Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

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Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Oor Wullie » 16 Jan 2018, 16:41

Some questions about the Supporters’ Liaison Group:
How often does the group meet the Club representatives?
Are the topics to be raised agreed in advance?
Who decides who will attend if supporters wishing to attend exceeds the agreed maximum?
Who produces a record of such meetings – and is it published?
Who reports on progress on the five stated objectives?
- Enhancing the matchday experience at The Hive.
- Ensuring that away travel is the best it can be.
- Organising social events eventually including opportunities to meet the Chairman, manager and players.
- Participating in community and charity events.
- Helping to improve attendances.
Any other information on the set-up would be very welcome.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Bee_Forever » 18 Jan 2018, 11:16

Hello,

I am on the supporters group and can confirm as follows:-

How often does the group meet the Club representatives?

There are no set meeting arrangements with the club, meetings take place on an ad hoc basis. The last structured meeting with the club took place in July 2017 although there have been some ad hoc conversations between the club and SLG members since then.

Are the topics to be raised agreed in advance?

No.

Who decides who will attend if supporters wishing to attend exceeds the agreed maximum?

There is no agreed maximum. We have never reached the point of having too many members to make meetings impractical from this perspective. New members welcome!

Who produces a record of such meetings – and is it published?

No formal record is kept or published of meetings.

Who reports on progress on the five stated objectives?
- Enhancing the matchday experience at The Hive.
- Ensuring that away travel is the best it can be.
- Organising social events eventually including opportunities to meet the Chairman, manager and players.
- Participating in community and charity events.
- Helping to improve attendances.

No formal reporting arrangements are in place. The above stated objectives do however provide a terms of reference for the discussions between the club and the SLG.

Any other information on the set-up would be very welcome.

The SLG was set up some time (at least 1 year) after the Barnet FC Trust went in to dormancy. It was felt at the time that, although the SLG was accepted not to have the formal validation which is offered by a Supporters Association or Trust, that some form of communication methodology with the club, even an ad hoc informal one, was better than none at all.

I was Secretary of the old Supporters Association before the trust conversion, and the nominal chair of the Supporter Group is Eddie Thompson who was former chair of the SA.

The SLG has no links to the previous trust or association bodies other than some similar personnel, but speaking from a personal perspective I would love to see a Supporters Trust back on its feet and in a credible position with Supporters to liaise with the club. This is dependent however on sufficient supporter buy-in, an issue which previously, in part, put paid to the previous Supporters Trust.

Kind Regards,

Stephen Cranfield

SLG member.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Hiveoccupier » 18 Jan 2018, 19:46

Bee_Forever wrote:Hello,

I am on the supporters group and can confirm as follows:-

How often does the group meet the Club representatives?

There are no set meeting arrangements with the club, meetings take place on an ad hoc basis. The last structured meeting with the club took place in July 2017 although there have been some ad hoc conversations between the club and SLG members since then.

Are the topics to be raised agreed in advance?

No.

Who decides who will attend if supporters wishing to attend exceeds the agreed maximum?

There is no agreed maximum. We have never reached the point of having too many members to make meetings impractical from this perspective. New members welcome!

Who produces a record of such meetings – and is it published?

No formal record is kept or published of meetings.

Who reports on progress on the five stated objectives?
- Enhancing the matchday experience at The Hive.
- Ensuring that away travel is the best it can be.
- Organising social events eventually including opportunities to meet the Chairman, manager and players.
- Participating in community and charity events.
- Helping to improve attendances.

No formal reporting arrangements are in place. The above stated objectives do however provide a terms of reference for the discussions between the club and the SLG.

Any other information on the set-up would be very welcome.

The SLG was set up some time (at least 1 year) after the Barnet FC Trust went in to dormancy. It was felt at the time that, although the SLG was accepted not to have the formal validation which is offered by a Supporters Association or Trust, that some form of communication methodology with the club, even an ad hoc informal one, was better than none at all.

I was Secretary of the old Supporters Association before the trust conversion, and the nominal chair of the Supporter Group is Eddie Thompson who was former chair of the SA.

The SLG has no links to the previous trust or association bodies other than some similar personnel, but speaking from a personal perspective I would love to see a Supporters Trust back on its feet and in a credible position with Supporters to liaise with the club. This is dependent however on sufficient supporter buy-in, an issue which previously, in part, put paid to the previous Supporters Trust.

Kind Regards,

Stephen Cranfield

SLG member.


The above post is a travesty of integrity. The fact that this is the first thread on this part of the messageboard since March last year tells us all we need to know about the usefulness of the Supporters Liaison Group. From recollection they did get TK to sell herbal tea bags in the Hive Bar once.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Oor Wullie » 18 Jan 2018, 23:06

Stephen

I am very grateful to you for taking the trouble to reply in such detail; it is much appreciated.

I have to say that in the absence of an Association or Trust it surprises me that the activities of the Liaison Group have not been formalised - not least in providing feedback to the rest of the Barnet support.

