23rd June 1999
Dear Mr Beddard,
I am pleased to have received your letter, not because I am swayed by what you or Mr Reynolds have to say, but because it gives me an address at which I can contact you. Your conduct since the EGM was announced reinforced my feeling that you should resign as Chairman of the Shareholders' Association. It is not clear from your letter (in spite of the letterhead) whether you are writing on behalf of the Association, or simply pursuing your own personal agenda. If the former, who authorised the Association to proceed down that path? Certainly not me - I haven't been asked despite being a shareholder. Only Barry Hurst has sought my views on this issue.
To my mind, your role should be to canvas the opinions of the shareholders and represent those interests to the Board. You have patently not done that with regard to the EGM, nailing your colours to the Hale mast the minute the EGM was announced without even waiting to find out what the other side had to offer. The debate has been crying out for an impartial dispassionate analysis of the situation - something which the Shareholders Association is ideally placed to provide. What I believe you should have been doing is impartially trying to find out exactly what the 2 sides are proposing on various issues and then laying their responses out in a kind of table so that the shareholders can more easily compare and contrast and thus make a more informed choice. Then, nearer the date of the EGM, your Committee (or whatever set-up you have) should make clear the feedback you've had from shareholders and make your own reasoned recommendations to shareholders. We are getting no middle ground in this battle of wills - the shareholders are in a no-man's land with artillery constantly flying overhead in both directions, but with no idea of what's really going on in the respective trenches which are out of reach to us. You could, and should, have been the middle ground. Instead, you have done nothing but peddle pro-Hale propaganda throughout, and in doing so abusing your position which affords you a list of shareholders' names and addresses.
I would add that I have never once received any communication at all from the Shareholders Association until this morning, and no invitations to, or minutes from, any of your meetings. In the circumstances, I do not see that you represent me or my interests in any way shape or form.
It is for these reasons that I think you should resign your position as Chairman immediately. I certainly hope you will have the decency to do just that if Mr Hale is defeated at the EGM, as should the rest of your Committee if they are in agreement with you. I should add that I am currently of the opinion that a change of Chairman is in the best interests of the club. Mr Hale has been on the Board a long time and has thus presided over most of the worst years in the club's history. Time to get the broom and sweep out more of the cobwebs.......