The idea of a supporters trust for Evertonians has been propelled forward by the positive response to the original article.
When we showed Supporters Direct the replies you had posted, their first reaction was: "Wow!"
Many thanks for those replies. Obviously, many questions were raised and points made.
Below are our responses to some, but not all, of those questions. But first, some more general points.
We are not going to rush. By that, we mean set up a trust in a week or fortnight. We are not supporters of a small club in a small city or market town. We support one of the greatest clubs in the history of the game and, as a result, we have a large and geographically scattered fan base. That gives us extra problems to address ? and extra opportunities to exploit; rest assured we aim to fully exploit developments in technology in order to address these opportunities.
Please remember we are trying to set up a trust that will become an intrinsic element of Everton Football Club. One of our core objectives is to build an organisation that will secure the future of the club. We intend to build a vehicle and get it on the road in such a manner that many, many people will want to climb aboard and help to keep it on the road. The road may be difficult at times but whoever said being an Evertonian is the easy option.
When the trust is launched, there will be a public meeting in Liverpool, possibly as early as March. In the meantime, please keep the ideas coming. We hope to unveil the trust website a few weeks before launch.
We would like to hear from people with specialist skills. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, location, skills, ideas and please tell us how often you get to Goodison these days (for the purposes of arranging meetings). If you don't have a specialist skill, don't feel unloved. You're needed as much as anyone else.
We intend to issue an update next Tuesday, after the post-match discussion has subsided.
Now, for some of those particular responses:
The first point is that the Trust would be equally owned by its members. No matter how much money each member puts in, each registered member would have no more than one vote.
It?s encouraging that many people would like to contribute more than the suggested £2 a month. Such a low figure was suggested to make it open to all Evertonians. We are sure we could have higher voluntary rates.
As for accounting for the money raised, we will publish on the website regular summaries of the number of paying members, cash received, costs incurred, PayPal account balances, Bank Account balances and number of shares bought.
We are aiming to encourage ALL members to sign up via PayPal to avoid handling any cash.
We would like to confirm that no one gets paid for their time and, if the truth be known, it has already cost people a considerable amount of time and their own money to get to this stage.
The Trust would be legally registered as a mutual society and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
The Trust will produce independently audited annual accounts. It will be endeavouring to provide regular updates to members through meetings, newsletters, emails, social networking, podcasts and film.
The Trust would also be linked to Supporters Direct to tap into their years of experience and expertise.
Tony I?Anson & Mike Owen
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1 Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:35:47
2 Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:36:35
Great news, very keen to be involved in any way possible and very happy to donate
You are undertaking this in the right spirit and i will help all i can
3 Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:41:13
4 Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:45:10
5 Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:56:44
6 Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:50:11
It needs to be official, factual with proper memberships (PIN numbers?) before fans know exactly what they are letting themselves in for.
Also, it may seem silly, but why does there have to be a public meeting, and in Liverpool? All that seems to do is alienate fans like myself that live 270 miles away. Even worse, fans that live in USA or Australia or anywhere else. We have no chance of appearing at the public meeting. Why not just a properly run website? With modern technology, there can be instant chat messaging or webcams or something similar so fans like myself can join in and not feel like we are being punished.
Apart from those points, I am extremely interested!!!
7 Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:54:49
8 Posted 02/02/2011 at 21:39:11
Good Luck. I agree, it's best to take a little time and get the foundations right.
9 Posted 02/02/2011 at 21:48:12
10 Posted 02/02/2011 at 21:51:17
11 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:12:05
12 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:12:13
I'm still interested.
As long as there are no pretend trips to Hollywood for further investment ;)
13 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:13:04
14 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:22:09
15 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:25:06
16 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:36:15
However, as Matthew #6 said as someone who now lives in Canada it would be hard for me to get to meetings. As a lifetime Blue who lived in Liverpool for 33 years, near Stoke for another 12 and went to more games than I could possibly remember, my passion for the Blues is undiminished and I feel I care as much about the Club as those fortunate to attend the current games.
