Statement from Dave Sugarman (Membership Secretary)

It is with regret that I hereby announce my resignation as a member of the board of directors of the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust with immediate effect.

Having carefully considered my position, I have reached the conclusion that my involvement with the Trust at board level is proving divisive and is having a detrimental effect on the organization’s continuing development.

Since November 2007, when work to establish a supporters’ trust for Bluebirds fans first began, a small group of mostly-anonymous antagonists have seemingly been hell-bent on using my personal views and opinions about our football club in their incessant quest to undermine the Trust’s credibility.

Some of the people concerned have apparently been unable to differentiate between things I have said as an individual supporter and statements I have made as a Trust representative, despite the differences being crystal clear.

Sadly, the situation has deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks due to comments I made before and after the protest march which took place a fortnight ago. The opinions I expressed about that event, which were very obviously my own, have wrongly been attributed to the Supporters’ Trust.

As a direct result of my observations about the march, I have been subjected to numerous abusive telephone calls and text messages, several of which have involved threats of violence. I have also received a number of abusive e-mails, including one that contained an anonymous death threat.

At the same time, a sustained campaign aimed at discrediting me as an individual and the Trust as an organization has been taking place on a couple of internet message boards. This has involved a series of false allegations being levelled against the Trust board and some blatant lies being written about me.

This latest load of nonsense comes just months after a serious but thankfully failed attempt by a regular Trust opponent to damage my civil service career. While such rubbish is water off a duck’s back to a large degree, I could nevertheless live without it.

It seems I have now found myself in a position whereby almost everything I say on the message boards, my internet blog and even in person in some instances is being automatically linked to the Supporters’ Trust, which is a ridiculous state of affairs.

My role on the Trust board is not only having an adverse effect on the standing of the organization but it is also stifling my ability to comment as an individual on the issues which are affecting our football club. That situation does not sit at all comfortably with me and it clearly cannot be allowed to continue. Therefore, I feel I have no option but to resign from my positions with the Trust, both as Membership Secretary and a board member.

Despite my resignation, I should point out that I intend to continue giving the Trust my full support and I would encourage as many members as possible to start playing an active role in the organization.

There are some very talented and capable people serving on the Trust’s board and sub-committees, but they are going to need far more help from the membership in future. The number of supporters who have been actively involved in the Trust since its formation has been relatively small and that needs to change if the organization is to continue to grow.

The Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust was set up in order to give Bluebirds fans a democratic voice and a platform upon which the fan-base can strengthen its relationships with the football club and the communities it serves. I am extremely proud of the work we have done to get the Trust this far despite opposition from some of the club’s supporters and apathy from many others. It is now up to the members to step forward and help move the Trust onwards from here. I wish them every success.

Dave Sugarman