The Trust will only be successfully resurrected if it has a clear aim; for example by having real supporter influence at board level.

Someone must own the Supporters' Club's 800 shares - presumably the Trust. That makes the Trust the second biggest (albeit very much minority) shareholder. The Trust's main aim should be to raise cash to buy more shares, with the eventual aim of having a fully fledged board member.

In my opinion the club at the moment has a strange corporate feel to it; it's the same people on all the different Barnet FC boards. Where#s the voice of the supporters?
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Bee_Forever » 18 Jan 2018, 23:44

Share ownership is the nirvana of all Supporter Trusts. But we need to have a Trust first!

Agree a liaison group is a poor substitute But at the moment it is all we have.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Hiveoccupier » 19 Jan 2018, 09:44

Bee_Forever wrote:Share ownership is the nirvana of all Supporter Trusts. But we need to have a Trust first!

Agree a liaison group is a poor substitute But at the moment it is all we have.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk


The existence of the Supporters Liaison Group is a barrier to having a Supporters Trust or any other form of democratically elected representative organisation.

That works fine for TK because amongst other things he doesn't like is the supporters having democratically elected representatives who might ask him some awkward questions from time to time. He especially doesn't like the part of the Supporters Direct model constitution which specifies that one of a Trust's objectives should be to try to ensure that the club is run on stable financial grounds, and he really dislikes supporters carrying out surveys of fans which produce results which might be in any way be seen to be critical of the Club's owner.

As for the Supporters shares, despite several requests they were never transferred to the Trust and are presumably still in the hands of Jeff Searle. They are however probably worse than worthless because TK isn't interested in other shareholders having any influence and has previously indicated that if anyone wanted to make an issue about being a shareholder he would consider asking them to contribute to the ongoing financing of the Club's losses.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Oor Wullie » 19 Jan 2018, 10:44

The posts so far have been very enlightening. Thanks to all.

The present situation, with what appears to be an autocratic administration and a divided support, reminds me of an old African proverb:

"if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

The very impressive set-up at The Hive has been achieved over a relatively short period but what's the point if the stadium is empty? The present management are clearly not carrying the Barnet support with them. It's the fans who ultimately have the power to make the club a success - but they need to be organised.

The Supporters Liaison Group (SLG) in its current "form" is less a supporters organisation, more a fig leaf. Football supporters throughout the UK have turned to the Trust model; it can't produce miracles it can deliver progress.

Whether the SLG continues or not, a serious effort must be made to resurrect the Trust or at the very least the Association.

An organised and highly active Charlton Athletic support looks to be on the verge of seeing the back of an absentee and dogmatic owner, continuing in the tradition of their marvellous "Back to the Valley" campaign of twenty-five years ago - and just look at what a united Wimbledon support have achieved. There's no reason why Barnet fans, with a clear objective, cannot match these achievements.

"If you want to go far, go together"...
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Bee_Forever » 19 Jan 2018, 15:04

Oor Wullie wrote:
The Supporters Liaison Group (SLG) in its current "form" is less a supporters organisation, more a fig leaf. Football supporters throughout the UK have turned to the Trust model; it can't produce miracles it can deliver progress.

Whether the SLG continues or not, a serious effort must be made to resurrect the Trust or at the very least the Association.



I completely agree. The old Association converted in to a Trust but for a variety of well known reasons, this organisation went in to dormancy.

Enough pretty words however, let's get down to brass tacks. Is anyone on this message board actually interested in participating in a new/revivified trust organisation, and in establishing this as a credible voice for all Barnet Supporters?

To be clear, after my experiences with the previous organisation it would take quite a lot for me to take the plunge again, but if there is a strong desire to do this, then maybe the first step is for those who are interested to set up a meeting at the Hive to look at what a new trust would look like, what would be involved and whether it would be better to set up a new organisation, or revive the old one.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Oor Wullie » 19 Jan 2018, 15:52

My understanding is that setting up a new Trust can be quite time-consuming whereas I assume re-starting an existing Trust would be easier. I think the best first step would be to contact Supporters Direct and seek their guidance.

At the same time I'm sure SD would welcome first hand feedback on the reasons why the Barnet Trust was suspended, the problems encountered the first time around and hopefully they could then provide advice on how the same mistakes can be avoided.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Hiveoccupier » 19 Jan 2018, 17:22

Oor Wullie wrote:My understanding is that setting up a new Trust can be quite time-consuming whereas I assume re-starting an existing Trust would be easier. I think the best first step would be to contact Supporters Direct and seek their guidance.

At the same time I'm sure SD would welcome first hand feedback on the reasons why the Barnet Trust was suspended, the problems encountered the first time around and hopefully they could then provide advice on how the same mistakes can be avoided.


