Beth’s Note: So here is the initial information when the conversation first was discussed. /BW
E-mail sent on behalf of Cliff, David and Tim regarding possible formation of Chelsea FC Supporters Trust:
Talking to Chelsea supporters as we do, a lot, a couple of issues come up time and again. The need for better, more influential, communication and dialogue with the club and the benefits of having a single united voice for supporters, bringing together the many existing groups, sites, blogs and fanzines under one umbrella.
It is clear that many supporters feel, as we do, that these concerns have been around for a long time and need to be addressed. The three of us got talking recently and felt there may be mileage in examining whether a Chelsea FC Supporters Trust, similar to those set up at a large number of clubs across the country (big and small, from Man Utd to Exeter, Arsenal to Aldershot, Spurs to Portsmouth) might be an appropriate and effective way of bringing fans together and addressing these concerns. The attached FAQ which we have drafted is designed to address questions you will almost certainly have regarding what a trust is, what is for, how it is structured, how it works, what the benefits are etc.
We have also had an informal chat with Supporters Direct, the champion of Supporters Trusts in the UK (again, more information is given in the attached FAQ), who gave us some useful advice and are happy to provide appropriate support and advice going forward.
Given our discussions, and the feedback from Supporters Direct, we thought the sensible first step was to solicit opinion from a wide selection of contributors to supporters groups, web sites, blogs, podcasts etc. to see if there seemed to be sufficient in-principle support for a Chelsea FC Supporters Trust. Hence this e-mail, sent in total to 60+ Chelsea supporters (supporters groups, bloggers, web sites, fan casts etc.).
To gauge in-principle support, the three of us would welcome your initial feedback and/or questions once you have read the attached FAQ’s and draft mission statement – either by e-mail (to any of the three of us or to email@example.com), by phone call or in person at the forthcoming QPR and Newcastle games. Going forward , we will also be communicating updated information on Twitter (@cfcstrust) and Facebook.
If we get sufficient positive feedback from this communication, we feel the logical thing to do would be to hold a public supporters meeting early next season (date to be confirmed once the fixture list is published) to get wider feedback and also to start the process of approving a trust constitution, electing board members etc. It is worth stressing that nobody is suggesting replacing existing groups, but increasing their influence by bringing them together, alongside unaligned supporters, under the umbrella of a Chelsea FC Supporters Trust.