Hendon Football Club Supporters Trust has been formed with the mission statement:
"The Hendon Football Club Supporters Trust will do everything within its power to ensure the continuation of Hendon Football Club playing at the highest level of football consistent with its financial position."
Ultimately, this will involve the raising of funds to support the financing of running a Senior Football Club at the highest possible level, and as such, the following targets have been set:
- to raise a minimum of £25,000 before 30th June 2006
- to raise a minimum of £100,000 per annum thereafter.
The Working Group (currently consisting of Robert Fraser, Dave Garner, John Neville, Mike Harte, Simon Lawrence, John Rice, Bryan Roberts, John Rock, Chris Rogers, Phil Rogers and Steve Rogers), with a mandate from supporters in January, have completed the paperwork to formally create the Trust and are now working to achieve the fundraising targets and steer the Trust towards it's first Annual General Meeting and elections for the board, at which all positions will be open to a vote.
The rules by which the Supporters Trust is run are available in PDF format for free download from this site.
Why form a Trust?
The main reasons were summarised in an open meeting on 07th January 2006 in the Banqueting Suite at Claremont Road. To sum them up:
- there is little if any likelihood of us being able to play our football at Claremont Road beyond the end the Arbiter Group's involvment with the club.
- there is no likelihood of the Arbiter Group continuing to provide financial support for the football club once the likely sale of Claremont Road has been undertaken.
- there is a possibility that the Arbiter Group will provide a sum (likely to be in region of £300,000) to the football club from the sale of the lease on Claremont Road. We had preliminary discussions with Arbiter Group and intend to continue these discussions with a view to reaching an agreement in principle to purchase the football club with no debt.
- we believe that it will be possible for a Supporters Trust to obtain full control of the club and, if we can raise sufficient funds, we believe that it will be possible for a Supporters Trust to maintain a football team playing at the current level of Non-League Step 3
As there is currently no sign of a white knight riding in as Ivor Arbiter did in 1994, we believe that a Supporters Trust raising as much money as possible represents the best chance of maintaining the club's position in Senior Football in the future and more importantly will allow all supporters to have a say in how our club is run.
Why an Industrial and Provident Society?
The main reasons for forming the trust as an IPS are twofold. Firstly, an IPS is formed on the basis of equal ownership, with all members having an equal share in the Trust, and consequently an equal say when it comes to votes on policy. Secondly is the legal issue of limited liability. Should the Trust be bankrupted, sued or anything else go wrong, members will only be liable to pay a maximum £1. This is somewhat different to other legal setups which would render members personally liable for all costs.
There are further safeguards which are also of benefit, mainly the fact that the Trust must be registered with the FSA as an IPS. In doing this, it commits to filing annual reports which must be presented to both the AGM and the Registrar. In addition, the FSA will only allow amendments to the rules which follow the principles established in the Trust's initial constitution.