It irritates me when it is sometimes suggested on this site, that people like me are somehow second class citizens in conversations about what might be important for the Club simply because I now live abroad.
I try and get to one game a year if I can - met my brother,( he lives in Sydney) in London for the semi final against Man U, arrived Friday back at work on Monday, co-workers thought I was mad, but they are not Evertonians, it was too important to miss.
I support you in taking time to think it through, it's too important. It may help you manage skills volunteers if you could identify what you may need, will probably save you time in the long run.
Long may this idea roll - thank you.
17 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:55:49
18 Posted 02/02/2011 at 23:28:41
Visits to Goodison are far to infrequent due to the usual financial constraints (livin on the Isle of Man it aint cheap getting to games) but if there is anything that can be done to take things forward, count me in
19 Posted 03/02/2011 at 00:03:37
20 Posted 03/02/2011 at 01:08:03
Well done so far.
Very positive beginnings.
Please ensure you take legal and taxation advice especially for whoever the trustees will be as they will be personaaly liable.
IR love to look at any new money streams (but if they know it's for EFC we may well get charitable status).
It's a long and winding road but I'm sure you will see it through.
The amount of positivity it is generating will give it long legs.
21 Posted 03/02/2011 at 02:28:08
22 Posted 03/02/2011 at 02:54:49
23 Posted 03/02/2011 at 02:46:18
24 Posted 03/02/2011 at 02:55:26
This is just a joke. I am only joking.
Full support lads.
25 Posted 03/02/2011 at 04:57:17
I suggest we set up a main site (linked to major supporters sites) to facilitate communication among all Evertonians. As for the meeting, it can be a physical gathering in Liverpool, with video-conferencing set up for non-UK supporters.
26 Posted 03/02/2011 at 07:43:18
27 Posted 03/02/2011 at 08:02:46
Well done to you both for getting the engine kick started!
Perhaps we can use Toffeeweb somewhere amongst the administration, as we all know how reliable it is. We dont want too many different areas/sites as things could get confusing trying to decide where to go for what info.
Keep things simple and easy to follow. I am a civil servant, and sometimes when new departments are set up, they can have a tendency to mushroom out of control and become too top heavy and unwieldy.
Not in Liverpool, but regard myself just as much an Evertonian as any other, but no objection to a physical meeting there, as our "spiritual home" must be Goodison. Full details of the meeting will no doubt be placed on the web almost immediately afterwards, so I wouldnt regard myself as somehow being snubbed, or "missing out" in any way.
Again, perhaps this is where Toffeeweb can be utilised?
28 Posted 03/02/2011 at 07:58:01
Any one who actively seeks the election to office automatically disbars themselves.
Also maybe feeder orginisations / to run fund raisers? run by say Dick in Perth, Christine Foster in Brisbane etc etc.
As many as is feasable all around the world, raising as much or as little as the can, but still only one vote so cash is not king.
29 Posted 03/02/2011 at 08:56:52
Can't wait COYB.
30 Posted 03/02/2011 at 09:29:36
1. Shares, Everton does not (and is not allowed to) trade openly. Shares are limited and not public. How will the trust buy them if nobody wants to sell them? Everton has 10,000 normal shares of 1p, that are fully purchased. Therefore, a current shareholder has to want to sell before they can be bought.
2. What happens if the club, again a limited company and therefore a legal entity in their own right, refuses to acknowledge the existence of a supporters club?
31 Posted 03/02/2011 at 09:33:32
If the club refuses to recognise it, what then? If te trust cant get a share because try are not approved or nobody wants to sell, what then? What of surplus money collected?
I realise that This my sound pessimistic but all of this has to be answered with certainty and not washed over - members will want something, of not shares then at least a channel to the clubs boardroom...
