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OLD ARTICLE: Do we still need a Supporters Trust ?

article by Henry Irving

http://www.charltonlife.com/blog/?p=254
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Comments

  • Agree with (Sir) Henry.
    Won't be there myself (have personnal reasons) but I'd urge people to attend if possible.
  • The results on the pitch over the past few weeks have done nothing to alter my, and the Fans' Forum views on whether we need a Supporters' Trust or not. Two key questions remain:

    1) What are the perceived objectives of a Trust and why is it that they cannot be achieved by existing means?

    2) Although the current Board are supportive of the formation of the Trust, how is it likely to be viewed by any potential new owners? What happens if new owners are less than impressed by the well-intentioned efforts of a bunch of do-gooders?

    I plan to attend on the 15th in a personal capacity and as a representative of the Fans' Forum.
  • edited September 2009
    "What happens if new owners are less than impressed by the well-intentioned efforts of a bunch of do-gooders?"

    It may be that a new board might adopt this attitude, but this does not preclude action at this stage. I had thought that the meeting was precisely to determine future aims and objectives. I merely observe that a wide spread feeling of dislocation of supporters from the board occurred. If existing means had been enough, then this would not have happened. Whether or not a supporters trust would have been any more effective, I don't know. I take the view that it needs to be tried and tested before we can form judgements. But I am also aware that the FF was formed at a near impossible time, so it's early days for everyone.
  • [cite]Posted By: Dave Rudd[/cite]The results on the pitch over the past few weeks have done nothing to alter my, and the Fans' Forum views on whether we need a Supporters' Trust or not. Two key questions remain:

    1) What are the perceived objectives of a Trust and why is it that they cannot be achieved by existing means?

    2) Although the current Board are supportive of the formation of the Trust, how is it likely to be viewed by any potential new owners? What happens if new owners are less than impressed by the well-intentioned efforts of a bunch of do-gooders?

    I plan to attend on the 15th in a personal capacity and as a representative of the Fans' Forum.

    Look forward to seeing you there Dave and very happy the Fans Forum will again be represented.

    Two good questions.

    On 1. Aims need to be decided by the fans which is why it is important that as many people as possible get involved but some aims of other trusts are set out in the article purely as examples

    On 2. It will be much better to work with the Club but if any new owners but don't want to work with the fans that only increases the need for an independent organised body IMHO.
  • [cite]Posted By: Henry Irving[/cite]
    On 2. It will be much better to work with the Club but if any new owners but don't want to work with the fans that only increases the need for an independent organised body IMHO.

    That's fine, but it will be very hard to influence the club under such circumstances. Even arranging meetings with the club, for example, would be problematic.

    I just think that any Trust enthusiasts need to anticipate how it will deal with the scenario where a new owner says "Hold on a minute. We've just paid X million for this club. Let us have a go at putting it in order before you lot start telling us how to do it."

    Not meant to sound as a negative, merely that I could understand a new owner feeling a bit miffed by the perceived need for a Trust. Anyway, let's see what next week brings. At least there will be three of us there.
  • [cite]Posted By: Dave Rudd[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: Henry Irving[/cite]
    On 2. It will be much better to work with the Club but if any new owners but don't want to work with the fans that only increases the need for an independent organised body IMHO.

    That's fine, but it will be very hard to influence the club under such circumstances. Even arranging meetings with the club, for example, would be problematic.

    I just think that any Trust enthusiasts need to anticipate how it will deal with the scenario where a new owner says "Hold on a minute. We've just paid X million for this club. Let us have a go at putting it in order before you lot start telling us how to do it."

    Not meant to sound as a negative, merely that I could understand a new owner feeling a bit miffed by the perceived need for a Trust. Anyway, let's see what next week brings. At least there will be three of us there.

    I don't want any owner who doesn't want to listen to the fans. If the existance of a Trust puts them off then that's fine by me.
  • edited September 2009
    Yes it would be more difficult to influence an owner who doesn't want to listen and as you say fans would need to think how they could deal with such a scenario.

    One such way would be to have an independent, elected body, with a legal status and the backing of a national organisation, that could co-ordinate views and be seen by other agencies such as the local council or the press as valid and representative. Such a body could also have proxy and actual shareholdings and if it could gain 10% of the shares (via proxy mostly so wouldn't have to buy them) they could called EGMs, examine accounts etc.

    This is how Trusts have worked at other club and other fans have faced similar issues with non responsive boards. That hasn't stopped Trusts bringing boards to task.

    It would be much better to have a board that wants to talk with the fans and let's hope that is the case but many people were complaining over the summer that the board were hiding things from us and treating us like mushrooms.
  • will there be sarnies laid on if so i like cheese and pickle.
  • I don't want any owner who doesn't want to listen to the fans. If the existance of a Trust puts them off then that's fine by me.

    .............

    That in my opinion makes a ST all the more necesary.
  • Unfortunately will be away that week ( again ! I know ! ) otherwise would have attended.

