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Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust says it met Vics owner Jim Rushe to discuss club's problems
FOOTBALL fans say a meeting with their favourite club’s owner ended with no progress towards a solution for its problems.
Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust chairman Paul Stockton revealed this week that he had attended a summit in Warrington last month with Vics chairman Jim Rushe.
“We heard nothing new,” he said.
“Jim stayed for more than an hour and basically talked us through all that we have listened too before.”
He said the meeting had been facilitated by Graham Bean, whose Football Factors firm is representing the club in a dispute with the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
According to the trust Mr Bean had made contact via Supporters Direct, a body that lobbies for fans to have a say in the running of their club.
The meeting had been kept secret until a supporter asked the trust's board on its online forum whether there had been contact with the club.
Mr Stockton said he wished to be transparent with the trust's near 200-strong membership, which is why he confirmed a meeting had taken place.
Mr Bean said: “We’re disappointed the trust has seen fit to publicise a meeting when it was arranged in good faith on a strictly confidential basis.
“It is clear there has been a fundamental breach of confidentiality, which makes it difficult to place trust in any future meetings that may, or may not, take place.”
No detail is known of what the parties discussed.
Mr Rushe confirmed to the Guardian that he accepted an invite.
“There was no agenda for the meeting, but I went along to represent the club,” he said.
“Nothing has changed from my point of view; there’s nothing the supporters trust can do at the moment.”
He said nothing could be decided until after an arbitration hearing next Thursday when the club will ask an independent expert to review a decision by the league to refuse permission for Vics to play home matches in Greater Manchester.
For now Stafford Rangers, whose ground is more than 40 miles from the club’s now-closed Victoria Stadium, is a temporary base.
Vics are scheduled to play another two games, including tomorrow afternoon’s Division One South date with Rainworth Miners’ Welfare, there before next week’s verdict.
The team, now under the management of Andy Mutch, has yet to win a game at its short-term home.
Mr Bean added: “Mr Rushe tried to be constructive in the meeting [with the trust] but individuals who were present, although not all, came with a certain mindset, which made it difficult to make any progress.”