Graham Rae 04 800

Message from the Chairman – 24 August 2017

Dear Supporters,

Winning back your trust, improving your match experiences and building a side that can get us back into the Premiership are my key priorities as I begin my new role as Chairman of this proud club.  All of the above are underpinned by adopting a sustainable business model that makes the club more resilient going forward.

At the heart of achieving these goals is improved communication and collaboration with you, the fans, our most important and valuable asset.

This will be the first of regular messages from me and we will complement this with regular newsletters about what is happening on and off the pitch, updates on the first team and our exciting and high achieving youth squads as well as improvements at the ground, personnel changes and our work in the community.

Piecing together an effective data base of emails/contact points for season ticket holders and supporters is an early action for us.  You can help us with this by ensuring you keep the club up to date with your contact information.

Social media is so important and we will have an early focus on improvements in how we use these platforms to keep you engaged with the club.

So to begin with, I should introduce myself.   I was born in Inverness but at an early age my parents moved to Canada, hence my North American accent.   I returned to Inverness at the age of 13 and attended Inverness Royal Academy and university in Aberdeen.  Former Inverness Thistle captain Dave Milroy and former Inverness Caledonian striker Billy Urquhart were schoolmates.  It is great to have them as ambassadors of the club.

My background is in management in the oil and gas industry, having worked in many parts of the world.  I am now retired and living back in my home community.  I am long-standing supporter of ICTFC and now “Head Cheerleader” of the club.

My first job as Chairman was to meet the players and our administrative staff to set out the vision and expectations of the Board of Directors, where I am joined by Vice-Chairman Allan MacKenzie, David Cameron, Alan McPhee and Kenny Thomson.   We will provide leadership while the day to day management of club operations lies with our new Chief Operating Officer, Danny MacDonald, and his administrative team.

Danny has already demonstrated the passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of the game on and off the pitch to manage and deliver our priorities.

Danny and I plan to make time each week for surgeries at the stadium for supporters to come in and discuss matters that are on their mind. Face to face discussion is always best.

On the park, we have one of the most able and experienced managers in Scotland at the helm.   John Robertson is an inspirational character who lifts all around him and I have no doubts he will produce a team that can get us back into the elite league of Scottish football.

We are operating with £1 million less than last season – such is the massive impact of playing in the Championship.  We must therefore operate within our means and have a realistic and sustainable budget.

After meeting with the staff on Monday, it was a pleasure to welcome 125 season ticket holders into the stadium for a productive session that extended to more than 2-and-a-half hours. What a great turn out which highlights the loyal support we have and the interest you have in the club, which is at the heart of our city and community.

It was a chance for Danny, John and I to set out our goals and for the supporters to ask any questions they wished.  It also gave me the opportunity to give notice of a new era of engagement with the fans and our communities.

I recorded more than 25 subjects for us to follow up and we will get back to you with a list of action points and timescales for delivering them.

It is easy to talk the talk.  We have a lot to do to win back your trust by setting out our action plan and delivering this will see us walk the walk.

You had comments about our stewarding, the location and operation of our sports bar, the location of the club shop, which we plan to move back into the stadium building, the poor surface of the home car park and access to and from it, the condition of the toilets, the value and quality of our catering.

There were comments about reintroducing a Mascot and half-time entertainment and we will look closely at this as part of the plan to improve the quality of your match day experience, to which you rightly attach so much importance.

These are all valid issues which we intend to tackle in a priority and managed way.

Having introduced the new leadership and management team at this initial meeting, we need to move forward and engage with you on what we can do together to take the club forward.  If everyone who attended the meeting comes forward with one idea then we will begin to make a big difference.

It is a great honour to be Chairman of this proud club.  My commitment is to work hard and provide the leadership to regain your trust; improve your match day experience and what we all want more than anything – promotion to the Premiership.

Working together we have the best chance of achieving our goals.

Thank you for your continued support.

Graham Rae