Northwich Victoria supporters send open letter to the club's owner asking for answers

First published in News Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Writer

VICS supporters have written to owner Jim Rushe to find out what plans he has to save the relegated club.

More than 100 fans voted in favour of Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust penning a letter that asked the most important questions to which they want an answer.

The Guardian can today publish the text in full.

It reads:

Dear Jim

FOLLOWING a meeting last Thursday, May 3, attended by more than 100 supporters, the trust board has been asked to write this open letter to you on behalf of a significant proportion of the fan base.

It has genuine and significant concerns regarding the lack of information being issued in relation to the future of Northwich Victoria Football Club.

These fans feel very much in limbo regarding the club’s future, your plans and the timescale involved.

Vics fans have experienced many highs and lows in the last 10 years.

Unfortunately, just recently, there have been more lows than highs.

Despite excellent performances on the pitch, we have seen our team relegated to the lowest level it has played at in the last century as a result of the club failing to meet its obligation to service the CVA.

This has lead to significant doubts about the short and long term viability of the club.

In addition, the fact that we ‘lost’ our home stadium and that we now face playing our ‘home’ matches at Stafford next season is causing great unrest for the Vics supporters.

This is further compounded by the lack of clear direction from the club and a lack of visibility of any actions that you have in place to resolve these issues.

This letter has been initiated in response to a request from a meeting of fans last week, many of whom are seeking assurances regarding your plans.

The principal issues that are of concern are outlined below:

Given that the move to Stafford will inevitably result in a significant decrease in income, please could you provide details of how you intend to ensure the club can remain viable while it is ‘in exile’?

A ground share at Stafford cannot be a viable, long term option.

What plans do you have to assist supporters in travelling to Stafford for home matches [next season]?

What plan do you have in place to bring the club back to Northwich?

Please could you provide a response to a statement issued by former administrator Gary Pettit to the Northwich Guardian on Friday, April 27.

Given that it is a matter of public record that you have not been servicing the CVA and that there is a threat of a petition to wind up Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Ltd, what plans are in place to address this situation?

How are you intending to defend a winding up petition, and what are the implications for Northwich Victoria Football Club (2007) Ltd?

Please could you provide an outline of how you see the club’s position in relation to the league?

How does it view the fact that the football club has not serviced the CVA?

How will this effect the future placement of the club in the National League System?

Fans would appreciate an indication from the club as to how the current situation will be addressed.

They want to be confident that the club will be sustainable, and that in future we can get to the end of a season without the fear of relegation for off-field problems.

While these concerns were raised by the fanbase as a whole, the trust board would like to repeat our previous offer to work with you through this difficult time.

As we have stated before, both directly to you and in public statements, we want to assist the club with the aim securing long term sustainability for generations of Vics fans in the future.

If everyone is to pull together for the future of Vics, then there needs to be a clear and credible strategy for the future of the club that addresses the concerns outlined above.

A meeting of Vics fans has been planned for Saturday, May 19.

You are welcome to attend; it could provide an opportunity to communicate your plans directly to a significant number of supporters.

While we would appreciate your attendance, the issues we have outlined in this letter are causing such concern that we would be grateful if you could provide a written response to the them within the next seven days.

Vics fans care passionately about the club, and uncertainty surrounding the future is causing significant distress and frustration while at the same time undermining support for the current set-up.

As this is an open letter, details will be published in a number of media and we would seek to do the same with any response.

Yours sincerely

Board of Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust (on behalf of Northwich Victoria supporters)

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:11am Wed 9 May 12

Antony Rogers says...

An excellent move by the Supporters Trust showing 'true' representation of the 'whole' fanbase. This letter and the reply from Rushe (If any) will be the make or break of NVFC, it will either bond the fanbase or split it forever. This is the last chance that Rushe has to be honest about everything that he has been responsible for over the last 3 years.
A big apology to all fans, local businesses and creditors would be a good start, followed by the business plan for next season. I look forward with anticipation to reading it but I'm not holding my breath.

