Mervyn Morgan resigns from St Albans City Youth FC saying councillors ‘have little or no understanding of the needs of the City’
PUBLISHED: 18:31 24 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:37 24 May 2018
A mainstay of youth football in St Albans has chosen to resign after 32 years following St Albans District Council’s decision to throw out proposals for St Albans City’s new stadium.
Mervyn Morgan had been considering his role within St Albans City Youth for the last few months but following Tuesday’s council meeting regarding the club’s proposals being omitted from the local plan, he has chosen to end his tenure early.
And he cites the council as responsible for the haste of his departure saying “those who represent us in the council chamber have little or no understanding of the needs of the City”.
A despondent Morgan, who has been chair of the club since 1997, had told HertsAdSport prior to Tuesday’s meeting that news of the decision had left him feeling like walking away, saying “what’s the point of all that work”?
And in a heartfelt statement he said the council’s “negative reaction” was the last straw.
He said: “[The council] do not deserve a club like St Albans City Youth FC, a club run by hundreds of volunteers for the youth of our district, a club that has achieved great things in its 47 years despite the obstacles sometimes put in its path.”
He has promised to carry on as a welfare officer for the club but he will not be putting his name forward at the club’s AGM in September.
Statement from Mervyn Morgan in full:
“Those of you who were present at the St Albans City Youth managers meeting back in October 2017 will recall my intention to review my role within the club.
“Now, several months have passed and recent events have hastened this decision, but I must announce that I have decided now is the right time for me to step down from my role as both chair of trustees and as a trustee of city youth.
“After 10 great years running a team with my dear friend Dave Wray, then, after a push from Dave and a shove from then chairman George Walker I became chair of the club in 1997 and when the club became a registered charity in the early 2000s chair of trustees.
“During my 32 years with City Youth I have had the privilege of working with some fantastic people, many have become lifelong friends. I must add that there are great people right across the club from the trustees board, the management committee, team managers and the many young coaches that have come through the ranks at City Youth.
“Over the years there have been some tough decisions that not everyone has been happy with, but these have always been made with the best interests of the club at heart.
“There have been many projects that I am proud to have been associated with, a couple that immediately come to mind are the facilities at Highfield (11 fantastic pitches) and the 3G astro at Nicholas Breakspear (plus the new 3G astro about to come on line at Samuel Ryder Academy), all of these projects are the result of some great work by the trustees and friends of our club.
“These projects, although hard work, have also been rewarding, with the added plus of seeing them come to life with the youth of the district reaping the benefit of this work. To everyone who helped with these projects thank you, it has been a privilege.
“However, events in recent days have made me recall the opposition we faced with the first two projects mentioned earlier, Highfield Park and Nicholas Breakspear, there was major opposition to our plans from residents, which is always to be expected, but also from St Albans District Council [and] it was the council opposition that took a huge amount of time and effort to overcome.
“I mentioned recent events have helped to confirm my intention to stand down, for some time I have been working, with my friend and fellow trustee, the joint owner of St Albans City FC Lawrence Levy on the new stadium proposal, a plan which I firmly believed, if accepted, would have been of enormous benefit to the long-term future sustainability of St Albans City FC and, City Youth.
“However, having been present at the planning policy meeting at the council offices on Tuesday evening, the councillors’ response to the proposal was the last straw. One such comment was that the Council carried out a study on this subject in 1994 (a quarter of a century ago!).
“It may have been somewhat naive of me to have been surprised by the council’s negative reaction to the project but I was. Therefore, I am sorry to say that I have concluded that many of those who represent us in the council chamber have little or no understanding of the needs of the City.
“Unfortunately they do not deserve a club like St Albans City Youth FC, a club run by hundreds of volunteers for the youth of our district, a club that has achieved great things in its 47 years despite the obstacles sometimes put in its path.
“Over the next few months I have given my word that I will see out the rest of this season and take care of the club affiliation for 2018/19, as well as help get things ready and in place for next season, but my name will not be going forward at the AGM in September, now is the time for a new generation to carry the baton.
“I have agreed to continue as one of the club’s welfare officers, safeguarding is something I am committed too, in addition to a few other minor jobs. I will continue my work with sport in my role at the Herts Sport Partnership and continue to promote the work of City Youth at every opportunity.
“Thank you to everyone.”