Crucial time for Trust
If you’re one of the hundreds of people that follow Chorley Supporters Trust on social media you could not have failed to notice the barrage of tweets, medications posts and status updates regarding our forthcoming AGM which takes place on Thursday 4th June 2015 in the Victory Park Social Club at 8pm. You will also have seen us push to reach 100 members for the 2015/16 season by the time of the AGM.
Why are the AGM & membership numbers such big issues?
Chorley Supporters Trust is an amalgamation of two previous Supporter groups: The Magpies Trust & Chorley Supporters Club. CST is a fully constituted, democratic not-for profit, mutual industrial & provident society; wholly owned and run by its members. It’s formal constitution and registration is what sets it apart from traditional supporters clubs.
Democracy is something that has very much been at the forefront of British news in recent weeks with pre-election campaigning and the subsequent aftermath of the General Election. Voter turnout, engagement, representation, who has a mandate from the people and policy debate have all been prominent topics for discussion with experts and members of the public expressing their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the process and outcome. One theme that remained constant throughout the campaign, as it has for hundreds of years, is the assertion that if you want to see change you have to exercise your democratic right to bring about change by using your vote.
The reason for this retrospective look at the election is to draw parallels with the forthcoming Trust AGM. Elsewhere on this website you can read about the “Aims” of the Trust which are embedded in our constitution, you can also read about what we have achieved in the last couple of years. At the AGM the membership have the opportunity to set the Trust’s agenda for the 2015/16 season and the only way to ensure this is an agenda truly representative of the views of those that love and care for Chorley Football Club is to ensure we have an equally representative membership. When the Magpies Trust was formed in 2004 Chorley FC’s average home attendance was hovering around the 200 mark and membership of the newly formed Trust was well over the 150 mark. That’s 75% representation. In the 2014/15 season the average attendance was well over 1000 and yet membership of Chorley Supporters Trust was just over 100. That’s only 10% representation.
What we must acknowledge is that in a fan base as broad as ours there are many people of varying skills, talents, personalities and characters. We welcome them all. Chorley Supporters Trust is categorically NOT about individuals and personal agendas. It is about providing a united voice for ALL supporters. So the drive for increased membership is firmly rooted in the desire to have an organisation “by the fans, for the fans”. Championing and representing your views at and within your football club. With a strong membership base we can lobby the club for greater representation and input by clearly demonstrating a mandate from the fans. That aim is made extremely difficult when only 10% of our current fan base is on board. Whatever level of involvement you wish to have with Chorley Supporters Trust the single most effective thing anyone can do is completing a membership form and paying the annual membership fee.
At the AGM on 4th June there will be time given to debate the direction the Trust takes in the 2015/16 season. This debate will be driven by you; the membership. The more members that attend the AGM, the more varied the debate and the more representative the views expressed will be. Events will be planned, targets will be set and ambitions forged, but these must all be very specific, have our stated aims at heart and most importantly be achievable. There is little point in 10 people voting on a plan to organise a huge event and try to raise £100,000. But come along, ask questions, make suggestions and, crucially, have your say. We also acknowledge that not everybody is entirely comfortable in standing up in a meeting to make a point or ask a question. If you fall into that category your voice must still be heard so send your question, comment or suggestion to us via email and we will happily make it on your behalf.
A new Trust board will be selected, and if necessary elected. There are ten seats on the Trust board. If only ten names are put forward then those ten will be elected unopposed. If you feel you’d like to get involved at Board level the only criteria is to be a full member. Just submit your name prior to the AGM. If you want to know more about what it entails drop us an email. However, and I can’t stress this strongly enough: Involvement with the Trust does NOT begin and end with the Trust board. We would really like to be in a position where we have lots of people doing a little rather than a few people doing a lot. Many hands make light work. Any member is welcome and encouraged to play a part in the activities of the Trust. Here is a brief list of just some of the recent activities Trust members have been involved with that would have welcomed additional support from members:
• Selling Golden Goal or 50/50 tickets
• Delivering fixture leaflets around town
• Clean up at Victory Park
• Staffing the information point at home games
• Staffing the pop up stall in town
• Writing articles for the Trust newsletter, website or match day programme
In closing; Chorley Supporters Trust’s motto is “by the fans, for the fans”. Join us for the 2015/16 season and the AGM to empower the Trust and yourself to have a greater input into Chorley Football Club. The club have made progress on and off the field in the last four years that, for many would have been unimaginable ten years ago. It’s time for the fans to match that ambition by uniting under the banner of Chorley Supporters Trust. We look forward to seeing you on 4th June.