Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Notes of CFCST Open Meeting held on Sunday 28th Oct 2012


Here are the notes of the latest CFCST open meeting.  If you have any questions, please e-mail them to cfcstrust@gmail.com - we will aim to respond within 24 hours.

1.  Activity since last meeting
1.1  Website
Cliff Auger advised that discussions re a proper website (as opposed to the current primitive blog) are underway. Celia Mindelsohn will work with Stuart Kinner to progress the site, which will incorporate a straightforward process in terms of joining the trust.

1.2  Overseas Supporters
David Chidgey has contacted a wide variety of supporters groups at home and overseas. Feedback received has been favourable.  One key challenge will be to ensure that overseas membership is actively encouraged. There were Chelsea supporters at the meeting from Brazil, The USA and Australia, who were supportive of the idea of a trust.
1.3  Meeting With Other Trusts
Paul Jeffrey and Ross Mooring went to a meeting two weeks ago with representatives of some other PL trusts, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Fulham. At present, 12 PL clubs currently have trusts. There are quarterly PL trust meetings to which the PL themselves are invited.  Other trusts offered to come and talk to this meeting, but it was felt the time wasn’t right at this stage, and we should focus on setting up our own trust.

2.  Aims & Objectives
A draft set of aims and objectives were circulated in advance of the meeting.  These have been revised in the light of feedback received and the second draft is listed below. If anyone has any comments, additions or suggestions, please e-mail cfcstrust@gmail.com by Friday 2nd November.

The CFCST will be :-

·         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. 

Aims

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 with Supporters Direct and other Supporters Trusts on pan-club issues like ticket prices, kick-off times;

·         Work in partnership with existing supporters groups, websites, fanzine, podcasts  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;

·         Affiliate with as many Chelsea supporters groups, fanzines, websites, blogs, podcasts etc. as possible;

·         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.

3. Membership Structure/Fees
There is a clear 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. It is clear that further thought will need to be given to this, to develop a clear and appropriate structure before the membership drive begins.

4.  Indicative Vote
The meeting voted by a significant majority of those present to proceed with setting up a trust.

5.  Timeline
The proposed timeline is as follows :-
31/12/12 – Supporters Direct approve constitution.  Paul Jeffrey and others from the working group will work with SD to ensure the appropriate work is done.
1/1/13-30/4/13 - membership drive.  This will require everyone who supports the formation of the CFCST to ensure an effective and comprehensive membership drive takes place.
May 2013 or Aug 2013 - (depending on membership, timing etc) - elections for CFCST board

6.  Any Other Business
6.1  Future Meetings
There were c30 people at the meeting at its peak, around half of those at the last one. A number of apologies were received and it is clear that Sunday night is less than ideal in terms of getting numbers to attend meetings (the match result didn’t help, either). The next meeting is likely to be in January or February, and it is to be hoped that a 12.45 or 15.00 Saturday game presents itself. If not, thought will clearly have to be given to the most appropriate time, and how to attract more attendees.


6.2  Notification To Club
Cliff Auger advised that he had notified relevant club officials of progress with setting up the trust and would continue to do so.
6.3  Communication
Although we have a website being set up, and a twitter account (@cfcstrust), the Facebook account set up needs to be far better utilised. Tim Rolls will talk to Celia Mindelsohn, who has volunteered to make the CFCST Facebook presence more meaningful and useful.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Agenda for next CFCST open meeting 18.30 28/10/12

 
The next Chelsea FC Supporters Trust (CFCST) Open Meeting, open to all Chelsea supporters, will be held at 18.30 on Sunday 28thOct (after the Manchester United league game). The venue is the upstairs meeting room at The Atlas Pub, 16, Seagrave Rd, London, SW6 1RX (close to West Brompton tube station). http://www.theatlaspub.co.uk/contact-us/
 
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.
 
The last meeting was well attended and lively, if inevitably slightly chaotic (the room layout didn't help), and the majority of feedback we have received is that it was worthwhile and interesting. If you haven't seen them, the notes from that meeting are available on this blog. Having covered a number of necessary introductory issues last time, this meeting should be more focused, and allow debate on key issues, including a decision on whether we proceed with setting up a Supporters Trust.
 
The meeting agenda (together with some brief background reading for some of the agenda items) is detailed below.

AGENDA
 
1.  Activity since last meeting – quick update
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.

The CFCST will be :-
·         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.
 
Aims
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.

3. Membership Structure/Fees
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.

As examples, here are the annual fees charged by some other PL trusts :-
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.

4.  Differences between CFCST and other supporters groups
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).

5.  Indicative Vote
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. 

If you cannot attend, Supporters Direct have an e-mail address CSTconsultation@supporters-direct.coop
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

6.  Any Other Business

We look forward to seeing as many interested parties as possible at the meeting, which will last a maximum of 90 minutes, finishing by 20.00 latest. If you have any comments, concerns or questions on the meeting or any aspect of the CFCST process, please e-mail us at cfcstrust@gmail.com and we will be happy to respond.

 
Regards
CFCST Working Group
e-mail -  cfcstrust@gmail.com
Twitter - @cfcstrust