Sunday, 30 September 2012

Next steps in formation of Chelsea FC Supporters Trust

Since the start-up meeting last weekend, discussions have been held with James Mathie of Supporters Direct. The purpose of the discussion was to talk through the next steps for the CFCST after the start-up meeting (which JM thought was positive and supportive), focussing on what needs to be done before the next meeting, which will either be on 28/10 (Man U game) or 11/11 (Liverpool game) . At present, majority feedback received seems to be that after the Man U game is the most popular time.
A number of key issues were discussed :-
1. Preparation For Next Meeting
A number of issues can be addressed before the next meeting. Based on his experience elsewhere, JM suggested setting up a Working Group containing the four ‘originators’plus a few other volunteers who made it clear after the meeting they were keen to play a pro-active role. The Working Group could look at the following :- * SD have a model constitution which they suggest we use, tweaking as necessary (e.g. re overseas members). We don’t need to finalise it at this stage, but clear aims and objects would be
useful to present to the next meeting;
* i
dentifying differences between the CFCST and existing supporters groups ;

* possible membership structures / fees;
* it was agreed that contacting other PL trusts to learn what has, and has not worked, for them could only be beneficial.
JM suggested the Working Group meet (probably w/c 8thOctober) and that he would be happy to attend and facilitate the meeting. Those who expresssed an interest in getting actively involved immediately will be contacted re Working Group membership.
2. Purpose of Next Meeting
a) To receive feedback/proposals from the Working Group on, amongst other issues :-
* draft aims/objects;
* thoughts on the differences between the CFCST and the various existing supporters groups
* thoughts on membership structure/fees;
* feedback from discussions with other trusts re their experiences with set up, membership drives, club liaison etc..
b) To vote on whether to proceed to the next step –working with SD to formalise the constitution.
3. Longer Term Timeline
If the next meeting approves going ahead and forming a CFCST, the finalisation and approval of the constitution will take possibly 6-8 weeks. Membership fees cannot be taken until the constitution is approved. A temporary ‘volunteer committee’ would need to be set up. Assuming CFCST is a formal legal entity by 31/12/12, a strong membership drive can start in the New Year. Once membership has been built, elections for a Trust Board can be held (hopefully by the end of the season) and dialogue with the club can begin.
4. Other Issues
a) SD have a one-stop ‘membership tool’ which can take subscriptions, send e-mails, create a membership database etc. This would cost CFCST £25 a month to use. There is no compulsion to use this.
b) An announcement re the timing of the next meeting will be made once further feedback is received regarding the optimum time.
NB - If you are on Twitter, the Chelsea FC Supporters Trust twitter account is @cfcstrust .

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