Lancashire Supporter Has Lifetime Membership Cancelled

Timothy St. Ather, a leading figure in a fans’ rebellion at Lancashire, has had his lifetime membership of the club cancelled, writes Barry Turner.

St. Ather was sent a letter of dismissal along with a cheque for £1045, the amount he paid for lifetime members’ status more than 20 years ago.

The move is seen as an attempt to quash the rebels at the Lancashire Action Group which is stirring up unrest over the poor treatment of fans and members.

Mr St. Ather planned to bombard the Board with embarrassing questions at the club’s next AGM, due in April. But the move to silence him may backfire with other angry agitators ready to take his place.

The club says he has breached its code of conduct by failing to be respectful towards officials and and also broke rules about selling-on tickets..

London-based businessman Mr Ather blasted: “I have followed Lancashire for 50 years, three other members of my family are members. I must spend £5,000 a year with the club and this is how they treat one of the best customers.

“It sums up what is wrong with the club which is run like some sort of Victorian gentleman’s establishment with anyone who steps out of line immediately crushed.

“I have strong opinions and am not slow to air them but them they have told me specifically any instances of disrespectful behaviour”

Mr St. Ather bought an allocation of 30 Test tickets last year which he says were sent out at the last minute meaning many of those he had invited could not attend. Attempts to sell the spare tickets at face value outside Old Trafford were seen as black marketeering.

The angry Red Rose fan has joined the Lancashire Action group which has an agenda for better facilities. Issues include excluding traditional members from upper tiers of the Pavilion, no access to the landmark Point development and plans to demolish the Red Rose suite where members had to move to get an elevated view.

Founder Ian Lomax said: “There are lots of issues that need addressing. As usual the club’s high and mighty attitude has resulted in the disgraceful treatment of Timothy St. Ather. If they think we are going away quietly they can think again.”

“The Lancashire Action group is an independent body but we intend to put pressure on the club to put members’ interests above those of sponsors and other revenue-generators which seems to be the club’s main preoccupation these days.

“Whilst income is very important it seems to have become the driving force of the whole business instead of the cricket and the members.”

A club spokesman said: “Lancashire CricketClub can confirm that Timothy St. Ather’s Membership was initially suspended following last year’s Test Match at Emirates Old Trafford for a breach of the Club’s ticketing terms and conditions in addition to what were viewed by the Club as breaches to the Members’ code of conduct.

“The code of conduct breaches were with reference to abuse aimed at Club officials. The suspension was lifted following a meeting with representatives of the Board, but Mr St Ather was warned that any future misconduct would result in his Membership being cancelled.

Following what the Board viewed to be subsequent breaches of the Members Code of Conduct and generally actions unbefitting a Member of the Club, independent legal advice was sought, and a decision was ultimately made to cancel Mr St Ather’s Life membership.

Barry Turner

@BarryEditor1

2018-03-16T15:23:23+00:00March 16th, 2018|County Cricket|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Nick March 16, 2018 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Don’t really feel I have enough information on comment on the specific case but it doesn’t surprise me that Counties are moving away from there traditional memberships because they simply won’t pay for the huge cost of developing the ground to retain International Cricket and squad upkeep costs

    Its sad for member but the places they are no longer allowed to go are probably be sold for a much higher cost than they were being charged.

    • James Morgan March 16, 2018 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      I think this story is interesting because it might become a bit of a trend i.e. supporter pressure groups biting back at their counties and / or the ECB. There’s a lot of disquiet out there at the moment. It will be interesting to see what develops.

      • Cricketcricketcricket March 17, 2018 at 8:15 am - Reply

        No chance. Just listen to that ex chairman who was on the board to realise how disconnected they are and how they are so easily swayed by cash and by the ecb party line. He sat back for years, then suddenly breaks ranks and pretends to be a good guy.

        Supporters and members hold no sway., the only thing you can do is not buy merchandise, not go to games and not pay for sky/bt.. do all that and they will eventually listen.. moan, kick up but keep spending your money and they couldn’t care less

  2. Tate March 16, 2018 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Strange goings on at Lancs (my county) at the moment. I heard from a decent source the other day that the hierarchy wanted to immediately install Keaton Jennings as captain to replace Croft, despite him only just joining the club. I’m led to believe that this wasn’t seen as a good idea by many within the club. Therefore, the inexperienced Livingstone got the job.

  3. Cricketcricketcricket March 16, 2018 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Meh.. counties are run by been counters now so there isn’t much point kicking up a fuss. Vote with your feet and don’t purchase bt or sky and they will learn. If no one hits them with less money they couldn’t give a toss

  4. Doug M March 17, 2018 at 11:41 am - Reply

    With cricketers opting out of red ball many stalwart county members will feel they are being short changed. This sort of behaviour by Lancs seems a bit Ott but again if this chap abused an official they may not be totally in the wrong in what they’ve done. Wouldn’t happen at Surrey though!

  5. Comte March 17, 2018 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    This is of interest as I’m a life member of my own club (Worcester). I’m aware that in some clubs members are treated with contempt but not in mine, I feel and, I hope, correctly.
    Our AGM is on Wednesday and we have a new CEO, a new Head Coach and assistants and a relatively new captain.
    There is an air of optimism but we are being treated to an appearance by Gordon Hollins, COO of the ECB. I hope I still feel optimistic at the end of it.

    • Garry March 20, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Gordon Hollins Spoke at Leicestershire last season thoroughly depressing and what he said as now turned out to be a pack of pork pies

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