11th December 2018
Amar Alkhadi's Response to the Open SST Letter (dated the 25th November 2018)
I don't think I have personally changed the way I connect with the silkmen supporters in the 16 years that I have been involved in the club. I have always liked to be a low-profile director and that hasn't changed. I think I have replied to messages and spoken to all fans who have approached me for a chat.
There have been a couple of instances over the last year where I have chosen not to reply to insults and threats from unhappy fans/ex-employees, but surely that is normal?
MB has made himself available whenever called upon and spoken openly and honestly about all matters, most recently with the SST board and before that with a number of supporters who asked to challenge him.
2. There is a perception that the Silkmen hierarchy is not trusted by a number of
influential local businessman; some of which have previously been involved but
sadly no longer seem to be. Could you please advise on how well you are doing
at attracting the interest of local businesses, and reinvigorating relationships with
previous influential local businesses who have proactively supported the football
club in the past?
While the contribution of the local businessmen that I think you refer to was undeniably, mostly, positive while the club was in the National league, the football league requires a much higher financial sponsorship contribution (which is allowable to be used for the football playing budget), which the these businesses cannot absorb.
3. There are concerns that as majority shareholder, Amar holds such an influential
shareholding that it significantly inhibits the possibility for an Annual General
Meeting (AGM) of shareholders, to discuss important issues around the future of
our beloved club. Could you please advise if there are any plans for an AGM in
the foreseeable future which we feel sure would help to facilitate a feeling of
transparency and openness from the club?
Company law was changed a couple of years ago so that no AGM needs to be held. We publish our accounts and the parent company accounts publicly, and we speak on a regular basis to stakeholders and fans. So all financial data is publicly available.
Apart from private information (players wages and contracts), I welcome any questions that need answering. Indeed MB has held a few "meet the chairman" sessions where direct answers were given to direct questions.
4. There are significant concerns about a perceived lack of investment in the
playing staff at the club which has contributed to the poor start to our season.
Could you please advise as to how the club intends to provide resources that
would ensure our survival in the EFL, and provide clarity as to the current
managerial situation because of the perceived ambiguity in official
communications thus far?
I am not sure that the fans are aware of the EFL has a salary cap mechanism in place lined to the revenue of the Club (Certainly Andy, you were not when we spoke) and we are using every penny that is allowed. We were utilising 97% of it by November (official figure from the EFL) but now we are at 100% because of additional signings (Nathan Cameron).
5. A number of supporters have expressed concern as to the apparent lack of
sponsorship for games since our return to the EFL which has inevitably attracted
increased crowds. Could you please advise as to why this appears to be the
case and what the club is doing to address this matter?
We feel that the Commercial Manager is doing a good job, but any help from SST or the local businesses that you mentioned, that used to sponsor last year but are not at the moment, will be very welcome.
6. The SST have been made aware of a number of concerns relating to fans
experience (particularly on London Road) that has created a perception of ‘them
and us’ between the London Road and Moss Lane areas of the ground. Dean
Holmes and Robert Stirling do a fantastic job at attempting to provide a positive
experience for fans in Butch’s Bar, but it is patently clear that the condition of
Butch’s Bar is extremely poor / not fit for purpose, and several of our members
have even indicated their concern about having witnessed rainwater seeping
through light fittings. Could you please advise as to how the club intends to
improve the fans experience in London Road as for example via such initiatives
as a new version of Butch’s Bar?
Agreed Butch's bar needs to be demolished, but we have invested significantly in others areas eg the Silkmen Cafe and a new heating system in the Mcllroy suite.
7. There is evidence that previous investment from the SST has been rewarded
with share provision but there is no evidence that this has been the case
recently. Is the club willing to consider the possibility that for every pound that
they invest into the club (which also includes the Super Silk Lotto investment)
that they will receive a share?
No reason why not but not for the lotto that's a completely independent fund raiser.
8. A number of our members are aware that 500 pounds a month from the money
accrued via the Super Silk Lotto is paid into the club coffers. Could you please
provide an outline of how that money is utilised? It is considered that an
awareness of how the money raised is supporting the club may encourage
Personally, I am not aware of these details, but apparently the SST only run it because they volunteered to because certain members wanted a more tangible role in the Club, as a L2 Club there are some professional lottery schemes that we can join which could be far more beneficial to the Club, but we welcome and appreciate the SST's involvement. In terms of what we spend it on, every week/month there are items of equipment requiring repair / maintenance and this goes some small way towards that.
