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CAS Trust News www.castrust.org

graphics: stig

CLUB FINANCE EDITION - NO: 2 - SUGGESTED DONATION: £1

MONEY BALL?!

“Moneyball” or Money Out?

CAFC losing £7m a year What does the future hold for a club like ours?

Can £7m loss be sustained?

CAS Trust membership doubles as engagment with Club begins. Target is 1000 Members. This is your Supporters’ Trust, sign up today www.castrust.org/join

Inside:

Also featuring: South London Derby Day. Policing - Trust calls for change. Survey #2: Addicks views on Trusts & Safe Standing debate. Swansea City - a Rags to Riches tale & Sustainable Football in Germany: What can be learnt ? Trust Updates & more.

South London Derby Day - Free Cut Out Tin Hat Inside


News 2

www.castrust.org/join

CAS Trust is affiliated to Supporters’ Direct, and registered with Companies House and the FSA as the Charlton Supporters’ Society Ltd - Industrial Provident Society 31912R. We are governed by our common rules as laid out on our website www.castrust.org

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“ welcome to the second edition of cas trust news” Welcome to the second edition of the CAS Trust News.

which clearly require support was disappointing to many.

The environment in which this edition has been produced is markedly different to that of its predecessor which was released in November 2012. Firstly, the club has published its annual financial results which you will find analysed in these pages, and hopefully made accessible for all our fans to understand the challenges which face our club. We also note the return of Voice Of The Valley, almost 25 years to the date of its first publication, another example of the increasing demand of a supporter base which cries out for a say in how our great club is run.

This issue has been coincides with the Millwall game, which is kicking off early in an apparent response to the decline in behaviour standards at our recent derby matches – Crystal Palace away in particular. Whilst we are all responsible for our own behaviour, the policing tactics at derby matches away from the Valley this season have rightly been questioned in our view. Let’s hope today’s match goes off without problem and is an enjoyable hard fought derby match, with the Addicks victorious of course!

In terms of the Trust itself, we formally launched and incorporated on 5.12.12 and as a result we are now fully registered and subject to a strict set of rules and practices. Our first Special General Meeting will be on April 24th 2013, all Addicks are welcome but you will need to be a member to participate. We have also been active outside the Valley on match days, collecting fans views in our lastest survey on a range of subjects – the results of which will help influence the trusts priorities going forwards. A question regarding the Safe Standing Debate was also included as this may well affect the shape of the match day experience in coming years. Whilst many things change, much remains the same. Chris Powell is still a celebrated hero however our home form requires attention, as does strength in depth for the squad. The January transfer window came and went with very little activity in either direction. That we kept hold of our better players despite apparent interest from clubs higher up the food chain is a cause for celebration, but the failure to address areas of the squad

Also in this edition, in a follow up to the last edition’s article is a piece covering a sustainable model of football club ownership in germany - something very poignant with those financial results in mind. We also highlight the rags to riches story of part fan-owned Swansea City who recently tasted league cup glory as well as taking the Premiership by storm. We also celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the Community Trust CACT. Finally we update you on our activities including our efforts to engage positively with the CAFC Board, and a call for change in policing. 2013-14 season ticket prices with across the board rises. Hopefully the club will achieve safety and consolidation this year, and we look forward to the summer and whatever next season brings. We hope Chris Powell will be able to rejuvenate the squad and push on the next level. Craig Sloman Interim Vice-Chair, CAS Trust

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THE SOUTH LO

Today we welcome our Neighbours Millwall. There Are Many Derby Matches In English Football, But Surely None Is Harder Contested Than The South London Red Vs Blue That Splits Family Loyalties As Much As The More Glamorous Scouse Or North London Affair.

This match doesn’t feature in the top 10 fiercest football derby matches bizzrely featured on website cheapholidays. com although we are listed on Wikipedia, but that lists includes Wimbledon. The intensity of local derby matches which produce more passion, fervour, and energy than others may seem strange to the outsider. Perhaps it is having opposition fans on your doorstep every day that allows more banter and dislike to flourish. Then there’s rivalry between towns of course, and clearly some are even more fierce off the

pitch than on. Feelings aren’t always that mutual either, in the case of South London some Millwall fans may tell you we aren’t their rivals, but a (rarely) full New Den for the first leg of this season’s festivities perhaps puts a question mark on that? It is a requirement of our game nevertheless that we have at least one rival so Lions and Cheese Rolls it is, like it or lump it.

A derby should be a spectacle for many home fans who sadly may not fancy it, and indeed the neutral were there any seats to spare that were on sale. The recent hotly contested match in Bermondsey saw Charlton fans dare to support their team uncharacteristically just a little too much for some people’s liking. The reaction to this explains the restricted ticket sales, heavy policing and 12.30 kick off for the return

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ONDON DERBY! leg today. Hopefully we will see another well contested banterful match. Sadly it will not be one that fills the coffers of the Valley in these times of austerity, when such a game should really be a sell out. There is no excuse for violence, destruction of property or endangering safety of others, perhaps the small minority will learn when these sanctions bite more and more, but I doubt it. Prior to the recent 0-0 nearly edged by the travelling Addicks, Millwall are still owed for the 4-0 drubbing of the last League 1 encounter. Many will not forget the regular pain at the hands of Alex Rae et al in the 90s, until 95/96 season when Paul Mortimer and Co gave a footballing masterclass in a snow bound bermondsey. That match etched in many memories and sealed with a double that year came as a welcome respite, and a turn in the fortune of both clubs, but here we are once more, such is football. In the context of this local rivalry many fans will have chuckled when rumours of a ground share idea hit the interweb a while back. With plans released by the Royal Borough promoting the idea of a multi-use stadium on the peninsular, and with most clubs in the Championship, including the two in question, losing cash by the bucket

load - would this sacrilege, out of the box or just plain insane thinking be a potential solution in the real world? OK so let’s suspend disbelief, place our tongues firmly in cheeks for a few moments, and explore the idea. Just picture it: Anything between 40-80 thousand all-seater stadium on the peninsular - a ‘stones throw’ away from both clubs’ ancestral stomping grounds. Funded somehow by the local authorities in partnership with big business. Build in a stage and lighting system that could be implemented straight after a match. A removable pitch that moves out over the car park - think Ajax Arena here. Top it off with convertible safe standing at each end – assuming it was legal by then. A Seating system that allows for 20/20 cricket, an Ice rink come basketball arena underneath the removable pitch, oh and throw in the Club - Blackheath rugger boys on a Sunday morning? And what of Transport issues? Tube, cable car to DLR, boat, Southeastern Rail via a walkway to Westcombe Park and shuttle buses, normal buses and coaches, plus a local goods line that could be converted. Pucker! Finance should be easily achieved for a project like this. It just needs a bit of long term joined up thinking by the local authorities Southwark, Greenwich and Boris of London – he’d want a cycle path of course? Perhaps he could team up with

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that Arab consortium planning to build the airport in the Thames Estuary; maybe the stadium could even go there.. That reminds me, there’s a helipad near the o2 as well. Oh, and of course, flog off the old grounds for property - a great success at Highbury. Curbs could buy the flat overlooking the centre circle? So what else is there to consider? Ah yes, the fans. What of the rivalry? Could the two clubs share a home? Well they do it in Italy and elsewhere. And there are some pretty fierce rivalries there. Derby matches must be a real eyeful but where is the example in the UK? Strikingly absent it seems. You could have the seats behind one goal in red and one end in blue and the middle sections white. A club shop at either end of the ground, perhaps with some very strong steel shutters, and a BOX OFFICE in no man’s land. Are Millwall fans that fond of the new Den? It’s going a bit rusty and it’s awful draughty with those corners not being filled in. Bottom line is: I don’t think they’d be too keen, but you’ll have to ask them.

