John MILLS – Candidate Statement
My name is John Mills, have lived in Wrexham for most of my life, and for 56 years have been a Wrexham AFC fan. The purpose of this statement is to give you a short overview of who I am, why I want to apply for a board position with the Wrexham Supporters Trust, and what I have to offer the members of the Trust, Wrexham AFC and its fans going forward into what I hope will be a successful and forward looking era of its existence.
For nearly 20 years I have worked as European IT Director for an American owned business to business communication\media and events company, preparing and managing budgets in excess of £6 million on a European wide infrastructure, and accustomed to working at board level across a number of cultures and diverse backgrounds. Prior to this, I worked for several years as an IT Consultant, at mainly large international Blue Chip companies. I also am a Director of my own IT Systems and Business Consultancy, working with both the public and private marketplace. My skill set encompasses the entire spectrum of enterprise sized business operation, not just 40 years of information technology, systems, software and web development. I am also a Prince II qualified project practitioner, which allows me to give structure to what to others may seem impossible tasks. More recently, I have been working on a Welsh Government funded project working with businesses of up to £40 million turnover across North and Mid Wales advising on improvements on business processes and profitability.
After already serving six years as a member of the Trust Board (as Vice Chair, and 5 years as a Wrexham AFC Board Member.) I believe I have the business acumen and technical skills, insight and vision necessary to help both the Club and Trust move forward and drive our club to where it belongs, back in the Football League. I currently provide support and development to all WST and Wrexham AFC websites, software and hardware platforms, and also maintain, run and develop both Club and WST business systems, providing a modern, innovative infrastructure to progress and innovate and to help give us every possible advantage in a very competitive and wide ranging industry. Recently, I have also taken on the Health and Safety functions for the Club, which allows our matches to take place in a safe environment for all our fans and players.
I have many years of experience across a variety of skills and disciplines, and coupled with the time spent accumulating knowledge, experience and contributing to the development of the entire structure of both the Trust and the Club feel well placed to help support and enable the aims and ambitions of the Trust Membership and the wider fan base.
In my opinion, we need to continuously expand on the already excellent business based skills of the current Trust board, adding multilevel communication skills, engaging the Membership and fan base in the club by using our skills, beliefs and enthusiasm, and developing focus via project and business plans, not for this year, or even next, but for years beyond that. I believe I can strongly contribute towards supporting the business, community and social aims of both the Trust and the Football Club.
As stated previously, I am a Wrexham fan of long standing and have followed our team wherever and whenever I could. Over this time, we have seen many football clubs fading away due to the actions of cynical businessmen, in some cases, owners of these clubs (as we know only too well). Football, and the community that develops behind its banner, are much too valuable a concept to allow the greed of such men destroy what has in a lot of cases been well over a hundred years, and many generations of shared passion, vision and experience in the making. It is too easy, especially these days, to fall in to the trap of thinking Premiership football, as presented on TV, is really what it’s all about, overpaid ‘stars’, a game awash with the riches of television and advertising. We know what real football is and should be.
The bond with our club is especially strong with Wrexham AFC fans, we have always fought against the odds, but still produced teams that have achieved superb results, a team and community we are all proud of being part of. We’ve always punched above our weight, in no small measure due to our unique position in having all of North, Mid Wales and the Marches to draw our passionate support from, and the struggles we have endured to keep our team alive. In generations to come, our children may never have felt that emotional pull our football team gives us, that togetherness, that feeling of ‘we are Wrexham’ but for our character, our spirit and our own vision of the future.
And it is our uniqueness that allows us to aspire to greater things. It may take us a little longer to get to the highest levels, but, we know, by setting out a framework in which all our community is involved, we can drive our Club up the leagues, and always know that it is OUR club, not the plaything of a rich man with no emotional attachment to what we know is our heritage and our passion.
Whether elected or not, I will be here to help in any way to progress the vision of a community owned football club, playing at the highest level possible. I believe in inclusiveness not exclusiveness, we all have our part to play in the future of OUR club.
Nominated by Marc Jones and Jayne Gordon