The key to how effective a Supporters’ Trust can be is how the board and its sub-committees operate and relate to each other. Good management and communication between different sections of the board ensures that not only does your Trust become more efficient and organised, it also assumes more credibility amongst members and interested onlookers.
Below are two excellent examples of the structured relationships between the different components of a board, at very different Trusts. At Bees United, the Brentford Supporters’ Trust, clearly defined sub-committees have a responsibility to feed information back into specific areas of the Trust board. The different board officers then feed back to the Chairman at board meetings, minimising the workload of the central board in keeping up with the activities by spreading responsibilities amongst board members.
- The Bees United board retains all decision-making in relation to strategy, policy, financing, approving budgets and unbudgeted expenditure.
- The board delegates operational budgets and day-to-day operational decision making to the executive committee
- Executive committee members are appointed from the elected board members by the Chairman acting in an executive capacity (i.e. as Chief Executive).
- The executive committee submits a written report to the board, including reports from each of the sub-committees, to be issued with board papers five days prior to the board meetings.
- Minutes of executive committee meetings are issued to all Bees United board members within 5 days of the meeting having taken place.
Membership of sub-committees
- The number and remit of sub-committees is fixed, irrespective of personnel.
- Each sub-committee is chaired by an executive committee member.
Enfield Town Supporters’ Society
The Trust assumes the day-to-day running of the football club, the boards of both the Trust and the football club maintain an informed overview of sub-committee responsibilities, remit and action.
In terms of the Trust, periods between meetings are clearly defined as is the role and remit of each individual committee.
Areas such as communications, community development and finance – of key importance to the Trust and the football club – have clear guidelines to assist them in their work, as well as proving extremely useful to new committee members, who are able to become instantly familiar with the role of the committee they are on, instead of having to learn as they go. Some of the committees used at Enfield Town:
Ground committee - Meetings when necessary
Remit: To establish a ground for Enfield Town FC in the Borough of Enfield & deal with issues arising from ground share with Brimsdown Rovers FC
Football, community, & society development committee - Monthly Meetings
- To organise football in the community schemes on behalf of Enfield Town FC;
- To liaise with the organisers of the proposed teams for boys, women and girls of Enfield Town FC;
- Maintain and develop links between Enfield Town FC and the “external community” including Supporters Direct, the Co-operative Group, and sport development officers of the local authority;
- To provide a formal focus for the "internal" community including the Supporters Club and the Junior Enfield Town Supporters (JETS).
Press, promotions, & communications - Meetings when necessary
Remit: To produce match reports and news items for local & national media, to produce a match day programme, & to raise funds for both Enfield Town Supporters’ Society & Enfield Town FC Ltd
Finance - Fortnightly meetings
Remit: To control and administer finances and to prepare monthly management accounts and budget forecasts.
It may also be worthwhile to have one board member act as ‘Project Manager’ or ‘Sub-committee manager’ – someone whose specific purpose is to oversee, encourage and report on the activity of Trust sub-committees.