GFL 71: Motherwell Supporters Trust

Last updated : 04 September 2017 By GLF

GFL 71:Graham is not inspired by the work of the Trust and sets out a challenge.





I have read a lot about the Motherwell Supporters Trust in recent weeks and what relevance it has to the 'ordinary' Motherwell supporter. Most people I knew who joined up back in the day when it started up haven't renewed for years.


One of the reasons I didn't renew my subscription was initially down to my involvement with the club through the programme and the website, but in the last couple of years I have been free to think about it again, but so far have found no reason to join up.


One of the niggling problems I have always had has been the dual role of Martin Rose as a club director and the Chairman of the Trust board. At first I thought this was a good idea as we would have a 'supporter' on the board but then I heard this was a personal invite for Martin and not as a Trust representative.


I bear Martin no personal grudge, in fact I like him as a person, but I can't understand his role when there are problems between the club and the Trust yet he can't appear to clear things up. Either this means he has to hold his counsel when he comes out of a Club Board meeting or he doesn't hear any of the major decisions that are being made.


I think it would help the Trust if Martin either moved on, or clarified his role to the 'Well support.


I know the Trust was formed out of our financial troubles and did initially rally the troops as we all pulled together to help the club out of it's plight but now that spell is over I struggle to understand what the Trust's purpose is now.


It states on their website the purpose is "The main objectives are to ensure that fans have a say in the running of the club and that the club recognises the important role it has in the community. To that end we hope to secure both a shareholding and a representative on the board."This is a bit of a woolly statement that doesn't really tell us anything (although there are a list of explanations below this) and probably brings about the other fear that many have that many are positioning themselves for the seat on the board.


Given the performance of the Trust to date I am not sure I would trust any of them to run the club. Poor communication, missing commitment dates etc - not the best advert. I also think as long as John Boyle has 75% to 80% of the shares I am not sure what say the fans will ever have in running the club, plus so far he has refused to listen to anything we say already!


How much would it take for the Trust to raise to secure enough of a share holding to give them a say on the board, more than they could raise I would think.


On the website their future is covered by one sentence, "Over the past four years has contributed positively to the club and our community, the work of the Trust continues." - Not exactly an inspirational statement that will have you rushing for an application form.


I am not sure I have ever understood the purpose of Supporters Trusts, and certainly not ours. I would love someone to explain to me why I should join, and I know I should also be stating what I can do for the Trust but I struggle with that given I don't know what they are there for in the first place.


I would like to commend the board for their work in the Phil O'Donnell events for a permanent memorial, and maybe it is more of this type of work they need to look at rather than some of the other projects they have been working on that the general supporter doesn't understand or hear about.


I have spoken to a number of board members about this over the last couple of years and they have never been able to present any case for joining the Trust. It may be time for the Trust to reach out to the bulk of the 'Well support who aren't members and listen to what they want the Trust to for them and the club.


I would love the following;


1.Be more responsive to issues affecting the fans - I know the constitution makes this difficult but it seems to take months to make a decision on any issue.

2.Improve communication on their purpose

3.Be more transparent in their dealings - reading the minutes of the board meeting tells you nothing.

4.I also think they need to change their statement about whether they can ever have a say in running the club, but should maybe look to have a credible relationship with the club which would help influence decisions.At the moment this weakness is exploited by the Board of MFC - eg ticket prices and stand allocations!

5.Their five a side competition is well attended and it would be good if they had four or five events like this per year that could bring the support together in an informal way, eg race night, quiz night, Christmas do (even if it was attending a Christmas night at the Centenary Suite.)


I can't think of anymore at the moment but hopefully that will give some people food for thought!


Graham Barnstaple


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