it is repaid - by then the Club`s fate may have been sealed.
I would remind you that Lindsay Hamilton and Craig Downs both walked away.
At the risk of repeating myself, I would remind you that Lindsay Hamilton and Craig Downs both walked away.
Finances are still an issue due to the loan taken out by a previous board. As I understand it, the loan should be finally paid off at some point next year.
Hopefully at that point, normal football club finances can start again.
[ I agree Nanook , but was there any reasons given for why they walked away. Previous people have implied that they walked away as they couldn’t get a real indication of the clubs finances as RB wasn’t forthcoming