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Handbook:Setting up a Supporters' Trust – The three-stage model

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Supporters' Trust Handbook
Setting up a Supporters' Trust – The three-stage model
Stage One – Open meeting to introduce the Trust
Stage Two – Develop Working Group and Launch
Stage Three – The First AGM
Running a Trust
Constitutional Issues
Using the Media Effectively
Action in the Community
Shareholding, AGM, and Board Strategies
Corporate Governance
Company Law
Codes of Corporate Governance
Regulation by the Football Authorities
Appendix 1: Model agenda for the stage one open meeting
Appendix 2: Template application form
Appendix 3: Model board membership policy
Appendix 4: Model agenda for Trust AGM
Appendix 5: Model rules for Trust elections
Appendix 6: Sample election nomination form
Appendix 7: Supporters Direct funding policy
Appendix 8: Potential sources of funding from within the co-operative movement
Appendix 9: Some of the objects used by existing Trusts
Appendix 10: Media directory
Appendix 11: Taxation treatment of football community mutuals
Appendix 12: Code of conduct for elected supporter directors
Appendix 13: Identifying and tracing shareholders at your club
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Supporters’ Trusts have different origins. Some Trusts originate from existing supporters’ organisations. For instance, the idea for the Trust at Southend United and at Reading originated out of the existing supporters’ clubs. Likewise, the Trusts established at Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford Town have developed out of Independent Supporters Associations. Shareholders United at Manchester United started out as a Shareholders’ Association. Other Trusts have been formed at clubs as umbrella organisations, bringing existing supporter groups together; and some Trusts have started where there were no existing supporters groups.

Regardless of the starting point, Supporters Direct recommend working from a three stage model of establishing a Trust to ensure that they incorporate the democratic and inclusive principles from the beginning - see the figure below. Although the model may be amended to suit different circumstances, it is helpful to have a template to gauge progress and keep in mind a clear rationale.

The three stages are as follows: the open meeting, the launch of the Trust and the first Trust AGM. Each stage represents the fruition of a great deal of time and effort. The diagram below represents these stages.