What is a Supporters’ Trust?
A Supporters’ Trust is an independent, democratic, not-for-profit organisation of supporters focussed on giving fans a collective voice in influencing the activities of the club they support. Many Supporters’ Trusts have been set up at times of adversity, including the Fulham Supporters’ Trust (FST) which was established as part of the Back to the Cottage movement in 2003.
Is the FST the same as a Supporters’ Club?
The main aim of the FST is to influence the way Fulham Football Club is run to make sure that the views of the fans are considered in all key decisions. This is a bigger and more important role than that traditionally provided by a Supporters’ Club. However we like to socialise too and whenever possible organise a number of events to celebrate Fulham Football Club past and present.
Why should I join the FST?
Every time a new member joins the FST our voice grows in volume and our ability to represent supporters’ views increases. This is crucial to the work of the Trust. If you join the FST you become part of a growing movement of Fulham supporters who care about how the club is run. Don’t underestimate the power of every individual voice when we come together as one organisation.
Is the FST part of Fulham Football Club?
No. The Fulham Supporters’ Trust is an entirely independent membership organisation run by volunteers who are all Fulham fans. The Trust is not part of or run by Fulham Football Club.
What do I get when I join the FST?
All members have the opportunity to raise issues, concerns and questions that we are able to put directly to the Fulham Chief Executive and his team as part of our structured dialogue. Members receive regular updates on Trust activity, including notes of the monthly meetings. From time to time we organise members’ events to celebrate the unique aspects of being a Fulham fan. These have included dinners, book launches, meetings with former favourites and the TOOFIF fanzine 30th anniversary evening.
What Is Structured Dialogue?
According to Supporters Direct, structured dialogue should provide an effective and formal method of communication between the executive level of football clubs and democratically elected supporter representatives on key issues of importance.
In 2016, the English Football League and the Premier League introduced regulations requiring their member clubs to conduct dialogue with supporters. The EFL rule book states that under the regulations clubs must be represented by owners, directors or senior executive management as the matters being discussed will often be of a strategic nature and may relate to the management and day-to-day running of the club. Where meetings are not open to all supporters wishing to attend, the supporter representatives must be elected, selected or invited in line with basic democratic principles. Individuals cannot be excluded by the club without good reason (the club acting reasonably).
What do you spend the membership fees on?
The annual membership fee we charge is used to cover the administration costs of running the Trust. This includes expenses such as building and maintaining our web site, accountancy and insurance fees and occasional travel expenses in relation to national meetings of Supporters’ Trusts.
Additionally we organise events from time to time which are subsidised for members. We use Trust funds to pay for room hire and cover other associated costs. Recent events have included an Evening with Micky Adams and the TOOFIF 30th Anniversary Book launch.
Exceptionally we have been able to support member led initiatives that we consider to be of interest and benefit to Fulham supporters. The most recent example of this is the purchase and sponsorship of the Johnny Haynes Trophy for the Academy Player of the Year.
History also tells us that we always need to be ready to campaign at short notice should circumstances arise. Therefore any annual surplus is retained to make sure we can act quickly if necessary.
No member of the board of the Trust receives any payment.
How can I get more involved with the FST?
If you are not yet a member of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust please do join us to add your voice. We will be delighted to represent your views in our frequent discussions with the Club, including at our regular monthly meetings as part of our structured dialogue. We hold regular elections to the board of the Trust. If you would like to stand for election and bring your skills to the running of the Trust please contact us for more information.