Following today’s announcement from Bristol City FC that Dean Holden has been appointed Head Coach, the Bristol City Supporters Club & Trust wish Dean every success in his new role.
We would also like to take this opportunity to impress on the club how vital we believe it is for all communication with fans to be timely, transparent, consistent and empathetic.
At the time of Lee Johnson’s dismissal back in the first week of July, Steve Lansdown talked of the need to “bring a breath of fresh air into the club”, said the club wanted to find “somebody who can take us that next step” up to the Premier League and explained that the timing of Lee’s dismissal was in order to give the new man “as much time as possible to get ready for the new season”.
He said that the club had in mind “a particular type of person that we want to have come in” and that “the aim is to get into the Premier League as soon as we can”.
At the same time, Mark Ashton told fans that “we have been inundated with applicants, internationally, nationally, coaches/managers from right across the globe”.
While we recognise that it is only right and proper for the club not to provide a running commentary during such a recruitment process, now that it has been concluded we would encourage Mark Ashton to be transparent with fans in explaining the thinking behind it.
Many City supporters have been angered, bewildered and upset over the last couple of months by the way in which their club has communicated with them. From the option of season ticket refunds being hidden in the small print to belated confirmation of the longest serving player’s departure only after he had been forced by media reports to announce it himself, a series of poorly worded and/or poorly timed communications has left many with the impression that the club places little value on keeping fans informed in a timely, transparent manner.
However, as we have said privately and publicly to the club before, we believe that timely, open and empathetic communication with fans is vital if the club is to keep supporters on board. And at a time when, due to Covid-19, we are unable to have any physical contact with the club by attending games, we would suggest that good communication is essential if fans are not to feel an emotional as well as a physical disconnect with their club.
We stand ready, as ever, to act as a sounding board for proposed communications to help the club avoid inadvertently striking what only fans may recognise as the wrong tone.