Portsmouth Supporters' Trust - Explained
I'm glad to see that a few people read the message about our upcoming open meeting to discuss the possibility of starting a Supporters Trust at Portsmouth. Those of you that have commented were mostly sceptical as to the point of a trust, so let me tell you a few of the things that got my interest.
There are over 150 STs (Supporters Trusts) in England and Scotland, representing Clubs that vary in size from Dorchester Town to Arsenal and Rangers. There are currently around 110 STs that have shareholdings in their Clubs. Exeter City is probably the largest Club that is controlled by its Trust but you don't have to own it to influence it. For that matter, how close have we come to administration this summer; who is to say it won't happen again? If it did, an established Trust could prove to be very helpful for Club and fans alike.
A Supporters' Trust is a democratic, not-for-profit organisation of supporters committed to strengthening the voice for supporters in the way their Club is run and ever improving the links between the Club and the community. It is independent from the Football Club.
A Trust is regulated by the Financial Services Authority and must provide annual accounts, meaning that it is completely transparent.
Although there is no ceiling on contributions, the suggestion (to be agreed at the meeting) for a minimum join-up fee is £1 (yes, one pound) but every member has the same voting rights whatever they contribute.
A properly constituted ST would seek to influence the Club on behalf of all supporters and to improve the perception of the Club within the community.
A committee, including Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, will be elected regularly (usually every 12 months) ensuring that the people that speak on our behalf will be chosen by us.
Supporters Direct will help with advice and funding necessary to form a proper constitution and to get it legally registered.
So I would ask you to keep an open mind and, if possible come to the inaugural meeting on 25th November, 7.30pm at the Railway Rifle Club, Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, Portsmouth. PO4 0AW.
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