“People Power”

By Rob Davies
Last updated : 16 January 2003

Over 350 fans present at the meeting
Walking through the Main Stand car park at about 7.15 last night and looking up to the lit windows of the Oriental Suite, it was clear there was already quite a few bodies in there.

In all, over 350 people attended the meeting, which was absolutely amazing, given that there had been no match in between having the initial idea of setting up a trust and the meeting itself, consequently missing out on some potential publicity. Also, as the Rams Trust representative pointed out, that number is over twice the size of the amount that attended the original meeting of their trust. I think that is something to be proud of. If we have this many people interested after just 1 weeks work then just think how many we could have after a few more weeks and matches.

York City - Saved
For many it was an emotional evening, not least Richard Willis who had come as a representative from the York City Trust, who, last night, were on the very brink of being the first club to fold. But, thankfully, were saved today at the very last minute.

The way that the hundreds of fans listened to every word that was spoken so carefully was outstanding. Apart from a few ripples of laughter and the speaker talking, nothing cut the silence of the audience.

The meeting was overall very positive; looking at ways a trust could help a Club and its supporters, and take Notts County forward rather than dwelling on the currant situation at the club.

Simon Binns from Supporters Direct talked for about 10 minutes at the start to explain what a supporter’s trust can do and advantages of setting one up.

One of the more important things he said was along the lines of, "It’s

Not all about fund raising and money
not the money that you raise but the members that you have within the trust". Which maybe sounds a bit stupid given that the club is in major financial trouble but money is not the most important thing, people working together in the intrests of Notts County is.

He also explained that out of the 72 trusts currently in existence, 26 of them have members on the football club’s board. This can help get you a more recognised voice inside the club but it is not essential for the trust to have a place on the board.

John Thornhill, one of the main people involved with trying to set the trust up, said that raising £150,000 like we did during the Great Escape would not do a lot of good – what we really need is a say in what is happening at our club. John also said that we would probably need ½ a million just to get through the rest of this season and another million to finish next season.

Notts will probably be looking to get one in the future, which would be seen as a long-term aim for the trust but for now we look concentrating on the short-term future of the club.

John Thornhill did say however that there are 3 scenarios that could happen, one of those was the club could go out of business. Of course no one wants this to happen but he said, the trust wants to be there if it ever does happen.

Towards the end of the meeting a show of hands was asked for those who were supporting the idea of a trust, the vote was unanimous.

The trust would have a say in matters affecting the club hopefully including negotiations for possible take-over in the near future. If we all work together on this it could be a powerful organisation.

Historical
This will go down in Notts County’s history and I was very proud - to have been a small part of that history. Fans were asked to fill out a form

Maybe I am being a bit naïve by saying this but I feel a lot more positive and refreshed after last night. Hopefully in the coming months and years (because it isn’t going to happen overnight) this trust will get somewhere and be worth the effort and time people are willing to put into it.