Chorley Supporters Trust structure
At the August meeting, erectile Mark Rees read out the following document. This is the process that the CST has to follow in order for the merger to be completed smoothly.
To Register as a Trust
Supporters Direct was set up by government to allow supporters to become more involved in the running of their clubs. The Magpies Trust (MT) has represented Chorley supporters within Supporters Direct (SD) from 2004 until the present.
The new Chorley Supporters Trust (CST) will take on that role after its first full* Board (committee) is elected (*a working group has been set up and may form the basis of that board/committee in due course). To date, dosage the CST working group has been very actively engaged in raising awareness, discount expanding membership and in planning events and fundraisers.
It is understood that the new CST sees some benefit in close ties with SD (otherwise there would be no need to be a Trust). Below we explain what is required in becoming and running a Trust within SD, plus various actions the new CST working party might consider.
SD guidelines require Trusts to elect a Board/committee of between 6 and 12 supporters each year and to adopt a formal set of rules (see below).
Trusts are legal entities within British law. The old MT board set themselves up as an Industrial and Provident Society. In 2011 the SD adopted a new model based on the 2010 Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act. SD is encouraging supporter groups such as CST to register a set of rules (constitution) to comply with the Act.
Although the MT is ‘effectively disbanded’ it is maintaining links with SD until such time as CST is ready to take over. Once the new CST has formally elected its Board, then members of the old MT Board have all agreed to resign and to pass over the SD ‘ reigns’ to whoever is appointed within CST.
SD has worked closely with FC United, Chester and the new 1874 Northwich. They are very supportive and will help any new group such as CST to draft rules in line with the SD 2011 model rules. The main contact at SD for such purposes is Jacqui Forster, SD’s Legal and and Constitutional Affairs officer. She can be contacted by email Jacqui.Forster@supporters-direct.coop.
The new CST will need to appoint someone as it’s main contact with SD. In the past Mark Rees and Ed Cookson have been the regular MT contacts with SD officers Jacqui Forster and Ben Shave (the SD person in charge of PR). They are happy to help and advise whoever CST appoints in this role; also both are happy to continue short-term in this role if elected to the new CST committee/Board, after the working party has had its first formal elections (date??).
SD MODEL RULES
SD will help with the rules where necessary, which can include any individual rules the CST working party decides upon, and may wish to include rules from the two former organisations. They strongly advise that Trusts include an Asset Lock within their rules. This is to protect any assets the Trust brings to the football club from being sold off should a club go into administration, eg training goalposts, kit, and even a new tannoy system. Jacqui will help CST to draft this.
An Asset Lock will not involve Trust members in any expense either at the time it is set up nor subsequently.
To adopt an Asset Lock, a Trust must hold a ballot of all members. Again SD will help with voting forms etc if required. Members not present can instruct the chairman to vote ‘by proxy’ on their behalf (similar to voting at company AGMs). 50% of all members must vote FOR the Asset Lock. Following a successful ballot – and within 2 weeks – the Trust will need to hold a meeting of members to announce the success of the ballot and to again agree to it with a show of hands. At this meeting 75% of those voting will need to support the Asset Lock. Once this procedure is completed the Asset Lock can be incorporated in the Trust rules and will legally protect any assets the Trust brings to the club.
Assets of Community Value (ACV)
SD also recommend that NEW supporter-owned clubs register their stadia as An Asset of Community Value (ACV), to protect it from developers. This is straightforward where a ground is owned or leased by its supporters but is a more contentious issue where third party owners and their appointed directors are involved as in Chorley’s case. Nonetheless it is an option which SD are willing to help with if ever necessary (their ACV contact is Tom Hall).
WHAT TO DO NEXT
The dates suggested below are provisional (pending decision of working group) to allow a formal Trust Board elections in, say, November.
The CST Working Group should consider setting up a sub-committee of at least3 members of the working group to formulate a set of rules in association with SD.
Draft rules to be discussed, added to, and agreed by main working party.
At the September Thursday members’ meeting, the rules can be discussed with all members.
In September, working party sub-group volunteers prepare and issue the Asset Lock ballot papers, and arrange for a formal vote at the October members’ meeting.
Members vote for Asset Lock at meeting or by proxy. A further meeting is arranged within 2 weeks for the 75% vote.
CST elect a new Board/committee. The rules, agreed as above by members, can be sent to SD and the new Chorley Supporters Trust takes over SD membership from MT. MT Board resign and MT is officially disbanded.
Created by Ed Cookson and Mark Rees
If there are any questions regarding the above then please contact us.