The Shots Trust is a member of the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), which represents supporters’ groups at all levels of the professional game. We will engage with the FSA to gain from its knowledge and provide feedback of our own experience.
1. Representing Supporters:
Being the democratic and representative voice of supporters, strengthening the bonds between the Club and the communities which it serves.
1.1 Owners, managers, players and staff come and go; supporters and their communities are permanent. We will monitor personnel changes as part of our general interest in the well-being of the Club.
We recognise the importance of other members of the Club’s staff, some of whom make a significant contribution and may be in post for long periods. We will seek to build positive relationships with such employees and offer support where it is appropriate to do so.
We will seek to spread greater local awareness of the Club, which will in turn boost attendances; growth in supporter numbers are key to its future success.
We will seek to engage with ‘exiled supporters’ through regular communications, offering opportunities for them to meet our board members or contribute to our activities.
1.2 We are independent from the Club and therefore have no conflict of interest.
We will always act independently from the Club. Whilst being supportive and constructive, we will act in accordance with The Shots Trust’s objects as determined and regularly reviewed by our members at the AGM.
Any actual or perceived conflicts of interest will be recorded in the Register of Interests.
1.3 We will be a critical friend of the Club and a force for change, where appropriate.
We aim to be positive in our support for the Club but are prepared to be critical where necessary, providing constructive challenge.
We will campaign, lobby and consider appropriate action to support this objective.
1.4 We will work with the Club at all levels to ensure its long term sustainability.
We will build relationships with those involved with the Club at all levels, from the owner to the academy and volunteers.
We will work constructively with the ownership to consider and promote any plans to redevelop or relocate the Club, providing that such plans are transparent, realistic and in the Club’s long-term best interests.
1.5 Our aim is to build, maintain and strengthen community bonds with the Club.
We will strive to develop the Trust by building on existing community initiatives, grasping advantageous new opportunities and strengthening the dialogue between the Club and the community.
2. Promoting Supporter Influence: Achieving the greatest possible supporter and community influence in the running and ownership of the Club.
2.1 We will seek ways for supporters’ voices to be heard and for them to be involved in the decisions that are made by the owners of the Club, through developing and nurturing a positive and supportive relationship with the Club.
By keeping supporters, communities and their representatives informed about critical off-field issues, we will be a positive influence in the running of the Club, providing direct feedback from our members and the fan base generally.
2.2 We will aim to ensure that the ownership’s motives and long term plans are in the best interests of the Club.
We will provide an independent view of the Club’s direction, always recognising that the supporters and owners may have different values and objectives. We recognise and understand that any owner is likely to seek a profit.
3. Community Engagement: Promoting responsible and constructive community engagement and encouraging the Club to do the same.
3.1 We will support the Club in becoming a successful community-focused football club.
Engagement with the wider community is essential to the future development and success of the Club, so we will support the development, at both Trust and Club level, of strong community links. This will include building the widest possible relationships with the business sector, education establishments and the wider catchment areas.
Transparent and open communication from the Club is critical to this objective.
3.2 The Shots Trust is a non-political organisation. We will, however, ensure that those with influence in local and national politics are kept aware of issues affecting the Club and its supporters, and will offer advice where we believe it is in the interests of our core objectives to do so.
We will also inform and consult our members on such matters of interest.
4. Good Governance: We will operate democratically, fairly, sustainably, transparently and with financial responsibility and will encourage the Club to do the same.
4.1 We promote excellence in governance to ensure the credibility of The Shots Trust, following best practice and being both transparent and open to scrutiny.
We will maintain a suite of policies setting out our procedures for achieving this.
4.2 Good governance underpins the long-term success of any football club. We will hold the Club to account in this respect, in order to underpin its credibility and reputation as a community-focused Club.
5. Being Inclusive: We are a positive, inclusive and representative organisation, open and accessible to all supporters of the Club regardless of their age, income, location, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality or religious or moral beliefs.
5.1 The Shots Trust is a democratic organisation; every member’s views and input is valued. We aim to be seen as the principle representative body for ATFC supporters. We encourage member involvement, both formal and informal, and will consult our members on all key strategic decisions.
5.2 A Board of Directors is elected from amongst Trust membership. Minutes for regular meetings are published. The Board’s remit is set out in the Board Membership and Conduct policy document, published on our website.
5.3 Using a range of approaches, we will encourage supporters to join us and work with us in making ATFC a successful and sustainable asset to our community. This will include networking with the business community, out-reach events, social media and promotional literature.
5.4 We will set membership fees at a level sufficient to support our objectives whilst remaining as affordable as possible to supporters.
5.5 We recognise the importance of young fans for the future of the Club and will actively seek ways to support and involve them, directly or through initiatives with the Club and other organisations.
This Strategic Plan will be kept under review by the board and updated on a regular basis. Significant changes of policy or direction will require the formal approval of the membership.