Third Aim Of The MCFC Supporters Trust Announced
Recently we agreed the draft aims of the proposed trust. There are only five aims and we will be publishing each one in separate articles over the coming weeks. The aims are in draft form and will have to be voted on by the supporters present at the public Open Meeting, whilst the aims are draft and open to amendment the essence of each aim is clear and we would like to expand on them a little below:-
TO ENSURE THAT THE TRUST OPERATES TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF STEWARDSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY AND TO USE ITS INFLUENCE TO ENSURE THAT THE MANAGEMENT OF MANCHESTER CITY PLC DO LIKEWISE
You may have heard the phrase “Corporate Governance” bandied about. This is simply the rules, systems and checks that are, or should be, in place in organisations. A Supporters’ Trust, among other things, should be democratic, accountable and transparent. But what do these things mean in practice and how do they translate into Corporate Governance?
Democracy means that each member of the trust has one share and one vote. They can’t sell or otherwise transfer that share. Therefore unlike a normal company, no one individual can build up a controlling shareholding. This means that any decisions made by the members of a trust are based on a pure majority and truly democratic. This will include decisions on policy, the level of subscriptions and elections to the board of directors. The people running the trust will be subject to regular re-election and anyone can stand for office, assuming they have met any criteria decided on by the members.
Having decided on the policy it is up to the directors to carry it out and they have to be able to demonstrate that they have done so to the membership. If they do something that is contrary to trust policy or the will of the membership then they have to justify it to their members or face the consequences. These consequences can include personal legal action. In addition, when a trust is formed as an Industrial & Provident society it is also regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Transparency means, among other things, that members should be able to see how the board have arrived at decisions and where their subscriptions have been spent. The trust will, for example, publish minutes of board meetings and annual accounts (which will also be externally audited, if the trust income is over a certain limit).
This is in contrast to the situation in many football clubs. Manchester City is far from the worst but whilst they do employ high standards of Corporate Governance they do not fully employ the Combined Code of Corporate Governance ("the Combined Code") which other Premiership clubs do. The Combined Code was first published in July 2003 and sets out details high standards of Corporate Governance which, for example, have to be fully adopted by all companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.
As supporters, we should be running our organisations to the highest standards. As an excellent example, the Official Supporters Club has a robust constitution, an audit and publishes minutes of its board meetings on its web-site. We want the trust to meet at least the same standards and seek to ensure that the club is at the leading edge of best practice in this area, as it is in many other areas. We also want the trust to work within the wider supporters movement to ensure all our clubs are run to the same high standards.
Please send any feedback, comments, suggestions or input to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin, Colin, Gavin, Ian, Mickey, Miles & Ollie