What is Chesham United Supporters' Trust? - Chesham United Supporters' Trust is a not-for-profit organisation established to provide representation for supporters of our football club. The Trust is incorporated as an Industrial & Providential Society with the aims of ensuring that Chesham United Football Club is run in line with the expectations of our supporters whilst safeguarding the long term interests of the club on behalf of fans and all of our interested communities. We are affiliated to Supporters' Direct, the national body representing some 160 Trusts at clubs ranging from the biggest in the country, such as Arsenal and Manchester United, through to many of the best known supporter controlled clubs like AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester.
Trust objectives - the founding objective of the Trust was to influence decision making at Chesham United and gain represesentation for fans on the main football club board. We are committed to securing the long term future of Chesham United and enabling our supporters to enjoy watching football played at the highest sustainable level. To achieve this we believe that Chesham United must be an active member of our community and must work towards developing football in our area at all levels. We fully support the development of the many Youth and Girls & Ladies teams that play under the Chesham United name and are committed to integrating all sections of our Club. The Meadow is one of the best locations around to enjoy our football and it is an outstanding resource for our town. We recognise that the site was originally developed for the people of our town for the use of the football and cricket clubs and that, at any given time, the tenants of the site are custodians who should ensure the widest possible use of the location for the benefit of all our community. We will strive to work with local community groups to open up access to our facilities whenever possible and to play a positive role in our community.
Fan representation was first achieved back in 2002 when current club Chairman, Alan Calder, was invited onto the Board of Directors. When Charles Manchester became club Chairman in 2006 he invited the Supporters' Trust to nominate a second fans' rep onto the Board and then proceeded to invite Mike Warrick from the Trust to become a third supporters' Director. In June 2010 Charles stood down as Chairman and handed all his voting rights to the Trust meaning that, as fans, we now have day-to-day control of our club with the majority of the Club Board made up of Supporters' Trust committee members.
Ownership of Chesham United - when the Supporters' Trust took over the day to day running of the Club the voting shareholdings in Chesham United Association Football Club Limited stood at:
At the last Trust Annual General Meeting in October 2010 members unanimously approved a proposal to push for majority ownership of Chesham United by purchasing newly issued voting shares to take the Trust's holding above the 50% mark. A total of 50,000 shares are available at £1 each and these are earmarked solely for purchase by the Supporters' Trust in order to dilute the holdings of the other shareholders until the fans have a majority stake. All money used for the purchase of these shares will be invested into the football club - nothing will be paid to any individuals.
Since October money raised from various Trust fundraising activities has been invested into the running of the Club and the playing budget in exchange for newly issued shares. This includes revenue from membership fees, the Snowball Draw, Fireworks Night, the player fund Budget Booster and the Christmas Turkey Raffle and has resulted in an extra 12,750 shares being purchased since October.
As at the end of January 2011 the ownership of the Club in terms of voting shareholding stood at:
A further tranche of shares was purchased with funds from our Race Night and continued Snowball and Budget Booster subscriptions on 8th February 2011 to give an updated voting shareholding of:
Updated voting shareholding at the end of March 2011. The total funds invested into the club by the Trust in exchange for shares has been some £16,500. This takes the Trust just over halfway to achieving the objective of increasing the shareholding from our original 36% stake to become the majority owner:
Join your Trust, own your Club - all our members own an equal share of Chesham United Supporters' Trust and, through the Trust, share in the ownership of Chesham United Football Club itself. As a fully democratic body if you want influence in how your club is run you can achieve that by joining the Trust. Members of the Trust committee are nominated and elected by Supporters' Trust members and that committee determines the Trust representatives on the main Board of Chesham United. As the bulk of the Board are now also members of the Trust committee, fans who join the Trust have a direct voice in deciding who runs their Club. Membership costs £10 per season. Download an application form here or pick one up from the bar or club shop.