Rob Bradley Talks About LCST
Here's some views from former Imps Chairman Rob Bradley on Lincoln City Supporters' Trust.
'I'm surprised there's a debate about whether the trust should raise money - in my view of course it should. The aims of a trust are to help the members / fans and the parent club (and be independently critical when it's called for). By putting on successful events, for example, a trust serves its members well and at the same time funds are raised to help the club. At our level even another £1K can bring in a player on loan for a month and the manager has been helped. By building up the membership more funds are raised too. A membership drive would involve more fans and their subscriptions again can be passed to the club. The trust has a rep who is a club director. Each director must be asked to bring in as much money as they can. The trust director maybe can't raise commercial or business investment, but they've got a trust board and hundreds of members to go to with fundraising ideas.
The trouble is the trust has lost it's way and been far too quiet. A measure of this is by not renewing membership of Supp Direct. If you agree with the principles of fans having a stake and a say in your club, the first thing you do is join SD, the body who promote those things, and help make it happen. SD played a huge role in LCST getting 800,000 shares; they were a great help - they must be pretty saddened that years later the people in Lincoln can't even be bothered to stay as members.'
'The trouble is the trust, in recent years, has just 'toddled' along. No new ideas, membership declining, trust reps blending into the club board with never a single word in protest at relegation from the FL, and the rest of it. If they aren't actually part of the establishment then they darn well look like they are. They are all, or mostly, good people. But the ethos of openness, involvement of all, and democracy seems to have drfited away. The outgoing trust rep on the club board during the election of his replacement used the trust website to implore members to vote for his own preferred candidate, for crying out loud!
We are where we are however. So to get things going, maybe they should think of a complete relaunch. New name, new ideals / constitution, and a big PR push to get as many fans to join as possible. Get the Echo involved. A promise that every penny raised goes to Gary Simpson. Costs to run the trust aren't taken out of fans pockets - their brass goes to the manager. Running costs are paid for by a sponsor. Have a big open meeting, show some enthusiasm for reviving our club, say you're going to change things and improve things (as well as explain this Holdings Co thing), and ask all like minded fans (and the hundreds of ex-fans) to get on board and make it happen. Lead don't follow. All it takes is hard work and the love of your club.
If Gary defies the odds (because he hasn't got much of a budget) then good for him and the club might start to grow again. But a vibrant dynamic trust would be a great help too.'
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