Tony Norris(TrustSTFC) welcomed everybody to the meeting and expressed the Working Party’s gratitude to everybody who turned up.
Members of the Working Party individually introduced themselves to those present.
Why are we here tonight
Tony explained to those present the reasons for this initiative.
Tony then set out the Trust’s aims.
- Lack of information from the club.
- The need for long-term stability.
- Directors/Players/Managers come and go, but the fans will always be here.
- An independent voice for the fans.
- Generate funds of at least £500,000.
- Democratically elected representation on the STFC board.
- Work to create stability at Swindon Town Football Club.
Supporters Direct explained
Apologies were given for the absence of a ‘Supporters Direct’ official.
Tony and Andy Ratcliffe(TrustSTFC) explained how a Supporters Trust works.
- Requirement for a legal framework.
- The difference between an ordinary appeal and what ‘TrustSTFC’ is trying to achieve.
- Will always be in existence, so fans will always have a say in the running of the club.
- Non-profit making ‘Industrial Provident Society’.
- Community involvement.
- Bring in specialist skills.
- Create stability and drive the club forward.
- Further information available at www.supporters-direct.org
- Initial start-up costs being funded by the ‘Magic Roundabout’ fanzine.
Cliff Puffett(Previous STFC Chairman) gave his view of the situation at the club at present.
- He had to step down and is no longer a director of the club.
- He is monitoring the situation.
- Recognises the importance of what Mr Brady has done for the club.
- Very disturbed about the £2m loss, as the business plan envisaged a £300,000 shortfall.
- Worried that the consortium is not funding the club.
- Concerned that creditors are not being paid and the harm that this is doing to the credibility of the club.
- Has personally been paying players wages.
- Does not know what Mr Brady means by his statement ‘that he is staying’.
- He and a few colleagues have put in an offer to buy Mr Blatchely and Mr Donegan’s shareholding. As yet they have received no response.
- Fully supports ‘TrustSTFC’ aims, which are highly commendable and he will help in any way possible.
Questions and Answers
The meeting was then thrown open for questions from the floor.
Points and concerns raised included.
Tony and Andy gave replies to these points, quoting examples of other clubs that have gone down this route.
- What can we do until the money is raised?
- How does the club feel about the scheme?
- Is the club still in administration?
- Is it possible to buy shares in the club if it is in administration?
- Is liquidation a possibility?
- Does raising £500,000 guarantee survival?
- Will fans who put in more money than others get extra votes?
- Can we get the council involved?
- What if the present consortium is not interested in the trust’s involvement?
- Do we need Mr Brady?
- Do we care who is in charge of the club?
Hugh Barnett(TrustSTFC) explained that the Trust could receive the proxy votes of existing
shareholders to wield influence rather than having to buy new ones.
Cliff Puffett gave details of who owns the shares in the club at the moment and their financial commitment.
A show of hands was requested to gauge what sum of money people would be willing to put in to the Trust.
Tony reiterated the need for everything to be done legally and democratically with full involvement of all members. He then went on
to explain what would happen next if a mandate to continue were received from those present.
All those present were reminded that we have 2 choices. ‘Do something or do nothing’.
The motion to give the Working Party a mandate to move the process on and form the trust was proposed and carried unanimously.
Various other matters were discussed, before the meeting adjourned to the bar.