My Sporting Week: Falkirk board must improve its communication with fans

A survey of Bairns fans called for better communication from the club
A survey of Bairns fans called for better communication from the club

I wrote last week that attention must be paid to the Falkirk Supporters survey results – I didn’t mean live up to the criticisms!

Comments included: “Better communications with fans.” “Better communications with fans, especially season ticket holders.” “Basic communication of information that although not vital, is of interest.” “Be honest and open with fans.”

Well... that’s the wishlist.

A matter of hours after The Falkirk Herald was on the shelf the club hosted the AGM (which in the Brockville Lounge is a lot more formal and suitable with its screens relaying the slides clearly – good choice).

No-one was allowed to send details until the conclusion we were told. The meeting was for the shareholders present - not public consumption. So The Falkirk Herald and our fellow shareholders duly obliged.

The club didn’t.

So shareholders - who were told “it’s not your club, it’s not my club, it’s OUR club” weren’t to Tweet, but the club was . A case of ‘Do as we say, not as we do’.

Then there was the chairman’s announcement.

Perhaps he was downplaying it when telling The Falkirk Herald on Tuesday, November 11 that there’d be “no dramatic announcement” at the meeting.

Stepping down, even not immediately, in my opinion, is fairly dramatic.

Even if there was a (perfectly acceptable) change of heart, several conversations took place after that question was posed and no update offered. And so many at the meeting were justifiably confused.

No wonder more than half of those polled took a swipe at the club’s contemptible communications strategy if this is how it operates.

Had the chairman announced his intentions then, or via one of the later conversations there’d have had to be a big decision made at Falkirk Herald HQ – run big on the chairman or run big on the survey results? And run big on the ‘debt wiped clean this week too.

It would have offset the headlines last week in some way, for sure. Good time to release bad news and all that.

Never mind. At least it’s all over for another year.

And another thing...

He might not have meant it, but Andy Thomson’s presentation and delivery of very positive company accounts was impeccable and – coming so close to the chairman’s announcement – surely thrust him into the frame whether he wants it or not. It was a far cry from the matter of seconds he took at the previous AGM.

This might not have been intended as a pitch for the job – but it was an impressive one. Peter Houston was equally good value, and spoke for, by my watch, more than 10 minutes to answer one question, with brutal honestly.

Finally... Get well soon Alex Smith. A true gentleman, Scottish football legend and a help and guide to anyone he meets. He has too much knowledge to give to be kept away for long. Look forward to him back at Westfield with his cup of tea.