The latest on The Albion Assembly
THE ALBION ASSEMBLY
Plans for the introduction of the Albion Assembly are now into the final phase.
The response from supporters who wanted to put themselves forward to take up a seat on the new body the club is introducing to establish a direct and formal link with supporters has been nothing short of fantastic.
By the time we finished printing off all the e-mails and counting up the letters, we had nearly 250 Albion devotees to sift through.
You will recall that the idea is to establish an assembly to meet at least quarterly each season to deal directly with supporter concerns and initiatives. I was originally imagining the group to be about 25-strong but with such an enthusiastic response, I believe we should expand that start-up number to about 40.
Not only has the response been enthusiastic but high quality too. It is clear from the applications that there is a huge body of fans out there with devotion to this club and real insight as to how we might go forward with a healthier bond between the rank and file and the boardroom. That is what we are endeavouring to bring about.
I am hugely grateful to the ad-hoc committee who have worked with me from the outset to help establish the Assembly. We have whittled down the numbers to around 75 now and have one more meeting planned next week, after which we should have the first members of the Assembly identified. We are trying to be as inclusive as possible and especially eager to open the doors to the voice of youth and women.
There are even plans to expand the idea – a Junior Assembly for the Under 16s and perhaps another to deal with the queries and comments from the many overseas fans who lodged their interest.
It will not be easy to whittle down the remaining 75 to our first working Assembly because the quality of candidates we have already reluctantly placed to one side has been undeniable. The final cut promises to be even more challenging.
But if you have applied to join and are not immediately selected, I hope you will not be too discouraged. No names will be thrown away. Rather, they will be stored for future use because I hope we can continually ‘refresh’ membership in the years ahead.
There has also been a suggestion that we make room in the diary for at least one grand meeting to which everyone who applied will be invited to attend and perhaps formally raise some of the points from so many applications.
It is my ambition for this Assembly to establish itself as a permanent and effective channel of communication between club and fan-base which will be productive and progressive for all.
I hope that it will meet for the first time early in the new year and begin making its contribution to West Bromwich Albion FC. Judging by all we have read so far, it promises to one of great benefit to the club.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
(This statement will be appearing in tomorrow's Albion News matchday magazine)