Date: 9th July 2006 at 5:55pm
Written by:

We estimated that around 15 people would turn up yesterday but we were happily proved wrong as over 50 fans enjoyed yesterday’s Trust Members` Social. Thank you to those who were able to turn up. The members of the Trust Board enjoyed the event and hope that you did too. We also hope that some of you are encouraged to throw your hat into the ring as there will be vacancies atthe elections in Oct/Nov.

Trust Boards are meant to fall out when they take over a club – we haven`t. We`ve grown stronger and closer, but not the to exclusion of the new Board members who have been welcomed as equals, and as County fans, we are just that. Trust membership historically falls far more than ours has – we`re at 699, and that`s without any effort to recruit. We *will* be recruiting this coming season.

The headline statement many of you will be looking for is this: From the unaudited accounts at 31st May 2006 Stockport County made a profit of over £86,000. The Trust Board didn`t do that, *WE* did, the County Family did!!!

We`re on the up – pass it on :o)

For those who were unfortunately unable to make it today, you missed a corker! Notes from the gathering will follow after we`ve had a little rest but here`s the handout we produced for attendees at the start of the meeting:

Trust Members` Social – Saturday 8th July 2006

What the Trust Has Done Well for Stockport County F.C.?

Communications

* Created the much used ‘Fan`s Hotline`, from which a reply from a
Director is always promptly received

* More press coverage than any other Club in our division – true!

* County web site now far more informative and timely

Listened to the Fans

* Carlisle match – forwent a cash injection to house County fans in
the Railway End

* Brought in family-oriented ticket pricing

* Attended all Supporters` groups meetings

* Held Fans` forums

* Got our own shop (slightly smaller in County floor-space, but 50
times better!)

* Encouraged Dave Eade to lead the way in decorating the ground

* Moved smokers away from certain areas after a complaint

* Scheduled a couple of Friday night games

* Had fans design and vote on the kit, and made sure that kit was of
a better quality

* County and Trust Board members are always accessible – via email, letter, around the ground, at Club social events, at Trust social events, on the phone, but not yet via ESP

* ? and more

Made Big Decisions

* Changed the faces and the roles of the Board with a view to the future – SCFC Board statement to come soon

* Replaced the Team Management personnel

* Put in place a MD who shares the Trust`s philosophy

* Not buckled to pressure to reveal sensitive information

* Made perhaps one or two unpopular decisions for the long-term benefit of Stockport County F.C.

Finance

* Budgets under control

* Provided a competitive playing budget

* Delivered a profit (unaudited accounts after 11 months trading) and remain strongly cash positive

* Re-invested money directly back into the Club – not into investors` pockets

* The ‘Rainy Day Fund` remains untouched

* Not borrowed from any bank or finance house or anyone

Process

* Put in place a process for recruitment of Team Manager that is now in use at other football clubs

Business Relationships

* Business sponsorship on the up with many local businesses getting closer to the Club

* Recently begun to build bridges and remove obstacles with Cheshire Sport

More Proof of the Trust`s Impact

* Many positive mails and phone calls

* The staff at County are happy:

o Ask Des Hinks about the new County Press Room!!

o Look at how Christine understands the County Fans` in her stock

o Martin and Tony are given the scope to succeed

o ?and more

* The highest season ticket sales County has ever had in this
division

* The Ticket Office staff are good people and they are on our side

What We Will Not Tell You – and Why

Salaries

Too sensitive. Salaries are a contract between the Club and an individual. Fans will have to trust that we are being prudent whilst at the same time attracting the right calibre of people.

Playing Budget

We`ve all erred on this in the past – ‘top six` ? ‘£1.1m`. It isn`t helpful to the Team Management because it gives agents and players an idea of how much other players might be on or how much they think they think they can extract from the Club. A bad starting position for negotiations.

Personnel Matters

Until officially dealt with there will be no communication. Once a matter is settled, and if appropriate, there will be one statement in which we will explain all we and ever will.

Purchasing Edgeley Park

The Trust has a number of plans to purchase Edgeley Park. These are all in progress and all extremely sensitive. We trust that County fans will understand that even the slightest betrayal of these plans could cause them to fail. We will, of course, hold true to our principles – Edgeley Park will not be owned by a third party – WE will own it.

Stockport Council

Be assured that The Trust has excellent relations with the Council. We have not even had a full year at the helm and are still in our ‘proving period`. We have some projects that will remain sensitive for the time being and some fantastic initiatives are to be announced shortly to demonstrate that we are capable of becoming a real Community Club. They will be announced when we are ready to launch.

Team Matters

Jim and Wardy are in complete control of all team matters. They have a budget, and they get on (to the admiration of all) with their task. We must not, and will not interfere, but we can and do give them every assistance to succeed. They are at the hub of our existence. Therefore, any Team information is released via the County website.

What the Trust Has Not Done That Well

In mitigation, in our first twelve months, we have focused totally on the Club.

In the face of much good will but also some severe hostility, it was crucial that the Club succeeded in our first twelve months. We did the right thing and wasted no effort anywhere else other than the Club itself. Of course, we knew that would lead to criticism and it has, but in the bigger picture we were right.

The problem however, remained, in that the Trust as an entity was ticking over, not moving forward. A structure of the Trust Board is almost complete and Fans will see a turnaround in the communication form the Trust from mid-September as a result.

END

That`s what we have done in 11 months. I`ll say it again, ELEVEN MONTHS.

What do you reckon?

 

2 Replies to “Trust Release – Everything”

  • Good to see the Trust are making positive steps, we have made a profit! A profit! That is the best news. Here’s for an improve in the form now!

  • Thanks for the update Jack. Things are heading the right way. Still early days and we need every County fan to pull together in the right direction but the future is now bright. If we finish top 10 this season that will also be progress – not daring to think any higher than that!

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