The idea of a supporters trust for Evertonians has been propelled forward by the positive response to the original article.
When we showed Supporters Direct the replies you had posted, their first reaction was: “Wow!”
Many thanks for those replies. Obviously, many questions were raised and points made.
Below are our responses to some, but not all, of those questions. But first, some more general points.
We are not going to rush. By that, we mean set up a trust in a week or fortnight. We are not supporters of a small club in a small city or market town. We support one of the greatest clubs in the history of the game and, as a result, we have a large and geographically scattered fan base. That gives us extra problems to address – and extra opportunities to exploit; rest assured we aim to fully exploit developments in technology in order to address these opportunities.
Please remember we are trying to set up a trust that will become an intrinsic element of Everton Football Club. One of our core objectives is to build an organisation that will secure the future of the club. We intend to build a vehicle and get it on the road in such a manner that many, many people will want to climb aboard and help to keep it on the road. The road may be difficult at times but whoever said being an Evertonian is the easy option.
When the trust is launched, there will be a public meeting in Liverpool, possibly as early as March. In the meantime, please keep the ideas coming. We hope to unveil the trust website a few weeks before launch.
We would like to hear from people with specialist skills. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, location, skills, ideas and please tell us how often you get to Goodison these days (for the purposes of arranging meetings). If you don’t have a specialist skill, don’t feel unloved. You’re needed as much as anyone else.
We intend to issue an update next Tuesday, after the post-match discussion has subsided.
Now, for some of those particular responses:
The first point is that the Trust would be equally owned by its members. No matter how much money each member puts in, each registered member would have no more than one vote.
It’s encouraging that many people would like to contribute more than the suggested £2 a month. Such a low figure was suggested to make it open to all Evertonians. We are sure we could have higher voluntary rates.
As for accounting for the money raised, we will publish on the website regular summaries of the number of paying members, cash received, costs incurred, PayPal account balances, Bank Account balances and number of shares bought.
We are aiming to encourage ALL members to sign up via PayPal to avoid handling any cash.
We would like to confirm that no one gets paid for their time and, if the truth be known, it has already cost people a considerable amount of time and their own money to get to this stage.
The Trust would be legally registered as a mutual society and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
The Trust will produce independently audited annual accounts. It will be endeavouring to provide regular updates to members through meetings, newsletters, emails, social networking, podcasts and film.
The Trust would also be linked to Supporters Direct to tap into their years of experience and expertise.
Tony I’Anson & Mike Owen.