The Addicks? Well we all know our history, I hope. Leaving the hallowed turf that the Valley is to many of us a very tall order. Some would simply not consider moving now we have our home back. And to share with Millwall? Hmm. Not to mention both clubs would be rattling around in a large ground for some years until the fan bases expanded somewhat.. Although maybe cheaper ticket prices could help that?

OK, silly ideas now firmly back in box, and back to reality and safely in our seats in that little bit of South London we fought so hard for. I for one would prefer never to have to leave it, but we really do need to start filling it in the Championship at least. Brighton do, why not us? May the best team in red win today.

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In my previous article I tried to pinpoint the factors which make German football so strong at this time (financially as well as

How the fans “o

on the pitch).We saw that there are several other factors at work beyond “fan ownership” but for any Trust this is an area of special interest. So how does it actually work? It’s Necessary to consider the wider context of German society and how businesses are organised within these societies. Over the last half-century, Germany has been characterised as a society that values cooperation and consensus, something that extends to its typical system of corporate governance. The concept of a supervisory and a management board (which exist independently of one another) is a cornerstone of the German corporation, whether it is a private limited liability company (GmbH), a public limited company (AG), or a limited partnership with one

general partner that is liable without limitation (KGaA). However, as well as conventional businesses, Germany also has a strong tradition of members’ associations, based on community and social values. These are known as eingetragener Verein (e.V), and around 550,000 exist in Germany today. Among them are most of the Bundesliga 1/2 clubs, including the big boys such as Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. In many cases these e.Vs were formed as multi-sports clubs. Since 1998, clubs have been permitted to incorporate their professional football sections into external limited companies, separated from the ‘parent club’. The League Association (DFL, of which all 36 professional clubs in

the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga are members) decided to permit this with both commercial and competitive reasons in mind. However under German Football Association (DFB) statutes, the parent club (ie the members’ association) must retain the majority shareholding of the separated limited company, which means the majority of votes – 50% plus one. The rule has two main intentions: to safeguard the influence of the parent club in the decision-making process; and to prevent a distortion of sporting competition. Of course in the Premier League days Charlton also had a structure where the football club was a separate entity to the parent “club”, however this was for different

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own” Bundesliga clubs

reasons. The Supporters’ Director at the time sat on the board of the football club, but it was felt by some that the critical decisions were taken by the parent board. The counter argument may have been that the parent board was the one that produced the real money to keep the club going, and the football club board concentrated on day to day operation, where the Supporter Director could make a significant contribution.

There are practical reasons why ‘copying’ the german model may not be the right approach in England generally. British companies are simply not used to the idea of a ‘supervisory board’ overseeing the overall financial behaviour of a company. Is it realistic to expect

that Abramovic, Mansour, or even Richard Murray, would agree to be “supervised” by a parent board made up 51% of fans, unless those fans had contributed 51% of the capital? You could certainly make the case that this would be desirable but there is no way this can happen without heavy-duty government intervention, and that will only happen if there was a wholesale collapse of English football finances. It may also be unwise to imagine that huge numbers of German fans actively participate in the management of their club. A friend of mine who is also a client, a senior director of advertising group WPP, is a big Eintracht Frankfurt fan. I naturally supposed that he would be a member, and active too. It’s not

the case. He told me that he had never worked out the benefit of being a member (which has a cost) and neither have any of his friends. However, the explanation for this is that it is precisely because German clubs are financially sound that few fans feel the need to get further involved. Most of them just want to turn up and enjoy the footie. British fans in increasing numbers have had to face the prospect that there might not be any footie to turn up to at their beloved clubs, hence the activity around trusts. It would certainly be instructive to be able to make contact with the active heart of a member-run German club, but so far I haven’t managed it. However while (as with so many clubs) relatively few German fans are “active” members, it is clear that German fans greatly appreciate the system. When the chairman of Hannover 96 recently tried to initiate moves to overturn the statute, there were big protests, with fans holding up “50+1” cards at games. Overall, it is clear that German football is not in debt in the way that English, Spanish, or Italian football is; and it seems that the “50+1” ownership can take a lot of credit for this. It may not be possible to introduce the German system any time soon in England, but Germany has shown us that the general principle of fan ownership is both good and effective.

Richard Hunt

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TRUST SURVEY 2

Why And Who?

150 people interested online and nearly 100 in-

CAST trust is committed to listening both to its

terviews at the last couple of home games. As

members and the wider fanbase so we will be

you will see below the answers showed some

running surveys throughout the seasons ahead

similarities between these groups and some big

so that we know for sure the range of opinions

differences.

held. We are able to reach more and more people online because we have peoples’ email addresses and are getting over 5,000 hits a month on our website. I.e. we also survey fans on match days to show we are about and to ensure that we are not just getting the same people online. In the end over two thirds of the current Trust membership answered together with another

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Listening to FANS What Is A Trust For?

ions as well as look at the finances of the club

CASTrust is new and the committee is

and possibly acquiring a stake in the club. While

interim so we thought we would ask you

this won’t happen tomorrow but is something

what the trust should do. Whether you

tangible which we could work towards.

are a member or not your priorities were broadly the same and the number one

The main thing we can see is not only the pri-

requirement for the trust is to open up

orities being quite clear but that the member-

a dialogue with the club to discuss issues

ship is broadly in line with the rest of the fan

including pricing and attendances – how to

base. This gives the committee a great idea of

improve them and grow the club. As you

what you want us to do straight away… and by

can see from the graph to the right which

leading on these areas you will continue to join

shows the average score for each priority,

at quite a rate so that we truly represent the

you wanted us to continue to survey opin-

fans and cannot be ignored.

Stand in a Local Election to make a point to the Council? Set up a museum to preserve memorabilia and make the history Investigate and seek to purchase equity in the club Overall

Look at finances of CAFC and other championship clubs

Interested Survey the supporters about their views Subscribers Establishing an independent fans voice to influence how the club is run

Members

Be prepared to step in if the club ever went bust Engage positively with the club on prices & improving the gates, etc 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

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Web use Some 10% of Charlton fans do not use the web to find out about Charlton but the interesting thing is that the 90% who do use it follow the patterns shown by our face to face surveys and online versions. As you can see the use of the main club website is fairly consistent across

both groups, and Charlton Life appears to have a lot of users amongst the fan base. The table also shows how the Trust members are starting to use the trust website www.castrust.org. But the biggest find for us is that with random face to face surveys that we as have a lot of work to do to reach our prospective membership and the fanbase generally.

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Safe Standing

This is the second time we have asked this but

We thought we would ask a simple yes/no this time in a slightly different way. What is clear question about a key issue which some have is that around half the fan base pre date the raised online. Do you believe there should return to the Valley but that

Safe Standing%

we have many fans who have started coming either before we were promoted to the Premier League or since we were relegated. If the trust and the club itself are to grow then this has to continue with new fans coming along / old fans returning in good times and bad. We also found that the Trust members tend to sit in certain areas of the ground and tend to have

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

In Favour Safe Standing%

Not in Favour

been following the club longer than the average fan but the Trust is not

be safe standing irrespective of the

exclusively for those with blankets and flasks!

costs? Overall the response was 75% in

We also took the opportunity to ask when you would

favour which is fairly indicative.

like general meetings - how democratic can you get ?! The membership were very committed to a weekday evening and not match days.

