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News : : Jul 2003

The following letter was issued to Falkirk FC in respect of the Stirlingshire Cup Tie against Dumbarton, for which many fans were locked out due to capacity restrictions.

 

Dear Campbell

ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE MATCH AGAINST DUMBARTON

We are writing on behalf of BairnsTrust, the Falkirk Supporters Society, but
also out of concern for the many supporters of Dumbarton F.C. to express our
deep concern and anger at the events of last Saturday.

Michael reported on the explanations given at the Board meeting on Monday
July 21st., and we are aware of the apologies given in the press and to the
parties concerned. We also appreciate the remedial measures put in place over
the past week.

It is impossible to calculate the amount of good will that the club lost
last Saturday. We became a laughing stock in the national media, and the
lockout of some 600 fans gave ammunition to those who opposed our entry to
the SPL. To see so many season-ticket holders, major sponsors of the club and many who had spent considerable sums to follow the team in the Czech Republic standing outside their "home" ground was an absolute disgrace. Emotions were running high, and all the success of the past few weeks was in
danger of disappearing totally.

As BairnsTrust, we have a duty to improve links between the club and its
support. Our purpose in writing is to seek assurances that there will be no
repeat of these events. In particular, we seek assurances that

1. There will be no further failure to liase with Stenhousemuir FC
2. Ochilview will be ready to accommodate crowds of 4000-4500 by the first league game.
3. All necessary Safety Certificates will be in place
4. Season Ticket holders will be able to access their chosen seats
5. All facilities at Ochilview will be available to Falkirk FC and their supporters
6. Supporters will be informed well in advance of any potential difficulties.


On a wider issue, the Trust would wish to express deep concern over the
management arrangements at the club. Whilst accepting the Board's explanation of the reasons for the debacle, we would wish to raise the following questions: -.

a. Who had the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the club while the Directors were in Budejovice?
b. What arrangements were in place for the delegation of decision-making?
c. Who made the arrangements for the co-ordination of holiday cover?
d. Is the present level of staffing adequate for the successful operation of the current business?
e. Is now the time to review the entire staffing at the club in terms of numbers, roles, remits, reporting arrangements and structures?

The Trust shares the concerns of many supporters and observers that at
present there is an over-reliance on volunteers, an unclear management
structure and a serious lack of effective management delegation and
coordination.

These, and other factors, not all within the control of the club, led to
the disastrous situation last Saturday, when Falkirk F.C. was made to look
anything but a professionally run company managing a major business.
We would be grateful to receive the Board's comments on these matters, and
as always would be more than willing to arrange a meeting to try to improve
matters.


Yours sincerely

For and On Behalf of BairnsTrust