To most Chelsea supporters, Saturday 17th August is simply the day before the first home game of the season against Hull. In fact, it’s a historic day for the club’s fans. The first Annual General Meeting of the Chelsea Supporters Trust will take place at 2.00pm in the Attenborough Suite of the Copthorne Hotel at Stamford Bridge. This, in reality, is the day that the Working Group have spent in excess of twelve months working hard to realise – a day when Chelsea supporters can begin to give their own Trust a mandate to put before the football club.
It has been slow progress, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Initial discussions were followed by a start-up meeting in September. Another meeting followed in late October at which it was agreed to form a Working Group to set the Trust up. After countless Working Group meetings during Autumn and Winter, the Trust was incorporated by Supporters Direct in the New Year. And then, in February, the hugely chaotic but extremely successful launch meeting took place at the CIU when 200 supporters attended a meeting in a room meant for only 100, with hundreds more turned away outside. The dozens that joined up in person at the meeting were quickly joined in their hundreds by those who joined online. Affiliate groups, including some of the most prominent supporters’ clubs running into thousands of members, major blogs and fanzines – both print and online – have been quick to nail their colour (blue) to the mast. And a surprising number of businesses have become affiliated, recognising the potential of an organisation that seeks to actively engage the local community and stakeholders.
How the meeting will work
Firstly, it’s important to point out that no votes will take place on the day of the meeting. In order to give the widest possible numbers of Trust members the opportunity to participate, voting for both the Trust Board and the motions debated at the meeting will take place online through SurveyMonkey, following the conclusion of the AGM.
The meeting will be chaired by Tim Rolls, the Interim Chairman of the CST. He will open the meeting and give an overall report on Trust Issues. Paul Jeffrey, Interim Secretary, will report on Membership issues. The meeting will then move on to the key issue of hustings for the Trust Board and motions put forward not only by the Working Group, but also, hopefully, from the floor.
Don’t worry if you’re not able to attend, as the meeting will be broadcast live on Mixlr.com through the Chelsea Football Fancast channel.
Anyone who is a fully paid-up member of the Trust was entitled to stand for election to the Trust Board, and in alphabetical order the list of those standing for election is as follows:-
Each candidate for election will be given the opportunity to read their manifesto (or have it read by a representative if unable to attend in person), and those attending the AGM will be able to put questions from the floor.
The initial motions will deal with issues surrounding the day-to-day running of the Trust, however data gathered by the survey issued by the Trust during Spring has been analysed and will form the basis of subsequent motions. In addition, any member of the Trust attending the AGM is entitled to put a motion from the floor, and any member unable to attend is welcome to write to the Trust by email and propose a motion, as long as it’s seconded by another paid up member of the Trust.
Any issues not addressed by the agenda will be debated under Any Other Business, following which the meeting will be closed.
Guided Walk of Brompton Cemetery
The Trust AGM will be preceded by a guided walk for Trust members through Brompton Cemetery, led by Chelsea FC historian, Rick Glanvill. As most Chelsea fans generally rush through one of London’s great cemeteries en route for Stamford Bridge, this is a fantastic chance to spend a little time learning about some of its famous (and infamous!) residents. Meeting point for the tour is the Fulham Road entrance to the cemetery at 11.30am.
Don’t Miss Out
Even if you can’t make it to Stamford Bridge in person on 17th August, you can still join the Chelsea Supporters Trust in time to vote in the election, however you must do so by midnight on Thursday. Join up here – it’s only £5 annually.
And if you can’t attend, you can listen live via Mixlr.com.
We’ll be reporting back from the Trust AGM next week. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter @BlueBaby67, and if you fancy 24/7 chat with fellow Chelsea fans, I can heartily recommend ahfcchat.
Thursday Evening Literary Newsflashes
Chelsea legend Paul Canoville will be at the CFCUK stall from 1pm on Sunday signing copies of his autobiography, ‘Black & Blue’. However, if you want to meet Canners please try to arrive as early as possible as availability is limited to 20 copies. For more info visit Canners’ website
Meanwhile, the legendary Walter Otton will be at the stall on Wednesday before the Villa game with paper copies of his fantastic debut novel, The Red Hand Gang. If you haven’t yet read the book, I can thoroughly recommend it and if you want to find out more, (or download it, if you prefer a digital format) you can read more here.
We’ll be reporting back from the Chelsea Supporters Trust AGM next week. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter @BlueBaby67, and if you fancy 24/7 chat with fellow Chelsea fans, I can heartily recommend ahfcchat.