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Tom Cliffe on engaging with supporters, the East Stand plans and more

15 February 2022

The elected supporters representative on the club's board of directors, Tom Cliffe, has said there is a huge support from the fanbase for the club's East Stand plans.

From speaking to and engaging with supporters, Tom says it is clear that fans are right behind the plans, whether that be to improve the club's facilities, to give wheelchair supporters a covered, raised viewing area or to allow the club to expand further their community and education work.

"Finishing the East Stand will be a huge boost for the club," he said.

"I will never please every single fan in this role but it is about doing as much as I can to represent and reflect the views of the majority of the fanbase.

"My role isn't about me and what I want, it is about representing the views of supporters and what the vast majority of fans want.

"The supporters want the new facilities to be completed to allow the club's excellent community work to grow. They want the new facilities to allow supporters who use wheelchairs to have the raised, covered viewing section back as soon as possible and they want the East Stand completed to give the club much improved facilities.

"I am really enjoying my role. Whenever I ask a question of the club on behalf of a supporter it is answered and on the subject of the East Stand, the document released on Monday answers a lot of questions and covers a lot of detail.

"I take this role very seriously. I want to walk in to this club in 20 or 30 years time and know that we made the right decisions at the right time and this is the right decision.

"I have read reports on this and reports on that and have read so much detail about this deal and it just makes sense and it is in the best interests of the club. The fans have shown that the vast, vast majority support this plan and want it to happen as soon as possible.

"People will say I am just saying this because that's what the club want to hear but that's not true. I am not afraid to ask the difficult questions but if I ask them and get the answers then that's great.

"How can I, as a fan, question the validity of an independent report from industry experts that was commissioned by the West Northamptonshire Council or how can I question the validity of the QC opinion? I'm not in a position to do that.

"There are times when things are frustrating and it has taken a long time to get here but we are at the point now where we have to move forward and it is proved this is what the vast majority of fans want to happen.

"Supporters have been very receptive to me and I thank them for that. I want to make myself available to people and it is important that I do. I am there to listen and to find out answers and information and I have met with and spoken to so many fellow supporters and that will increase more with our Talk Cobblers sessions.

"I am representing the club and I have to be professional at all times but first and foremost I am a supporter.

"I want to see us win and I want to see us progress and do well. If I have a different point of view to the majority of fans, my job is to represent the views of the supporters, not my own views, but on the East Stand situation I think we are all in step.

"The East Stand development is complicated but the document the club have released does help. It cuts through some of the issues and like the vast majority of supporters, I want to see things completed as soon as possible."


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