Often Partisan

Supporters Trust update

Having floated the idea of a supporters trust on here, I’m pleased to say I’ve been deluged with emails from bluenoses who want to do something positive to help the club. Hopefully from those interested Blues fans a core working group will emerge who will be able to drive forwards the idea of a supporters trust and make it a reality.

I’ve read lots of comments by Blues fans, and most of it does seem positive. It’s not about disenfranchising other groups, or creating a talking shop – a Supporters Trust is about legitimising fans groups and giving them all the chance to have a voice that can’t be ignored by the club. The whole democratic ideals behind an ST would mean it can’t become someone’s private fiefdom, and that those who speak on behalf of the fans would actually be mandated to do so by the fans who have elected them.

I’ll be keeping abreast of how the Supporters Trust idea grows, and I hope to be able to report their initial meeting in the near future.

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21 Responses to “Supporters Trust update”

  • glyn rees says:

    I would hope that you would put yourself forward Almajir

  • Rags says:

    Who decides who is allowed to vote ?

    • Andy says:

      If you read the guidelines on the Supporters Direct website you will find all the information you are looking for.

      The criteria for our support of any group wishing to form a Trust are also unchanging. They are fourfold:

      a) The organization must be fully democratic, not only in its Constitution but in the way it conducts its affairs on a day-to-day basis.

      b) It must be not-for-profit, and the property of its members. No member should be in a position to benefit financially from membership, other than through paid employment.

      c) It must be inclusive, i.e. open and welcoming to all supporters of the club and to all other bona fide supporters’ organisations associated with the club. In effect it should be an umbrella for them all, and representative of all who choose to join.

      d) It must be affordable to all fans. Our guidelines are that the minimum annual subscription should not exceed the average price of attending one home game. This should also apply to concessionary categories such as the elderly, the young, those with disabilities and the unwaged. No one should be excluded because they cannot afford to join. Donations over and above the subscription will, of course, always be welcome.

      The website also provides a very good sample constitution and rules especially as to who is eligible to stand for election, in summary from http://www.supporters-direct.org/wiki/index.php?title=Handbook:Appendix_5:_Model_rules_for_Trust_elections

      No candidate can stand if they:

      – Have been a member of the Society board for 12 consecutive years;
      – Have been declared bankrupt or compounded with their creditors;
      – Are subject to a disqualification order made under the Company Directors Disqualification Act;
      – Have been convicted of an indictable offence (other than a spent conviction as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974);
      – Are or may on the basis of medical evidence be suffering from mental disorder;
      – Fail to abide by any rules for the conduct of elections made by the Society board

      Also

      Save for the exceptions outlined in the constitution, no Society board member is to have any material financial interest personally or as a member of a firm or company or as a director or other officer of a business trading for profit or in any other way whatsoever in any contract or other transaction with the Society. For the purposes of this rule, an interest of a person who is connected with a Society board member shall be treated as an interest of the Society board member.

      I hope that this goes some way to put your mind at rest as to the sorts of people who may stand

      • alexjhurley says:

        Useful clarification Andy. a few further questions

        1. can anyone join the Trust or can qualifying criteria be applied – e.g. members must actually attend matches
        2. Clearly a large group of supports will have diverse views, and those who don’t get thier own way may get disattisfied and leave. in your experience, does this negatively impact the effectiveness of trusts and what they can actually achieve?

        • Andy says:

          Hi Alex,

          1. I wouldn’t have thought that the membership criteria would be that strict, I imagine that anyone who wanted to join would be accepted as long as there wasn’t a pretty clear conflict of interests (eg. employees of the club/holding company or maybe if they members of another football club) but other than that I doubt that there would be many exclusions.

          2. Obviously there will be a broad range of views, as a democratic organisation it would have to reflect to wishes of a majority of it’s members and hopefully it would also be sensitive to minority viewpoints.

          PS, I should point out that these are just my personal thoughts based upon the guidelines, I am not attempting to speak for any organisation.

  • prewarblue says:

    I,ll second that “Daddy o”

  • .ASP says:

    A Supporters Trust would only voice the concerns of the working class and idiots for that reason I’m out.

    • Brumigen says:

      What?

