FC United of Manchester have called an Extraordinary General Meeting at which all current board members will stand down, either permanently or to seek re-election, as the club seeks to make a fresh start after months of unrest.
The National League North club has been rocked by a series of bitter internal disputes and resignations with supporters attacking a lack of ‘democracy, transparency and accountability’ at board level.
In a statement to its 5,000-strong membership, the club announced that the EGM will be held ‘as soon as possible’.
They said: “Board members recognise the unrest and upset currently felt by many members and are collectively committed to ensuring that the co-owners of FC United of Manchester can find a way through the challenges we face at this stage of our history.
“The EGM will provide members with the opportunity to vote for a newly formed board with a fresh mandate to represent the club’s best interests and best serve the club going forward.”
Supporters have been angered by a series of board decisions which included a vote to spend £900 of members’ money to conduct an internal investigation into abuse of club staff on online forums.
General Manager Andy Walsh, who has lead the club since its formation in 2005 following the Glazer takeover of Manchester United, announced his resignation last month, and four more board members have also stood down in the last two weeks citing an ‘orchestrated campaign’ against the board.
Disgruntled fans issued a pamphlet in which they attacked a ‘democratic deficit’ at the club and called upon fellow co-owners to support a series of resolutions to be put to a General Meeting last Sunday at the club’s new £6m Broadhurst Park Stadium in Moston.
But the meeting was adjourned after ‘a small number of administrative errors’ led to a number of postal and proxy votes not being accounted for.
In its statement, the board apologised for the ‘evident shortcomings’ and announced that all votes have now been accounted for and will be valid when the meeting is reconvened on Sunday 15 May at the Longfield Suite in Prestwich.
Reacting to the announcement, one longstanding FC United member told MM that he was ‘relieved’ that the club had shown some ‘humility’.
“It’s been an awful couple of weeks with constant arguments and discussions,” they said.
“Now we have a chance to sort everything out once and for all.
“The announcement was the first bit of humility the board have shown in a long while, so I think fans feel much more positive about things going forward now.
“Hopefully this can be a turning point for everybody.”
Another founder member told us that the development was a positive – but only if the EGM happened promptly.
“It’s very positive news,” they said.
“Hopefully we can draw a line under the events of the last year and move forward in a spirit of renewal and reconciliation.
“It would be good to get a date sorted for the EGM as soon as possible though – we can’t afford to leave it hanging.”
Image courtesy of Matthew Wilkinson, via Flickr, with thanks