YEAR END 31st DEC 2021

Shortly after the 2021 AGM Chairman of the Trust Peter Doyle stepped down. I was happy to take up the role on an interim basis. Please note that this report covers the period up to the RICT year-end – 31st December 2021 – albeit our strategies and many of our actions have projected into the current calendar year.

Two significant events made a substantial difference to the strategic and operational directions the Red Imps Community Trust took in 2021. Firstly and very pleasingly crowds were allowed back into football stadiums ready for season 21-22. Many of our activities were taking place remotely up until then. Secondly agreement was reached with the Football Club that all club memberships (season tickets) would include membership of our Trust. This meant in the summer of 2021 our membership grew from hundreds to 6000+. I like to think this confirmed that the club had confidence that we could make a good contribution to the overall fan engagement measures undertaken at the club.

Despite some significant changes as described our strap-line summing up our aims…Supporting Our Fans Our Club Our Community….remains robust. All we do seeks to fulfil the message in that brief statement.

Our board meetings carry on remotely and are well attended. They are vibrant and meaningful, we have people observing what we discuss, and we are happy to have other people who are not board members helping in what we do. Our governance in terms of our record-keeping and accountability is of a very good standard. 

Our profile and reach is projected in a number of ways but two are quite prominent – our contribution in the Fan Village on match days and our communications via our main website, our on-line museum, and all our social media platforms. Trust people who work in both those areas have done an amazing job. To list everything the Trust has done in amongst the fans in the flesh and remotely would take a lot of time tonight. It is safe to say that all good ideas are adopted, more and more Imps fans become involved in what we do, and, because we like people to take up roles that they will enjoy, there is a lot of enthusiasm in working hard and achieving things.

Unlike huge numbers of Trusts all over the country we have representation, as we have for many years, at Board level within the club. Mandi, who oversees and represents our excellent Gold Membership option, and I are not just there to listen and our challenge is to make a tangible contribution in amongst what is a massively professional club in terms of governance and operations. I know Mandi is very well thought of by everyone at the club at every level. In addition, Steve Tointon has invested into Lincoln City as an individual and is a director in his own right and we are therefore very fortunate that he retains his Trust involvement when he already has some significant club responsibilities. 

The Red Imps Community Trust took on a huge commitment when we became the conduit for the submission of monies by interest parties in the Stacey West Investment Bond. We were involved in this scheme from its inception through to its launch and beyond and it is not blowing our own trumpet to say this has been successful. This scheme is to back up other funds from governing bodies etc so that the Stacey West Stand can be developed. Now being revised, we hope to see work on the scheme starting once new planning applications have been approved, hopefully by the end of 2022.

We resolved to have a charity partner each calendar year and the British Heart Foundation gained some good financial and PR benefits by being associated with us in 2021. We decided at the end of the year to partner with the Sincil Foodbank next, and that has proved to be successful judging by the numbers of donations to that cause we receive all the time.

The Trust is nothing without its friends, partners and sponsors. We work closely with our friends in the FPA as well as others within the Lincoln City family. Other fans groups and the Trust occasionally work hand in hand on mutual projects with what’s best for Lincoln City our primary aim. The Fan Led Review was published some time ago and from the off everyone have expressed a wish to collaborate and make its recommendations become part of the fabric of our club. We have a good relationship with the lecturers and students at the Sports Business Faculty at Lincoln University who have undertaken very useful work for us as part of their courses.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Tension Twisted Realities our main sponsor who have been supportive of us and allow us to use their premises for some of our activities. We have a number of Small Business sponsors too who we thank here.

We must also thank Clive Nates and the board of our club, especially David Lowes, who have been really supportive of what we do. Similarly we thank Liam Scully and all the Lincoln City staff for their advice and support.

I have missed out a lot of what we seek to do purely in the interest of time. Suffice it to say because of the contribution of all our Trust people we are approaching being a very high-performing supporters organisation. None of this is possible or means anything however without the fans of our club the majority of whom are members of the Red Imps Community Trust. They are the most important people at Lincoln City and they are the ones who we will continue to serve as well as we possible can. 

Rob Bradley 
RICT Chair