Friday, September 29, 2006

Supporters Trust North West Regional Meeting On 28.9.06

Colin H and I attended the above at Northwich. Jacqui Forster of SD was there and it was a chance to meet Jacqui and some of the other trusts in the area. The attendees were from Northwich Vics, Runcorn (not FC but a breakaway club), Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club, Macclesfield Town, Bury, Congleton plus a north-west based representative of Cambridge United.

So we were by far the largest of the clubs represented and there was some debate about why we were there. We stated that it was partly a reaction to the distance between the club and the supporters/ shareholders as well as other issues. These appeared to be just as valid for some of the other clubs and Northwich appeared to be at odds with their chairman. Apparently the situation there was that three fans had been banned by the chairman as they had been, in his view, overly aggressive and confrontational towards him at the end-of-season awards. The Trust chairman had tried to mediate on their behalf but had put his own position at risk by doing so, with letters in the press and hostile comments on-line.

There was some discussion about the various problems at the various trusts. It was made clear that the only other comparable groups to us were FCUM and MU Supporters Trust. The latter appear determined that they are going to buy the club back off the Glazers.

JF talked about the SD Conference and it sounds excellent. Richard Caborn & William Gaillard (of UEFA) should be there and they are hoping that Raith Rovers best-known supporter (a certain Mr Brown) might put in an appearance. JF said that UEFA were taking a great interest in the Trust situation and how it develops.

There was material on display from the various trusts and Bristol City had a particularly impressive brochure for their launch. This and other documents will prove invaluable reading/ research towards our launch.

The last formal bit was a round-robin summarising activities at all the trusts. At Runcorn, the supporters now run the club and at most of the others the trust plays a big part in financing the club in various ways. There was an interesting discussion about the line between being a fan and being a director. A few had AGM’s coming up and couldn’t muster enough nominations to fill all the positions. We asked for our round-up not to be formally noted at this stage as we are not yet under way properly.

We are planning to get together with JF toward the end of next week.

Colin Savage


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