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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Daidy wrote:
loan_star wrote:
Mr_Tibbs wrote:
H1987 wrote:
I was going to say, for all plenty of us are very fed up, I haven't really seen personal directed abuse on here. I think it's a damned shame, I didn't want to see anyone go.

That said, whoever is putting the clubs messages out needs to think about their wording and wider public relations. There was no apology in the original messages and now openly attacking fans? Don't get me wrong, anyone who personally hounds volunteers is a dick, but the clubs official website openly attacking its fans!? Who thought that was a good idea, seriously? Even if it's what you think personally, than isn't the place you should be airing that view.


I must have missed that. Where does it openly attack the fans on the Official site?


Attendances at BM were criticised as not being good enough. Also said not enough money was raised but I'm sure the club ask for donations to stop as they had reached a certain figure.


Without wishing to get into a complete dissection of the statement, I would offer the following observations which have stood out to me.

"The board of Darlington FC regrets to announce that Richard Cook has decided to resign from the Board after the fans’ forum this coming Friday 21st April 2017. This is despite many messages of support for the Board in relation to recent events regarding the play-offs, and the unequivocal support of the Supporters Group as majority shareholder."

The second sentence, particularly the "despite many message of support for the Board...." seems an implication that holding a contrary view is either wrong or misplaced.

"Richard, who holds a senior role in a major international organisation, "

Whatever his background, many believe either himself or the board have made a major error but there is still no contrition. He clearly has useful skills but something has gone wrong here, and his working background doesn't mean he is incapable of making an error. Adding this in seems an unnecessary addition to me. Whilst professional experience is clearly useful, I would judge them more on their actions for Darlington which recently I think it's fair to say look like they've fallen short to some extent.

I could add a few more but I think the overall point which I feel the statement misses, is an acknowledgement that some of the criticism is clearly fair, and that a difference needs to be drawn between those asking for an explanation and those just spitting unnecessary personal vitriol. It runs the risk of lumping everyone into an "us or them" narrative which long-term, will be deeply divisive.


Careful now. You don't want to be accused of personal abuse...


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:03 pm 
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It's a massive loss, anyone who has been involved in any part of the club will understand that. You just don't get many people stepping forward who have the right skills to drive us forward.

The issue wasn't resolved today, our board and club just became weaker.

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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Have to agree with people who are saying the PR seems badly misplaced. Another statement with no apology and no contrition, but instead turning the whole situation round so it is all the fault of people who criticised the board, and people have fallen for it. So here we have a thread disussing people who dare express their discontent rather than a thread discussing the huge fuck up the board made. Reading this statement you'd think there wasn't even a mistake, it was all the fault of fans (how dare they be unhappy).

I haven't seen any personal abuse of Richard Cook on here, I have seen some on facebook though.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:13 pm 
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Yarblockos wrote:
Have to agree with people who are saying the PR seems badly misplaced. Another statement with no apology and no contrition, but instead turning the whole situation round so it is all the fault of people who criticised the board, and people have fallen for it. So here we have a thread disussing people who dare express their discontent rather than a thread discussing the huge fuck up the board made. Reading this statement you'd think there wasn't even a mistake, it was all the fault of fans (how dare they be unhappy).

I haven't seen any personal abuse of Richard Cook on here, I have seen some on facebook though.


Good post.

Any personal abuse is a disgrace and should be reported. I haven't seen any personally but there isn't any place for it.

What there must always be a place for is professional criticism. And the events of last week thoroughly warrant it...


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Its interesting to read the club statement on the official site and the reasons cited for Richard Cooks resignation. It talks about the ‘cultural fit’ of the football club not being aligned with his other commitments around work and family and this is fair do’s.
I’m not 100% sure what is meant by ‘cultural fit’ in this instance. I would suggest it probably refers to the fact that volunteers, working part time, with limited handover are having to make important decisions that in any other industry would be taken by full time senior execs and this significantly increases the probability of errors being made. If this is the correct interpretation, I think he is dead right and maintain we are now at a size where we require a full time, paid, head of off field activities.
How this is funded is open to debate.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:24 pm 
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Thank you for your time and efforts Richard.

The majority of fans appreciate all you have done in the rebuilding of our club.

