The Robins Trust has today written to Alex Chalk MP for Cheltenham and Laurence Robertson MP for Tewkesbury to urge them to support the Fan Led Review into football.
We are joining supporter groups across the country and The Football Supporters Association (The FSA) in calling for change.
Dear Mr Chalk and Mr Robertson,
I am writing to you on behalf of the board of Cheltenham Town Supporters Society Limited - The Robins Trust - a proud investor and part-owner of Cheltenham Town Football Club.
As the majority of the support base for our club is drawn from your constituencies, we wanted to contact you both and urge you to support two things:
- First, we urge you to give your full and complete backing to the proposed Fan Led Review, as announced by Oliver Dowden MP the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport on April 19 - the review formed part of the manifesto you campaigned for election on in December 2019.
- Second, we urge you to support Early Day Motion 1765 raised on April 22, by Ian Mearns MP, setting a framework which we, as fans, feel are crucial to shaping the Fan Led Review.
Reform in football is long overdue and desperately needed.
The proposed plan for The Super League was clearly the final straw for many of the millions of supporters up and down the country whose thoughts and wishes are becoming increasingly marginalised.
If the events of the past year have taught us one thing, it is that football, without fans, is nothing.
The game relies on supporters buying tickets, shirts and television subscriptions. Without the revenue from supporters the game cannot and would not exist.
But football is about more than money. Our clubs play a vital role in each of the communities they serve. It is our firm belief that those communities should have far more of a say in how their clubs, and the game as a whole, is run
It is our hope that the Fan Led Review, will lead to significant and lasting change in the football ecosystem with the fans at the heart of any future governance, with an independent regulator with significant authority able to govern the industry.
The Robins Trust have a close working relationship with Cheltenham Town FC. Our investment in our club since we formed in 2005 is close to £300,000, a figure that has 'earned' us Fan Elected Director, who sits on the club's board of directors.
We are one of the lucky supporter groups who have direct influence and positive working relationships with our club. Sadly, this is not the case everywhere. It is something that the Fan Led Review should, in our opinion, seek to change.
The Robins Trust also has a strong and close working relationship with the Football Supporters Association (FSA). Our chair is an elected National Council member, one of three elected to represent League One and League Two clubs at national level.
The FSA has long campaigned for measures to change the way our national game is run, and last year launched an initiative entitled #SustainTheGame to draw focus to the inequalities and inadequacies in football's governance.
Football should belong to the communities our clubs represent – the communities that you represent. Our game should not be owned and controlled by mega-rich oligarchs, faceless corporations or countries. Football belongs to the fans.
And that is why we are urging you to throw your support behind both the Fan Led Review of football and EDM1765 and help sustain the game.
The Robins Trust board would be happy to meet with you at any time to discuss this issue.
Co-signed on behalf of the Robins Trust board,
Chair - Cheltenham Town Supporters Society Ltd
National Council Member - Football Supporters Association
Vice-chair - Cheltenham Town Supporters Society Ltd
Fan Elected Director, Cheltenham Town Football Club