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City Supporters Trust
Launches New Chapter for Club

Following overwhelming support from its members at the August AGM Gloucester City Supporters Club has decided to adopt Trust status and the new company was launched on 12th November 2004 with a successful evening at Meadow Park.

The evening was well attended by City fans who were joined by local dignitiries, club directors, players, representatives of Supporters Direct and visiting fans from Merthyr Tydfil's own Trust. The meeting heard about the club's past and the hopes for the future from Trust Chairman Phil Warren who described how the Trust intended to work with the club to ensure it continued its 'bouncebackability' from financial crisis. He covered the previous success of the Supporters Club and pointed out that any other group who had raised such an extensive amount of money would be a story receiving huge publicty in the local media but the football club and supporters still had much to do to riase its profile in the city. The spirit and principles of the Supporters Club would pass on to the new Trust which could now continue to grow in strength and influence.

There was a pledge of support from Gloucester MP Parmjit Dhanda who re-iterated his support for the club and the important role he believed it could play in the local community. Gloucester's Mayor, Cllr. Geraldine Gillespie, also pledged support for the club and wished it well as sport and the fans represent the city across the country. Fans were also addressed by representatives of Supporters Direct and national chairman Phil Tooley who explained some of the successes the movement has had at other clubs and made the point that fans were the only constant at a club, while directors and players came and went the fans remained and had a vital role to play.

The meeting then formally adopted the previous management committee of the Supporters Club appointed at the August AGM to become the new acting board of the Trust until it holds its inaugeral AGM next year. The point was made that the new board would welcome fans who wished to become involved, and also that much could be done to help the Trust without being part of the board. New acting Trust chairman Phil Warren thanked the four people who have done most to make the new Trust a reaility and there was applause for Sandra Chase, Mike Dunstan, Judith Evans and Gwenda Halford.

With the formal part of the evening completed a celebratory Tiger cake was cut and fans were able to take advantage of an extensive buffet and chat about the future. Fans were also able to see the Trust's formal company plaque with registered company number which will now be placed on the club shop, the formal business address of the new Trust.

Supporters Club chairman Phil Warren speaks at the launch of the new Trust City Mayor Geraldine Gillespie and Gloucester MP Parmjit Dhanda join Phil Warren and City manager Chris Burns to cut the Trust's cake.
Parmjit Dhanda & Mayor Geraldine Gillespie toast the Trust's launch with their new Gloucester City mugs. Members of the Trust's acting board join representatives of Supporters Direct and Gloucester's Mayor and MP.

The Passing of the Supporters' Club

The Supporters Club had become a central piller of the club since it was reconstituted and revamped in February 2001, a time when the club was felt by many to be running into a hopeless dead end. The club finances were in a perilous state, confidence in the club's board and management were at an all time low, club communication was poor and morale on and off the pitch was ebbing away. Out of several meetings and long discussions between supporters a new reinvigorated movement emerged. A small band of activists, including the late Pete Chase, managed to enthuse a larger group of fans to play our part in ending the seemingly endless cycle of crisis. A new committee was formed with a mix of those who had previously opposed the board with those who urged greater tolerance with the aim of appealing to all sections of City's fan base and receiving the widest possible support.

Since that time the reformed Supporters Club has played a major role in helping begin to build the club back to its former strength. Over two and a half years the Supporters Club raised well in excess of £90,000 which has been donated to the club for use on many projects. Fans helped meet regular utility bills, paid for ground and pitch improvements, training equipment and donations to assist with club expenses - even paying off old transfer debts to enable the club to avoid FA fines. They have also assisted with travel for the first team, physiotherapist equipment, and considerable regular financial assistance to ensure the continued success of the Youth Team. The club also become an integral and trusted partner in planning the future of the club and communication with officials and club owner Eamonn McGurk has greatly improved.

Gloucester City Supporters Trust are delighted that Gloucester's MP Parmjit Dhanda, Mayor Geraldine Gillespie, and local councillors all agreed to attend the grand launch of the Trust. Supporters see this as a major boost to the profile of the club, and a major statement of faith from these officials that they want to see football thrive at Meadow Park. There were also representatives from Supporters Direct, the national body charged by the government to assist in the creation of Trusts for football clubs, and representatives of Trusts already created for clubs from our level of the pyramid. The new Trust has received support from club officials who will also attend, along with representatives from the playing squad and youth team. It is hoped fans will show their support, and for those who may need extra encouragement the bar will be open and refreshments provided.

In itself the Trust does not necessarily radically change the work of the Supporters Club, but rather provides a mechanism for it to grow and develop. Many fans may not immediately notice much of a difference but behind the scenes the Trust will have more status and be able to increase its profile within the footbal club and the wider city. However, achieving Trust status is not a panacea and there is much hard work still to be done. The Trust will have to continue to battle to raise funds as the club continues to face serious money problems and will also have to continue dialogue to ensure the club positions itself at the heart of the local community and that the wishes of fans are considered in deciding our future direction.

The launch of the Trust is an opportunity for all of us to ask ourselves what more we can do to ensure the club not only survives but thrives. Your football club still needs you.

To get involved join the Supporters Trust or contact us for more details.

To donate money direct to the Supporters Trust by standing order, download and complete this form and hand it in for forwarding to your bank.

Click here to read the Supporters Trust full constitution.




This is a copy of a mailshot drafted by committee member Mike Dunstan and sent to all members of the Gloucester City Supporters' Club to outline the proposal that the Club evolve into a Supporters Trust.

In this mail shot you will have received an invitation to a meeting to raise the idea of a Football Trust for Gloucester.  That meeting will be open to all and will be followed by the AGM for Supporters club members only – your attendance at both is vital as we look for the best way to move forward. This sheet seeks to help you make informed decisions when the time comes – probably the most important decision since the reformation of the Supporters Club three years ago….

Some of your questions answered….

What is a trust?

A trust, in simple terms, is a democratic, not-for-profit organisation of supporters committed to strengthening the voice of supporters in the decision making process at a club, and strengthening the links to the community it serves. It differs from a Supporters Club (which may have very similar aims) in that it is legally set up as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS).

What is Supporters Direct?

Supporters Direct is an organisation which has been set up to encourage and help fans representation in the football world. They offer practical, and significant financial, support to Supporters groups wanting to set up trusts and have been instrumental in setting up over 70 trusts already - from Tottenham Hotspur to our level and below.  

Why do we need to change?

We don't NEED to change, but it may be in our best interests to do so. There are lots of pros and cons, but being a trust will allow us to do all we have been, and potentially more in the future.  Things are going pretty well at the moment at Gloucester City, but we must not become complacent – we all know that success and crisis’s are always around the corner in equal measure at all football clubs….

What will be different?

On the face of it not a lot, the aims of the Trust will be broadly similar to the aims of the Supporters Trust. However, being a trust means that we can potentially do even more (such as own assets rather than just donating it to the club, or maybe in the future owning shares in the club, or even owning the ground! A trust can do these things, a Supporters Club cant. It is also true that a trust may be eligible for grants to perform community projects. Whilst these may not seem like a high priority now, they will be vital to raise awareness around the City of the existence of the football club.

What will be the same?

We will still work flat out to earn money to help our football club progress. We will also use the influence gained from this to ensure that supporters views are recognised by those running the club. We will also ensure that the trust is fun to be a part of.

Is it going to cost me money?

No - there will be an annual fee just as there is with the supporters club. The only difference is that this fee will buy you one share in the Trust, rather than being simply a member. All memberships would be rolled across to the trust so that a second annual fee would not be required, and those who get their Supporters Club membership free (200 club members) will have the same rights with the trust.

Will we still have a committee? Who would be on it?

We will still have a committee, although legally it will be called a Board! Any member of the trust, including Committee members from the Supporters Club can nominate themselves (or agree to be nominated) for the new Board. It is then a case of a formal vote of trust members.

Could we have a trust and a Supporters Club?

It is the view of the committee that it is not in the best interests of Gloucester City Football Club to split the support it gets from its fan base. We would therefore not support a situation where we have both.

So what happens next?

Well the bottom line is that you decide what happens next. The open meeting will end with a vote on whether a Trust should be set up. If that is "no" then the matter dies here and now. If the vote is "yes" then a motion will be put to the members of the Supporters Club immediately afterwards at the AGM asking for their approval to dissolve the Supporters Club and transfer its assets (money and shop stock in the main) to the trust once it has been set up. Again, if the answer is “no” we don't proceed. If the vote is yes then the various forms and legal work will start to set up the trust. At both decision points the decision is taken by all of us - the fans.

So by Monday we could have a Trust?!

Well no, it is going to take some time, probably a few months to get the legal work done to set up the trust, then elect its officers etc. Only when the trust is fully functional will the Supporters Club be dissolved - we have a lot of work to do in the interim!

That all sounds a bit complicated - are we up to it?

It is complicated, but broken down into smaller chunks it sees less daunting. A lot of the processes and practices of the existing Supporters Club far exceed those needed by such an organisation, so the more formal arrangements needed for a Trust should not be a problem for us.

Where can I get more information?

From the GCAFC Supporters Club Committee members, or from the Supporters Direct website. There will also be experts from Supporters Direct at the meeting to answer your questions.

DRAFT AIMS OF A GLOUCESTER CITY TRUST (To be ratified by its members).

 To safeguard the future and best interests of Gloucester City FC

To directly support Gloucester City FC through the raising of funds.
To be democratic, open and transparent in the running of the trust so as to appeal to all Gloucester City FC supporters and encourage their active involvement in the Club.
To protect the interests of Club members
Through good conduct, provision of financial aid, and open and honest dialogue a to increase members influence on the future of Gloucester City FC.
To engage with the local community to strengthen links between it and Gloucester City FC and to raise awareness throughout the City of the football club

Back to Gloucester City Supporters' Trust page

While enthusiastically supportive of the aims of the Supporters Trust. The T-Ender website is totally independent of the Trust and the opinions and views expressed on this site should not be seen as necessarily representing those of either the Trust or it's board.

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