Name: Ceri Stone
Occupation: Managing Director
Current Role: Trust Board Member Elect wef 1st August 2020 to 31 July 2022
Why did you join the Trust Board? I am passionate about the overall success of our football club, both on the field and commercially off it. I believe that we need to navigate our way through the current climate, which is impacting all clubs outside of the Premier League, and seek a return to the very successful operating model with harmony between the fans, supporters trust and club board and where we over achieved beyond our means. There is no short-term fix but I believe I have the skills and experience to help us work towards these goals.
What attributes/skills are you able to bring to the Board? I have recently finished a position as Managing Director for an award winning International Educational Supplies business and am currently on a fixed term contract as Commercial Director for a company in a related field. I am hands on and have been involved in all aspects of the businesses and am accustomed to working with and leading teams at all levels. This means that my skillset and experience is wide-ranging from dealing with management accounts, budget setting, inventory management, sales, marketing, customer service and negotiations at senior levels. In addition to this I was vice chairman for our trade association for a decade where we accomplished a great deal of positive change and involved representing our industry with parliament and international partners. My approach is usually straightforward and goal oriented and I believe that I have a passion for delivering what is right for the club as a whole.
How do you feel the Trust can further develop its representation of members and the wider fan base? Over the past couple of years we have seen a greater level of communication between the Trust and the fans and this has helped present a united voice. We are in a unique position where we represent the fanbase but also have to contribute to difficult and complicated decision making for the greater good of the club. This is especially prevalent during the coronavirus pandemic which is having a negative impact on finances. I believe there is a strong need for the fans to understand the business reasoning behind the goals and decisions of the club and that these should be clearly laid out for all to see. I would also like to see the fans becoming more involved with rational decision making rather than emotional reactions during the ninety minutes on a Saturday. I would like to see a greater engagement between the fans, trust and club board and can see that initiatives such as the bowling night and engagement with the fans relating to the season ticket refunds have been a great success. I would advocate more of the same and aim to be more involved with this.
Trust Board Responsibilities: This is my first term as a Board Member and I intend to spend time familiarising myself with the many aspects of the Trust’s role and how it operates. I would like to be involved with the membership and fundraising sub-committee, but am flexible to where I can contribute best. I also aim to spend each match day helping out at the Trust Pod at the stadium. I am willing to meet and talk with fans, listening and dealing with issues that the Trust can help with and helping to drive membership up which will further strengthen our voice.
Trust Board Elections Nomination Statement July 2020: “I am 52 years old and I have spent the majority of my working life in senior leadership and directorial roles. I have been the Managing Director for an International Education Supplies business for over a decade and I have excellent organisation, business and leadership skills. I have been a Swans fan my entire life and I have held a season ticket for the last eighteen years when I returned from a decade working overseas.
I am a staunch believer in the Supporters Trust and the role it plays in the Swansea City AFC family.
My vision is to help maintain the valued position of the Trust with the club and to ensure that the Supporters Trust is a unified voice representing the fans with the board of directors. I want to maintain our perfect operating model of our early years in the Premier League, which involves a financially stable and transparent operating structure, clear lines of communication where we listen to the fans and of course success on the field playing the ‘Swansea Way’.
Given my passion for the club and my industry experience I am ideally suited to represent the members and to help deliver our vision of a successful operating model that has been envied by other clubs around the country. I love this club and I want it to give the fans something to be proud of. I will do all in my power to help it succeed once more.”