What we are...
Democratic – The Board running the organisation must be democratic, subject to regular elections, regular meetings and communicating with the members
Critical Friends – We should avoid knee-jerk solutions and statements, and simple oppositional. Where the club is doing well, we should not be afraid to say so. When we are doing poorly, we should also point this out, but in a constructive way, offering solutions rather than just criticism.
Seeking Ownership – Trusts want to have ownership of as much as the club as is feasible, and should be looking to extend this to the maximum it is sensible to pursue at any given time. They want to cement their rights into the fabric of the club, by being involved at the basic level of legal ownership.
Seeking Involvement – Trusts want involvement at the highest levels. This does not mean they will not comment on more mundane matters, but they should always be stressing that theirs is a vision that is as much strategic as contingent.
Formalised – Trusts want to build relationships and understand the value of good personal contacts, but also wish to cement their involvement in the structures of the club. They recognise that involvement based solely on the good relationship with existing club officials is vulnerable as those officials often leave the club.
Not-for-profit – None of the people involved gain financially from their involvement at the Trust; they are keen to stress that their involvement is a function of being committed to the values underpinning the Trust, not personal gain.
Inclusive – Anyone can join the Trust, as long as they are a fan of the club, and share the values underpinning it. They have no truck with sectarianism, racism, xenophobia or other forms of discrimination.
Sustainable- The vision underpinning them is medium-to-long term. Their platform is about how the club can be run in the future and be a better club for it.
What we are not...
Single-issue protest group – Whilst issues might arise which a Trust takes a position on, they always relate their stance to a wider vision. If a group has, for example, a desire to remove the current Chairman or President, then once they have achieved this aim, they lose momentum and fade away. In addition, totemic issues like this tend to polarise as much as unite.
Fundraising Body - Trusts often raise money to enable them to buy shares in the club, but they do not simply hand the money over to the club. They ensure that they get something in return, over and above the goodwill of having given the club money. It needs to be remembered that a supporters’ trust is different to a clubs Official Supporters Club whose aims are to raise funds for the club.