By | June 29, 2017

On Monday 1st August 2016, the Shots Trust made history by accepting an invitation from the Football Club to join the Board of Directors of the Football Club. We saw this invitation as a huge step in the right direction as we sought to create an improved relationship with the club.

After being appointed as the Shots Trust Chairman at our AGM back in May, it was important for me to get the right personnel behind me to make this transition work. After a few changes to the Trust Board, I’m pleased to say I have a great team who 100% support me going forward and represent your club in the most dedicated fashion.

Following my appointment as Chairman of the Trust, I made it very clear that the structural relationship between the Trust and Club had to change – because for far too long the relationship had been fragmented and disjointed. In order for the relationship to improve, I felt it was vital for us to give something tangible back to help and assist the Club.

It was agreed by the Trust Board and the Club that we would attempt to increase fundraising for the foreseeable future with an agreed target each season to meet. This season our agreed target to raise is £20,000. All of the monies raised from our fundraising initiatives this year will go to the newly introduced Boost the Budget scheme.

“Boost the Budget” exists to support Gary Waddocks’ playing budget and thus allow him to make us more competitive on the field. Furthermore as part of my day-to-day duties as a Club Director I am in daily contact with Gary and the first team squad. This ensures we can all work together to make best use of the funds we can collectively raise. There is no better example than the recent loan signing Kundai Banyu! .

Fundraising is a huge part of what many other Supporters Trusts do for their respective Football Clubs and to be perfectly honest, it’s something that the Shots Trust haven’t been proactive in doing in recent years for a number of reasons. However this season we are focused and determined to hit our new target!

We held a very successful Race Night back in September which recorded a healthy profit. Furthermore, we also introduced our new scratch card back in August and I’m pleased to say they are selling really well around the ground and in particular the local pubs.

Our biggest fundraiser to date is the “Boost the Budget” regular funding scheme – replacing the outgoing Player Share Scheme. I’m very pleased to say the standing order payments and one off donations so far have been fantastic and just what we wanted to see and long may that continue!

We also held an enjoyable and successful Quiz Night last month, which saw a good turnout and another profit made. As we enter the festive season, the Trust have been running our very own Christmas Raffle, and there are some superb prizes on offer. Sales so far have been incredibly encouraging and with the deadline looming for ticket stubs to be returned, I’m expecting a late surge of people to enter the draw and generate a potentially record breaking fundraiser for the Trust to date!

The running of the 50/50 draw and Cash for Shots have also been taken over by the Shots Trust this season. Both the Football Club board and Trust felt it was important that everything was bought in house, where we are fully in control of all money and records to determine where we are and where we perhaps we need to grow and improve.

It was also our intention to help and support Mark Butler and the Commercial Team for the forthcoming season with various sponsorship packages and deals that will ALL benefit our members. We have already been ball sponsors for the Solihull Moors match and as part of that day invited 10 members to enjoy a different EBB experience. I’m pleased to report back they all had a great time, with three having signed up as new Patrons’ Lounge members due to the great experience they had which is absolutely fantastic!

We have also had a table at the most recent Sportsman’s Dinner which saw 10 Trust members hosted for the evening. Further events later on in the year have been pencilled in such as the ATFC Annual Golf Day and the Summer Ball at the end of the season. Trust members will be given the chance to take part in all events – so keep your eyes and ears peeled for these great benefits.

Finally, we have sponsored the full kit of Charlie Walker for the 2016-2017 season and his kit will be raffled off in the summer. As part of our deal with the Football Club, any money given to support the Commercial Team will be included in our £20,000 target.

The real benefit of all of these great schemes are the more we raise, the better budget we can give to Gary and wouldn’t it be great to see players signed up from this scheme make a real difference to the team going forward?!

Lots of people ask me, if I’m enjoying my role and I can honestly say I am really enjoying being on the Club Board. It can be challenging, hectic and is incredibly time consuming but I took advice off a lot of people before taking on the role, so it’s nothing that wasn’t told to me! I’m enjoying working with the Directors who strive hard each day to improve the position of the Football Club. I really enjoy working with Gary Waddock who has been a breath of fresh air since returning and the performances and results on the pitch back that up.

I’m in a very privileged position, which many people would give their right arm to be able to do, so it’s up to me to make it a success and help create good foundations for the Supporters Trust.  Hopefully our efforts in forming a fantastic relationship with the Football Club will benefit everyone and I can assure each and every supporter I will move heaven and earth to make this happen