Those morons who choose to hurl personal abuse should be ashamed of themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:54 pm 
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Daidy wrote:
Attendances at BM were criticised as not being good enough. Also said not enough money was raised but I'm sure the club ask for donations to stop as they had reached a certain figure.

Without wishing to get into a complete dissection of the statement, I would offer the following observations which have stood out to me.

"The board of Darlington FC regrets to announce that Richard Cook has decided to resign from the Board after the fans’ forum this coming Friday 21st April 2017. This is despite many messages of support for the Board in relation to recent events regarding the play-offs, and the unequivocal support of the Supporters Group as majority shareholder."

The second sentence, particularly the "despite many message of support for the Board...." seems an implication that holding a contrary view is either wrong or misplaced.

"Richard, who holds a senior role in a major international organisation, "

Whatever his background, many believe either himself or the board have made a major error but there is still no contrition. He clearly has useful skills but something has gone wrong here, and his working background doesn't mean he is incapable of making an error. Adding this in seems an unnecessary addition to me. Whilst professional experience is clearly useful, I would judge them more on their actions for Darlington which recently I think it's fair to say look like they've fallen short to some extent.

I could add a few more but I think the overall point which I feel the statement misses, is an acknowledgement that some of the criticism is clearly fair, and that a difference needs to be drawn between those asking for an explanation and those just spitting unnecessary personal vitriol. It runs the risk of lumping everyone into an "us or them" narrative which long-term, will be deeply divisive.


I can't disgaree with any of this. It may be because of the impending appeal, but you'd think the board had done nothing wrong and nothing worthy of criticism. Lumping in the behaviour of a few idiots at Fylde along with the 'vitriol' on social media as the reasons for Richard Cook's resignation is unfairly shifting the blame for our predicament. Intentionally or not, it has only served to turn fans against each other. You can see what has happened on this thread already. People have bitten and have turned on anyone criticising the board as being responsible. This will only serve to create an atmsophere where people will be afraid to speak up at the fans forum (maybe that's the idea?) You'll just be shouted down or anyone who does criticise will be told to shut up and volunteer themselves if they are so smart.

It's a good decision for Cook to go because we have to re-establish trust with the fans and investors, and that trust was cleary lost after recent events. The resignation could have been presented in such a way, rather than inviting fans to turn on each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:10 pm 
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No Swans...There's three of you and many of us who are "far away". I think it's disappointing that some personal insults have been thrown around but unfortunately as we've seen on here it's easy to do this when you're not face to face. Hopefully after the fans forum we can move on and people will resort to more constructive comments-there are already many thoughts about moving forward so here's hoping.
bga you are a luddite-I'll sort Twitter with you next week!


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:13 pm 
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don'tbuythesun wrote:
No Swans...There's three of you and many of us who are "far away". I think it's disappointing that some personal insults have been thrown around but unfortunately as we've seen on here it's easy to do this when you're not face to face. Hopefully after the fans forum we can move on and people will resort to more constructive comments-there are already many thoughts about moving forward so here's hoping.
bga you are a luddite-I'll sort Twitter with you next week!


Sorry I'm confused... 3 of us?


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:23 pm 
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Woo what a result. Defos best thing for the long term future of the club and in no way is this going to leave us short of much needed skill set on the board.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:25 pm 
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don'tbuythesun wrote:
No Swans...There's three of you and many of us who are "far away". I think it's disappointing that some personal insults have been thrown around but unfortunately as we've seen on here it's easy to do this when you're not face to face. Hopefully after the fans forum we can move on and people will resort to more constructive comments-there are already many thoughts about moving forward so here's hoping.
bga you are a luddite-I'll sort Twitter with you next week!


I'd like you to provide evidence of any personal insults made towards Richard Cook on this forum.

It is now clear that some people cannot tolerate any criticism of the board, and the statement has provided them the opportunity to throw s*** at loyal Darlo fans (who are just as dedicated and care just as much about the club as you do) by insinuating we have been personally abusive to Richard Cook. The atmosphere created is likely to make a fans forum nothing more than a shouting match.

