The Shots Trust are pleased to announce our plans for the coming season and beyond. These changes are intended to be ratified by the membership at the forthcoming AGM, which is announced for Wednesday 16th October 2019. The AGM will reflect the period 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019.
This period has been a transitional one for the Trust with the much-discussed resignation from the Aldershot Town FC Club Board of Directors. For everyone involved it was an unhappy conclusion to a period that had seen the Trust invest considerable time into the relationship with the club – as well as driving independent fundraising that saw the Trust rally the fans to raise a total of nearly £45,000 towards the playing budget over 3 seasons. However whilst a regrettable outcome this does not affect either the desire or the ability of the Trust to represent its members and the wider support base of the football club now or in the future.
The way forward
We are pleased today to make various announcements that should reassure the fans that the Trust is here for the good of the Club, the Supporters and the Community for the immediate and long term future. Where relevant these announcements are made having consulted with John Leppard on behalf of the Club Board of Directors and the FSA (Football Supporters Association, combining previous organisations Supporters Direct and Football Supporters Federation).
The Board were delighted to welcome a new Secretary, Maggy Keenan at our recent monthly board meeting. Maggy has been a resident of the Aldershot area for many years and despite not being a supporter of the football club is pleased to utilize her administrative skills!
Trust Chairman Tommy Anderson has announced his intention to resign from the Chairman’s role at the end of 2019. Tommy is keen to oversee the successful relaunch of the Trust (including AGM) and ensure that all Board positions are suitably filled before stepping back.
Fundamentally the Trust needs more help! To properly embrace the strategies and plans in the remainder of this announcement we need volunteers to step forward for both Board positions and fundraising/administrative duties. Please do get in touch!
The Trust wishes to propose three key strategic aims for the organisation. These aims would be ratified at the AGM and are separate from the ongoing member services (below).
- We should ensure the voice of the fans is heard: There should be regular dialogue to allow feedback from the fanbase to the Club. Full minutes and actions should be tracked and published. If the Club and the FSA decide to advertise the position of an independent Supporters Liaison Officer (SLO) – then the Trust would be fully supportive of such a role and would look to work closely with that individual.
- We should provide oversight in any Recreation Ground redevelopment: The Trust should drive to be consulted and involved in all stages of the redevelopment process. The Trust believes that to ensure transparency of the project and long term protection of the club it makes sense for a supporters organisation to be integral to the process. We are recruiting actively for one or two suitable experts from our fanbase to lead this strategic aim and to partner with the club.
- We should continue to be proactive in fund-raising: The Trust should continue to look to maximize fundraising opportunities within the fan base and wider community. This should be done in a way that does not conflict or compete with Club fundraising. As such the proposal is to focus on fundraising for the long term needs of the club and fans, rather than short term playing budget relief. (In this regard, further notes are provided below on the logistics for concluding the Boost The Budget initiative).
Depending on volunteer resources and membership take up, the Board would intend to continue to deliver services for the benefits of both members and fans, for little or no financial profit. Examples of such services are:
- Away Travel: Membership of the National League continues to present fans with unreasonable travel costs. Despite the fifth tier standing of the league, travel remains countrywide, and often with short notice changes for TV needs. Wherever demand exists the Trust will look to provide Away Coach Travel (with discounted rates for members). To support this initiative the Trust have relaunched their online shop over the summer to allow Coach Bookings to be taken online via Cheque, Paypal, Bank Transfer and Credit Card. If supporters adopt the online shop for booking it reduces Admin overheads on volunteers and allows us to have greater confidence in numbers and arrange travel at shorter notice.
- Advert – Torquay in August is now available for booking via the website!
- Player of the Month (and Season) voting will continue to be conducted via email survey for members at the end of every month. The Trust continues to drive this initiative and provide trophies, with the club organizing the matchday presentation with a young supporter.
- The Trust Board continue to work closely with the commercial and ticketing operations at the club to ensure discounts and priority can be gained for certain club events/matches.
We would love to hear from supporters with ideas of other services that could be delivered to the benefit of all members.
Boost The Budget Termination
With the commercial team recently organizing the excellent 500 Club and Golden Ticket schemes, all organisations felt that too many different fundraising initiatives were straining and confusing our loyal fanbase. To provide that clarity and for the reasons outlined above now is the right time to close “Boost The Budget”.
We give our enormous thanks to all those supporters who embraced “Boost the Budget” via the various fundraising schemes. The Trust Board remain very proud of the achievements of this initiative. Where we have contact details contributors will have been notified that donations are no longer being taken.
Schemes such as Lucky 7s that have previously been run for the benefit of “Boost the Budget” will now be run for the wider Trust fundraising concept. Some schemes will not be run in 2019/20 due to lack of volunteers.
The ”Boost the Budget” account balance after previous commitments to the Club have been met is around £3,000. The Trust Board will be writing to Danny Searle shortly to advise him that such funds are available – and we intend to ensure that these monies are spent on helping the 19/20 campaign.
Cash for Shots has historically been a supporter led initiative, run for the benefit of the Football Club. The Trust has acted as guardian in recent seasons and is keen to continue doing so. As such we are working with all parties on a plan for both profit distribution and growth in future seasons. Further updates will be released in due course and kept separate from core Trust business.
We hope that all supporters can get behind this updated vision, and will continue to contribute time, effort, money, support and ideas to the safe running of the Aldershot Town Supporters Trust! We mentioned earlier the online shop. For those that wish to renew or join – please visit www.shotstrust.co.uk/shop