Trust Board members Tim Hartley and Brian Mertens joined supporters’ trusts representatives from across the region at Newport’s Rodney Parade ground to hear how the County trust is playing a major role in the development of the club.
Newport are in the Blue Square play offs and looking to get back into the Football League as soon as possible. The County trust has a 34% shareholding, two members on the club’s board of directors and a direct input into major decisions which affect fans. Despite having a multi-millionaire owner the trust is keen to ensure a sustainable long term financial model for the County.
James Mathie from Supporters Direct told the south west regional meeting about how they can list football grounds as assets of community value so that they cannot be separated from the club and sold off. He also updated us on the new Supporter Liaison Officer role, the Supporters Summit in June and on how SD is continuing to press the government to reform football governance.
Cardiff and Newport were joined by trusts from Exeter, Newport Rugby, Merthyr and Swansea. The evening offered a great opportunity to trusts to share experience and help each other. We will be looking at holding another pre season social event with Merthyr and we hope to do something before the Swansea game when we will at last meet in the Premiership.
And did you know that you can get into a Merthyr match for half price with your City season ticket?
We discussed all aspects of supporter engagement with SD and the trusts. There’s a lot of good work going on but amazingly most fans don’t even know supporters trusts exist so we all have a lot of work to do. Trusts everywhere face similar issues – driving membership and awareness as well as getting more people to volunteer. But the event was a great opportunity for us to strengthen links with other clubs and it again demonstrated the strength of the trust movement.