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We’re in this

Addicks to pay up to 33% more The expected across the board increases on season tickets for 2013-14 season arrive on the back of the recent promotion from League 1, and Football Club losses of circa £7m. Meanwhile out in the stands fans continue to suffer a squeeze on incomes in real terms as the UK’s financial downturn continues. TV money in the championship has dropped from £2.2 to £1.7m but is still considerably higher than that received by CAFC in League 1 last season.

should all bring a significant reduction in overall losses, even taking into account costs associated with loan players, contract extensions and of course Wilson and Fuller.

TV & Solidarity payments: In League 1 total £1m as against £3.7m in the Championship. So a typical Championship club receives total revenue of £11m, as shown in accounts for Bristol City and Watford.Whereas CAFC posted turnover in League 1 of £8.5m. If Season Ticket holder numbers are sustained an additional £500k will be earned. This and the increase mentioned above of £2.7m in TV & Solidarity payments, as well as this year’s 1000 increase on our gate, (and possibly more next year?);

The Headlines: • At the top end Addicks can expect a £60 increase of 17% to £440 in central East andWest areas • North Upper seats will rise 25% to £300 • Over 60s and U21s face a rise of £60 24%-27% • U18 tickets which will rise 33% to £100 from£75 • Disabled Addicks will also face a rise of 28% • A somewhat bemusing but more welcome 2% rise of £1 on under 11 tickets was also announced.

U18’s tickets rise 33%

In comparison to previous years/divisions • 2006-2007 : £550/525 Premiership • 2007-2009: £475 Championship (with promise of free season ticket if promoted) • 2009-2011: £425 League 1 • 2011-2013: £375 League 1/Championship • 2013-2014: £440 “?” When compared to our two main rival clubs, Millwall are similar, and Palace more expensive, so no jumping ship please people.. A quick comparison of some average gates this season so far is below, alongside next or this years pricing. CAFC 18,374 £300-£440 (from23,500 2007-2008 Championship Season) Crystal Palace FC 16,576 £360-£495 Millwall FC 10,873 £290-£425 (2012-13) Watford FC 12,918 £355-£460 (2012-13) Although touched on during the recent Fan’ s Forum

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together:

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e to help reduce Club deficit Category Adult

Area

2012

2013

Increase

Lower west, upper west L/M/N/P & £375 east C/D/E/F Upper westJ/K/Q/R & east A/B/G/H £355

£440

£65

17%

£415

£65

19%

Upper north west quadrant

£240

£300

£60

25%

Lower north

£240

£300

£60

25%

Family stand (NE quadrant)

£215

£250

£35

16%

Disabled

£215

£250

£35

16%

Lower west, upper west L/M/N/P & £250 east C/D/E/F Upper westJ/K/Q/R & east A/B/G/H £225

£310

£60

24%

£285

£60

27%

Upper north west quadrant

£165

£210

£45

27%

Lower north

£165

£210

£45

27%

Family stand (NE quadrant)

£165

£210

£45

27%

Disabled

£125

£160

£35

28%

U18

All areas ( including disabled)

£75

£100

£25

33%

U11

All areas ( including disabled)

£49

£50

£1

2%

Over 60/ U21

meeting there has been little consultation on the rises. It is hoped going forward, and since the recent club management restructure, that some form of fan consultation will resume on increasing gates/ maximising revenue. Formerly this took the form of the Target 40,000 committee,

and some may remember that Target 10,000 initiative in the 90’s, so how about a new target for now? Where are the missing 5000 regulars who can be targeted in efforts to encourage some of them to come back – In a TARGET TWENTY THOUSAND

(home fans) campaign? If just half of the lost ST holders can be enticed back this is achievable. Full Comparison of Prices for Addicks Season Tickets 20122013/2013-2014 above - All prices quoted are ‘early bird’ rates.

erim board & Special guest TBA for Q&A Please check website for details .www.castrust.org


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photos by kind permission of charlton community trust special thanks to holly Varney

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With Charlton Athletic Community Trust having Just celebrated 20 years in a one-off concert at the IndigO2, CEO Jason Morgan reflects on its achievements so far. I remember that first day when I started at the club like it was yesterday, 22nd August 1992. Within a week of starting Alan Curblshley and Steve Gritt gathered all players and training ground staff together to announce the club’s plans to return back to The Valley The day itself was full of excitement and all staff were asked to ar-

rive early as there were still things to be done around the stadium. I was given the job of tuning in all the TV`s in the VIP lounges located in the porta-cabins and then co-ordinating the balloon release with the ball boys when the players took to the pitch If anyone sees an aerial photo from the day you may be able to spot someone wearing a bad

dog tooth jacket standing in the middle of the pitch!!!! The progress the community programme has made over the 20 years always makes me proud and above is an example of that. The community program at Charlton started in 1992 and was a partnership between the club and PFA. In 2007 the Charity was set

20 Y

up and now employs 89 permanent staff, and a pool of 156 casual staff. It comes into contact with over 10,000 young people every week. Working in partnership with local authorities, governing bodies and over 200 private and public sector partners, the trust uses the power of sport to engage with local communities and has a positive impact on

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1992: 1 member of staff. Engaging with 500 kids a week. Working in 4 schools. Running 12 courses a year, Turnover of £12K. A few partners in Greenwich & Bexley 2012: 89 permanent staff and156 casual staff. Engaging with 10,000 young people a week. Delivering 55 strands of activity. Turnover of £3.4m turnover. Over 200 Partners.

YEARS OF THE TRUST the lives of thousands of young people each year. The reach and range of initiatives developed by the trust is extensive, having grown to include initiatives such as social inclusion and crime reduction, education, employment, health, disability and mental health and women’s and girls’ football development. The trust’s range of work has reaped a

number of rewards, earning a number of accolades. In the last couple of years, the trust has earned a Business in the Community Silver Jubilee Award for Community Engagement, a Football League Family Excellence Award and a Tilley award for crime reduction work delivered in partnership with the Kent Police.

