Bath City supporters' group has 'deep concerns' over Manda Rigby's stadium plans
Bath City Supporters’ Society has expressed its “deep concern” at chairman Manda Rigby’s decision to go public with her plan for the club’s future last week.
Rigby insists City – facing debts of around £700,000 – must leave run-down Mayday Trust Park for an income-generating stadium elsewhere in the city in order to stay afloat.
The Society, whose 16.73 per cent stake makes it the club’s largest single shareholder, says it would back such a move as long as it was convinced all other avenues – including the redevelopment of the site in Twerton – had been exhausted.
But it also believes that long-standing supporters and offers of help have been cast aside by Rigby during her 18 months at the helm and has called for a united front as the club battles for survival.
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Rigby’s personal statement – which was first published in the club programme for the 2-0 home defeat to Bromley on January 15 – attracted plenty of interest.
A statement released by the Society read: “The relocation of Bath City FC from Twerton Park would represent one of the biggest decisions our club has taken in its history. It is therefore deeply concerning that, as the single largest shareholder, we had to learn of the chairman’s ‘move or die’ assertion via a media statement rather than directly. We also understand that at no point has the board of directors made a formal decision regarding the stadium’s future, and at no time has the board endorsed a view that the club must ‘move or die’.
“The Supporters’ Society is open-minded on the stadium’s future. Any proposal which involves keeping the club within the city of Bath will be seriously considered by us on its merits, and in consultation with fellow supporters.
“We expect the club, in turn, to provide full disclosure of the rationale behind any relocation proposal they may make and all alternatives that have been ruled out. Decisions need to be based on an honest and frank assessment of full evidence and not on soundbites.
In response, Rigby issued a second statement, rejecting the Society’s claims that she had not consulted its representative on the board, Shane Morgan, about the contents of her message.
She said: “The Supporters’ Society representative – who has been present at all formal board meetings since appointment, including the one referenced – received a copy of my proposed personal statement ten days before it was issued and, indeed, it was changed in the light of his feedback.”