HUST would firstly like to thank Mr Singh for answering supporters questions on BBC Radio Tees last night. As staunch supporters of the football club we firmly believe that regular communication with supporters is hugely important.
We were pleased that Mr Singh acknowledged the support of the current season ticket holders. As an Organisation we have many members who are season ticket holders, including the majority of the HUST Board, so it is pleasing that this support from all season ticker holders does not go unnoticed.
We note that Mr Singh commented on HUST approaching the club to ask for clarity on the new charges against the leasehold and fixtures and fittings of Victoria Park and we believe it is important to communicate to members and the wider fan base on how this question was presented. Following the initial news and speculation on social media when the charges were reported, some members and other supporters expressed concerns on what this would mean for the long-term future of the club. We felt it was important that the club were aware of this and encouraged the Club, via Lee Rust and Phil King, to provide some clarity to the wider fan base to avoid supporters speculating further and causing anxiety amongst the general fan base. We asked the question respectfully and constructively, and following this being raised we did not run any subsequent posts or articles with any details of this dialogue other than confirming that this question had been raised with the club when it was announced that Mr Singh would be interviewed on Radio Tees.
As part of Mr Singh’s response, he also made reference to HUST not contacting the Club when positive matters arise. Unfortunately, and no doubt unintentionally, this additional comment has escalated to suggestions from a minority of fans on social media that HUST are not supportive of the Club and ownership.
This is simply not true.
In September HUST approached Mr Singh with the offer of financial support through equity investment over several years in return for genuine fan representation. This was respectfully declined and Mr Singh was clear that HUST should continue to raise funds in the background for when it is needed in the future. Whilst disappointed, we respected this decision.
Since this meeting, HUST have focussed on supporting the club on practical levels and will continue to offer this support:
- Mr Singh thanked volunteers within his interview. This was also pleasing to hear for HUST, following HUSTs lead in creating the volunteering documentation for the club and filtering through the initial volunteer applications for which the Club are now utilising more widely.
- Following a restructure of the Youth Team set-up, HUST proudly have our logo displayed the shirts of the Youth Team following an initiative with other supporter groups to provide funds for the matchday kits and training kit.
- To help promote and develop a more diverse fan base, HUST and HUFC linked up with HartGables for the Rainbow Laces campaign in December.
- HUST contacted Mike Hill to gain support for the #letfansin and government grant lobbying. Letters were sent on behalf of HUFC and HUST to the relevant ministers.
- HUST offered use of our lottery licence for the club to utilise for their half-time lottery. In the end this was not required but we were prepared to run this for the club if needed, with all funds still going directly to HUFC.
- Following on from the volunteering documentation, HUST utilised a board member to review the existing employee handbook and draft a new version to align with the wider groups policies and procedures, also ensuring this adhered to legal requirements.
- As recently as last week HUST had positive discussions with Phil King proposing a community ticket initiative to help develop the fan base further, highlighting clear and tangible financial benefits for the club.
HUST will continue to raise funds in the background as encouraged by Mr Singh for an occasion if a fighting fund may be needed. We will do this through our monthly lotto, membership fees, donations and general fundraising.
However we will also offer practical assistance to the club where we can to help support a long-term, sustainable football club. As a Supporters Trust we must also be always prepared to ask the club difficult questions if fans have concerns, which we will always do respectfully, and encourage open and honest dialogue between the Club and supporters.
Finally we would just like to thank our current members for their on-going support of both HUST and HUFC, including the several members that have joined HUST over the course of today.
If you think HUST shares your own views, then you can join here
And, of course, in the meantime let’s all get right behind Dave Challinor and the team as we push for promotion!