The Trust needs you, if it is to survive

— 4 minute read

The annual meeting of the Robins Trust will take place on Thursday, November 28 where members will be told that the Trust is in danger of dying.

The recent election process carried out by the Trust attracted no new applicants for the second year in succession leaving just six members on the current board.

That is the minimum limit as prescribed by the rules that govern Cheltenham Town Supporters Society Ltd, meaning if the numbers were to fall, the Trust wouldn’t be able to operate normally.

Trust chairman James Young explained: "We are in desperate need for people to come forward and help keep the Trust in the position it is now as an active investor and partner in the Club we love.

"The Trust is a legal entity in its own right and has rules and regulations it has to subscribe to as a business.

"One of those is to have more than six board members and it is something we just about clinging on to, but it is something that cannot continue going forward.

"Put simply, if we fail to attract new board members the Trust will become dormant and we will have to consider whether it is the right thing to dissolve the organisation altogether."

Fan Elected Director Dave Beesley added: "While all volunteers will be welcomed, we especially need people with organisational, fund-raising and planning experience to help the Trust grow.

"The Trust is also hoping to have a team that can help on matchdays, both with the Trust and the Club’s plans to make the stadium and areas around the ground a more vibrant place."

The Robins Trust was founded by volunteers and established as a legal entity in 2005. In the past 14 it has invested more than £300,000 of shares in Cheltenham Town Football Club.

The Trust is now the fourth largest shareholder in the Club and has a Fan Elected Director representing the fans and backing supporter involvement on the Club’s board of directors.

The Trust is a full member of the Football Supporters Association and benefits from the expertise and experience of the Supporter Trust movement that involves fans across the country.

However, that will count for nothing unless more volunteers come forward to help secure the future of the Trust.

"The events at Bury, Bolton, Macclesfield and other clubs over the past decade or so show how vital it is for fans to play an active role at their clubs," Young added.

"Just recently, the Department for Culture Media and Sport highlighted the vital role fans play in taking clubs to account and ensuring they are run for the benefit of the community they serve.

"Thankfully, Cheltenham Town has never been in the kind of situation that has hit Bury, Bolton or Macclesfield, but that’s not to say that one day, we may be.

"Thanks in part to the amazing legacy from Bryan Jacob we have invested more than £300,000 in our Club to ensure that the fans have a seat at the top table and have a real influence in our club.

"Having known Bryan from the early days setting up the Trust I am devastated that we find ourselves in this situation, but it is where we are.

"I would urge as many fans as possible to attend our AGM on November 28 where we hope to have a full and frank debate about what can be done to help the Trust survive."

A Fans Forum will be held after the Trust AGM on Thursday, November 28 (7.30pm at Whaddon Road) with manager Michael Duff and members of the Cheltenham Town board of directors.