Supporters' Trust formed at Clarence Park

A PACKED clubhouse at Clarence Park last night voted overwhelmingly to form a Supporters Trust. Eight-eight people attended to listen to the information provided by Supporters Club chairman Ian Rogers, Trust working part members Laura Graham and Tony

A PACKED clubhouse at Clarence Park last night voted overwhelmingly to form a Supporters' Trust.

Eight-eight people attended to listen to the information provided by Supporters' Club chairman Ian Rogers, Trust working part members Laura Graham and Tony Keen, James Mathie of the Government-backed organisation Supporters Direct and Terry Pavey, the chairman of Bedford Town's Supporter's Trust.

Fans then had the chance to grill the panel about any worries or queries they had over the formation of a trust.

When it came to the vote only one person voted against the formation of a trust with two people abstaining.


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Ian Rogers was delighted with the response the Trust got from fans.

"It was extremely positive," he told The Herts Advertiser. "I was delighted to see the amount and range of supporters that turned up here - it was right across the age groups.

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"I was delighted with the working group, I thought Laura Graham and Tony Keen spoke extremely positively. At the end of it there was one dissenting vote and two abstentions. I appreciate people's opinions, we're not all the same," he added.

Rogers admitted that due to the club's current situation it had been a difficult evening.

"It was a difficult night from the point that some people were expecting that we were going to have all the answers to the current football club situation which we didn't but I thought we gave a good account of that.

"Overall with the expertise around the table I think all questions were answered to the satisfaction of the questioners."

A Supporters' Trust working group has been in place since October and Rogers says it has been a real learning curve.

"As a working group although we've been working since October, we're learning our way, we're looking for other people's experiences and a lot of the time we're looking to James (Mathie, Supporters Direct) for advice."

Many supporters' trusts have helped stabilise clubs by supporting them financially and Rogers believes a City Supporters' Trust is critical to the future of the Saints.

"I would say it's critical [to the future of the club]. Having been through this situation twice before in 1998, though that was pretty seamless from where I stood as a supporter, and in 2002, I would to like to look to the future where a majority of the club is owned by a supporters trust. I would see that as being many years down the road but we'll see what comes up.

"We've listened to what John Gibson's had to say and I think there's a lot of questions that have come up tonight that need to be answered."

Like many football fans, Rogers is keen to get back to talking about what happens on the football pitch and he believes City boss Steve Castle deserves praise for the job he's done since returning to Clarence Park.

"I think the guy [Steve Castle] has done a really good job here under a limited resource last season. I have great admiration for the players who went out and tried to do their best for us. I'm looking forward to our friendlies in July on a nice pitch with a strong squad.

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