A delegation of Villa Fans Combined members and supporters met with the Board of Aston Villa PLC today, Tuesday 2 Sept. In attendance were Jonathan Fear, Navid Nazir, Howard Hodgson, Prof. Carl Chinn MBE, Buck Chinn, Jonny Gould and David Carson. In attendance for Aston Villa were Doug Ellis, Mark Ansell and Steve Stride.
The two-hour meeting mainly covered proposals put forward in The Hodgson Report, looking at ways to bridge the gap between the board and the fans, discussing our proposals for additional executives on the Board of Aston Villa as well as looking at the need for fan representation.
Although in the main the meeting was held in a professional and constructive manner, we do not believe that the Board are open to suggestions to bring the club closer to its fans and it would also appear that the Board do not accept any of the blame for the problems that our club are facing. The opinion of the Board appears to be that they don't need help, that they don't want the input of the professional advisors who attended and that the fans should trust the Board and leave things to the Board members.
To that end, VFC are proposing to put forward two non-executive directors for the Aston Villa AGM on September 12th. These proposals are planned in a positive way in order to constructively add to the Board of Aston Villa, to seek to bring the views of fans on to the Board and to enhance our chances of moving Aston Villa Football Club forward. Unfortunately we do not feel the current management structure at the club is realistically able to take Aston Villa back into the elite of European football where we undoubtedly belong.
Our proposed candidates are Professor Carl Chinn MBE and Howard Hodgson. We concede, with the balance of power at the club being in the hands of two majority shareholders (Mr Ellis and Mr Petchey), that these candidates are unlikely to succeed but feel very strongly that we need to show the board just how strongly the fans and small shareholders want to see the club move forward and at the same time move closer towards the fans.
Both candidates have made it clear that should they be successful in being elected onto the board they would require the shareholders votes to be further ratified by a democratic vote via a VFC public meeting and polling the season ticket holders of AVFC. Without that ratification both candidates would immediately step down. Carl Chinn and Howard Hodgson have also confirmed that they would accept no remuneration for themselves and would donate the non-executive fees, (at present £15,000 per annum) to Aston Villa Disabled Supporters Charity AVIDS.
If successful and if they gain the support of season ticket holders, both candidates would arrange regular public meetings alongside VFC to take on board the views of fans and to give feed back to the fans from the Board.