    Look forward to reading the minutes etc on my return.
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  • In my view at the very least the trust needs to find a way to somehow if possible secure the club against going out of existence by somehow securing the pitch or ground, this way if administration or aggressive asset stripping occurs or is attempted, the future of CAFC is secure.
  • We should bear in mind that a lot of takeovers don't always end up with the fans loving the new regime.

    At Man U the Glazers have saddled the club with debt, as have Hicks & Gillett at Liverpool. At QPR ticket prices went up, although the standard of play on the pitch has hardly merited any kind of rise. Newcastle got relegated and Pompey went perilously close to going out of business in the summer. There are plenty of other similar stories.

    In the event of a TO I'd see a ST as being even more of a necessity than now.
  • Due to a prior engagement I can't make Tuesdays meeting.

    I'd be keen to know how this progresses, will there be a report?
  • I'm sure there will be a lot of feedback from those going ... at least I hope so!
  • Does anyone think with new owners we know very little about (although finacially the future seems more stable on the face of it), that the need for this is even more important.

    It's a shame people didnt have the desire and or time (me included) to push this forward in my opinion.
  • agree WSS .... i offered to put my shares towards it , what happened to them!
  • Agree WSS, thought so for a long time. I'd still be up for it.

    Just surprised me that more people weren't up for it. Even the Nigels managed one.

    I'm just wondering whether a couple of the former directors who are still fans, might be interested to lead the way in setting one up. That might get people going.
  • Everyone thinks its a good idea. Everyoen wants someone else to do it!

    Things like this only ever take off if you have one of two really committed people.
  • * PragueAddick

    Is spot on again . . .

    Action needed to get this going urgently
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  • Would have been very interesting to see had we had one set up how the new board reacted to it. Ie wheter they engaged with the ST or dismissed it.
  • words spring to mind.....horse, after, the, bolted, has.....

    Our fan base these days wouldnt have gotten us back to the Valley Im afraid.....its called apathy.
  • [cite]Posted By: TEL[/cite]words spring to mind.....horse, after, the, bolted, has.....

    Our fan base these days wouldnt have gotten us back to the Valley Im afraid.....its called apathy.
    Agreed.

    Seems that what Tel and it's really sad. The accusation can even been levelled at myself although I'd like to think I'd get involved if something got off the ground. It's the initial surge that lacks.
  • Sorry Tel and WSS but I don't agree.

    The main reason the Supporters Trust didn't happen was everyone's trust in RM.

    Now that he is a peripheral figure with no decision making power, the time is right for an ST.

    Also, I don't hear and see apathy in any of the reactions to events of the last few days!
  • it would take up a huge chunk of time mate and with very little thanks anyway....and I cant see anyone pushing it forward to gain any momentum.
  • bit late now I think, might be needed if things really go tits up though

    :)
  • [cite]Posted By: m2[/cite]Sorry Tel and WSS but I don't agree.

    The main reason the Supporters Trust didn't happen was everyone's trust in RM.

    Now that he is a peripheral figure with no decision making power, the time is right for an ST.

    Also, I don't hear and see apathy in any of the reactions to events of the last few days!

    Why? What have you done? written a few lines on a forum? None of the events recently have anything to do with us as fans mate, dont delude yourself, the new owners have made all those decisions alone. RM was firmly in the driving seat when both attempts to get the supporters trust fell before the first hurdle.....go for it, see how you get on, I'll be the first to pat you on the back if you suceed.
  • Ignorance is bliss . . .
  • [cite]Posted By: m2[/cite]
    The main reason the Supporters Trust didn't happen was everyone's trust in RM.

    Not true at all.

    There was an excellent turnout for the first meeting, a poor turnout for the second, and although a group of people put themselves up for taking things forward (yourself being one), nothing ever emerged past that point. Nothing to do with trust in RM.

    Ultimately (and please don't take this personally but its not intended that way), there wasn't enough people prepared to get involved with the gravitas and drive to take things forward, coupled with a backdrop of apathy amongst the wider fanbase.
  • [cite]Posted By: TEL[/cite]Why? What have you done? written a few lines on a forum? None of the events recently have anything to do with us as fans mate, dont delude yourself, the new owners have made all those decisions alone. RM was firmly in the driving seat when both attempts to get the supporters trust fell before the first hurdle.....go for it, see how you get on, I'll be the first to pat you on the back if you suceed.

    To be fair Tel, I think m2 has a point. I didn't myself get really worked up about a Trust when it was first floated (by Glynne Jones) because that was under RM in the prem. We had supporter representation of various kinds. Maybe a lot of people were like me and kidded themselves we didnt need it, and wouldn't. Then there were the later models of supporter representation, which you personally worked very hard on to make a success. The sad thing is that a lot of potential leaders have been drawn into personal acrimony with each other. Some also worked for the Club , which probably compromised their ability to get behind a Trust.

    Anyway, I am following up on the idea that maybe one of the former directors might lead one. What do you think about that idea?
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