As I have written earlier, this statement has only served to turn fans against each other. Just when I think the statements can't get any worse they bring out another one.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:51 pm 
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Yarblockos wrote:
don'tbuythesun wrote:
No Swans...There's three of you and many of us who are "far away". I think it's disappointing that some personal insults have been thrown around but unfortunately as we've seen on here it's easy to do this when you're not face to face. Hopefully after the fans forum we can move on and people will resort to more constructive comments-there are already many thoughts about moving forward so here's hoping.
bga you are a luddite-I'll sort Twitter with you next week!


I'd like you to provide evidence of any personal insults made towards Richard Cook on this forum.

It is now clear that some people cannot tolerate any criticism of the board, and the statement has provided them the opportunity to throw s*** at loyal Darlo fans (who are just as dedicated and care just as much about the club as you do) by insinuating we have been personally abusive to Richard Cook. The atmosphere created is likely to make a fans forum nothing more than a shouting match.

As I have written earlier, this statement has only served to turn fans against each other. Just when I think the statements can't get any worse they bring out another one.


If what is written on here has been considered personal abuse then I'm flabbergasted... TBH I have not read any personal abuse on any form of social media... perhaps it's been made in private through email or I haven't seen it all...


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:16 pm 
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Swans I was referring to the three of you from south Wales as discussed recently! I didn't say anyone had been abusive on here, I was referring to comments made about abuse on social media generally as stated by a number of people. I like to think that this forum hasn't behaved like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:22 pm 
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don'tbuythesun wrote:
Swans I was referring to the three of you from south Wales as discussed recently! I didn't say anyone had been abusive on here, I was referring to comments made about abuse on social media generally as stated by a number of people. I like to think that this forum hasn't behaved like that.


Ah ok... I know Darlojack. Goes to games with me occasionally... The lad who posted the other day isn't a Darlo fan... He lives in Gainsborough so I was bringing him along to the away game.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Just when you think it can't get any worse, we lose one of the club's most stalwart workers who have done such a great job to bring us to where we are today. And it has been a stab in the vitals from some so-called 'fans' who don't have the wherewithal to realise the work & benefit RC has been to the club. Such a damn shame.
Thank you Richard for everything you have done.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:40 pm 
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If I'm being honest, I think the club saying vitriol from fans is a reason for his departure is being used as an excuse.

I'm not denying personal abuse had been levelled at board members on social media (not so much here, but certainly Twitter and Facebook, and potentially in private). And any form of personal abuse is unacceptable and should be condemned.

But are we really saying a grown adult, who's held senior posts at major companies can't handle comments from a bunch of cowardly keyboard warriors? Did he really log on to the club's Facebook page and get so upset by some comments that he had to jack in his role?

His passion for the club is undeniable judging by his reaction on Twitter today, so would he really let that be tainted by a handful of keyboard warriors?

I do wonder if RC had realised the commitment needed to run the club at the level we're now at, particularly the infrastructure development needed in the short to medium term, could be too much, given his other "senior role at a major international organisation", as the club put it. Maybe he was thinking about easing back on his commitments and this gave him an out. We'll never know.

It also gives the remaining board members a chance to restructure and I guess put out a fresh call for support at the next fans' forum. And it makes it hard for anyone to say that no one is taking responsibility for the mistake.

I still think it's a shame he's decided to step away, whatever the truth of the matter. He's undoubtedly had a lot of experience and frankly was willing to step up when others weren't. It's a big loss and I think we'll find it hard to fill the gap.

But I'm sceptical about the club's reasoning in the statement put out today.

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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:43 pm 
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Pleasantly suprised at the match today. Was expecting a toxic atmosphere, but found anything but. Maybe twitter isn't as reflective of the general feeling as is always made out.

I hope Cook going helps restore trust in the Board for those who have lost it. If not, Jowett going might. From a fan base of 1800, and with the comings and goings over the last 5 years, we must be running out of suitable candidates shortly though.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:54 pm 
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Darlogramps wrote:
If I'm being honest, I think the club saying vitriol from fans is a reason for his departure is being used as an excuse.

I'm not denying personal abuse had been levelled at board members on social media (not so much here, but certainly Twitter and Facebook, and potentially in private). And any form of personal abuse is unacceptable and should be condemned.