In 2009, the trust received one of its biggest achievements to date, being named the Football League Championship Community Club of the Year. Over the years there has been many highs. Our work in South Africa was extremely rewarding and humbling. The opportunity to meet VIP dignitaries and showcase our work. The chance to

travel to other countries and speak about the club and the community side. The big highlight for me was meeting Prince William when he visited the training ground a few years ago. But the most worrying was losing Boris Johnson for 5 minutes in a Township in South Africa when he went off to have a cup of tea with a local in their shack

rim board & Special guest TBA for Q&A Please check website for details .www.castrust.org


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LAUNCH PARTY @ BA

SPECIAL THANKS TO BERNARD wickham FOR ARRANGING THE PLAYERS TO ATTEND, AND PH


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HIL WEBSTER ON THE MIC, GREG WARREN PHOTOGRAPHS, AND ALL TRUST SUPPORTERS

photo : kind permission of GREG WARREN

ARTRAMS 05.12.2012


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In this first report from the Trust Analysts we focus on football finances and take a look at the dilemma facing Charlton’s owners. We’ll develop some of the themes discussed here a little further in future editions, and we’ll try to keep you up to date with issues impacting the financial future of the Club. A fan’s guide to Football Finances Imagine you wake up tomorrow morning to find that you are the owner of Charlton Athletic, the Club you love. You’ve paid nothing for it and the debts have all been wiped clean. What’s your reaction? A dream come true or your worst nightmare? What would you do? Let’s take a look at what you’d find. If you’re like us your major concern will no doubt be the team and results on the pitch, but as the owner you’ve got to think about how it’s all paid for. We all know, as individuals, that we and our families can only spend what we earn, unless we can borrow in the short-term to fill the gap, so let’s start with what the Club is earning, it’s revenues. The Club’s revenues The Club recently published its accounts and these tell us what its revenues were last season. In the year ended 30th June 2012 the Club’s turnover was £8.5m with the key contributors, as you’d expect, being ticket income and match day activities at £5.1m, commercial activities at £1.8m with television and broadcast income contributing £1.1m. How much might these numbers have increased this season now that the Club is playing in the Champion-

ship? Well, we don’t know for sure, but we can probably make an educated guess. The most important benefit from playing in the Championship relates to the solidarity payment now being received from the Premier League, worth £2.2m based on what Clubs received last year, and additional TV money worth around £0.7m. Adding in the benefits arising from slightly larger

crowds and related commercial revenues might have pushed revenues up to around £12m. The Club’s expenses How do those revenues compare with outlays? The Club’s operating costs last season, i.e. in the year ended 30th June 2012, were some

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Money out? £16m, producing an overall loss of £7.5m. Where is this money being spent? Around £8.9m went on wages and salaries, i.e. more than the Club’s revenues. This represented an increase of around £2.4m on the previous season, demonstrating the significance of the investment made to secure promotion. It is also worth remembering that this substantial increase occurred after the significant savings made as the expensive Championship contracts of Therry Racon, Jose Semedo and Kelly Youga came to an end. These staff costs cover all of the Club’s employees, except for the 367 staff employed temporarily on match days. In fact, the Club employed 73 staff in full time playing, training and football management roles, an increase of 11 on the previous year, and 55 in administration, commercial and stadium maintenance functions, a reduction of 4 on the previous year. The priority was clearly on being successful on the pitch.

how the Club’s finances look today. As we’ve seen, revenues are likely to be higher this season than last, perhaps by as much as £3.5m, but it’s likely that costs are higher too. The playing squad is now larger than it was, new players have been signed [including those in January who will be paid for a full year], new contracts negotiated, some promotion related increases in pay may have been agreed when players signed and a number of loan players have been used. Given all of this it’s quite possible that the Club’s operating loss is still around £7m per annum.

What about the remaining £7.1m? Well, a sum of around £1.7m relates to the need to write down the value of player’s contracts each year [£0.7m] and to do the same thing for buildings and other fixed assets [£1.0m], leaving a total cost of around £5.4m to cover the general expenses of running the Club, rates, utility bills, payments to a broad range of suppliers and so on. These costs appear surprisingly high and, it would seem, are barely covered by match day income. We’ll talk a bit more about player wages below, but it is very clear that you couldn’t resolve Charlton’s cash deficit simply by paying the players less. The club would have been loss making last season even if the players were all amateurs. A very sobering thought. We won’t know until around this time next year

What happens to these losses? By now you may have concluded that you’re happy you don’t own the Club!! How would you find £7m, or more, per annum? Fortunately, that’s the Club’s owner’s problem not ours, but how are they doing it and what’s their strategy? We should probably clarify something first; losses aren’t quite the same thing as a need for cash, at least not in the short term. For example, the £1.7m we talked about earlier, the write downs [amortisations and depreciation], is simply the accounting treatment of investments made in previous years and so doesn’t represent a drain on the Club’s bank account. On the other hand, the Club repaid banks loans of around £1m last season and there is also interest to pay. And, of course, account also needs to be taken of the net cash spend on transfer fees [we’ll return to this below].

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Anyway, it turns out that in the end the Club’s ownBolton ers faced a financing need of £7m last season and Cardiff that’s exactly the sum they injected into the Club. NottmForest Middlesbro This money arrived at the Club in the form of loans Ipswich Town from the Football Club’s parent, Charlton Athletic Birmingham Hull City Football Club Holdings Ltd [CAFCH] which is a Millwall company registered in the British Virgin Islands. To Leicester City Bristol City be clear, these loans represent the hard cash which Charlton was used to pay the Club’s bills. A reasonable guess Brighton Derby County is that the financing gap is around the same this Wolves season so that, once again, the Club’s owners are Sheff Wed Blackburn writing a large cheque in order to keep the Club Huddersfield going. It is likely, though we can’t be certain, that Leeds United this is again through loans from CAFCH. Burnley Is the level of debt a problem? We all know that when we rely on borrowing to pay our bills we eventually get into trouble, so the question is whether the Club’s debts are now a source of concern. Our response to this question may surprise some readers because the answer is “probably not”. The Club’s net debt at the end of June 2012 was £22m and it is likely to be a fair bit higher now. That’s a lot of money obviously, but what’s important is who it is owed to. The only loans outstanding which might be a cause for concern are the bank loans secured against the North Stand. These amounted to £5.8m at the end of last season with £1.6m due to be repaid this year and the remainder repayable by the end of 2015. Things could get nasty if the Club defaulted on these loans, but much of the rest of the Club’s debt is owed to Charlton’s former directors and to Richard Murray, most of which is not repayable unless the Club is promoted to the Premier League. The ongoing loans from CAFCH are, in effect, monies the Club’s owners are lending to themselves. Moreover, the cash they’ve lent has been spent; to get it back they need, somehow, to get some more cash from somewhere else. The important conclusion is that it is unlikely the Club will be forced to repay its debts. There is another point worth making about debt; it’s a reality which is perhaps unhelpful as far as the

Peterboro Watford Crystal Palace Barnsley Blackpool

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Club’s owners are concerned, but safer for the Club in the long-term. Banks will no longer lend to football clubs. There is simply no possibility of the Club’s losses being funded by unsustainable bank debt. Other Clubs An obvious question to ask is whether there is something wrong with Charlton or whether all football clubs are in the same position? The table helps to shed some light on this question. We need to be a little careful with the numbers here because they are not all exactly comparable. In Charlton’s case, for example, the loss shown is slightly lower than the operating loss we’ve discussed above, in part because transfer fees received have been allowed for, whilst on the other hand the level of debt shown is, arguably, a little misleading because it includes “current creditors”, comprised of trade creditors, advance ticket sales, HMRC and other items. Nevertheless, the overall message from the analysis is very clear; the Championship is a financial graveyard for Clubs. Most teams lose money with almost all of the exceptions being Clubs recently relegated from the Premier League and hence enjoying the benefit of parachute payments. The table tells us something even more important though. There is huge variability in the revenues gener-

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ated by different Clubs, most of which is obviously a direct result of those parachute payments, and not surprisingly this translates directly into equally significant differences in wage bills. The conclusion, again unsurprisingly, is that it is very tough for those Clubs without parachute payments to compete. Based on the data in the table, some of which may be a little out of date, including for Charlton of course, Charlton would appear to be in a similar position to Clubs such as Barnsley, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield, Millwall, Peterborough, Sheffield Wednesday and Watford. Other Clubs are able to fund much larger wage bills, either because their owners are happy to run even bigger losses, such as Leicester and Nottingham Forest, or because the Club has recently been relegated, such as Birmingham and Burnley. Whilst we know that some of the Clubs recently relegated from the Premier League have struggled in the Championship, it is nevertheless clear that the Division is anything but a level playing field. It’s interesting to note, as an aside, that Blackpool’s owner, Owen Oyston’s son Karl, is choosing to retain the Club’s parachute monies, rewarding the family for securing promotion in the first place, whilst seemingly neglecting any attempt to return. It’s interesting to speculate about the extent to which that strategy might catch on, including in the case of our own Club.

