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Northwich Victoria fan hopes to attract support for a vote on setting up a supporters-run version of his club
A NORTHWICH Victoria supporter is calling on fellow fans to set up a new version of their favourite football club.
Tony Rogers has started a petition he plans to present to Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust if he can collect enough signatures to force a vote.
“It’s the right moment,” he said.
“If we don’t act now, then I’m not convinced that we ever will.”
Earlier this year the trust’s members indicated that they preferred to wait and see what happened to the existing club first.
In May, its board said it would seek to set up a fans-run version of Vics only if the current club – playing in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s second tier – went out of business.
“If that happened, then we feel we are ready to push the button to launch a new club,” said spokesman James Wood at the time.
“It would be a choice for our members, not the trust board, to do that though.”
Mr Rogers will activate a clause in the trust’s regulations that provides for a Special General Meeting (SGM) should he have the support of 20 fellow members.
It is there that he could propose a vote on setting up a new club.
“I think the mood is different now,” he said.
“For me, not making the move in May was the right thing to do and I supported the policy of avoiding a situation where part of the fan base would be in opposition to another section.
“However the club’s situation is even more ridiculous now than it was then with appeal after appeal trying to put right mistakes that have been made in the past.
“Enough is enough though, supporters should take the initiative.”
Rogers, who has refused to attend matches in protest at the way in which owner Jim Rushe has run the club, says he does not believe the existing club will return to town.
Vics’ first team is playing home matches in Stafford, while it has an arrangement to host opponents in Manchester – at Flixton’s Valley Road ground – for the next two seasons after this one.
Trust chairman Paul Stockton said: “Tony is using his right as a member to call for an SGM.
“He’s asking us to call that meeting so he can table a proposal to form a new club; that message is clear.
“If he gathers enough support, then that would have to happen within 28 days of the board receiving his petition.”
Mr Stockton and his fellow board members are due to meet in Lostock tomorrow, Thursday.
Earlier the same day, an independent legal expert will decide if league bosses were wrong to refuse permission for Vics to move their temporary base to Greater Manchester.
Solicitors for the FA, which backed the league’s decision at an appeal hearing, join Mr Rushe at Wembley for an arbitration hearing.
Graham Bean, through his Football Factors firm, represents the club.