Sunday, 30 March 2014

Supporters Trust - Some Thoughts

On the 5th of April a vote we will hold the vote on the formation on the first ever Blackpool supporters trust. The meeting will take place at the No 1 Club, Bloomfield Road, Blackpool commencing at 11.45am.

As we near that date it's worth recapping on what a supporters Trust is, why it's important and the benefits of it.

The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the Supporters' Trust movement to Seasiders fans and the people of Blackpool with the help of guest speakers from the government backed Supporters Direct organisation.

Blackpool FC Supporters Trust will be a democratic, non-profit making organisation owned and controlled by the fans themselves. It will be open, accountable, affordable, actively inclusive and representative of its members throughout the world.

Blackpool supporters will be provided with a truly independent voice. There is a great deal of knowledge, expertise, energy and enthusiasm amongst the tens of thousands of people who love and support our club. These supporters are the club's most valuable asset and can provide enormous benefit to the club and the wider community when given the opportunity and encouragement to do so. We believe that the formation of a democratic, representative, active supporters' trust can help to further galvanise our fans and our owners, both present and future, for the long term progress of the town and the team.

What is a supporters Trust?

A formal, democratic and not-for-profit organisation of fans. The main actions behind a supporters trust is to strengthen the influence of supporters over the running of the club they support. As a registered company, a Supporters Trust when established, provides a safety net for the club - quickly moving to gather finances and/or form a consortium of investors to ensure that any immediate threats to the club's future can be prevented or avoided. A Supporters Trust can also be a registered charity.

Why is it important for Blackpool supporters?

The formation of a trust is not just for Blackpool FC but for the whole town and community. Forming a trust will make us a legal entity and gives greater scope for the supporters views to matter and have a real impact on the club with the ultimate aim of board representation at the Football Club. Furthermore, becoming a Trust will give us the opportunity to carry out charity work in the local community. We want to form the Trust for future generations of Blackpool supporters. The Trust can hold assets including for example shares in the club and property (such as the ground) and that each member of the Trust becomes a co-owner of those assets.

Furthermore, becoming a Trust will give us a responsibility to carry out charity work in the local community. We want to form the Trust for future generations of Blackpool supporters.

What benefits will supporters see?

A Supporters Trust serves the purpose of benefiting the club, its supporters and its community. It is a non-profit making concern and so would always ensure that any surplus is reinvested rather than removed.
This is is achieved by a number of different strategies, including gaining control by fundraising to finance the acquisition of shares in the club or direct board representation. More than 110 Supporters' Trusts currently hold equity within their football clubs.

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