In order to clarify the position between Trust and Club, we decided to email the following message to all of our membership.
This was sent out last Friday, but we have decided that in the interests of transparency we should share that message with everyone.
We therefore quote the message, in full, below.
We hope that you will see this, not as an attempt to be confrontational or to "have a dig" at the Club, but merely as a statement of fact of which, perhaps, everyone should now be made aware.
Good evening and we hope you had a happy Friday ahead of what is another busy weekend of hockey and activities on and off the ice.
As you may be aware Neil Black is hosting another Q&A event at a yet to be confirmed venue ahead of next week’s game against the Giants on Wednesday 27th September.
One question that may be posed to him although not by us directly is the question of why the Club has failed to engage with the Trust to this point. Assuming he is prepared to talk about the subject we envisage that he will point to the fact that he has offered to meet with representatives of the Trust and that this meeting was declined by us.
Rather than be caught on the back foot we wanted to share the nature of that invitation in full with members ahead of that Q&A.
That offer to meet was embedded in the legal letter that we received from the Club’s solicitors; it was a request to meet at a week’s notice with the solicitors and Neil Black in the solicitor’s offices, in Leicester, on a specific date, at a specific time during mid-week working hours.
We declined to make this meeting on the advice of Supporters Direct, following their discussions with the solicitors that they engaged on our behalf. We wanted to get clarity on a number of legal issues before meeting with the Club’s solicitors.
Our aim has always been to meet positively with the Club – without the involvement of legal representation.
To demonstrate our efforts, we have put together a timeline of our attempts to contact the Club -
Emails sent to the Club to let them know about the Trust and making request to meet
Formal, positive, letter sent to Club by post and followed up with emails and calls to office; requesting meeting and inviting Club to send representative(s) to the Open Meeting where vote taken on forming Trust. No response and no Club representation at Open Meeting.
Message received from a Club sponsor to say that they had spoken to the club and mentioned the Trust. The Club intimated that we should contact them to “build bridges” and that they would take our call.
Trust calls Club office, but is told the General Manager is too busy to take the call. We should call back the following week.
Trust calls Club office, but GM too busy to take the call.
Trust calls the Club office and manages to speak to GM, who advises that the matter is in the hands of “London and the legal team”.
Letter received from EHL, the Club’s solicitors, threatening legal action across a range of subjects. The Trust were requested to attend a meeting at a specific date and time, with the solicitors and Neil Black, in the solicitor’s office in Leicester.
Trust contacts Supporters Direct for advice, and are assigned a solicitor. Following discussion between solicitor and SD, the resulting advice from SD was that we request a postponement of any meeting until certain allegations are clarified by the club.
Supporters Direct emailed the Club’s solicitor to request clarification of allegations.
Supporters Direct chase the Club’s solicitor for a reply, but get “out of office” message.
Trust calls the Club, but GM out of country. Supporters Direct email Club’s solicitors again.
Club’s solicitor responds, stating to Supporters Direct that they cannot represent the Trust, therefore they were instructed not to correspond with them. They also stated that they were “…no longer instructed in this matter”, but that should the Trust continue to represent itself as being associated with the Club we should expect further action. (Note – Supporters Direct can represent any Trust in legal matters)
Trust calls the Club’s office for clarification of the current position. GM still away and Club suggests sending an email which they will forward to the owner.
Email sent to Club for owner asking for clarification of the position as the Club’s solicitor is no longer engaged. The Trust asks for a meeting to discuss the position and states that if nothing is heard then it will rebrand and will obviously have to explain the reasons behind it.
Copy of the email sent to the Club by recorded delivery.
Trust re-brands and launches membership campaign based on the new branding.
Trust sends another letter to the Club stating that it has made significant steps to comply with the original solicitor’s letter, and requesting another meeting.
In the absence of any reply to the Trusts emails, phone calls and letters, a final attempt at contact is made using social media. No response forthcoming from Club.
So, if any statement is made about us refusing a meeting you are now armed with the full picture !
Now the boring stuff is out the way we want to again thank you for your support since the membership launch. We’d love that membership continue to grow at the same rate it has started at, and that’s where every one of us can help.
Whether you’re swinging your Trust scarf at games or tweeting, retweeting or commenting on Facebook, this all helps to massively increase our exposure amongst the wider fanbase and the more of it we can all do the better.
As ever if you have any concerns, ideas, comments or suggestions get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Otherwise enjoy the games this weekend if you’re able to make them and we look forward to seeing as many Green and White scarves as possible at the NIC and Guildford.
Thanks for your support.
NIHST Interim Board"