Given recent developments we at the Nottingham Ice Hockey Supporters Trust want to re-state our position and update everyone following conversations with Supporters Direct over the last couple of weeks.
As we previously published to our members, the management of the Nottingham Panthers IHC have banned Rob Scott, the Chairperson of the Trust’s Interim Board, from attending matches for the rest of this season. The Club were in a position where they were able to cite two previously alleged incidents and actions they had taken, over and above any issues arising from the dialogue with Neil Black during the Q&A session held in October.
The linkage to alleged incidents pre-dating any Trust activity creates an issue that is personal to Rob, outside of the remit of the Trust. He decided that it would be in the best interests of the Trust for the issue to be clearly separated from the operations of the Trust. As a result, he resigned from his position on the Interim Board.
If the issue had solely been around the dialogue at the Q&A event, then both the Trust and Supporters Direct would have taken a different stance in respect of action taken by the Club.
The Trust recognises that the work led by Rob to get the Trust off the ground has been outstanding. We know we will be challenged without having him on the team. However, we are determined to continue to push the Trust forward - we owe this to our members. One of the actions you will see us driving will be getting to the point where we will hold elections to establish the formal Board for the Trust, (it is a requirement of our constitution to hold elections annually and deemed best practice by Supporters Direct).
We have stated from the outset that we knew we would be challenged and that the Trust has to be seen as a long-term project. But the aims of the Nottingham Ice Hockey Supporters Trust remain consistent and continue to be positive -
We want the Trust to be able to provide a co-ordinated and structured voice for the supporters of professional ice hockey in Nottingham; with a body of members that is connected to the wider community across ice hockey, fan groups from other sports organisations, the City of Nottingham and the surrounding area. Whether directly or indirectly we will seek to help the Club be the best it can be.
We have had extremely positive conversations and exchanges of information with Supporters Direct over the last couple of weeks. They understand that the actions of the Club will be causing members concern. They will support us if the Club take actions arising from people purely being members or supporters of the Trust.
Here is a statement provided by Supporters Direct -
“Supporters Direct’s mission statement is to promote good governance in sport and enable the development of sustainable clubs based on the engagement of their supporters.
We feel that there is a real opportunity to develop a culture of engagement and involvement of supporters of British Ice Hockey clubs to both promote and strengthen the game and improve relationships between clubs and their fans.
Engagement comes in many forms and we appreciate the difficult starting point at Nottingham, but we are dedicated to work with the Nottingham Ice Hockey Supporters Trust and with the Club to highlight positive impacts that a good working relationship between the parties can have for the Club, the community, and the sport as a whole.
We have an opportunity to build something very special in Nottingham, which may be something that other clubs could follow. We hope that Nottingham Panthers can look beyond the issues of the past and accept SD’s assistance and guidance with open minds, in the spirit of cooperation in which it is offered.
Supporters are so much more than customers, you are the lifeblood of your clubs, you are fans, not numbers and we will continue to strive to ensure your voices are heard.”
We are looking forward to working more closely with Supporters Direct and will be holding face to face discussions early in the New Year. We’ll be posting more news on this as it becomes available.
As ever, if you have any ideas or you wish to help in any way with time or skills please drop us a message at –
Thanks, on behalf of both the NIHST Interim Board and Supporters Direct