Rugby Oldham Statement - September 2009
Given some rumours, questions and accusations which have been circulating recently amongst some members of the rugby league community in Oldham, the board of the Trust felt that it was sensible that we should get back in touch with our members, to clarify the situation.
In response to an approach to him from the Trust, after a meeting had been held with Bill Quinn, Chris Hamilton replied to Rugby Oldham on August 20. He explained that, because of the current uncertainty about the direction and structure of the club going forward, there was no benefit in he and the Trust holding the suggested meeting until things became clearer. This we fully understood, and this continues to be the position. He also informed us that he had held a positive meeting with Laura Harrison of Supporters’ Direct - the national body which represents supporters’ trusts throughout the country - and that, in his opinion, once the current situation is resolved, then ‘there is plenty we can work on together’.
The position of the Trust overall remains as it was previously. We are in existence as a group of people who have the furtherance of the sport of Rugby League in Oldham as our aim, whether that be at professional level or in relation to amateur and youth RL – and the fact that Rugby Oldham’s membership is greater than that of any of the other RL supporters’ trusts in existence perhaps says something both about the town and about the way the Trust has attempted to represent the views of its rugby league community since it was formed. Members of the Trust have no other ‘agenda’ than that. We continue too, to be of the belief that the best single way of ensuring the future success of the game at all levels in Oldham would be for there to be a community-owned RL-dedicated stadium in the town, the pursuit of which objective, of course, was the primary focus and motivating force behind those who first mooted the idea of the Trust.
It follows that the Trust’s aims stand completely separate from who happens to be owning and/or operating the town’s professional club at any particular moment in time. If it is felt that as an organisation we may be able to help in furthering the success of the pro club, then we are very happy to attempt to do so. It was with such a mind-set that we first had talks with Bill Quinn in July, and also engaged in the communication with Chris Hamilton which is outlined above. We will continue to be similarly willing to engage in discussions with any relevant party as this season moves to a conclusion over the coming days or weeks. In addition, we will not commit the Trust to any particular action without first seeking a relevant mandate from our members beforehand, as we are constitutionally bound to do.