Ciderspace News Page : Fry Wanting 'Specialised Role' For Supporters Trust Involvement
12 December 2015 : Fry Wanting 'Specialised Role' For Supporters Trust Involvement
Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry has said that he would expect the formation of a Supporters Trust at the club to only play a serious part in proceedings if it can provide some sort of specialised contribution to the club. Glovers fans have recently formed a working party that is going through the steps to form a Supporters Trust, with a meeting scheduled with umbrella organisation Supporters Direct later this month, to discuss the steps that would be necessary to formalise a body as a not-for-profit organisation.

Subject to agreement with Supporters Direct, the aim is to complete the formation of the Supporters Trust in 2016, at which point they will start recruiting a membership, which can then elect a committee to serve fans interests at the club. Fry has told the Western Gazette that he would expect any direct involvement of a Trust with a football club to either provide a specialised role, or to provide a source of income, claiming that his current directors are funding the club to the tune of half a million pounds per season. He also implicitly suggests that the motivation for fans setting up the Trust is linked to the club no longer playing Championship football:

"I am all for Supporters' Trusts but depending on what role they want to play. We have Associate Directors now who have specialised roles. You have got to make a contribution to the club and the biggest one is money. We have an extra half-a-million pounds put in each year which is put in by the directors. In the Championship you need a million, just to be able to compete. The problem with fans is that what you haven't had you don't miss, but what you have had you do and they expect us to be playing Championship football. But it is not, it is League Two football and it is going to be ugly. The objective now is to stay up."

Fry has in the past been critical of the existance of Supporters Trusts, telling a Customer Charter Meeting in 2006 that he did not see them as improving football clubs. He cited AFC Bournemouth as an example, although it should be noticed that the Cherries collapse into administration came in February 2008 - after their Trust had relinquished their control of the club, and under private ownership. Speaking at that time his view was that the presence of a Trust would prevent investment in a football club:

"The Club (Yeovil Town) is run very efficiently and effectively and I believe in free enterprise, free business, making things work, progressing and making people do the job that they are paid to do to gain success. The Supporters Trust idea is another Government scheme where they feel it will improve football, but in my opinion it has done the opposite. Bournemouth were the first Club to introduce the Supporters Trust and look where they are now. This Club is not in that situation as we are financially healthy. If you introduce the Supporters Trust then no investor would invest in the Club and you land up having all sorts of problems. I am a great believer in involving the supporters but I believe if a Club is successful what is the difficulty or the problem."


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