Kill Devil Hills North Carolina, may seem a strange place to start a discussion on Club 1872. But it was here on the 17th December, 1903, that Wilbur and Orville Wright pioneered mankind’s first powered flight. The maiden flight that day lasted all of just 12 seconds and covered a distance of only 120 feet. The second and third attempts managed 175 and 200 feet respectively before the fourth and final attempt of the day managed the grand old distance of 853 feet during a voyage that lasted 59 seconds. That final attempt saw the plane crash into the ground causing damage to the frame thus preventing any further sojourns that day.
This fairly inauspicious and less than spectacular start did little to deter either the brother’s, or mankind’s enthusiasm for powered flight. And less than a century later not only was it possible to traverse continents by air, but also explore beyond the earth itself.
It would be inaccurate to describe Club 1872’s maiden flight as either “fairly inauspicious” or “less than spectacular”, in short it has been an unmitigated disaster, a shambles. The birthing pains of an organisation born prematurely and not fully prepared for the environment into which it was born to operate. For those of us who are disciples of fan ownership it has been a considerable setback, but it is more important than ever that we metaphorically “keep the faith”.
The recent excellent synopsis by Andy McKellar & Big Blue Bear on Gersnet
provides a clear signpost of where we want our organisation to go.
Club 1872 is a workable, sustainable but nonetheless challenging model for fan engagement. Whilst the workload is huge, it is manageable. It would be even more manageable if there was effective PR at our club, with volunteer and unqualified Club 1872 board members not being left to defend both club and support. There is nothing dignified whatsoever in a silence which sees both our club and support besmirched by newspapers and journalists with a clear agenda.
With only one remaining director it is clear the organisation requires fresh elections and the nomination of a new board of directors. My understanding is that the new poll suggesting the re-engagement of both Laura Fawkes and Joanne Percival is a means of both facilitating and expediting such elections, along with the introduction of a much needed constitution. Having worked with both of these ladies in the past, I have no doubt as to their ability and commitment to undertake the necessary unglamorous work in order to bring such elections and constitution to fruition.
I believe now, as I have for many years, that we as a support are better placed to both safeguard and influence the direction of our club if we have a fans organisation which can exercise not only passion, but also authority, courtesy of a significant shareholding.
Cancelling your direct debit only weakens that authority.
Let us get our fans organisation airborne once again.