It was suspended because there weren't enough people willing to be Board members. The Board therefore became inquorate and could not function.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby THB » 20 Jan 2018, 12:44

The Supporters' Trust still exists as an entity ("The Barnet Supporters' Society") although no longer registered with Supporters' Direct and Football Supporters' Federation and classed as "dormant" with Companies House.

There is still £1800 in the account.

Neil.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby THB » 20 Jan 2018, 12:46

I would be happy to meet with anyone who would be interested in re-activating the Trust to give background of what would be legally and financially involved.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby bee007 » 20 Jan 2018, 13:34

Why not start from scratch with an Official Supporters Club. We are the only club in the FL without one. I can see where problems might arise though, as with Underhill, it was easy for people to attend committee meetings in the old room, and when needed for larger meetings and AGM's in the clubhouse. With the much discussed problems of the location of the Hive, where would a convenient meeting place be. There must be enough people interested in joining a Club, but would there be enough people prepared to take on the Committee roles(Chairman, Secretary,Treasurer etc)
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby Letsbeehavinyou » 20 Jan 2018, 13:43

Would happily throw my hat in the ring to try something on this issue
Last edited by Letsbeehavinyou on 21 Jan 2018, 18:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Supporters’ Liaison Group; some questions

Postby MCB » 20 Jan 2018, 14:13

Shareholders of Barnet Football Club are listed here: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/document-api-images-prod/docs/EzJEWscjZttOMoFOaFhepiolwLXH0aqBFz5btiGqgIY/application-pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=ASIAJYMA7DG6UO4Q2ZFA&Expires=1516456984&Signature=EI%2FASHqWfVWIGyJKR2OfYRbKfow%3D&x-amz-security-token=FQoDYXdzEOz%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FwEaDHQJD4zZxwQCgxxr%2ByK3A7C1JP5M%2BMXVLRIIVe1MmXP8jDGk2bYCO3ckncM8TfaHaGWx%2BEopNYjLXtUVdmpE8%2BmdEnR9N2PgDKTEmvdEWM7MwKpRE6J%2Fqy4I%2BiTKhTXFxU5Oixdvbc2FuXURtnc%2BAdLGkzcAjHDl0hVoZxDH5K3%2FlPeV9q4C7lOnmnoPfvkl3Kfi7SvZcI4r%2BlfspNPFWjyw8rEOu08rnbiwn8qie3QNQoMdEEXi%2FXa9rTM4Go2RjDMcZ%2FL6YmHXEYQ1d7gyTqP6voKzNj9oB98XxzdXCvPgylcIeaGMa7Mup0GTkO5tgwlCmJEKaX6nSlJUbGiL3y9TUVWHVuumBafIvJSF48lFTzM3E%2FwUTk1NRFFvW65VzgYi8zda6st3akynd41msSJwIcOtgjtIi8H9vZdgVVcBO1teF3tQ755XQAQs%2FD1bTNvETjhmricOJH1qLgbgOMNGioi2GwfFvibXNQI3tWqAuFzh%2FI%2FJd2vbgXKKpJfW7MyimCmVEj3syg998sESHlbGreuj0NL%2F7nyGhfG2s4xubNFf6kzMokHJez7GZPBRBdCRO1tm41Jj%2Bh%2FdUANVLkFjCfiaHFgonrqM0wU%3D

800 shares are held by Jeff Searle on behalf of BFCSA. Although this doesn't mean a lot in terms of the overall structure and ownership.

Being blunt I was disappointed in the following response I got - not from TK, but the fact there are meetings that are happening that havn't been advertised here or on the club website (ergo it looks like a closed shop), and no feedback over what was covered.

42 - There doesn't appear to have been a meeting with the Supporters Liason Group since 2015, and of course the club does not currently have a Supporters Trust or Association. This is not apportioning blame with anyone, but is this something the club would like to remedy and to see a structured relationship between supporters and the Club? I cannot think of any other football league club that doesn't have a degree of representation within the club, so is this something that can be strived towards?

We meet with the Supporters Liaison Group whenever they request to do so and usually at a weeks’ notice with the last meeting just a few short months ago. I very much welcome their input and personally attend to get a first-hand view of the issues, we have certainly had some very good structured debates on all matters concerning Barnet FC. The last couple of meetings had about a dozen different member so they are very representative of our fan base and my understanding is they are also very open to new members so if you wish to get involved then please contact their Chairman, Eddie Thompson, for more details.


However, I'm loving seeing a bit of enthusiasm as I believe a Supporters Trust / Association is of utmost importance to the clubs supporters. I'm not going to go into the issues the last time around, but numerous people put a ridiculous amount of time and effort into making it work, and got very little appreciation for their efforts (not me I should add). Maybe a fresh start with new faces could make a difference. If people need to know the background, grab a chair and read through some of the very old posts on this forum.

But i'd give my utmost support where I could to a new supporters organisation that could communicate with the fans, club & TK. Perhaps without some of the baggage & division of the past it will be possible, I hope so.
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