Following a prolonged period of discussion and a number of meetings with interested parties, the Red Imps Community Trust wishes to announce that agreement has been reached on a new phase in supporter representation.
Whilst the Trust has an established and stable membership, there is a recognition that many other Groups exist within the fan base, some more formally organised than others. The Trust has a privileged position in having a significant shareholder stake and directorship in the Football Club. Many supporters may not be aware that the Trust owns one million shares in the Holding company, equivalent to around 10% of the shares in issue. This gives the Trust the entitlement to elect a full director on the Boards of both the Holding Company and Lincoln City Football Club. The current director is Peter Doyle, who was elected for a 2 year term by the Trust membership in August 2018.
The Trust importantly wishes to represent as wide a cross section of fans as at all possible. At the same time the Trust recognises the wish of the various groups to maintain their own independence. As mentioned detailed discussions have recently taken place with representatives of LISA (Lady Imps Supporters Association), the FPS (Fans Player Scheme), the FPA (Former Players Association), the Lincoln and District Supporters Club and the Gold Membership, as well as having contributions from the 617 Squadron, the Supporters Board and the Club itself.
As a result the proposal is for all groups to remain independent, but to agree to work together to represent as many different fans and other stakeholders of the Club. To enable this closer working relationship, the Trust Board will consist of at least 9 directors, with at least one place guaranteed for all of the above groups either through direct election or co-option. Further either co-opted or observer status will be given to other individuals or representatives of less formally organised fans groupings. The arrangement has been likened to a hub and spoke agreement, where the Trust is the hub but the individual groups act as the spokes of the wheel, all independent but all working together. To formalise this arrangement the Club have committed to a collective Memorandum of Understanding between itself and the Trust (and consequently the other Groups as well). The overall aim is to increase the representation of fans interests and concerns at Board level, through the voice of the elected Director.
The Group will agree to liaise on all relevant matters, to keep all informed of suggestions and concerns, to support each other where problems may arise, to hold Group fans forums, to assist and support each other’s individual fundraising and social events and most importantly to raise the profile of what will effectively become not just the Trust Director on the Board but the Supporters Director on the Board. The Trust is also a member of the Football Supporters Federation by which it can plug into the wider network of supporters and become part of a national voice representing supporters’ interests on issues such as iFollow, away ticketing prices and safe standing. The Trust can also feed into structured dialogue with the EFL and other football organisations.
One of the practical aims of the new relationship is to encourage the current members of LISA, the FPS, the FPA, Lincoln and District Supporters Club and the 617, but most importantly other individuals, to take up direct membership of the Trust. This will enable greater democracy in the election of Trust officials and of the Board Director. Furthermore all members will receive entry to a monthly draw during the season for a £50 club shop voucher as well as to a special draw for the prize of a season ticket. In addition the Trust will be commencing a regular informative e-newsletter for all members.
SPECIAL OFFER: As a one-off promotion, for all new members as well as for all those renewing their membership via the Eventbrite season ticket process, the cost of joining the Trust for the year will be just £1. This a discount of £9 on the normal annual subscription. So why not sign up, enjoy the privileges for a year for just £1 and hopefully see the benefits of renewing in a year’s time.
The other reason for wishing to increase the membership in the longer term is to generate significant additional funds for specific projects that the Trust, with the support of the member groups, will suggest to the Club. By highlighting such projects, for a modest individual cost, the Club avoid the need for their own funds being used and therefore gives the opportunity for more to be spent on player related costs. However the main reason the Trust wants to raise additional funds is to assist in the cost of projects aimed at specifically improving the matchday experience of fans attending home games.
Just imagine if 2000 fans were to sign up for membership each year. That’s potentially £20000 that could be spent on projects that reward the real supporters both on and off the pitch. We know this spirit of co-operation has the full support of the Football Club and in particular Clive Nates and Roger Bates as Chairman and Vice Chairman as well as Danny and Nicky Cowley.
Look out for their public support in the coming days. You can join by visiting the Trust website at www.redimpstrust.co.uk or in conjunction with your next purchase of your season ticket when they go on sale. Just look out for the Red Imps Community Trust box on the renewal form and sign up as a new member for just £1. Yes just £1 and have all the potential benefits for yourself and the Club.
Therefore why not sign up, get involved, play a part, provide funds, perhaps win a prize, have your say and help maintain the great times our wonderful club is enjoying.