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PRESENTATION TO THE BFCSA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – JULY 14TH 2011

PROPOSAL

In principle are you supportive of the BFCSA working together with the "Bees Trust" to form a single trust organisation for supporters of Barnet Football Club?

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

During 2010 a group of supporters formed a group to form a trust at Barnet working under the name "Bees Trust". The existence of this group was disclosed to the club and BFCSA in December. Bees Trust held a meeting for supporters in February 2011 when 34 voted in favour of a new trust being formed.

BFCSA and the Bees Trust have through 2011 worked to form a single group representing Barnet supporters.

WHAT IS A FOOTBALL TRUST?

Supporters Direct (SD) was formed in 2000 as an initiative of the Government with the goal to 'promote sustainable spectator sports clubs based on supporters' involvement and community ownership'. To achieve this aim they have helped set up over 170 Supporters Trusts.

There are two main areas of difference between what we have now and what a Supporters Trust represents:

  1. A major strength of a supporters trust is its constitution. It is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and must provide annual audited accounts, which means it is transparent. Any paid up members can put themselves forward to be elected to the board of the trust, and the income that the trust raises is spent according to the member's wishes in line with the registered aims.
  2. A Trust's assets are held by everyone equally with liabilities, debt and such like coming out of the organisation's funds, not directly from fans' pockets.

Although in some ways it may look like a charity, and has the name 'trust', it is not a charitable organisation, its legal name is an Industrial and Provident Society or a benefit of the community society as it is more commonly known.

SHARE OWNERSHIP

An association is not an ideal shareholding vehicle. Whilst shares are held by BFCSA this is currently through a nominated individual as an unincorporated organisation doesn't have what the legal types call a legal personality. The trust model has been designed with supporter share ownership in mind.

BFCSA has owned shares in Barnet Football Club for many years and is the second largest shareholder in the club. SD and Barnet Football Club strongly recommend that the association should seriously consider converting to a trust ensuring the shares are held by a vehicle designed for the purpose of owning shares.

WHY BECOME A MEMBER OF A TRUST?

Membership of the Barnet trust will be open to everyone who supports the club. An annual Membership fee will be payable which will confirm equal and full voting rights in all trust matters.

The proposed new trust will represent supporters in every aspect of what it means to be a Barnet Supporter. Many of the functions that are currently provided though the BFCSA will continue such as quizzes and of course the player of the year event.

Whilst membership fees have yet to be agreed, SD recommend that they do not exceed the cost of a match day ticket to ensure membership is open and inclusive.

BARNET FC COMMUNITY TRUST

The supporter trust should not be confused in any shape or form with the existing Barnet Community Trust which is managed by Janet Matthewson.

GOING FORWARD

RESULT OF A 'YES' VOTE

If the proposal is approved, a period of consultation will be held lasting two to three months to allow a process to be presented at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the BFCSA through which the BFCSA will transition to become a Supporters Trust, with the help of Supporters Direct.

CONSEQUENCES OF A 'NO' VOTE

BFCSA will continue to serve supporters as it has done for many years working closely with the club. The Bees Trust will be formed independently of BFCSA effectively creating two organisations representing Barnet supporters.

 
     
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