It would seem that the only viable strategy is to spend yet more money, i.e. to increase the Club’s losses still further, in order to strengthen the squad, hence creating a realistic chance of promotion. But, if you owned the Club, is that what you would do? We obviously don’t know what the Club’s owners have in mind, but they don’t have many options that’s for sure. Promotion to the Premier League has to be the main objective, it really is the only way out, but how can that be achieved? We already have some useful clues as to possible strategy. Although the impacts are not terribly significant in the context of Championship wage bills and consequent losses, it’s clear that the Club is aiming to maximise revenues and minimise non-playing costs. In the case of the former, this explains the experimentation with football for a fiver and, more recently, the significant increase in ticket prices planned for next season. Though, as fans, many of whom struggle to find the money to buy a season ticket, we may baulk at this strategy, it’s easy to understand the Club’s reasoning and we can probably expect to see further increases if ticket demand holds up. Could the Club be more creative here we wonder? Similarly, whilst cost cutting on the non playing side may appear brutal and not what many of us want to see, it’s motivation is clear. As noted, these costs do seem high. What can be done? The strategy on the playing side is, of course, If you’ve managed to read this far you may by now more complicated; simply saving money is have concluded that owning a football club in the counterproductive. Whilst it may seem obvious, Championship probably isn’t much fun. You need the two things the owners need to ensure, in the to lose money to survive with the only obvious way absence of willingness to burn money without a out promotion to the Premier League and with it care, are 1) value for money in the construction of the promise of bucket loads of Sky TV money. the playing squad and 2) skilful use of it. And, from The challenge, of course, is that everybody else what we can tell, this would indeed seem to be has the same goal in mind and, much worse, those the owner’s modus operandi. Clubs recently relegated enjoy the windfall of four The willingness to invest in the Academy is a big years of parachute monies worth, in total, £48m. plus and, of course, makes perfect sense in the

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crazy world of football finances. It’s obviously a way to develop talent that might, one day, add value to the first team squad as well as being a potential source of revenue as and when talented youngsters are sold on. Investment in the Academy is a clear sign of a sensible, patient and realistic strategy in the face of a hugely challenging environment. It will be very interesting to see how many of the Club’s current crop of young players manage to break into the first team over the next year or two. Are they the answer to the Club’s dilemma? The Club’s approach to paying transfer fees, whilst a source of frustration to some fans, appears to have a similar underlying logic. It is not unreasonable to assume that players are, on average, as good as, but no better than, what they cost in wages. If this is the case then cash laid out on transfers is dead money unless the players can subsequently be sold on, ideally at profit. Caution is, therefore, rightly justified and if the Club’s policy is only to spend money on young players with potential that would make a great deal of sense. It would also make sense to sell players, perhaps with a view to reinvesting in more young players, when attractive cash bids are received. A selling Club is not necessarily a Club without ambition. Some people have called this “value” approach the Moneyball strategy after the remarkable success of Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland As baseball team. A Snippet On Transfer Fees Fans may be interested in some information on transfer fees provided in the recent accounts. As many of us know, transfer fees today are often dependent on the future performance of the player involved and Charlton stand to lose, or gain,

significantly in this respect in the years ahead. The Club could need to pay out up to £0.8m for players recently signed, depending on appearances, international honours and on the pitch success, with up to £3.8m receivable based on similar criteria. Success can be expensive and good player development rewarding it seems. Back to the Moneyball strategy Making a value approach work and then getting the best out of the playing squad assembled will require a great deal of skill, especially when considering that the objective is to beat the odds and overcome teams with substantially greater financial resources. In this context it is interesting that last year the staff in full time playing, training and football management roles increased to 73 from 62 in the previous year. At least some of those staff must be in player development, coaching and fitness roles, an initiative entirely consistent with a long-term value approach. Unfortunately, it is also clear that if exceptional skill is needed to beat the financial odds, the pressure on the Manager and his staff is likely to be intense. The turnover of Managers in today’s game may seem absurd, but rightly or wrongly it is driven by a desperate need to succeed in a game where patience is, quite literally, very expensive. The much rumoured new investment The Moneyball strategy might be very attractive, but it requires staying power and hence a willingness to keep funding losses until astute player acquisition and development reaps its reward and promotion is achieved. The question then is, do the Club’s owners have that staying power? Will they, can they, keep funding? Is it Moneyball or Money Out? There has been much talk of new investment or even of a takeover where CAFCH sells out to a new owner. We have no way of knowing whether there is any truth in this gossip, but some form of new investment would not be altogether surprising and the logic might be twofold. First, it is possible that the Club’s current owners would like to increase the wage bill, and hence the cash deficit, in order to strengthen the squad in a push for promo-

SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING: At a venue to be announced on the 24 April @7.30 Election of Inte


News tion, but would like to share the funding burden. Or, alternatively, it might be that they would prefer to sell out and cut their losses. Either way, the reality of football finances in the Championship suggests that a deal will not be easily struck. Another investor, in partnership or alone, would face exactly the same realities. Somebody needs to be prepared to fund the Club’s losses with the aim of achieving promotion to the Premier League, but with no guarantee of success; there are 23 other Clubs with the same ambition, some of whom enjoy a significant financial advantage. The owners took this challenge on when they acquired the Club in January 2011 and they appear to have invested wisely so far. Continued success will require a willingness and ability to continue funding. However, if it’s to be Money Out and not Moneyball the owners face a real dilemma. A Money Out mindset might suggest a change of priority and a willingness to sell the Club’s most marketable players, but of course that, in turn, might make the Club less attractive to any prospective new owners and hence reduce the sell-on value. It’s a classic Catch 22 and, assuming the Club retains its Championship status, the owners will need to decide whether to stick or twist in the summer. That dilemma is, no doubt, one facing many football owners. Football in the Championship is not a business either for the faint hearted or for those short of capital. Will financial fair play help? Before closing, it’s worth saying a word about Financial Fair Play [FFP]. FFP rules will soon begin to impact Clubs in the Championship. The rules will be phased in over the next few years and, in essence, what they will do is put a limit on the losses Clubs can make. By the 2015/16 season losses will be capped at £2m, or £5m if the owner injects equity; borrowing or funding through loans will not be possible. Clubs failing to comply will face a transfer embargo or, in the case of a Club overspending and winning promo-

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tion to the Premier League, a Fair Play Tax will be levied. Certain types of expenditure will be excluded from the calculation of loss, including infrastructure spend and investment in youth development. It is reasonable to assume that Clubs will play ball, pardoning the pun, but it is not obvious how much difference, in practice, the FFP initiative will make. In order to avoid a transfer embargo, Clubs like Charlton will need to rein in their losses and, presumably, this will put a little downward pressure on player’s wages. Clubs like QPR, two seasons ago, and Bristol City, Cardiff and Leicester today would need to cut back significantly. This should be helpful, of course, but Clubs relegated from the Premier League will still enjoy their parachute payment advantage. The wisdom of a Moneyball strategy, combined with investment in the Academy, if well executed, might prove even more valuable in the FFP era, but the new rules are no panacea. Losses will be reduced, but it is entirely possible that all Clubs will invest the maximum £3m of equity each season. Clubs without parachute payments are likely to continue to struggle desperately to compete with those that do, as everyone dreams of the promised land of the Premier League. The Trust Analysts We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and found it useful. As we said at the beginning, we’ll aim to develop some of the themes we’ve discussed here and, of course, relate them to our Club, Charlton Athletic. If you have any particular questions you’d like to ask about this article or issues you’d like the Trust to explore do e-mail us. We know it’s not the most interesting of topics, but in today’s world it’s important we understand the Club as a business.

