These meetings were attended by a group of supporters keen to establish whether the interests of Aldershot Town FC and its supporters would be best served by a single organisation with trust status. Terry Owens was invited to be the acting Chairman for guidance and direction which he duly accepted.
The team at the outset agreed that:
i) We must not appear to be confrontational towards our Supporters Club in case we were wrongly perceived as rivals to the current Supporters Club Committee and its members.
ii) The Supporters Club, the Shots Trust and the respective individual members of those entities must get together and work together for the benefit of Aldershot Town FC.
iii) There is no better time than now for people to really pull together in the right direction.
We need focus, have a firm structure and determine where any potential trust is going, and where it wants to be in the future. The problem is that until the Supporters Club and any prospective Supporters Trust agree a common approach then the supporters’ bodies will struggle to improve and benefit their members and the football club. ANY OUTCOME HAS TO BE WHAT IS BEST FOR ALDERSHOT TOWN FC.
These are sensitive issues fraught with potential disagreements. We must be careful and confident that a strong Supporters Trust will benefit supporters and Aldershot Town FC.
The consensus of the group is that the supporter base is not large enough to sustain two supporter organisations. The group has identified the following advantages of moving to a trust status:
- Progression to the successful “Supporters Direct” Trust model (which is based on a legally constituted independent and democratic supporters organisation)
- Access to Support, Advice and Training from “Supporters Direct”
- Access to Grants
The Shots Trust has the following proposed mission and supporting objectives:
“To Help Aldershot Town Football Club Achieve its Full Potential with Particular Emphasis on Bringing the Club to the Community and Enhancing the Experience Gained by Supporters”
- Raise Funds and Deliver Benefits for ATFC, Supporters and the Community
- Represent and Communicate with Supporters
- Promote ATFC and help Strengthen its Community Links
- Develop a Professional and Beneficial Relationship with ATFC
- Engage the Skills and Energy of Supporters
The Supporters Club Chairman was informed after the first meeting that discussions are taking place and was invited to two subsequent meetings, but did not attend either of them. Our group has resolved all previous issues with the Shots Trust so it can re-launch with a clean slate, including the resignations of the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, but the latter two officers are still attending all the meetings.
THE DECISION AS TO WHETHER IT IS “A TIME FOR CHANGE?” IS YOURS.
A meeting with the Supporters Club Committee took place on 3rd November in which we made a presentation to them. They thanked us for the presentation and said it was very good and informative. They need more time to consider all the information and we hope to meet them on further occasions soon to discuss matters further.
If in due course they agree with us then an EGM can be avoided and instead Supporters Club members will be asked at the forthcoming AGM to vote on whether they wish that the Supporters Club proceeds to a single supporter’s organisation with a trust status.
However, if in due course they disagree with us then the current Team Members will call for a Supporters Club EGM supported by 12 nominees of the Supporters Club under rule 16 of the Supporters Club’s Rules which will ask you whether you wish that the Supporters Club proceeds to a single supporter’s organisation with a trust status.
You of course need to be a member of the Supporters Club and attend an EGM or AGM to take part in the decision, along with questions and answers. Any voting procedures will be explained on the night.
If agreement is reached at either an AGM or EGM for the Supporters Club to take over the new revamped Shots Trust then the transition will involve winding up the Supporter’s Club and transferring its assets at the end of its financial year - June 2010 - to the “Shots Supporters Trust” which would be the new trading name of the trust.
In addition there would be elections to determine your Trust Board. In this situation, members and supporters will be actively encouraged to stand for Trust Board positions whether or not they have been involved in the recent Trust discussions or are existing Supporters Club Committee members.
The Trust will be stronger if its Board has a representative from within each of the following entities… the Patrons Club, Supporters Club, RBA, Stray Shots, Football in the Community and Shots Ladies Team. Trust Board members must be aged 18 or over, so current Junior Shots and Young Supporters Club members cannot be on the Trust Board, but would be actively encouraged to join the trust.
We will inform you of what a Trust is to enable you to understand the benefits to supporters, the Football Club and the community. For your information the following supporters have been involved in the discussions to date:
Roger Jones - not joining the new committee (previous member)
Dave Bull - not joining the new committee (previous member)
Bill Brade - not joining the new committee (previous member)
Mark Maynard, Richard Llanwarne, Paul Maynard, Mike Wray, John Orme and Terry Owens (not putting his name forward for election).
All are members of both the Supporters Club and the Shots Trust.
To visit the new trust website, please click on the link below: