Given the lack of Saturday home games until 2013, there is no obvious time for a meeting that would suit all potential attendees, but holding it after the Man Utd game was the most popular option from feedback received. Because of this, it is accepted that many who would like to attend the forthcoming may not be able to. To ensure non-attendees feedback is taken into account, any comments/ideas etc e-mailed to us will be collated, circulated in advance and shared at the meeting.
2. Aims & Objectives
It is important we have a generally agreed set of aims and objectives to work towards. Below are a ‘straw man’ draft set for discussion at the meeting – these are clearly not set in tablets of stone. If you could take the time to read and think about them before the meeting that would be appreciated.
· A non-profit making Supporters Trust, with membership open to all Chelsea Football Club supporters worldwide;
· Wholly independent of Chelsea Football Club but seeking an ongoing positive dialogue with them;
· Run on a democratic one member, one vote principle with annual board elections and regular meetings;
· Committed to proactive and mutually beneficial dialogue with the club and other stakeholders including the local community, local council, relevant media and other supporters groups.
The Chelsea FC Supporters Trust will aim to :-
· Encourage the board of Chelsea Football Club to take into account the interests of all supporters (both UK and Overseas based) and of the local community (businesses, residents, local authorities etc) when making decisions that impact upon them;
· To actively and professionally engage with all relevant stakeholders on matters of interest and concern to Chelsea supporters;
· Act as an effective means of communication between club and supporters;
· Build on the work done by the Fans Forum in enabling issues of concern with supporters to be raised with the club;
· Work in partnership with existing supporters groups, websites, fanzines etc without detracting from their independence.
Short Term Objectives (Up to end 2012/13 season)
· Agree a constitution, conduct an effective membership drive and elect a board;
· Open a dialogue with club officials (including the Supporters Liaison Officer) and other stakeholders;
· Create an effective membership communications platform.
Medium / Long Term Objectives
· Participate in the Fans Forum from the start of the 2013/14 season;
· Build an effective working relationship with the Supporters Liaison Officer and apply pressure for this to be a stand-alone role;
· Improve two way communication for the benefit of supporters and the Club and build effective relationships with other stakeholders, including the local community;
· Actively promote sale of CPO shares to supporters;
· To have an elected supporters’ representative on the CPO board;
· To have an elected supporters representative on the board of Chelsea Football Club.
There seems to be a desire to keep membership fees to a minimum, and to make the membership process as smooth as possible. The two-tier model (low membership fee with voting rights, free membership with no vote) is seen by some to have merit. There is also a school of thought that would prefer to have a one-off joining fee and no further charge. Under 16’s cannot have a vote in a trust, but could still become non-voting members.
Arsenal: £30 pa or £2 pm via standing order (although they are unique in their aim of AFC share ownership)
Manchester United: £15 UK / £10 overseas
Fulham: £10 pa
QPR: £5 pa
We can debate the various options at the meeting. In addition, we need to ensure that overseas supporters, both in terms of clubs but also individuals, are encouraged to join.
A number of people have raised the issue regarding what makes a Trust different from other supporters groups. Here are some ideas, we would welcome debate on these points (and others you may have)
· All members can democratically participate, with regular meetings, annual elections and one person, one vote built into the constitution – thereby ensuring the elected board is held to account;
· Demonstrably inclusive with membership open to all Chelsea fans in the UK and overseas;
· Affiliation open to all supporters groups in the UK and overseas, fanzines, websites, podcasts, blogs;
· Broadly representative demographically and geographically;
· The credibility that comes with being part of a wider, more powerful network of supporters trusts and the liaison with Supporters Direct;
· Actively hold the club to account with professional representation e.g. the opportunity to interpret and explain club accounts etc to members;
· The opportunity to build close links with the local community (residents, business, local authorities etc).
We would like to get a sense from the meeting as to whether proceeding with the formation of a Chelsea FC Supporters Trust has broad support. To this end, a show of hands will be sought. We are keen that those unable to attend the meeting can participate in this vote.
to enable you to give your opinions on the formation of a trust, and any related issues. Please let us have these by 12.00 on Sunday, so they can ensure the feedback is fed into the meeting.Assuming the vote is positive, the proposed timeline is as follows :-
31/12/12– SD approve constitution;
1/1/13-30/4/13– membership drive;
May 2013 or Aug 2013– (depending on membership, timing etc) – elections for CFCST board
CFCST Working Group
Twitter – @cfcstrust