Well done ST.
An excellent move by the Supporters Trust showing 'true' representation of the 'whole' fanbase. This letter and the reply from Rushe (If any) will be the make or break of NVFC, it will either bond the fanbase or split it forever. This is the last chance that Rushe has to be honest about everything that he has been responsible for over the last 3 years. A big apology to all fans, local businesses and creditors would be a good start, followed by the business plan for next season. I look forward with anticipation to reading it but I'm not holding my breath. Well done ST. Antony Rogers
  • Score: 0

10:43am Wed 9 May 12

Jim Budden says...

JB
Hopefully that will move the man to come out and talk to the supporters, but I am also enclined to do as A.R. and don't hold your breath, I think he aims to drop a bombshell. At least that would help the genuine fans.
Jimbo
JB Hopefully that will move the man to come out and talk to the supporters, but I am also enclined to do as A.R. and don't hold your breath, I think he aims to drop a bombshell. At least that would help the genuine fans. Jimbo Jim Budden
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Wed 9 May 12

pdw says...

An excellent letter, Lets just hope that we get the right response and hopefully move forward together.
An excellent letter, Lets just hope that we get the right response and hopefully move forward together. pdw
  • Score: 0

6:38pm Wed 9 May 12

Genuine fan says...

I would like to re-iterate that this idea of an open letter was put forward at the open meeting last week by a non-member of the trust.
All Northwich supporters are sick and tired of the lack of leadership and the unbelievably crass way you treat your "customers" Jim - you are clearly out of your depth . Please go now and take Mr McNally (or whatever his name is)and his silly ideas, with you.
I would like to re-iterate that this idea of an open letter was put forward at the open meeting last week by a non-member of the trust. All Northwich supporters are sick and tired of the lack of leadership and the unbelievably crass way you treat your "customers" Jim - you are clearly out of your depth . Please go now and take Mr McNally (or whatever his name is)and his silly ideas, with you. Genuine fan
  • Score: 0

8:10am Thu 10 May 12

THETELLEROFTALES says...

As open letters go this one asks some decent questions.

However the Vics Supporters Trust are powerless with no say whatsoever in the way the club is run. So why exactly should Mr rushe take any of this seriously?
Some call for Mr Rushe to go, but if he walks away.... which as I have previously pointed out I don't think he will.... where does that leave the Vics?

Having lost the ground, lost the latest Manager and now lost half the team....and how predictable was that?....what is the point of even attempting to enter into negotiation with the owner?

I'm afraid I don't get it.

The Vics supporters only hope is .... and I agree it must be very upsetting for a lot of you....but not as upsetting as watching your team disintegrate before your very eyes.

1. Consign the Vics to history and by that I mean don't spend money travelling to Stafford.

2. Club together and create a new team.

I don't support The Vics but I do support loyal football fans who deserve better than this.
As open letters go this one asks some decent questions. However the Vics Supporters Trust are powerless with no say whatsoever in the way the club is run. So why exactly should Mr rushe take any of this seriously? Some call for Mr Rushe to go, but if he walks away.... which as I have previously pointed out I don't think he will.... where does that leave the Vics? Having lost the ground, lost the latest Manager and now lost half the team....and how predictable was that?....what is the point of even attempting to enter into negotiation with the owner? I'm afraid I don't get it. The Vics supporters only hope is .... and I agree it must be very upsetting for a lot of you....but not as upsetting as watching your team disintegrate before your very eyes. 1. Consign the Vics to history and by that I mean don't spend money travelling to Stafford. 2. Club together and create a new team. I don't support The Vics but I do support loyal football fans who deserve better than this. THETELLEROFTALES
  • Score: 0

8:12am Thu 10 May 12

THETELLEROFTALES says...

As open letters go this one asks some decent questions.

However the Vics Supporters Trust are powerless with no say whatsoever in the way the club is run. So why exactly should Mr rushe take any of this seriously?
Some call for Mr Rushe to go, but if he walks away.... which as I have previously pointed out I don't think he will.... where does that leave the Vics?

Having lost the ground, lost the latest Manager and now lost half the team....and how predictable was that?....what is the point of even attempting to enter into negotiation with the owner?

I'm afraid I don't get it.

The Vics supporters only hope is .... and I agree it must be very upsetting for a lot of you....but not as upsetting as watching your team disintegrate before your very eyes.