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Football govern Supporters Direct Parliament Lobby by Craig Sloman Football and politics rarely mix with desirable consequences. From Thaksin Shinawatra’s spell at Manchester City while avoiding some fairly unpleasant charges in his homeland to Silvio Berlusconi’s use of AC Milan as a political platform (not to forget Gigi Becali in Romania – if you’ve never heard of him then read this http://getthemottandbuckett.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/gigibecali-footballs-most.html). In recent times it seems as though football is simply a tool used by some politicians to further their own cause. But us Charlton fans can recall a simpler time, when good old fashioned grass roots politics was used for a positive impact in football, to deliver our club back to its community. In that spirit Supporters Direct (SD) held a lobby at the Houses of Parliament on Feburary 5th. The lobby called for the implementation of two main action points which were highlighted by the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee’s review of the football ownership structure and the relationship of football clubs with their supporters. The lobby agenda called for the following points to be acted upon immediately;

1. That The FA needs to include a rule as part of the new football club licensing arrangements that guarantees a Structured Relationship between supporters and clubs; and 2. That the Department for Culture Media and Sport (CMS) needs to establish the Government Expert Group before the beginning of next season (2013/2014) to explore methods of removing barriers to increased collective supporter share ownership in their football clubs. In addition, the SD lobby called for the designation of sports stadia as Assets of Community Value, as detailed in the 2011 Localism Act.

MP’s and invited guests from Supporters Direct at the meeting at Portculis House London in February.

Over 60 MP’s attended including, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Solicitor General, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, a Government Whip, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Labour MP for Eltham and Plumstead, Clive Efford was also in attendance, and is the shadow minister for CMS. A spokesman for SD said ““The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has backed our call for these changes in its report

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nance in the UK The Trust has also also asked Clive Efford MP for a statement in support of the aims of the lobby. Below is his statement to us “I fully support the aims of supporters direct, the involvement of fans is essential for the future vitality of the game. There is a worrying trend as financial interests take hold that the game is becoming remote from the communities from which the clubs originated. The Government must push ahead and establish expert groups to look at increasing supporter engagement with clubs, there is no reason why this should be further delayed.”

today. Whilst there are many who doubt that government will ever legislate to force reform, we’re intent on pressing home how critical it is to get these two major reforms done. They don’t need a special process, or any legislation or new system to be introduced. The agreement is there. Let’s get on and implement them.” As Charlton fans we know only too well the consequences on and off the field, of positive engagement with fans by the club. The example which is often

cited of beneficial fan ownership structures is Germany. Without the changes called for in point two of the lobby it is very unlikely that any widespread, meaningful fan ownership model would have the chance to develop in England. Clubs would continue to be bought and sold by rich men as mere commodity assets, with arguably little consideration for the history, the supporters or the communities which mutually benefit from their clubs continued existence.

We will of course keep you updated on the outcomes of the lobby and any developments off the back of this will be publicised on castrust.org.

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Summer 2001. It was a time when every Charlton Athletic fan had the right to walk tall. The team were playing well and riding high in the Premier League. Things were looking solid in the boardroom and, of course, the club were playing football back in SE7 after a lonely seven years on the road. Charlton supporters would need to rewind nearly 50 years to find the last time they had been one of the best teams in the country. Those days may have seemed a long time ago for most supporters, but the 2000/2001 season saw the club finish in a lofty 9th position in the Premier League. Charlton had become a model club - a club from which many others would draw inspiration. Attendances were the highest since 1958. Chris Powell had become their first English international since Mike Bailey. Could it last forever? 164 miles to the West a handful of passionate football supporters gathered in Port Talbot. This small group were Swansea City fans. They had got together to discuss the future of their own club which had recently run into very murky water. The 2000/2001 season had not been such a glorious one for Swansea City who had finished 23rd in the third tier of English football and were therefore relegated to the lowest division of the league. They really were in a bad place. Their finances were so dire that the club was sold to their former chairman Mike Lewis for £1. The terms of the sale were clear: Ninth Floor (who were the previous owners ) instructed Lewis to find a buyer or buyers who could secure the future of the club. The nominal sale was also saddled with an £800k debt for which any potential buyer would be liable. Right from the early stages, life- long Swansea supporter and former

Wales international Mel Nurse made it known that he was interested in buying the club, but Lewis had absolutely no interest in doing business with Nurse and went as far as telling him that he would be wasting his money. The fans who turned up that evening in Port Talbot were determined and fully committed to saving Swansea City. It must have sounded very ambitious at the time but they set the bar high right from the start. This fistful of supporters decided that a public meeting should be held to discuss the possibility of forming their own Supporters Trust. In 2001 Trusts were still in their infancy, so what this smattering of fans set out to do was bold and ground-breaking, and was to become a model that would be followed by other clubs up and down the country. In attendance that night was Supporters Direct representative Dave Boyle who suggested that they should register as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) – an organisation essentially set up to be for the benefit of the community. They would be not-for-profit and, hypothetically, could run the club if need be. The decision was made and the cards were on the table. The Swansea City Trust would stop at nothing on a journey to become part owners and thus save the club. From conception to birth it took only fifty days to create The Swans Trust with 600 people signing up on the day of launch and raising £3k. This was a phenomenal start. Right from the outset the pioneers of the Swans Trust were clear that they wanted to purchase a slice of the club. They now found themselves with £3k that could be invested if shares in the club become available. Backing came from an array of people including

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riches John Toshack, John Hartson and Gareth Edwards. While all this had been going on Mike Lewis had found a buyer in London businessman Tony Petty and his Australian based consortium. What unfolded over the next few months would pick at the very fabric of Swansea City and take the club to the very edge of existence. From the beginning Petty was viewed as a shady character with no connection to the local community. He had no real cash himself and, in order to raise some quickly, he took to releasing and selling the club’s top players, coaches and backroom staff. The Swans Trust, along with most other supporters, saw this as blatant asset stripping which would inevitably end in disaster. They were aware that other clubs such as Maidstone United had been dissolved, so it was imperative that the Trust got their hands on the club before Petty ran it in to the ground. A rapid assembly of Swans’ fans, including the Swans Trust, Martin Morgan, David Morgan, and other future consortium members got together and agreed that they had to make Petty an offer for the club. Two offers were made, initially £10k and then £50k, but both where rejected with haste. Behind the scenes, whispers began circulating that Ninth Floor were willing to sell the £800k debt for around £100k. If it was feasible for a local consortium to raise this amount, they could potentially force Petty to sell the club. In the meantime, however, Mel Nurse had held a meeting with Ninth Floor at which it was decided that he would move forward with the purchase of the debt. Nurse had now become the front man and was resolute on calling the debt in. In November 2001 he took Petty to court in an attempt to force an administration order which would mean that no action could be taken by Petty to wind up the club. At the same time Petty was countersuing Nurse, claiming that he was liable for the debts as he was a club director when the debts were built up. Petty managed to convince the court that he had backers and would be able to pay outstanding debts, so Nurse lost

