Steering group issues statement on Banbury United manager position

Banbury United manager Paul Davis
Banbury United manager Paul Davis

The steering group behind the proposed Community Benefit Society ownership of Banbury United has issued a statement in relation to the advertisement of the club manager’s position, a post currently held by Paul Davis.

Following a report on banburyguardian.co.uk at the weekend stating Davis has been invited to apply for his own job, the steering group has confirmed the decision to advertise the post in Sunday’s Non-League Paper was made jointly with the club’s board.

Initial Banbury Guardian reports – supported by quotes from a board member that appeared on an unofficial Banbury United forum – suggested the decision to advertise the post was made solely by the steering group.

However today, Monday, the steering group issued a statement which said: “The group wish to stress that the decision to advertise the manager’s position was made jointly with the current Board and owners of the football club who will receive the applications and also be represented on the interview panel.

“The steering group met with the Board to agree the above and the timeframe for the advertising of the position and when Paul Davis would be advised by the Board of this, ie after the [Thursday] Oxfordshire Senior Cup Final and the [Friday] presentation evening.

“The group very much regret that the agreed timeline for advising could not be followed due to this confidential information coming into the public domain. Although we are unaware of the source of this, out of courtesy a representative of the group has spoken with Paul and apologised to him.

“The steering group fully understands and recognises its position, that whilst it is working towards the ownership of the club it does not own the club, have powers to run the club or dictate what decisions are made by the club.”

It continued: “The current Board of Directors of the club and the CBS steering group both agreed they were keen to maximise the opportunity for the club to regain Southern League Premier Division status in 2016. They both wish to undertake due process to endeavour to ensure that the best manager to achieve the club’s aim for promotion is appointed. The club is looking to appoint an experienced first team manager who has worked at Step Four or above. Both parties stressed that they invite Paul Davis to apply.”

> A Banbury Guardian comment posted on our website on Saturday, and headlined ‘Advertising manager’s position is totally unprofessional’, reported the Community Benefit Society steering group was responsible for the advert for a manager.

We now accept the decision was taken jointly between the board and the steering group. We are happy to clarify the situation and apologise for any distress the article may have caused.

Today’s steering group statement in full was as follows:

The steering group for the proposed Community Benefit Society ownership of Banbury United wish to comment on the recent issue regarding the advertising of the manager’s position.

The group wish to stress that the decision to advertise the manager’s position was made jointly with the current Board and owners of the football club who will receive the applications and also be represented on the interview panel.

The steering group met with the Board to agree the above and the timeframe for the advertising of the position and when Paul Davis would be advised by the Board of this, ie after the Oxfordshire Senior Cup Final and the presentation evening.

The group very much regret that the agreed timeline for advising could not be followed due to this confidential information coming into the public domain. Although we are unaware of the source of this out of courtesy a representative of the group has spoken with Paul and apologised to him.

The steering group fully understands and recognises its position, that whilst it is working towards the ownership of the club it does not own the club, have powers to run the club or dictate what decisions are made by the club.

The group is disappointed that an article on the Banbury Guardian website highlights that they feel they should have been made aware of the confidential details of this prior to Paul Davis being advised.

Since the announcement of the proposed transfer of ownership to a Community Benefit Society the steering group has been working very hard on two projects

- Working with the Board, in what is a transition period, to undertake all the requirements for them to agree to the ownership of the club to transfer to a Community Benefit Society.

- In anticipation and hope that the above is successfully concluded ensuring that the club is in a position to hit the ground running for the 2015-16 season.

In looking at the second point the steering group has been very conscious that there is a need for a great deal of work throughout the club to strengthen it on all fronts – commercial and sponsorship, structural, playing, communication, financial. The group have, and continue to be, working hard to undertake due diligence on all these areas and also how these can be improved.

In terms of the playing side, it is recognised that clarity regarding the manager’s position was required as soon as possible in order to plan for the 2015-16 season.

The current Board of Directors of the club and the CBS steering group both agreed they were keen to maximise the opportunity for the club to regain Southern League Premier Division status in 2016. They both wish to undertake due process to endeavour to ensure that the best manager to achieve the club’s aim for promotion, is appointed. The club is looking to appoint an experienced 1st Team Manager who has worked at Step 4 or above. Both parties stressed that they invite Paul Davis to apply.

In general terms the steering group wished to re-emphasise the process for the Community Benefit Society moving forwards. The steering group will incorporate the CBS. Once this is done and agreement for the transfer of ownership has been agreed then membership of the CBS will be sought. Elections will be held for the positions on the Management Board of the CBS. These are open to all members, both in terms of standing for positions and being eligible to vote to select those people to who will serve on the Management Board. The steering group are working hard to see transfer of ownership in June and elections in July but are working for this to be concluded as soon as possible.

The steering group strongly believe that supporters’ ownership is key to the future viability and success of the football club. The group would urge all supporters to embrace the CBS structure once in place so that they can have a stake in running their club.