1. Consign the Vics to history and by that I mean don't spend money travelling to Stafford.

2. Club together and create a new team.

I don't support The Vics but I do support loyal football fans who deserve better than this.
As open letters go this one asks some decent questions. However the Vics Supporters Trust are powerless with no say whatsoever in the way the club is run. So why exactly should Mr rushe take any of this seriously? Some call for Mr Rushe to go, but if he walks away.... which as I have previously pointed out I don't think he will.... where does that leave the Vics? Having lost the ground, lost the latest Manager and now lost half the team....and how predictable was that?....what is the point of even attempting to enter into negotiation with the owner? I'm afraid I don't get it. The Vics supporters only hope is .... and I agree it must be very upsetting for a lot of you....but not as upsetting as watching your team disintegrate before your very eyes. 1. Consign the Vics to history and by that I mean don't spend money travelling to Stafford. 2. Club together and create a new team. I don't support The Vics but I do support loyal football fans who deserve better than this. THETELLEROFTALES
  • Score: 0

8:54am Thu 10 May 12

Jim Budden says...

JB
Well ToT now I have calmed down I think you have some very interesting opinions. As a Vics fan for 50 years + It IS upsetting to think we are being held to ransom over our own football team, why won't Mr Rushe come out and say SOMETHING so we know what his intentions are and how he proposes to start to get players to come and play for a club with a bad reputation off the field. Has he got a Magic Wand, or does he know some card tricks, Jim, Stafford is our graveyard, don't make us play there or you might as well nail us to the wall
now.
Jimbo
JB Well ToT now I have calmed down I think you have some very interesting opinions. As a Vics fan for 50 years + It IS upsetting to think we are being held to ransom over our own football team, why won't Mr Rushe come out and say SOMETHING so we know what his intentions are and how he proposes to start to get players to come and play for a club with a bad reputation off the field. Has he got a Magic Wand, or does he know some card tricks, Jim, Stafford is our graveyard, don't make us play there or you might as well nail us to the wall now. Jimbo Jim Budden
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Thu 10 May 12

THETELLEROFTALES says...

Hi Jim.

I don't believe anyone is being held to ransom.

Also, it's not your football team, it belongs to Mr Rushe. He just happens to own the team you have supported all these years.

Likewise, the Supporters Group do not have shares in the Company and therefore cannot expect to have any say in how it is run in the future. Mr Rushe does not have to answer to you.

Nobody is making you travel to Stafford and pay the entry fee.

If however you do travel to Stafford and pay your money you are indirectly supporting Mr Rushe and his management of The Vics.

You simply cannot support him and be critical of him at the same time, it doesn't work like that.
Hi Jim. I don't believe anyone is being held to ransom. Also, it's not your football team, it belongs to Mr Rushe. He just happens to own the team you have supported all these years. Likewise, the Supporters Group do not have shares in the Company and therefore cannot expect to have any say in how it is run in the future. Mr Rushe does not have to answer to you. Nobody is making you travel to Stafford and pay the entry fee. If however you do travel to Stafford and pay your money you are indirectly supporting Mr Rushe and his management of The Vics. You simply cannot support him and be critical of him at the same time, it doesn't work like that. THETELLEROFTALES
  • Score: 0

8:57am Thu 17 May 12

Jim Budden says...

JB
Ben gone to Fylde half a dozen gone to Airbus, I have been away for a week and the team are now decimated. Saturday looks like being a big day, that is if JR turns up to face the music, if the Vics go to the wall Airbus looks a real prospect to go and watch, they should go places next season, if no doubt there is a possibility more will go from our pool of players and who can blame them. We need it sorting and quickly so we can go into next season with some sort of plan of action hopefully all will be revealed on Saturday.
See ya then Jimbo
JB Ben gone to Fylde half a dozen gone to Airbus, I have been away for a week and the team are now decimated. Saturday looks like being a big day, that is if JR turns up to face the music, if the Vics go to the wall Airbus looks a real prospect to go and watch, they should go places next season, if no doubt there is a possibility more will go from our pool of players and who can blame them. We need it sorting and quickly so we can go into next season with some sort of plan of action hopefully all will be revealed on Saturday. See ya then Jimbo Jim Budden
  • Score: 0

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