What would you like from LCST?
So, the question was asked by new co-opted Trust Board Member Dave Kirkbright last week. DK's original post:
'Just wanting to find out from all the posters on here what you want from your supporters trust, what can we do to improve? If you are not a member what would the trust need to do to convince you to join.'Here's what people said:
'More information on social media, hiding behind confidentiality is something that needs to be eradicated. In other words be more pro active with supporters and open about why decisions are being made. I won't mention the holding company!'
'I'd just like to hear some targets for what the Trust aim to achieve. This is, by all accounts, a new dawn for them, so a few clear bullet points about their intentions over the next year, and then in the longer term, would be useful. What is their purpose? To make money for the club? To pass on the opinions of the fans to the club? To stop the club doing anything silly and safeguard its future (although this shouldn't be an issue as, say what you want about Dorrian, but he's pretty steady and stable.)? To promote the club to the wider community? If clear statements can be made about how they'll look to do all of the above, then I'd join without any hesitation. I'd also like to see something that suggests that the Trust is willing to tell the club when they're doing things wrong. Obviously, at the moment things are going fairly well so there's not a lot to criticise, but I think it's important that they should be willing to do so in the future. We've meekly put up with years and years of absolute rot, without a single statement criticising the Club. Hopefully things'll continue to go well, and this final point'll prove completely irrelevant.'
'Personally, I think the Trust year end should be the same as the Club if possible. (30th June) At the moment membership runs from July 1st, but the financial accounts are to 31st December. An agreement should be put in place between the LCST and LCFC that all monies raised by the Trust from July 1st to June 30th, excluding expenditure, should be handed over to the Club and 'donated' directly to the Manager's playing budget. This to be over and above the budget allocated by LCFC. I am confident it would be a lot easier to increase membership and sponsorship, and Trust Board members involved with fundraising and sponsorship would have a foot on the ladder when negotiating with prospective people, companies etc. I am a big believer in targets and have put forward a paper to Steve O'Dare and the Trust Board with many other suggestions. Things appear to be moving in the right direction. The proof will be in the eating.'
'Would it be a good idea for away travel to come under the Trust umbrella? It would mean that money made from that activity could be included in the Trust accounts making the Trust more active in the fundraising area. Discounts on away travel could be offered to Trust members? I know the phrase is a cliche but more 'joined up' fundraising has to be the way forward and really the Trust should have a leading role.'
'A lot more clarity in what the Trust do, what they are involved in etc.. their short term goals & long term plans. What their collective role is & individual roles are. A lot more fund raising events & promoting the club to a wider audience.'
'To me the most important aspect of the Trust, particularly with the size of our shareholding and 2 Directors on the Board, is ensuring (as far as is in our power) the good governance of the Club, and that we maintain sufficient control to prevent investors coming into and taking over the Club whose prime motivation is not the long term future of LCFC (eg by stripping assets such as separating ownership of stadium)
Fundraising is also important, but other than this last year I don't think the Trust has a bad record here? Like a previous poster I'm not totally in favour of targets, but there is little doubt that 'what gets measured gets done', and maybe benchmarking against other Clubs could give a target eg for membership as a % of fan base
Another debate I would be interested in is our membership of Supporters Direct. I don't know the reasons why we left (or necessarily the reasons for rejoining), but taking account of previous posts on other threads on this subject, and particularly our history with that organisation, surely as part of the current 'renaissance' of the Trust, that should receive early consideration?'
'Reading through the above, I think to much emphasis is placed upon Fund Raising.
As shareholders and representatives of the fans, you should do far more than focus on one topic.
COMMUNITY: for me is the key, engagement of all supporters, being the catalyst for all other groups. Unlike the old board who ran it purely for self gratification it as to be about the whole and not individual parts nor individual gain.
COMMUNICATION: needs to play a major role. Again as the main link to the club, lets look to expand on these areas. I don't mean, lets see the accounts (that's just for people who pretend to be business men), it could be anything from 'your coach driver today is BOB!!' to ' a letter of grievance sent to the Club board'
CLUB: remembering that the Trust own part of this and to build on this together.'Not had your say yet? Post what you would like to see from Lincoln City Supporters' Trust HERE!