This Year’s League Cup Winners Swansea City A.F.C

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the case. The fans, the locals and the Swans Trust were undeterred by this defeat. It only fuelled their determination to take hold of the club. They pushed ahead with their efforts to raise funds and to involve the community. Money continued to pour in - one particularly generous benefactor donated £10k. A further £20k was raised in raffles, auctions, a sponsored walk & cycle ride and there were bucket collections at matches. The following January local solicitor and Swans supporter Steve Penny, who had given his services free of charge to the crusading Supporters Trust, travelled with Nurse and other consortium members to a meeting with Petty in Cardiff. Petty, having missed various deadlines for paying players’ wages, was under extreme pressure from all sides and, acknowledging the game was up, he reluctantly accepted £20k for the club. Steve Penny worked with local business owners as well as consortium and Trust members to draw up an agreement to form Swansea City Football 2001 Ltd. The Trust went back to its members and offered them a share scheme whereby supporters could buy directly in to the club. They sold shares for £1 and thus enabled fans to have direct ownership of the club and a voice on the board of directors. The Trust was instrumental in the setting up and organising of the consortium. They managed to beat Petty and raised in excess of 100k which was enough for the Trust to ensure it had two directors on the board. Leigh Dineen was appointed Supporters Director and Paul Morris Associate Director. The Swans Trust owned 19.999% of Swansea City. In hindsight, Petty nearly driving the club into the ground is probably the best things that ever happened to Swansea City. Although try saying that to a Swansea or a Pompey fan for that matter, and I’m sure that they’d have something different to say on the matter. So, fast forward 12 years. Both Swansea City and Charlton Athletic find themselves in positions that

Swansea City Stat Bank 2001: 19.99% Suppter owned £10 ST levy (til this year, now free) 2005: Prom to Lge 1, move to 20k council stadium 2008: Prom.to Championship, av. att.15k 2011: Prom. to Prem £8m loss 2012: 11th in Prem £14.6m proffit, 2013: League Cup Winners, av. att. sell out, plan to expand cap.acity

would have looked unfathomable in 2001. The Swans have all but confirmed their place for the 2013/2014 Premier League season which will make it three consecutive seasons in the top flight - their best ever run. To top that, they lifted their first ever major trophy with a comprehensive five nil thrashing of Phil Parkinson’s Bradford City in The League Cup. And, while nothing can be taken away from Charlton’s demolishing of League One in 2012, the club have found themselves in tough times since the second golden era. The parachute payments have dried up and they are a long, long way from finishing 9th in the Premier League. The mantle of model club has now been passed to other clubs like Norwich and Swansea. Of course it would be foolish to say that Swansea are now secure in the Premier League. What we do know, however, is that all football clubs are much more secure if they are rooted in their community through a vibrant and grounded Supporters Trust. Math Morrison.

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Trust CALLS FOR NEW ERA IN FOOTBALL POLICING

There is no need to remind any true football fan of the sensitivities of safety concerns and policing at football matches. At the same time we should not sensationalise the problem, more take this opportunity to address the recent problems and move forward.

relation to flashpoint situations which for a Club like ours mainly relates to away games against our local rivals. Hopefully we are at the beginnings of that. What supporters’ groups and particularly Trusts may be able to do, as well as opening up direct communications with Police, is give fans more ownership of the problem and of their Club’s reputation – regardless of whether or not a Trust has any physical ownership of the supported club.

No one can pretend that the Police have an easy job, however it is not and has never been acceptable for a large group of ordinary people going about their business to be treated like violent thugs or even potential ones, whatever the reason, and this will be evermore exposed in our electronic social media age. It is time for a change in the relationship between Police and fans, and for football fans to shake off the often unfair image that has been atWe believe it is also tached to them. totally unacceptable for an avoidable In relation to the particular situation to arise incident a the recent Palace vs which allows for Charlton derby, we believe it is children and elderly also totally unacceptable for an people to be put at avoidable situation to arise which risk of bng crushed allows for children and elderly or trampled people to be put at risk of being crushed or trampled by a crowd of 2-3000 who have been herded and then held by snarling police dogs, because of a simple absence of a loud hailer, or effective communication beforehand.

What we would like to see is far better communica-

tion with Police and fans in advance and in general in

We’re not suggesting that supporters should start conducting citizens arrests, nor are we suggesting this will cure the poor behaviour of some ‘fans’ overnight, but simply that fans may be affected over time to become more responsible in themselves and towards the behaviour of fellow fans.

One immediate concern and result of the actions of a very small minority is the possible large reduction in away tickets for these very popular derby matches, and badly needed revenue for clubs; as well as the inconvenience of early kick offs. At the same time if certain clubs fans are continually guilty of such wholesale damage inside stadiums as is apparently the risk involved with keeping fans back at the end of games, perhaps it is time to start reducing their away allocation to zero. CASTrust Steering Group

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Chairman’s Report: First of all a massive thank coming soon. We are also providing match you to all contributors who previews and reports from up and coming Adgave up their time to produce dicks sports reporters, and also hope to allow this edition. A particular warm members to comment on articles. welcome to our newbies who assisted with the financial We have begun efforts to positively engage with analysis, and hopefully there CAFC recently and met with Steve Bradshaw is much more to come from them in the future. Chief Operating Officer. Although it is early days If you would like to contribute and or have an we are hoping this relationship will grow as the idea for an article for this Trust grows and establishes publication or our website, itself. This is why we need to or simply want to give up a build to bigger membership little bit of time to help CAS We have begun efforts over the next 9 months or so. Trust, please do get in touch We would like to thank Steve to positively engage chair@castrust.org. for sparing the time to see us and look forward to hearing with CAFC from him in the future. Trust Update: At time of We were also invited to the writing CAS Trust had 255 recently reconvened Fans’ full paid members, double Forum. We were delighted what we had at the beginto attend and make our contribution, and will ning of the year. continue to participate if invited. The total network of Members, Followers, SubOn that note I am sometimes asked how would scribers and Facebook fans has reached around a Supporters’ Trust work with Fans’ Forum? Can I 1700, also an excellent start. point out it is not the aim of CAS Trust to replace Our website is enjoying around 5000 hits per the Fans’ Forum or become the new CASC. My month since launch in December and formal personal view is there is plenty of room for all Incorporation of the Trust. these groups, and we will do our very utmost to be complimentary to these existing structures. I I feel all of the above are significant achievebelieve there is a gap for want of a better word ments in the absence of a crisis at the club which where fans are not part of these groups, not disis the context for the birth of many Supporters’ regarding that their role is usually quite different Trusts. from ours - whereas groups may tend to focus on social events, and organising travel, we are Take a look at our website www.castrust.org more concerned with longer term strategic issues today and you’ll find some great new features. and ideas. That is not to say there isn’t a cross Our News service, Hub of Addicks’ links, Fan’s over, I am sure there is and we are not precious Diary page for fixtures and events, Group pages

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about that I can assure you. To address another concern CAS Trust is certainly not anti the CAFC Board - we seek to represent all Charlton fans interests, independently yes, but also a strong degree of professionalism and regard. We would prefer more openness, but hopefully that will come in time. There is no hidden agenda, we as a fans’ group exist to care for the future of our club as supporters, but also as stakeholders who stump up £4-5m on tickets, year in year out, in these uncertain times. We believe there is a large area of common interest we can work on and hopefully do so in partnership with the club.

at the well organised Germans. From the bottom up, their game draws on the energy from the fans’ involvement and ownership, and look where it leads.