9. On a positive note to finish, I would be most grateful if you could make media
manager Bob Trafford aware of the excellent feedback from many of our
members with regards to quality of the official website content, quality of
programme and willingness to provide speedy responses to efforts within his role
of fans liaison officer on behalf of the club.
Bob Trafford is indeed doing a very good job.
Town Football Club consistently punches above its weight and our current
position within the elite of 92 Football League clubs bears testimony to this fact. In a
recent address you yourself Kevin spoke of the importance of unity in engendering a
spirit of unity that could ensure our survival that facilitates such a belief. As a
consequence the SST board politely requests that you
and offer a honest and valued written response to what is asked of you within
the time-frame provided above.
6th December 2018
The SST Annual General Meeting
The SST Annual General Meeting followed by an Open Board Meeting was held in the McIIroy suite at Macclesfield Football Club on Monday 18th November 2018.
The minutes of both meetings together with other relevant information has been made available for downloading below:-
23rd November 2018
The SST is delighted to welcome three new members to the Board as a result of the recent Annual General Meeting.
The new Board members are:-
Mr. Andy Worth who has taken up the position of Chairman
Mr Ryan Cawley and Mr James Wilson.
We look forward to their contributions to the Silkmen Supporters Trust.
SAS Daniels Solicitors
SK 11 6AY
27th October 2018
The Silkmen Supporters Society Ltd
Annual General Meeting
Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Silkmen Supporters Society Ltd will be held at 19:45 on Monday 12th November 2018 at
McIlroy Suite, MTFC, Moss Lane, Macclesfield.
The agenda for the meeting is given below.
All Members and supporters are invited to attend but only Society Members are entitled to vote. The Annual Report and Associated Financial Statements (item 2) are available via the link at the bottom of this notice.
In order to progress the business of the meeting, the following resolution will be proposed for adoption:
The Members of the Silkmen Supporters Society Ltd present at the General Meeting held on 12thNovember 2018 receive and adopt the financial statements prepared by the Society’s Independent Examiner and the Report of the Board for the year ended 30 June 2018.
There will be an open meeting after the AGM where people will be allowed to ask questions and give their opinions on the running of the SST which will finish no later than 21.15.
21st October 2018
Minutes of SST Board Meeting with Mark Blower
Held on Wednesday 10th October 2018
Present (SST): John Abbott, Bernie Rickman, David Woolliscroft, Andy Mellor, Chrissie Thompson, Marie Grundy, Steve Mundy
Present (Club): Mark Blower, Bob Trafford
John Abbott opened the meeting by welcoming Mark and Bob. It was explained that these questions had been asked by SST members.
1. What were the objectives agreed with Mark Yates as we started the season?
Mark - the objective was to finish 22nd in the league or above i.e. to stay in the League. At least to get through 1 round in the League and FA Cups. Finances were in place for these. As previously stated the club works £1 in and £1 out.
“In hindsight is cutting the cloth working”?
Mark – Adamant that the club should not get into the financial mess of previous years by overspending. The player budget was in place at the beginning of the season and this was based on what John Askey had requested. This still places us in the bottom few clubs financially in the league. Money earned from West Ham game had helped but when there is any excess money this is used to pay short term loans/debts.
2. Are there any plans to run a reserve team?
Financially it is not possible to have a reserve team. However we do have agood under 18’s team.
3. Who was behind the decision to have players’ food served after games away from the McIlroy suite? Do the players prefer to mix with the supporters?
Mark - This was the decision of the manager.
Bob - Having spoken with Danny he had explained that he personally had found it difficult to come across due to extra commitments.
Comment was made by Marie that she felt this was decision was detrimental to younger fans, as a number of them used to wait in the suite to get autographs etc. after the game from both teams. Also wasn’t this something to the club should be encouraging as they are the fans of the future. Marie also pointed out that money had been made available to have a designated area under the McIlroy for young fans to use and possibly meet players but this was still not up and running despite all the equipment being purchased nearly 2 months ago.
Mark explained that due to issues with personnel this had not been able to be completed and as Kevin Green has only been in post for 4 weeks it was anticipated that this would be done in the near future.
4. Which players were signed after John Askey left and before Mark Yates joined? Who made the decision to sign them and what was the reasoning for this?
Mark – Despite rumours there was only 1 player signed before Mark Yates took up post. That was Koby Arthur who had asked to stay from last year. Talks were in place with Mark Yates on any other player the club were looking at.
5. Has there been a consortium with a substantial offer put in a bid to buy the club? If so why was it rejected?
Mark – As far as he was aware there has been no approach to buy the club since 2014/15.