    • Ptaah says:

      ASP we are not in the prem anymore, you can go back to what you were doing before.

      • Blupenguin says:

        ASP’s comments have to be the funniest Ive ever read,have you ever been to St Andrews?.
        98% of Blues fans are probably working class…..sadly the other two percent are idiots,
        …..but atleast they pay their money!!

    • Dirty Bertie says:

      .ASP is obviously an acronym for A Stupid Person. Ta Taar

  • Oldbluenose says:

    With all that is unfolding, [ or Not ] We are all totally bemused by the way things appear to be heading, [ chaos, it seems ]. Whilst not being a ” head in the sand ” type of guy myself, I [ along with all Bluenoses ] cannot understand just how in less than 2 years, we can have decended to such a state as we apperently are,?.
    The idea of a properly constructed Supporters Trust, would/should be a [ hopefully ] voice of clarity so that we the fans/supporters, can see the wood for the trees,!!.
    We do however need some sanity amongst ourselves, No fairy godmother is likely to appear to lavish Millions upon us in reality, — So we should all be prepared to settle for another Sullivan/Gold type of owner where stability [ financial and on field ] were gradually to rebuild our club from the ground upwards, — Methinks,??.

  • bluehag says:

    Its good that fans will become a cohesive force to get our voice heard and its certainly worth a go but I feel this increasingly introverted board will take not one jot of notice of what the fans have to say, we will be paid lip service at best. The same could be said of gold and sullivan who would do what they wanted irrespective of fans views. These owners have skins like rhinos and generally don’t give a monkeys about us but I suppose the setting up of a supporters trust and at least trying wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  • Sam says:

    I very much hope this gets of the ground. We might still struggle to be heard, but if we care about the club it’s worth a shot to try and improve things.

  • BluePenguin 76 says:

    Surely they cannot ignore the fans for ever?….we are the life blood of the club,without us there is NO revenue and NO club.! We have to strive to make ourselves heard and make them see they cannot continue this way. I honestly fear for the club if this lot are continued to carry on unchecked.

    In an ideal world we would buy a percentage of the club (no matter how small) and we’d HAVE to be taken seriously,unfortunately I dont believe a millionaire Bluenose is about to appear and give us that voice on the board.

    KRO

  • silverfox says:

    I think the Supporters Trust is a great idea, we have to get organised and have our voices heard. I am concerned that a membership fee equivalent to the cost of a match ticket will put a lot of people off. I would think £5 to £10 would give it more of a chance.

    • Andy says:

      Obviously the prices would have to reflect what people were willing and able to pay, whatever the membership fee is eventually set at some people would feel it was too high, but hopefully a sensible level could be reached and perhaps some sort of ‘hardship fund’ could be set up to support the membership of those in financial difficulties.

      As the Supporter’s Direct guidelines state: “No one should be excluded because they cannot afford to join.”

  • Blupenguin says:

    I think a match day ticket price would be ok,im not on much be would be able to stump it up!!.Its not totally out of the reach of the average man in the street but would also give the trust a certain amount of revenue to manage its affairs in an affective manner. 5£ or 10 £ silver fox is an noble amount ,but I feel asking for a little bit more would mean we have an effectively organised mouth piece with which to present our ideas and fears.

  • BD says:

    I agree with a supporters trust, but our plight at the present is not about supporters having a voice it is the whole fiasco regarding Carson Yeung and Co.
    Wouldn’t it be better to approach local executives or the likes of Michael Wiseman to try to find investors to buy out the chumps we have now?
    This will drag on for months if not years and surely Yeung has lost any credibility in the football world if not in business too.
    I would have thought local businesses would jump at the chance to form a consortium, or even sponsor the team for the short term.
    Why are the players saying, “Look, we got the club relegated and in this mess, let us stay. We will take a pay cut on the promise of extra bonuses if we get promotion this season.”
    That would show loyalty and responsibility to our plight.

    KRO

  • BD says:

    Why don’t the players say, “Look, we got the club relegated and in this mess, let us stay. We will take a pay cut on the promise of extra bonuses if we get promotion this season.”
    That would show loyalty and responsibility to our plight.

    Sorry, an amendment to the last paragraph

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Which public school did ASP attend?


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