SWINDON Town board members rejected claims that they had personally taken £200,000 out of the club in consultancy charges and pledged to holding monthly fans meetings during talks between themselves and representatives of two supporters’ groups last night.

Chairman Jed McCrory and general manager Steve Murrall were present at the event, organised by the Advertiser and held at the paper’s offices in Old Town, and were posed with questions regarding various online allegations, the way in which they acquired the club, the potential involvement of Lee Power and Stephen Crouch, their longer-term blueprint for Town and the possible development of the County Ground.

BBC Wiltshire and the club’s media department were also present although it was decided by the three parties involved in the discussions - Trust STFC, the STFC Supporters’ Club and the two members of the Swindon board - that the meeting would not be subject to audio recording.

However, the two fans’ groups did get McCrory and Murrall to agree to answer formal questions in writing which can be published in response to claims floating around cyberspace.

Murrall nonsensed suggestions that £200,000 had gone out of the club in accountancy charges, admitting that legal fees had been paid which he said were a necessary part of the takeover process.

McCrory showed those present a letter confirming that he provided the £1.2million required by the Football League during takeover proceedings, and other documentation was presented by the Robins chairman to substantiate his claims.

Murrall confirmed that an independent audit was close to completion and that he would consider allowing the media to see the results as and when they become available.

When pushed hard by Trust STFC chairman John Ward on the make-up of the boards of both Swindon Town Football Company Ltd and Seebeck 87 Ltd, McCrory said that at present the same individuals sit on each as was the case when he first came into the club.

Power and Crouch have had fit and proper person’s tests submitted to the Football League, but as yet have not successfully passed through the procedure.

McCrory stressed that he is the 100 per cent shareholder of Seebeck 87 Ltd.

Murrall said that company cars - Mercedes - had been hired to replace the previous company cars at what he claimed to be a lower cost. The Advertiser understands the monthly lease of the cars to be £370 and that two have been hired by Town.

A blueprint for the future which focuses of youth development and the establishment of an under 21 set-up was put up for discussion by the board, while they revealed that plans are afoot to move the first-team training ground from Liddington to new facilities in Calne at Beversbrook.

McCrory made a point of recounting the story of how he came to have control of the club, stating that he had only four hours to make the decision while at lawyers in Milton Keynes after Andrew Black’s decision to walk away.

He explained the turnover of directors by saying that he is still putting together the plan for the club, having not had the normal and adequate amount of time to conduct due diligence and get men in place because of the rapid speed at which the takeover went through in January and February.

The pair confirmed that some members of the board were salaried. Figures weren’t disclosed although Murrall emphasised that his was not a substantial sum. McCrory stated that he has not been taking a salary out of the club.

The Robins chairman also mentioned plans to add executive boxes into the Don Rogers Stand and and increase the size of the Junior Reds’ Room within the concourse.

Ann Alder, vice chair of the STFC Supporters’ Club, reflected on the meeting by saying: “I felt first of all that it was going to be a bit contentious but it settled down and I’m now feeling quite positive. I’d be more clear once I’ve seen some of the answers to the questions we’ve put to them in writing.

“We couldn’t get through everything that we wanted but we’ve made a start and I hope that we will continue to do so on a monthly basis.

“The websites have a lot to answer for and where people get their information from I don’t know. I’m within the club quite a lot and I don’t feel any negativity around - not from the club side.

“I’ve spoken to players, staff and it’s all moved on and it is quite positive.

Simon Brooks, board member of Trust STFC, said: “There were a lot of questions that the fans wanted raised and they put to us. I don’t think we’ve got detailed answers or in some cases any kind of answers to those.

“They’ve committed to providing written answers to all of the questions submitted to us. It’s very important they do that and I think we have to withhold judgement until they provide some kind of answers to those questions about the future of the club.

“I don’t feel we’ve got clarity of Stephen Crouch and Lee Power’s involvement, I don’t feel we’ve got clarity on the exact nature of salary and consultancy arrangements - I appreciate everyone’s salary might be private but it is the fans’ money going into the club.

“People do want to be sure it is being spent in the right way.

“Most of the people who have been posing the questions on the social media sites would say they haven’t been answered in detail that would satisfy them, so we’ll give them the opportunity to respond in writing and we’ll form a judgement at that stage.”