The voting papers for the referendum on whether Kingstonian remain a directors’ owned club, or move to a “community” model, are already out. I received mine in the post on Saturday. That means that I could have already voted, and indeed posts on social media suggest that a few people already have cast their ballot.
I urge you all: please stop voting! Any arguments over the detailed pro’s and cons of being fan-owned don’t matter at this point, because we, the electorate, don’t even know what we’re voting for.
The ballot paper itself (which is odd, but never mind) defines the “become a Community owned club” option as including any option where the majority of the shares are owned by individuals on a one share, one owner basis. Therefore this could be anything from a “50+1” model, where outside investment is encouraged, through to an ACFW-style one member, one vote model. These two things are fundamentally different…and I would vote for the former (reluctantly), but vote against the other. I suspect many people are in this position. More importantly – there are no details in the leaflet provided to assist voters on the process for determining what “fan-owned club” actually means in the event of a majority vote to move away from being a directors’ owned club.
How can anybody, in good conscience, vote in these circumstances? It would be the same as voting for a party in the General Election which said:
“Well, we might move towards a totally Communist economy, where nobody can even own property – or we might just raise income tax to 50% from 45% and leave it at that. I mean, both positions are broadly socialist…so if you think socialism sort of sounds like a good idea, vote for us, and we’ll figure out all the pesky details later, yeah? I mean, we won’t tell you who will work those details out, or when, or what say you’ll have in them…but you know, just trust us?”
It is ridiculous, and shameful quite frankly, that we have been placed in this situation.
So again, I urge you: please do not vote until you know what you are voting for. Personally, I think that means we need a clear, unambiguous and binding commitment to a second referendum – for exactly the same electorate, importantly – in the case of a vote to become a “community owned” club in this first total shambles of a referendum. Let’s hope that is forthcoming on Wednesday.
And then – and only then – let the debate begin.