This post details the agenda for the ‘start-up’ meeting and lists issues raised / feedback received to date, which will be discussed at that meeting. All Chelsea supporters are welcome at the meeting.
Agenda – Chelsea FC Supporter Trust ‘Start-Up’ Meeting
18.15 Saturday 22nd September 2012
Upstairs at the Barrow Boy Pub, North End Road, SW6
Purpose of meeting – to give Chelsea supporters a chance to learn more about what a Supporters Trust is, what it stands for, what it could realistically achieve & why it is felt Chelsea should have one.
1. Welcome & Introductions. James Mathie of Supporters Direct will be participating in the meeting.
(Pass round sheets to get e-mail addresses of attendees)
2. Background – quick refresh on how the meeting came about.
3. What a Supporters Trust is, why it is important, what a Chelsea FC Supporters Trust could realistically achieve, the Supporter Liaison Officer role etc.
4. Discussion on feedback and challenges already received (attached), questions from attendees & from live Twitter feed.
5. Next steps. If mood of meeting is supportive, a follow-up meeting in 6-8 weeks (need to be clear what that would cover/achieve & who is going to do the work leading up to that meeting)
6. Any Other Business
The meeting needs to end by 19.45 latest
Themes to feedback received regarding possible setting up of
Chelsea FC Supporters Trust (CFCST)
The following is distillation / summary of the themes raised in the various feedbacks received regarding the idea of forming a CFCST. This list focuses on challenges and issues raised. These points will be discussed at the start-up meeting on 22/9/12.
What is a Trust?
What is a Trust? Why is it different from existing supporters groups? Can’t they do everything a trust does?
What can a trust realistically achieve at a big club like Chelsea? It is easy to see their impact at much smaller clubs, but I struggle to see what the goals could be.
What works at other clubs won’t necessarily work at Chelsea given the ownership structure.
We don’t have the same issues as clubs like Man U, Portsmouth, Leeds etc so I can’t see the point of a trust.
You say a trust is democratic and transparent and that sounds a good thing but what does this mean?
How would membership work? Why should people pay good money and receive nothing in return. What would membership fees be spent on?
Would overseas supporters be able to join?
How will you build membership? How can you elect a committee when you don’t have any members?
Approach of a Chelsea FC Supporters Trust
I am concerned it will be too aggressive and hostile, like SAYNO became – it would need a more diplomatic approach and aim to work with the club.
It needs to avoid becoming a ‘narrow issues’ pressure group.
There is a real opportunity to build a mass supporters movement, but this will not be easy. How do you intend to do this?
Relationship with Existing Supporters Groups
Do you intend a trust should replace the existing supporters groups?
Do you intend a trust to become an umbrella organisation of supporters groups? What do the existing groups think about this?
We don’t need another fans group, we have enough already.
How can a member of an existing supporters group realistically get involved in a Supporters Trust?
Relationship with Club
How do you intend to interact with the club?
Do you intend to join, supplement, replace or ignore the Fans Forum?
The Fans Forum is ineffective and needs replacing in my opinion, but I’m not sure how a trust could do this.
Why would the club engage with a trust – are they obliged to given the ‘official’ status?
There are issues that have been raised with the club for years (ticketing, match day experience, stewarding etc). Why would a trust be any more successful than the Fans Forum?
Involvement of Overseas Chelsea Supporters
Foreign fans deserve a voice, and I suspect the club would be more supportive if a trust provided a mechanism to do this.
If a trust is set up, it would be good to have an overseas rep on any committee – Skype could be used to make this practical.
Goals – Short, Medium and Long Term
Who decides what the targets of such a trust would be? A self-appointed committee?
What would the goals of such a trust be? Club ownership is clearly unrealistic, and our owner is not a divisive figure, unlike (e.g.) the Glazers.