Calling ALL Albion fans
THIS week we begin the search for willing members of a new fans group – The Albion Assembly.
Since stepping into this post last month, all manner of ideas and initiatives have been flooding the think tank but nothing has been more obvious or important than the need to revive a direct method of communication with supporters.
A previous Fans Consultation Group appeared to grind to a halt amid the difficulties of last season. No need to poke that particular bear with a pointy stick.
What matters now is our determination to tackle with renewed vigour the issue of supporter communication with the club. And that’s the Albion Assembly.
Let me make it plain – I do not intend this to become a pointless talking shop, a venue for a good old ‘chunter’ before fans are packed off into the night and nothing ever happens.
Not a bit of it. The Assembly’s quarterly meetings will be recorded by the media team and made available on the club’s website as quickly as possible. It will be a place for responsible debate and a progressive exchange of views and not a slanging match.
It will be a place where the club can plug into the main-frame of fans’ thinking – what’s got you grumbling and what you like - and react accordingly.
The Assembly won’t change the world and it would be naïve to think otherwise. But The Assembly will have its victories - because I know from experience that when you talk to supporters you get some ruddy good ideas.
And I promise you this: never again will our fans be able to say the club isn’t listening or interested in listening. We all know last season brought to a head genuine complaints that the club had become detached.
We need to change that and the Albion Assembly is one of the key agents of that change.
Since stepping into post last month, I have been holding meetings with an ad-hoc group of committed supporters – many but not all holding positions with official groups – to thrash out a working plan to take the Assembly forward.
We want to break out from what can become an onerous task for the same old faces. We need new energy, new blood and new ideas.
I can’t get 25,000 people into a meeting room at The Hawthorns – well, not without staging a first-team game – but I can get 25 or more.
And we need those folk to give us as broad a range of fans as possible; in age, gender, ethnic origins, years supporting the club, season ticket holders and non-season ticket holders . . . even where they choose to sit at the stadium.
How are we going to reach you? That’s what this is all about. Write to us. Don’t put it off. Write to us now, or as soon as you get a spare minute. Write and tell us your ‘vitals’ – name, age, years supporting the club, where you sit etc.
And most of all, tell us why you think you could be an asset to the Assembly.
We will sift through the response, establish our first Assembly and then a working constitution. But it can’t happen if you turn over this page and leave it somebody else. This is a chance to help shape the club you love. Please take it.
Martin Swain, Director of Communications
To apply, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications by post can be made to: The Albion Assembly, The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4LF