Steve Lansdown Meets Exiles at Rotherham
The session was held at Hellaby Hall, not far from Rotherham's Millmoor Stadium. A small group of City fans were in attendance, allowing for an honest, face-to-face exchange of questions and answers. Some supporters arrived early, and with the session not finishing until almost 1.15pm, this meant that over an hour and a half was spent exploring in some depth a number of issues. Steve Lansdown said "I enjoy this type of interaction as much as any with supporters as it encourages a good two-way dialogue and allows me to be a bit more open. It's not always possible to record in detail on websites and in the press all that is said, so there is a real benefit for fans that can attend these sessions to talk first hand about current issues."
As in previous forums hosted by the Trust, Steve Lansdown was expansive in his answers to all questions asked, whether they were about transfer budgets, psychology coaching, ticket pricing or stadium development.
In answer to a question about Marcus Stewart, the Chairman said that he was happy with the deal struck with Yeovil and that Bristol City is no longer paying the player.
Asked whether he was aware of the strong feeling among many fans about the continued closure of the East End to home supporters, Steve acknowledged that the East End is an emotive issue, and said that he was aware of the petitions and other initiatives aimed at persuading the Club to change its stance.
Stuart Rogers (the Trust's Acting Chair) picked up on a question posed in the Trust's recent survey of members, and asked those fans present whether or not they felt their opinions were valued by the club. The overriding feeling on the day was that in general, yes, they did; in the Trust's survey, however, nearly half of those who replied felt their opinions were not valued. Both the Trust and the Club are keen to continue finding ways of communicating with supporters and gauging opinion on important issues. Ask the Chairman sessions are just one part of that overall fans' representation strategy.
Those present clearly valued the session, which ended in
conversational style and was only terminated by two calls to Steve's mobile, one from the absent Gary Johnson and one from Keith Millen, who was on the team coach waiting for Steve to join him and the players. We hope to hold another away day session in February and, in the not too distant future, one closer to Ashton Gate.