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FROM THE WOKING NEWS & MAIL

5th July 2007

Following Mr Shatwell's letter in the Woking News & Mail last week, this week Woking FC Chairman, Chris Ingram responds:

Letter: It?s not blackmail
EDITOR ? Having read Mr Shatwell?s letter, ?Don?t ignore the residents?, I think some clarification is necessary.

1, I am not ?blackmailing? the council or anyone else and I find this accusation highly objectionable. I rescued the club when it was in dire financial straits more than five years ago.

Three years ago, I gave notice that in 2007, I would cease to support the club financially and warned of the implications. (I thought giving three-year?s notice was ?helpful?, not ?blackmail?.)

2, Because we have fallen behind schedule, we are only now able to submit a plan. The possibility was to have a big new stand, crammed full of facilities but be playing in the Ryman League! So, rather than stop the cash outflow last month, I decided to put money into the club for one last year.

3, Ever since I became involved I have said my main aim was to make the club financially viable without relying on a ?benefactor?, as that was much healthier for the club and the community. (Mr Shatwell can search as much as he likes, but that is my ?ulterior motive?.)

4, I certainly don?t intend to ignore the residents ? far from it. When we have something to show, then we will show it. However, it would be foolish to assume that all residents have the same view. I noticed that some local residents were against the Hoe Valley scheme and others were keen because it reduced the risk of flooding. Incidentally, if our scheme is successful, it will include a substantial contribution to flood prevention work.

5, Our Woking Football In The Community Scheme does a lot for Woking, way beyond our matchday fan base.

And those people we help, without shouting about it, include, of course, local residents as well as those throughout the community.
Chris Ingram
Chairman
Woking FC

First printed in: Woking News and Mail
04/07/2007

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