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An Open Message from Ashley Carson

28 February 2017

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Ashley Carson has published the following open message to fans to provide an update:

I had a meeting yesterday with Dave Allen, which was also attended by Gary Caldwell. This was Dave’s first meeting with Gary and he questioned him on players and formations etc.

Dave pulled no punches and asked Gary on his thoughts for the rest of the season and which players he would like to retain.

Gary's comments after Saturday’s game were also discussed and I echoed the fans’ views that it was wrong to criticise them. With the benefit of hindsight, Gary accepts that the point he was making could have been worded better. He pointed out that there is currently a major negative feeling at the club, both on and off the pitch. His assessment of the situation is not wrong. 

The players are also aware of this negativity and Gary feels that the fans working with him will help improve the situation. He is aware on a match day of all the comments shouted from behind the dug out and they are mostly negative. He was really appealing to you, the fans, to please give everyone a chance and get behind the team. I can assure you that it was never his intention to criticise you.

I spoke to Dave after the meeting and he was very impressed with Gary and also his thoughts and plans for both the remainder of this season and next. Gary has identified some areas behind the scenes where we are lacking - including recruitment - and he wants to rectify this.

Dave outlined the budget for next season for players. Gary is happy with this and is already looking towards next season, whilst being mindful of the wish to maintain our status in League One.

In the past, Dave has put a lot of money into the club in order to sustain and maintain costs. That will no longer be the case in the future, so it therefore has to be a cash neutral budget for the business until such time that a new owner is in place.

Dave and I discussed overheads and all operating costs are currently being looked at. I can tell you that various cost-cutting measures will be introduced at the end of the season to make substantial savings. We must always be mindful that the club has substantial commitments with the stadium mortgage plus loan repayments to ex-directors that totals over £500,000 per annum. This has all got to be factored in to next season's commitments. 

Dave has now agreed to meet Gary and I on a monthly basis to discuss the playing side of the club. Whilst Dave does not currently attend matches, I can assure you he is keeping a very close eye on the running of the club, as he always has done. Only this week he has covered the shortfall in the running costs of the club.

I will remain in control of the running of the club for the foreseeable future and will keep you informed of developments. I really want to work with you and certainly not against you. 

Ashley Carson
Director & Company Secretary 

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