Who are the Swindon Town Supporters Trust (Trust STFC)?

We are fans who have been democratically elected by our membership and work voluntarily for a mutual, not-for-profit, society to benefit the aims of Swindon Town Fans, the local community and Swindon Town Football Club. Our members are also fans who believe in the Trusts ideals and aims. We are regulated by the FSA and our parent organisation is the well respected Supporters Direct.

Why do Swindon Town need a Trust?

We passionately believe that a Football Club is crucial to the area it represents and its fortunes impact on the Town. Remember the scenes in 1994 when many thousands packed the Town to celebrate promotion to the Premier League? That is the joy that a successful Football Club can bring to a community. We were formed in 2000 when Swindon Town were going through some very difficult financial times, and it looked like the club was going to fold. Whilst it thankfully looks like those dark days are behind us, history would suggest it would be wise to be prepared should the club ever experience difficulties in the future. The question has been asked, when do you need a supports trust and the only answer is now. If you wait until you can see the signs of problems you will inevitably be too late. As a good scout will tell you, it pays to “be prepared”. For £5 a year you can help, can you afford not to?

Are you different to a Supporters Club?

Yes, the fundamental difference is the Trust has a legal constitution that allows it to collect money on behalf of members and invest it. This typically means that a Trust has the potential to buy shares in the football club or if the worst did happen, purchase the club. If under the current owners the club go from strength to strength it would remain the Trust’s ambition to use the funds from its members to invest in the club. No decisions would be made without first asking the views of the membership.

What can you do to safeguard STFC?

We will work with the owners of the Football Club to encourage them to involve Fans. Our long term aim is to get a Fans representative on the Board to be involved in decision making, there is a lot of work to do if that is ever to be achieved, but it is possible. The Trust movement in the UK believes that sport is for the masses and that fans should not just be used as customers, but as stakeholders in a sporting clubs future. The fans are the one constant at a Football Club where owners, managers and players all come and go. We believe Swindon Town Fans hold the key to the success of STFC and should be allowed to help make it happen. This is a view shared in the government report published in October 2011 into football governance.

Can Trust STFC have a Representative on the STFC Board?

This is probably one of our most important aims, if that were to be achieved we would have to have the consent of the owners and then be able to lay our hands on significant funds but it is achievable. Many Football League clubs Trusts have shares and voting rights with a Fan representative on the Board but we have to remember that each club is different. A representative would ensure the Fans have a voice that was properly regulated and as we all know, it is the Fans who are the ones who are around when Owners, Managers and Players move on.

Who would that Representative be?

They would be a Trust member who would be voted onto the STFC Board in an Election. Amongst any County Ground crowd you would find Fans from every profession and walk of life, we are confident that if the situation arose a number of very worthy candidates would be available and have the skills to represent Fans and the Trust in a professional manner. They would be obliged to put forward the views of the Trust and Fans first and foremost.

What else do you do?

We have a wide range of skills within the Trust which allows us to work on a number of areas including local business, the possible redevelopment of the County Ground and negotiations with STFC on behalf of fans on a range of subjects. We are not afraid of telling the Football Club when they have got things wrong and we will continue to do that, our members expect it!

How much does it cost to join?

It costs £5 a year, which is less than 10p a week. All of your subscription goes on Trust business, no Board Member gets paid for anything they do. In essence you are paying towards the potential safeguarding of the future of the club, whilst also supporting community projects. For the price of a pie and pint, can you afford not to join?

You’ve convinced me, how do I join?

You can either join using Paypal on the Join The Trust page or Contact Us.

You haven’t convinced me?

Firstly thanks for taking the time to explore the Trust and we are sorry that we haven’t been able to demonstrate our value. We do however believe that fan representation has a growing place in the modern game and would encourage you to provide feedback to us. We are always happy to listen and adapt if we can!