The FC Groningen Supporters’ Association expressed no confidence in the football club’s Supervisory Board (SB) in a statement on Tuesday evening.
The representatives of the supporters of the wandering first division player were scheduled to discuss the deplorable state of the club with the Supervisory Board on Tuesday evening. The Supporters Association withdrew after the Supervisory Board came up with additional demands. One of the supervisors’ wishes was that director Wouter Gudde would also participate, because policy issues were on the agenda. That is what the management of FC Groningen is about and not the Supervisory Board.
The initiative for the conversation came from the Supporters Association last week. Among other things, he wanted an answer to the question of how the Supervisory Board thinks it can turn the tide at a football club that has been dogged by disaster. After the disastrous 2022-2023 season, in which FC Groningen was relegated, it still does not want to move to a lower level. On the contrary. For the time being, the result is a very disappointing thirteenth place in the Kitchen Champion Division, while direct promotion was the objective this season. There is also a threat of major financial problems if promotion is not successful.
“The Supervisory Board initially agreed to a meeting without conditions,” the supporters write in the statement. ‘Later, additional conditions were imposed, such as the presence of both the FC Groningen press secretary and the general manager. The latter condition could not be off the table and was a strict requirement of the Supervisory Board.’
However, the supporters’ association did not have it in mind. ‘We find it incomprehensible that the Supervisory Board does not want to discuss with supporters without conditions. This reinforces our impression that the Supervisory Board has insufficient awareness of the enormous crisis in which FC Groningen finds itself. As a result, we have not been able to take note of the vision that the Supervisory Board has to get the club out of the current malaise. The Supporters Association therefore has no choice but to judge the Supervisory Board on the dramatic results of the past three years. That is why we, as the board of the Supporters Association, withdraw our confidence in the Supervisory Board.
Chairman Erik Mulder of the Supervisory Board said in response that it was an unpleasant situation. “When I was presented with the questions on Monday that the Supporters Association wanted to discuss, it turned out that there were many topics relating to operational policy. Our role as a Supervisory Board is to supervise the management’s policy. If there are questions about operational policy, we believe the general manager should also be present. He can answer that. We do not want to bypass the director in this regard. If we have to continuously say in such a conversation that the supporters must go to the management for answers, it will become a meaningless meeting.”
Mulder is still open to a conversation with the Supporters Association under the condition of Wouter Gudde’s presence. ,,That is not a problem at all. If stakeholders of the club, whether sponsors, the municipality, Euroborg or the supporters, want to discuss it, we are always open to it. However, as mentioned, we will be accompanied by the director in this. It’s just about policy. Those roles must be clear.”
The Supporters Association’s withdrawal of confidence in the Supervisory Board has no direct consequences for the supervisory body. “But we find it very annoying. We also understand the emotions. We have that ourselves too. We are also supporters of the club and have been for forty years. We understand the need for a conversation. We also deeply regret how FC Groningen is currently doing after the unpleasant season we have already had. Last summer we took measures to help the club get back on track and added good football people at all levels. We now have to give them the time to do their work.”