Last week I read a great article by Steve Cook where he presented his “manifesto” for NCFC, included in which was an ostensibly sensible point about supporter representation on the Board.
Steve suggested three re-electable supporters in the hot seats, which I will immediately shoot down by saying we’d be lucky to get one (if any). And what if we did? Get one, that is.
Well, I don’t have quite the business experience of a couple of my fellow MFW writers, but I have been to enough similar high-level meetings to know what they are like. Pleasant enough affairs unless something has unexpectedly gone three-penny bits up, loads of coffee, even some vino as dusk approaches, a basket of biscuits and a lovely leather chair to bask in.
It’s funny how the head honcho always calls the lower ranks to order. It’s almost like they’ve been programmed. Awkward questions tend not to be asked as all the pre-meeting lobbying has been done well in advance.
But when you’re present as a functionary with a notebook and camera – and also on tap for public relations advice – you don’t speak unless you’re invited to. Which in my case has always been rather restrictive as I’ve got a big gob.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not directing what might mistakenly pass as sarcastic vitriol at the NCFC Board, a few of whom I have met and each of them seemed very personable and indeed pleasant to me.
But this is the real world.
If you, any of our readers, were “lucky” enough to represent the rest of us NCFC supporters, you would surely encounter a few problems.
How would you amalgamate the thoughts of the whole Carrow Road crowd, plus those of our supporters from further afield?
Is there any way you could distil the thoughts of this vast amount of people and present them in a cogent fashion to a group of hard-nosed business people who are on your tail from the moment they deign to acknowledge you?
And would you be able to cope with a certain type of business terminology, which can be confusing at best to the uninitiated?
Do you know what to wear on these occasions (oh yes, really)?
And do you get intimidated by people “considerably richer than yow“? (copywrite Harry Enfield).
In Germany (I feel a Stuart Webber-Danny Farke vibe coming on) there is always a Works Council (kind of trades’ union) member present at certain Board meetings.
He or she is not treated like a token (I’ve been to one of these meetings, so I know first-hand) and concerns from the shop floor are taken with the utmost seriousness and very often acted upon.
But this is England and this is football.
So if you – it has to be you, because it sure won’t be me – were facing Ed, Delia and Co.across the table, what would your feelings be?
Would you feel you were being listened to? Hopefully.
Would you feel you were being patronised? I hope not.
Would you feel you had largely wasted your time? Who knows.
And would you get it in the neck from your friends for failing to ask “the right questions”? A deffo yes.
I would seriously rather carry Keith Richards’ hold luggage through Customs than attend an NCFC Board meeting.
I wouldn’t blame you for giving it a go. Any representation would be better than nothing.