Seven of the most high-profile figures in angling have offered the crisis-hit Angling Trust their advice and support free of charge in an effort to save the sport’s new governing body.
John Wilson, Keith Arthur, Martin Bowler, Danny Fairbrass, Ruth Lockwood, John Everard and Tim Norman have written to the Trust’s board of directors following last week’s revelation that it was facing financial collapse.
All of them are keen to see the Trust succeed and are willing to do all they can to realise that aim without receiving a penny.
Between them, the seven boast an unrivalled wealth of experience and firmly believe that their combined profiles, knowledge and expertise can be employed by the Trust in order to persuade anglers of the importance of joining up.
“We need to make the average angler appreciate that without a secure governing body our sport is stuffed and we’ll all be left without anyone to fight our corner,” said AT columnist Keith Arthur.
Angling’s most recognisable face, John Wilson, went even further, claiming that the sport is facing a real crisis.
“I think the rod licence should be twice as expensive as it is. What’s a pound a week towards the sport we all love? Angling in this country has always been terribly underfunded,” said John.
“The only way we’re going to solve problems like pollution, predation and degradation of fisheries is if we’re willing to pay for it. Anglers can start that process now by joining the Angling Trust,” said John.
“Our offer does hang on the fact that there’s still something left to save,” pointed out ECHO chairman Ruth Lockwood.
But the initial indications at the time of going to press are that the Trust is set to accept their help.
“They’ve kindly offered their services and we’d be lunatics not to accept them. We will meet with them as soon as possible,” said Trust boss Mark Lloyd, who took a voluntary 30 per cent salary cut.
What is the Trust?
Angling’s new representative governing body, incorporating a legal pollution-fighting arm, was formed by the unification of the NFA, NFSA, ACA, SAA and NAFAC.
The Trust aims to speak for anglers and fight the sport’s battles on the ground and in the corridors of power. But it has just under 10,000 individual members, less than one per cent of rod licence-holders. The organisation revealed it was in financial crisis last week and made seven staff redundant.
For your chance to join the Trust and win £1,000 of Daiwa tackle, see the offer advertised on page 57.
Who makes up the Angling Trust leadership:
Chief Executive: Mark Lloyd
Chairman: Stephen Marsh Smith (Dentist)
Andrew Nathan (legal specialist for Fish Legal) Dave Batten (PAC/NAFAC) David Moore (Angling Development Board) Jim Glasspool (FACT/Test & Itchin Assoc) Martin Read (NAFAC) Mike Heylin (SAA/Fish Welfare Group) Peter Sutton (ACA Finance, now Trust’s competition secretary) Roger Furniss (South-West Rivers) Stuart McPherson (ex-policeman/NFSA) Terry Fell (NFA)