But are we really saying a grown adult, who's held senior posts at major companies can't handle comments from a bunch of cowardly keyboard warriors? Did he really log on to the club's Facebook page and get so upset by some comments that he had to jack in his role?

His passion for the club is undeniable judging by his reaction on Twitter today, so would he really let that be tainted by a handful of keyboard warriors?

I do wonder if RC had realised the commitment needed to run the club at the level we're now at, particularly the infrastructure development needed in the short to medium term, could be too much, given his other "senior role at a major international organisation", as the club put it. Maybe he was thinking about easing back on his commitments and this gave him an out. We'll never know.

It also gives the remaining board members a chance to restructure and I guess put out a fresh call for support at the next fans' forum. And it makes it hard for anyone to say that no one is taking responsibility for the mistake.

I still think it's a shame he's decided to step away, whatever the truth of the matter. He's undoubtedly had a lot of experience and frankly was willing to step up when others weren't. It's a big loss and I think we'll find it hard to fill the gap.

But I'm sceptical about the club's reasoning in the statement put out today.



Good positive post.

I think all the statements put out by the club have been very poor,they dont seem to make sense when you consider the experience of the board.

They wouldnt issue statements like that to stakeholders in other businesses they are involved in im sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Darlogramps wrote:
If I'm being honest, I think the club saying vitriol from fans is a reason for his departure is being used as an excuse.

I'm not denying personal abuse had been levelled at board members on social media (not so much here, but certainly Twitter and Facebook, and potentially in private). And any form of personal abuse is unacceptable and should be condemned.

But are we really saying a grown adult, who's held senior posts at major companies can't handle comments from a bunch of cowardly keyboard warriors? Did he really log on to the club's Facebook page and get so upset by some comments that he had to jack in his role?

His passion for the club is undeniable judging by his reaction on Twitter today, so would he really let that be tainted by a handful of keyboard warriors?

I do wonder if RC had realised the commitment needed to run the club at the level we're now at, particularly the infrastructure development needed in the short to medium term, could be too much, given his other "senior role at a major international organisation", as the club put it. Maybe he was thinking about easing back on his commitments and this gave him an out. We'll never know.

It also gives the remaining board members a chance to restructure and I guess put out a fresh call for support at the next fans' forum. And it makes it hard for anyone to say that no one is taking responsibility for the mistake.

I still think it's a shame he's decided to step away, whatever the truth of the matter. He's undoubtedly had a lot of experience and frankly was willing to step up when others weren't. It's a big loss and I think we'll find it hard to fill the gap.

But I'm sceptical about the club's reasoning in the statement put out today.


Think this is probably right DG. I don't think RC is that sensitive, but when you're volunteering your time for free (maybe he charges himself out per day at day £300 - £400 a day for his other work) then why stick around. I wouldn't.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:05 pm 
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Darlogramps wrote:
If I'm being honest, I think the club saying vitriol from fans is a reason for his departure is being used as an excuse.

I'm not denying personal abuse had been levelled at board members on social media (not so much here, but certainly Twitter and Facebook, and potentially in private). And any form of personal abuse is unacceptable and should be condemned.

But are we really saying a grown adult, who's held senior posts at major companies can't handle comments from a bunch of cowardly keyboard warriors? Did he really log on to the club's Facebook page and get so upset by some comments that he had to jack in his role?

His passion for the club is undeniable judging by his reaction on Twitter today, so would he really let that be tainted by a handful of keyboard warriors?

I do wonder if RC had realised the commitment needed to run the club at the level we're now at, particularly the infrastructure development needed in the short to medium term, could be too much, given his other "senior role at a major international organisation", as the club put it. Maybe he was thinking about easing back on his commitments and this gave him an out. We'll never know.

It also gives the remaining board members a chance to restructure and I guess put out a fresh call for support at the next fans' forum. And it makes it hard for anyone to say that no one is taking responsibility for the mistake.

I still think it's a shame he's decided to step away, whatever the truth of the matter. He's undoubtedly had a lot of experience and frankly was willing to step up when others weren't. It's a big loss and I think we'll find it hard to fill the gap.

But I'm sceptical about the club's reasoning in the statement put out today.


Nail on head.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Darlogramps wrote:
.....
But are we really saying a grown adult, who's held senior posts at major companies can't handle comments from a bunch of cowardly keyboard warriors?
.....



