Future Club Ownership Meeting
The purpose of this note is to announce that, after much consideration and serving almost 8 years as Chairman, I have decided to step down from the Board of Directors. The Board and I believe that my departure provides the ideal opportunity for us to consider whether Hunslet should remain as a supporter owned club or move back into private ownership to try and attract additional investment and new talent to the Board, hopefully making us more competitive on all fronts. I have agreed to support the Board through this process and as such my departure will be delayed until a new Board have been appointed.
To allow us to explain our reasoning and discuss options and proposals we will be holding an open meeting on Monday 04 November at 7.30pm in the Phoenix Bar at South Leeds Stadium for all interested fans and stakeholders
I would stress the importance of this meeting. The sport is changing and developing across a wide range of areas such as:
- The breakaway of Super League
- Geographic expansion in Championship and League 1
- “Return on Investment” modelling for RFL central distribution
- The need for a greater understanding and pro-active use of social media and streaming platforms to drive commercial marketing opportunities
Additionally there is now increasing competition for sponsorship and fans across and beyond Rugby League and this all points to the need for new leadership, ideas and skillsets to move the Club forward. It’s important to understand that whether we stay supporter owned or move back into private ownership the club needs more members and additional investment to allow it to do that.
Should there not be a consensus in the room to either option on the night then we may need to move to a formal vote. In that instance the only people allowed to vote will be HIST members as they are the owners of the Club. Should anyone wish to join HIST in advance of the meeting, details of current membership packages are on the Club website.
In terms of a possible return into private ownership, as most of you will know, the Club is currently run through the Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust (HIST)under the umbrella of Supporters Direct as a “not for profit” organisation. I can therefore confirm that should anyone be interested in taking over the club there will be no formal purchase charge. Instead, we would be looking for any interested parties to demonstrate their ability to invest funds into the Club to focus on its continued growth both on and off the field together with a written undertaking to maintain Hunslet RLFC as a Semi – Pro / Pro Rugby League team in the South Leeds Area and retain a seat for a fans representative on the Board. We will explain more at the meeting but in the interim we would like to invite any interested parties to contact Darren Williams on: 0113 2712730 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org with their details in the first instance. We will then be in touch to hold initial discussions which, of course, will be without prejudice.
Sadly, Peter Jarvis is also stepping down from the Board due to personal circumstances, though again, this will happen once the new Board is in place. I’m sure you’ll all agree that “Jarvo” has been a real benefit to the Club over the last few years and will be a huge loss from the Boardroom. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for everything he’s done for the Club. However, on a positive note, I’m delighted to confirm that Peter has accepted the offer of becoming a Vice President at the Club which the Board feel is just reward for all of his hard work and endeavours. A good Prop always gets there in the end!
Paul Taylor will also be leaving the Club at the end of October. Again I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Paul for his hard work during his short time with us and wish him well for the future.
In the meantime I’d like to say that it’s been a huge privilege to serve as Chairman of a Club I’ve loved and supported all of my life, it’s been a real rollercoaster ride and a huge learning curve. I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Grahame Liles for his support in the first instance, the RFL, all of my fellow Directors, staff, coaches, players, volunteers and fans, both past and present, for their support for both myself and the Club during my time in office. It’s been very much appreciated. I’d also like to thank my family for their unflinching support throughout. I look forward to helping the Club secure the right leadership to take us to the next level as we move forward to the next chapter in our history.