Monday, October 16, 2006

Manchester City Are Interested In A Supporters Trust

We are pleased to confirm that we have received a formal response from Alistair Mackintosh which we feel is a positive step forward. We intend to correspond with Manchester City Football Club and meet them at an appropriate time. We will keep you fully informed of all progress.


At 12:17 pm, Blogger Carl said...

I've not had time to read all of your site but I've read many of your posts on MEN over the last few months. Most of the time you speak sense!

Anyway, can you do me a favour and put together a list of aims of your supporter's trust. A manifesto if you like albeit in bulleted form.


At 1:33 pm, Blogger Ollie said...

Hi Carl. Our Mission Statement first issued on 25 September 2006 best sums up our current view. We will in due course publish our aims and proposals for the trust. Anyway, here's that Mission Statement for you "The supporters of Manchester City appear to be increasingly disillusioned about their club and generally feel remote from it. Crowds are falling as fans see themselves as less important than other external stakeholders. We see a democratically constituted Supporter's Trust as the ideal vehicle to try to reverse this, being independent from the club management but ideally working with them, to ensure that the paying fans are recognised as key stakeholders in Manchester City's future.

We want to create a mass-membership organisation, covering every element of our fantastic support, where everyone has an equal stake and whose actions are democratic and transparent. We see a trust as a channel that is run by the fans, for the fans and with the club's best interest at its heart. We also recognise the excellent work that Manchester City already does in the community and wish to support that and spread it further, wherever possible. We do not see the trust as simply a pressure group but do see it engaging with and challenging management where we feel their actions are not conducive to the best interests of the club and its supporters.

We see a trust as the appropriate umbrella for existing shareholdings and also as a vehicle for potentially acquiring further shares, wherever possible. However membership will not be limited to existing shareholders of Manchester City plc but all members will become shareholders in the trust for an affordable subscription, thereby ensuring it is accessible to the widest possible constituency."

At 3:44 pm, Blogger Carl said...

Thanks for the reply Ollie. The problem, I think, you are going to have is that a Supporters' Trust can really only contribute at the club level.

Most people's gripes, however, are at the team level. "Why do we play Reyna when he's slower than a tortoise on crutches?" - That kind of thing.

This also extends to player transfers and manager appointments.

Can a Supporters Trust help bring some transparency to the dealings of the board? I'm not sure, but being a PLC City can't really hide very much from the accounts and personally, I don't think they are. We're just skint!

One thing you might be able to do as a "recognised" trust, is to get board members to attend Trust meetings. Now that would be something I'd pay to join.

But whatever happens don't be puppets to Wardle & Co. A Supporter's Trust has to be good for us, not necessarily them.

At 5:02 pm, Blogger Ollie said...

Carl thank you for your comments. You are correct in that a trust wouldn't be there to interfere in the transfer dealings or answer the Reyna question. What it would do is scrutinise the activities of the board and pressure them if it was thought that they were not acting in the best interests of the shareholders and supporters.
The amount of pressure a trust could apply would depend on the number of shares owned and the voting rights pledged to it.

You're right that City can't hide much in their accounts however, I do feel that shareholders and supporters deserve to have an accountable and transparent board. Personally, I have reservations that the Club is meeting the Combined Code of Corporate Governance however, it is one of the auditors' roles to ensure that the club meets all applicable standards in this respect and they have not raised any concerns as far as I am aware. The club does say it tries to meet the high standards as set out in the code but appears to fall short of totally endorsing it.

I like many await to see the next set of accounts to see what the current situation is and to a certain degree I agree with you that the club is "skint".

Finally, I can assure you that all four of us pushing this forward would not be "puppets" however, when the trust is formed it will be up to the members to vote on who they want on the board of the trust and of course will also vote on it's aims etc. So, the trust and it's board will represent the members and their interests and not the clubs. Thank you for your input.


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