I'm all up for it, I have even offered my services to the cause but fear it could be a non starter without these things being in place
32 Posted 03/02/2011 at 09:55:07
I think what annoyed a lot of us match-goers during the Kirkby Divide was when we were being told by Blues in (eg) Wagga Wagga and Pretoria that they think we should leave Liverpool.
I remember asking one such ex-pat in Westerm Australia, in reply to charging me with being parochial, how leaving Goodison for a shed in Knowsley would affect his match-day experience.
I still remember being looked down on in the 60s beacuse I come from Liverpool 8 (wtf is Toxteth?) and was constantly being reminded by other Blues that "Everton is a North-End club". Now that puts things in perspective! eh Tom?
Anyway, let's see how the Everton family can all help Tony and Mike in their efforts,
33 Posted 03/02/2011 at 11:16:17
34 Posted 03/02/2011 at 13:16:16
It would be excellent if the eventual conclusion to this was the trust having a seat on the board for a nominated member!
35 Posted 03/02/2011 at 17:12:39
36 Posted 03/02/2011 at 17:27:46
37 Posted 03/02/2011 at 19:29:27
38 Posted 03/02/2011 at 20:44:42
That's what bullshitter Bill has been offering since he became chairman!
39 Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:32:18
40 Posted 03/02/2011 at 21:39:08
My understanding is that, whilst supporters trusts purchase some shares, the modern approach is to utilise the trust's money in a protected asset that will benefit the club and the trust in perpetuity. This could be in the form of financing and owning a section of a redeveloped or new stadium for example. Chelsea fans, through Chelsea Pitch Owners, own the freehold and the pitch at Stamford Bridge.
The club may well have some initial opposition, they?re doing such a great job at the moment why would they consider fans could improve the situation? But this trust idea, where fans unite under a single democratic organisation, can become a movement that simply can?t be ignored; particularly if the members of the trust come up with tangible solutions that the board have clearly failed to do.
Would the board really want to engage the fans in a fight or in discussion? I think the latter and I wish those that become involved all the best. As Churchill once said [not the fuckin? dog] ?It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.?
41 Posted 03/02/2011 at 22:06:40
You will always find some people who are looking for problems with a scheme like this. I suggest if you have a negative perspective towards this, then don't try to put anyone else off.
Any problems can always be ironed out, a brilliant idea and you can count me in.
42 Posted 03/02/2011 at 22:28:21
But bugger the reservations, something has to be done. Even with my doubts, for the faith of our fathers who founded our club... I'm in. Good fortune to this enterprise.
43 Posted 03/02/2011 at 23:00:32
44 Posted 03/02/2011 at 23:59:31
45 Posted 04/02/2011 at 00:12:54
46 Posted 04/02/2011 at 07:04:47
I hope it goes ahead this time and doesn't falter like the initial initiative 2 years ago.
47 Posted 04/02/2011 at 09:43:13
48 Posted 04/02/2011 at 10:50:59
49 Posted 04/02/2011 at 23:18:54
I hope people dont think that putting money in and we will soon be owning the club! United and Liverpool fans tried this and didn't even get close.
The trust will be best suited at trying to assist the club with ground improvements.
50 Posted 04/02/2011 at 23:14:40
Is it 'sold' or is it 'mortgaged'? Who owns it or who owns the mortgage?
How much was it sold or mortgaged for?
And more to the point, how much would it cost to 'buy it back'?
So, cart before horse.
Should our major aim be to retire debt, the big ticket high interest drains on our budget?
We've maxed out both our Visa and Mastercard. The trust's 'windfall cash' could pay this off.
On a sneaky note, could we buy Goodison, spiritually our home, our heritage, out from under Bill and the board and waggle 2 fingers at him at the same time?
51 Posted 05/02/2011 at 11:19:55
52 Posted 06/02/2011 at 16:49:30
I?m a little busy this week but will try, next week, to send you details of whatever time I could give you (free), my CV (so you can see if I?m better at making tea with sugar or without) and some kind of brain dump regarding what I see (IMHO) as the key points of what you?re doing.
All the best ? Dave.
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