: : 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.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE MATCH AGAINST DUMBARTON
We are writing on behalf of BairnsTrust, the Falkirk Supporters
also out of concern for the many supporters of Dumbarton F.C. to
deep concern and anger at the events of last Saturday.
Michael reported on the explanations given at the Board meeting
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
last Saturday. We became a laughing stock in the national media,
lockout of some 600 fans gave ammunition to those who opposed our
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
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
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
6. Supporters will be informed well in advance of any potential
On a wider issue, the Trust would wish to express deep concern over
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
present there is an over-reliance on volunteers, an unclear management
structure and a serious lack of effective management delegation
These, and other factors, not all within the control of the club,
the disastrous situation last Saturday, when Falkirk F.C. was made
anything but a professionally run company managing a major business.
We would be grateful to receive the Board's comments on these matters,
as always would be more than willing to arrange a meeting to try
For and On Behalf of BairnsTrust