Wonder if he'll ask them any difficult questions?
I doubt it but we shall see.
Good evening folks. We've got three board members of the Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Trust, all ready to answer your questions.
Ian Bridge, Maggie Tetlow, Roger Allanson and Mike Smith are gathered around the table. [Seems Iles can't count up to four then - Sluffy]
Readers have sent in a raft of questions over the last couple of days.
Ideally, I want to stick to stuff that actually involves the trust. They are not really here to answer stuff about Ken Anderson.
Q - It has been suggested that the 'Fighting Fund' be used to fight the potential EFL sanctions. I assume this means they are confident of getting something overturned. Has this sort of challenge ever been made before? If not, then are they not gambling with a lot of fan's money.
IB: It is dependent on the findings of the independent committee. We'll review it when it happens.
RA: If there's a possibility of money being used for that purpose, we'll do it.
IB: It would only be in appeal. Only in that situation would we be able to do anything about it.
MS: We don't feel the EFL has treated Bolton very well.
IB: We'd like better due diligence, that is the bare minimum.
Q - With board elections coming up is there a plan to get a younger voice as part of it? I know they are looking to engage with the various blogs but have they been sounded out for a seat at the table?
MS - We've always tried. They don't want to spend the time.
IB - The answer is 'yes'. We have got some plans in place - a liaison group. We will be holding a meeting in the not too distant future.
MS - We want to engage with fans of any age.
MT: As a result of the open meeting we invited people to get involved. We got a good response. We are not excluding anyone.
RA: We'd love to get down with the kids.
MS: If you want to get involved, please email.
IB: We do want to get younger people engaged, that is for certain.
Q - Do you intend to get a representative of the ST on the board, and if so how do you intend to do this?
RA: Our plan is to engage with high net worths and creditors with a view to them working with us. We can use the vehicle of the CIC.
IB: To have representation at that level would be the plan.
MS: It's the core aim of a supporters' trust is to do exactly that.
MT: It's to get a greater say for the ordinary fan. That's exactly what we are. We're just supporters.
Q - What will happen with the trusts involvement now club is in admin?
IB: The first step is to engage with the administrator. We have already made contact and had some discussions.
MT: Mike Dyer, as people know, has been appointed and has been actioning things on our behalf.
Q - Why did they not back the protest? They have previously voiced their views on Ken Anderson's reign, yet distanced themselves from the fan's protest. This reflects poorly on them especially when you consider that Blackpool's ST helped organise their protests.
IB: it's an urban myth that we didn't back it. If you read our post on the website, we understood, we accepted it was going ahead, but we asked for it to happen safely.
MT: We are there as a professional organisation trying to do things in a structured way. Protests are not really what you do as a trust - we want dialogue with new owners.
MT: We didn't have any control over the outcome of a protest. As a professional organisation we couldn't have risked that.
Q - Will the Trust look to buy the club outright at all or even look to buy a small share and a seat on the board with any new incoming owner?
MS: We are looking to engage with other high net worths and people. It will be a team effort.
MT: In an ideal world we'd be able to raise enough money to do that. But we're working towards getting the biggest possible share for the fans. The ultimate goal is the safety and stability of the club.
Q - Now that we've entered admin - our club has the opportunity to get back on an even keel if a buyer with pots of money comes forwards....... is the supporters trust potential bid for the club going to prevent a wealthy buyer from buying us ?
Q - does any of the trust have experience in making minority investments?
RA: We have got access to the necessary expertise.
Q - Do the trust have any indication of who will attempt to buy the club in admin ? Do the trust have any info on the alleged Chinese consortium interested in the club ? How do the trust propose to have a bigger voice at the table with a prospective new owner ?
IB: We don't have inside information.
MT: It's safe to assume that anyone buying it solvently would also in admin.
MS: We want to engage with any owner, whoever it is.
RA: Some of those who have been interested have seen it as a positive to engage with the trust. Most have wanted to talk to us.
MT: People don't want to make the same mistakes that Ken Anderson made. Even from a PR point of view it makes sense to engage with the trust.
Q - At the very first Trust meeting in 2016 our guests, the Trust Directors from Portsmouth FC encouraged our newly formed Trust to get high net wealth potential investors on board. Why has this not happened?
MS - They are coming back now.
MT - The club is officially in distress now, so they have reconnected with us.
IB - To date, it has all been hypothetical. Now it is practical. Contact with these people has been maintained throughout.
Q - How many members is there an how was all the £10 memberships spent?. why when staff are being unpaid did it take you so long to set up a donation page? ..who are the high net individuals you spoke about an how much have they committed?. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] asked many times with no answers
MS - Three thousand one hundred and something.
MS - There are about 6,500 associate members. [That's just bollocks - apparently they got 6,500 pledges but only half turned up with their £10 yet they still try to say they have the 3,400 as 'associate' members - fake news - Sluffy]
MS - We haven't spent the memberships.
IB - You can see that in the latest accounts.
MT - Hosting/running the website and admin cost money but it's all there for people to find.
IB - We didn't set up a donation page.
MS - We did discuss the idea with heads of dept at Bolton Wanderers but they declined. We are happy to speak to them again to discuss what we can offer.
Q - I applaud the Trust but please formulate a comms strategy. Social media and constantly checking BN is tiresome in light of recent events. Please email the members with statements/news etc or at least ask for preferences. Thank You
MT: We do email members. We do interviews and try to cover all bases.
IB: If anyone feels they are not receiving emails please contact us on [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Q - What lessons have you learned from the Anderson era re the role and impact of the Trust - and what do you think you will do differently (if anything) once the new regime is in place?
IB - I think we faced an insurmountable problem. Other trusts are engaging in exactly the same way but their owners are reaching out and embracing the benefits a trust can bring. We were hitting our head against a brick wall from day one.
There are lessons to be learned about communicating in difficult circumstances.
IB - PR and social media are areas we can improve, for sure.
Q - Why don't the trust ever consult its members before taking decisions on their behalf?
MS - We are mandated to do certain things.
RA - The aim of the trust is consistently the same as the fans.
IB - If you look at the model rules.
HALF TIME - PART TWO TO FOLLOW!