6. What are the owner’s intentions for the future of the club?
Mark - The owner has always stated his commitment to club. He would not consider selling the club to anyone who would not be good a custodian of the club, with a commitment to keeping the club as a viable going concern.
7. Last season was Amar a positive, neutral or negative contributor to Club Finances?
Mark - Amar only took money out to repay short term loans.
8. Has there been any commitment to inject Capital into the Football Club from the owner this year?
Mark – If the club needs it, either pushing for promotion or struggling against relegation Amar is willing to inject money into the club as open loans. He is not willing to let the club to “go under”.
9. Have all the players and John Askey been paid their bonuses for winning the league last season?
Mark – Yes, all contracts have/are being complied with.
10. What is the current financial state of the club and what is its current debt Position?
Mark - The club is in the best position financially since taking up the position of Chairman. The debt is the lowest it has ever been. But the challenge is always intra month working capital needs.
11. Did Mark and Amar want John Askey to stay?
Mark - Yes everything was done to try to keep John at the club. Everything John had requested had been agreed to try and keep him. But the club could not meet what he was offered by Shrewsbury, nor was it asked to.
12. What is the list of tasks that still need to be accomplished to meet League 2 requirements?
Mark - Firstly thanked the SST and Lotto for the money provided to ensure the insulation in the McIlroy suite was done and hopefully meant it would be warmer this winter.
The floodlights are one of the main things that need to be looked at, as this means that we cannot have any televised night games until they are upgraded. The improvement should be completed by April 2019 but the club has requested that this be extended to the end of the season due to issues with telephone masts etc. that need to be taken into consideration.
13 Does the Chairman feel responsible for the fact that a number of people/volunteers have left the club over the recent years?
Mark - People leave for various reasons for which he has no control over and is unable to go into specific reasons for most who have left.
14. What do the club expect from volunteers, who are also supporters. Do they
consider that volunteers should not question or comment on club activities etc.?
Mark - If people are employed by the club or on match days the club would expect a certain code of conduct. There is a code of contract being drawn up by the club.
Discussion took place around this issue by various members of the committee. It was pointed out that without such a document being made available then volunteers as opposed to paid staff could not be held to follow it. Once this is available then volunteers can made an informed decision if they wish to volunteer. It was pointed out that the club does depend on a large number of volunteers to run various events away from match days which generate income into the club.
15 Are you happy with the marketing of the club at the moment? Are the club happy with the number of diners at games? Has there been a full list of sponsors for the recent games?
Mark - The price increase could be one of the reasons that the number of diners has decreased. This is something that the club is looking at.
There has been a change in the post of Commercial Manager and he needs to be given some time to settle into the role.
16. Could the club be more transparent? There has always been, and continues to be, a dirge of rumours which are not complimentary to the Owner, the Chairman, the Manager and the club. These rumours are often exacerbated and, like "Chinese whispers", get the wrong message.
Mark – There will always be rumours on Social Media and he felt that whatever was said in response to them, it would either not be believed or be replaced by more rumours.
Bob – I have been answering e-mails from fans with regard to issues around the general running of the Club.
Mark was then asked if there was anything further he wanted to add?
Mark wanted to clear up the rumours about Elite Management. Mark stressed that he was not an investor in Elite Management. This Agency had been used in previous season as they were considered to be the best non-league agency. A number of the current squad (five) are represented by this agency but there is no way that the club are influenced by this agency to play certain players. This is purely the decision of the Manager and his team. Mark indicated that they have always proved to be a decent and honourable agency in all the involvement the club has had with them.
In some circumstances if a club plays a loan player then the cost is decreased, however that does not determine team selection.
He also stated that in no way had he been responsible for picking the team.
Mark expressed a wish that the fans get behind Neil and Danny in the interim period while the decision is made whether or not to look for a new manager.
Mark was thanked for answering the questions raised.
The meeting was closed and all thanked for attending.
Footnote - As you may be aware, Danny and the players did come across to the McIlroy Suite after the match on Saturday. We have also been advised by the Club that there will be some exciting news about Youth Development from the Club over the next couple of days.
The S.S.T. would not exist without your support. Please join us and help to make a difference to your football club. You can find the forms that you need to join here.
The Silkmen Supporters’ Trust is committed to the improvement and development of Macclesfield Town FC by working in partnership with the Club, the fans and the community to the mutual benefit of all.
Silkmen Supporters' Trust
c/o Macclesfield Town FC, London Road, SK11 7SP
If you have ideas about fundraising for SST, projects that SST could get involved in or suggestions for the website please contact SST via our Contact page
Member of Supporters Direct
Member of the Football Supporters Federation