Has anyone said he can't take abuse?

He has chosen not to put himself in a position as a volunteer where people abuse him.


I can't say i blame him. Criticism and questioning actions are one thing ( and there are plenty of reasons for both). The level of personal abuse to a volunteer is appalling and i can fully understand why he chooses not to put up with it voluntarily

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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:20 pm 
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Well this was as inevitable as us hitting a point where off field needed to catch up with on field.

I was going to put a sarcastic post about what a great outcome this is for the football club, and how I can't wait to has an abundance of applications to playoff against each other to find an adequately qualified replacement...

Ultimately two of the most experienced/qualified fans have just been chased from their roles by a mob, reality is who is going to put themselves in the firing line now.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:48 pm 
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spen666 wrote:
Darlogramps wrote:
.....
But are we really saying a grown adult, who's held senior posts at major companies can't handle comments from a bunch of cowardly keyboard warriors?
.....



Has anyone said he can't take abuse?


That's exactly my point. From the club's statement, you'd think it's the primary reason. But I'd be surprised if he was bothered by it at all.

Thought you'd be able to work that out. Evidently not.

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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:48 pm 
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We do need to differentiate between personal abuse and criticism of actions/decisions. Totally different things. I'm also a bit wary of the notion that a volunteer platform should be free from accountability and scrutiny and carry a special immunity, else for me it brings into question the efficacy of this particular type of model. For volunteers, however, the basis of any criticism should be constructive and certainly not vitriolic. Some fans seem to lack any sense of context.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:22 pm 
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An undoubtedly bright and well qualified guy who managed to do the job interning circumstances whilst juggling a family and business life. Like the vast majority, I'd hope he would have stayed and thank him for his contributions. I'm always in awe of those who step up like he has.

Moving forward quickly, as us Darlo fans often have to - thoughts turn to the board's approach to next week's forum. I have no idea who has been writing the last few statements but I believe they've made a bad situation quite a bit worse. Hopefully they have been cathartic to the board in difficult times as they've come out shooting and now it's off their chest.

I'm expecting significant fundraising is going to be necessary, even more than we already know, and the only way this will be achieved is if we can move forwards together. Everything I've seen has suggested to me that the bulk of the fan base are ready to do that, the support for the board has been much stronger than today's statement suggested but if we continue with a 'them and us' attitude we will just not achieve what we need to.

So I'm hoping there's an amicable presentation to kick us off. Explain what's happened, when and why - then start planning where the heck we can take things from here.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:26 pm 
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m62exile wrote:
An undoubtedly bright and well qualified guy who managed to do the job interning circumstances whilst juggling a family and business life. Like the vast majority, I'd hope he would have stayed and thank him for his contributions. I'm always in awe of those who step up like he has.

Moving forward quickly, as us Darlo fans often have to - thoughts turn to the board's approach to next week's forum. I have no idea who has been writing the last few statements but I believe they've made a bad situation quite a bit worse. Hopefully they have been cathartic to the board in difficult times as they've come out shooting and now it's off their chest.

I'm expecting significant fundraising is going to be necessary, even more than we already know, and the only way this will be achieved is if we can move forwards together. Everything I've seen has suggested to me that the bulk of the fan base are ready to do that, the support for the board has been much stronger than today's statement suggested but if we continue with a 'them and us' attitude we will just not achieve what we need to.

So I'm hoping there's an amicable presentation to kick us off. Explain what's happened, when and why - then start planning where the heck we can take things from here.


Absolutely right move on. We can all unite around the club and what's best for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:28 pm 
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spen666 wrote:
The level of personal abuse to a volunteer is appealing and i can fully understand why he chooses not to put up with it voluntarily



Please say you mean appalling - otherwise i feel you've misunderstood.

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 Post subject: Re: Richard Cook quits
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:12 pm
Posts: 912
Team Supported: Darlington
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
spen666 wrote:
The level of personal abuse to a volunteer is appealing and i can fully understand why he chooses not to put up with it voluntarily



Please say you mean appalling - otherwise i feel you've misunderstood.



Bloody auto correct. I did mean appalling. Thanks for pointing out my cock up.

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