In terms of our objectives we believe a Supporters’ Trust with approaching 1000 members would be representative and have enough influence, so that is the direction our targets will follow - and hopefully we can reach a big number like that by the time of our first birthday next December.

Last but perhaps most importantly take the completely unsustainable financial situation of the British game, and ask where can it all lead? This for me is the reason we should all put our weight behind a Supporters’ Trust, not just at Charlton but at every club. It is time for the fans to take a role and shape the future of our game.

A very simple thing Trust Supporters can do is sign up with your fiver on our website, but even more important is persuading a mate to do the same. With a very basic thing like that we can achieve our objective very quickly. www. castrust.org/join

Then take the Swansea example, a forerunner of fan involvement, much like ourselves who through convergence of fans and board have forged a partnership that has taken their club to the dizzy heights. To me there is a possible conclusion: if a partnership can be forged with all parties pulling in the same direction, success could be just around the corner.

So the message here is: the future of the trust is very much in the hands of you the fans. Please sign up today and give us your support Up the Addicks!

Now For Some Final Thoughts: Take a look

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Special General Meeting of CAS Trust

The first ever General or Special, meeting of the Trust will be held on Wednesday 24th April at a Venue to be confirmed. The meeting is open to all members - you may join on the night - and a formal notice with further details including deadline for nominations has been sent out to our members and posted on our website - writes Richard Wiseman CAS Trust interim secretary The main purpose of the meeting is the formal election of the first Trust board of directors, but the evening will also provide a great opportunity to meet other members, influence the Trust’s thinking and enjoy the flowing beer and succulent sandwiches. We are also in the process of engaging a guest speaker for the evening. I’d like to take this opportunity to explain the legal foundations of the Trust. Although this might seem rather a dry subject it is important that people understand how the organisation operates, why it has to do certain things and how it is different from a supporters club. CAS Trust is a Supporters Community Mutual Society which is a type of Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) - a legal entity for an organisation operating either as a co-operative or for the benefit of the community, and which is registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965 and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which took the job over from the Registrar of Friendly Societies (both being supervised by the Treasury). Unlike a company limited by guarantee, an IPS generally has a share

capital. However, in a not-for-profit IPS like CASTrust the share capital is limited to a nominal amount and is not made up of equity shares which appreciate or fall in value with the success of the enterprise. The share acts as a membership ticket and voting is on a one member one vote basis. However, an IPS can also issue capital funding shares to its members. This is the vehicle whereby supporters’trusts can gain full or part ownership of the club, like at Swansea (19.99%) and Portsmouth (probably 100% soon). CASTrust operates under the umbrella of Supporters Direct (SD) an organisation set up originally by the UK parliament. Its purpose is to provide support and assistance for its member trusts to secure a greater level of accountability and to deliver democratic representation within football clubs and within football’s governing structures. SD offered a great deal of advice and support to help get CAS Trust off the ground last autumn. The rules of CAS Trust (which can be found on our website castrust.org) set out various requirements for how the organisation operates. Most importantly, the rules formally set out the Trust’s purpose: “To be the vehicle through which a healthy, balanced and constructive relationship between the football club and its supporters and the communities it serves is encouraged and developed. The business of the Trust is to be conducted for the benefit of the community served by the football club and not for the profit of its members” Secondly, the rules set out the Trust’s objects: “To benefit the community by •Being the democratic and representative voice of the supporters of the club and strengthening the bonds between the club and the communities which it serves. •Achieving the greatest possible supporter and community influence in the running and ownership of the club •Promoting responsible and constructive community engagement by present and future members of the communities served by the club and encouraging the club to do the same.

SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING: At a venue to be announced on the 24 April @7.30 Election of Interim


News

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Interim Board Chairman - Barnie Razzell Vice-chairman - Craig Sloman Secretary - Richard Wiseman Treasurer - Kevin Messerre Press Officer - Math Morrison Liaison - Ken Sinyard Membership - Richard Hicks Commercial Liaison - Richard Hunt Interim steering group: Pam and Rachel King, Peter and Alex Flynn, Jonathan Bangs Elections officer - Nigel Pamment Web designer - David Hall Contributors: Editorial - Barnie Razzell illustrations - Stig Design, Layout, photos - Ken Sinyard Additonal photos -

•Operating democratically, fairly, sustainably, transparently and with financial responsibility and encouraging the club to do the same. •Being a positive, inclusive and representative organisation, open and accessible to all supporters of the club regardless of their age, income, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality or religious or moral belief.” In order to achieve these objects (but not for any other reason) CAS Trust can: •Acquire an interest in or ownership of the club •Secure democratic and accountable representation on the club’s board •Take any other steps in relation to the club which enables it to exercise the greatest possible influence on the ownership, governance and management of the club. If you have not yet joined CAS Trust, now is the time to do so. Joining now means that you are in at the beginning and you can vote and influence how the Trust develops. Joining now means you are supporting the initial Trust board as they seek to grow the Trust’s credibility and influence. And joining now means you will get a share number under 300 – future proof that you cared enough about the future of CAFC to make a statement from the inside rather than waiting around outside to see what happened. Sign up now and join us for a beer on April 24th

Except where indicated copywright CAS Trust 2013

SGM : 24 April at a venue TBA Would members and subscribers please note that a Special General meeting is to be held at a venue TBA on Wednesday 24th April @ 7.30. Free to all members, Guest Q&A TBA on website *July; Trust steering group began with a meeting at the beehive pub in new Eltham in a small (non smokey) back room. The group selected an interim chairman and vice chair, and voted to try and set up a trust, that would be open, democratic and inclusive. *August: Over the summer more public meetings were held and other interim positions were filled, and aims and objectives were drafted, all minutes and agendas available via Trust website *September: Another well publicised public Endorsement meeting voted overwhelmingly to form a trust in the presence of Supporters Direct. Trust attends CADSA and Bromley CASC *October: Forms were submitted to create an Industrial Provident Society and open a bank account. Trust attended Eltham supporters group. *November: Interest over all channels reaches in excess of 1000 fans, Trust members due to attend North West Kent CASC, Trust legally formed with Bank Account. *December: 5.12.12 back to the valley launch event with special guests including Mark Kinsella, £5 full membership available in advance of SGM to elect a full Board (early 2013) *January: Trust Full Members reach 125 *February: Web Hits averaging 6000 *March: Members 255, CN#2 out *April: SGM

m board & Special guest TBA for Q&A Please check website for details .www.castrust.org


www.castrust.org/reach

CAS Trust News 02  

Second edition of CAS Trust News

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