Sheffield Wednesday Supporters' Trust

Make your voice heard - join the Trust for just £10 per year!

Membership will get you full voting rights and access to a regular programme of consultation, aimed at promoting positive engagement between the club and the fanbase.

The cost of membership is based on what was most popular in our recent fans’ surveys, and the first £1 of it buys you a share in the Trust, the rest will go towards the organisation’s running costs and setting up community schemes.

You don’t need to have a PayPal account to buy a membership, just a credit or debit card. Signing up will set up a recurring annual payment, which you can of course cancel at any time.

We hope to add extra benefits to membership as the Trust evolves and more people get involved, so make sure you also sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date.

Please click here to read our privacy policy

Keep in touch with the latest news and developments by signing up to our newsletter.

Updates

New Board Roles

Do you have skills and enthusiasm that could help us to continue establishing the Trust and working towards our strategic goals? We’re looking for a number of members to join our interim board of volunteer directors to drive the organisation forward ... and we’d love to hear from you.

A range of role profiles are now live and you can see these below. If you want to get involved email us at swfcst@gmail.com. Please indicate which role(s) you are interested in and summarise the skills /experience you could bring to the board.

We look forward to hearing from you

Diversity and Inclusion - Role description
Community Role - Role description
FSA Liaison - Role description
Membership - Role description
Secretary - Role description
Website - Role description
Communications coordinator - Role description

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Meeting Notes
16/07/2020 - Trust board meeting
07/07/2020 - Trust board meeting
23/06/2020 - Trust board meeting
09/06/2020 - Trust board meeting
26/05/2020 - Trust board meeting
05/05/2020 - Trust board meeting
15/04/2020 - Trust board meeting
24/03/2020 - Trust board meeting
16/03/2020 - Open meeting Notes
16/03/2020 - Open meeting live recording

The outcome from the EFL hearing is worrying for all Sheffield Wednesday fans. Our response should be neither a collective sigh of relief nor despair. Now is the time for bold and courageous leadership, renewed effort, and motivation to revitalise Sheffield Wednesday.
In the future, we must look back at this moment as a catalyst for change that led to a new era of success at Hillsborough not another missed opportunity.

The club has recently articulated a new approach to recruitment strategy targeting a younger and more athletic squad. This is welcome, but the Trust argues it does not go far enough. Change must occur across all of the club’s strategies. Undoubtedly each of our members will have their own vision for what they want from the club, but feedback suggests common ground is found in the following themes.

Fans engaged as partners in the collective purpose of driving success at Sheffield Wednesday.Ticket prices that risk alienating the future generation of supporters to be lowered. A modern corporate structure implemented across the club consisting of a Sporting Director or Director of Football appointed to manage football operations, Executive directors appointed to bring commercial and business operations into the twenty-first century, and new non-executive directors appointed to ensure new sources of critical advice are heard within the boardroom.Publish an infrastructure pipeline to show where investment has been made and where it is planned. More work in the local community and action to promote diversity among the fanbase.

In the club’s darkest days, it has always been supporters that have been our shining light. Your voice has never been needed more at Hillsborough. The Trust remains committed to working with the club in a professional and constructive manner to improve the fortunes of Sheffield Wednesday and contributing to the debate about the future direction of our club.

Strategy

Wednesday were one of only a few clubs in the Championship not to have a Supporters’ Trust affiliated to the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA). We are creating a members-based democratic fans’ group.

Sheffield Wednesday Supporters’ Trust Strategy

Being a Key Voice for Fans
Engaging with Trust members effectively and representing their views honestly and professionally. Delivering positive two-way communications with our members and othersSeeking to achieve effective engagement with the club on issues of importance to the Trust
Being a Sound Organisation

Delivering on our action plan to establish the TrustBuilding a substantial Trust membership baseBeing accessible and demonstrating transparency in our dealingsDemocracy and accountability consistently guiding how we operate
Influencing SWFC Club Strategy

Campaigning for an SWFC business strategy that provides a sustainable basis for the club to progressPressing for SWFC to be an active player in the life of the city of Sheffield and for the club to be actively engaged with the community – enhancing the club’s brand and reputation in the cityWorking to see ticket prices for fans being reduced at games, both home and away from HillsboroughEncouraging SWFC to support community teams, including an SWFC Women’s Team, as a key element of the club community engagement strategy
Being a Community Trust
Building our connections with the voluntary and community sector in Sheffield, enabling Trust members to be a resource base for their activitiesOrganising foodbank collections that are properly connected with SWFC activitiesDelivering a community health initiative in partnership with SWFC

FAQ

What is a Supporters Trust?

Supporters Trusts are legally established as Community Benefit Societies. The Football Supporters Association provide a Trust with a set of Model Rules that are used by the Trust to secure registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who are the regulators of Community Benefit Societies. Sheffield Wednesday Supporters’ Trust (legal title 1867 Supporters’ Society Limited) is formally registered with FCA having adopted the Model Rules of that organisation. The people who signed the FCA registration document are Directors of the Trust until elections take place. New directors can be appointed who will serve on the interim board until the aforementioned election takes place. Before the Trust was established Sheffield Wednesday was one of the few clubs in the Championship not to have a Supporters Trust.

What power does the Supporters Trust have?

The Supporters Trust adopted the model rules supplied by the Financial Conduct Authority in their entirety on the advice of the Football Supporters Association. The model rules are clear that the Trust is governed by its members who determine policy at meetings and elect directors to the board. The board then operate the Trust on a day-to-day basis. Daily operational decisions made by the board include communication to the club the concerns, ideas and suggestions of its members through constructive dialogue in meetings and public statements. The board are also responsible to ensure the Trust is efficiently and effectively administered and abides by all legal and regulatory requirements.

Where does the Supporters Trust get its mandate and legitimacy?

The Trust operates under a twin mandate that gives it legitimacy to operate.

1) The FSA require that any group of fans proposing to set up a Trust must state their intention publicly in an open meeting of supporters to ensure they have wider support among the fanbase. We held our open meeting in March, which was due to be a ‘live’ event until lockdown was announced two hours before it was due to begin meaning the event was moved ‘online’. That meeting was attended by two officers from the Football Supporters Association, several people who have now gone onto become interim board members, a few members of the public who didn’t get the message to stay away, and the meeting was streamed online receiving 4000 views. The Football Supporters Association officers present (Deborah Dilworth & Ashley Brown) at the meeting were satisfied that, after we held an extensive question and answer session with viewers online, we had the support to set up the Sheffield Wednesday Supporters Trust. This act by the FSA officers conferred on the interim board the mandate not only to set the Trust up, but also to start operating as any other board would by taking strategic decisions.

2) A Trust can only recruit members when it is registered with FCA, it has established a series of policies (this has been done and those policies are available in an FAQ below) and when a bank account is in place. Those requirements were all met on 10 July 2020 and we began to recruit members on the 18th July. We are a members-based organisation, so our mandate is now derived primarily from our membership.

In whose interests is the Supporters Trust operated?
The Sheffield Wednesday Supporters Trust is a members-based organisation operated on the principle of one-person one-vote. The Trust can only ever represent its members, although the Trust will always seek to communicate with the wider fanbase in an effort to understand concerns among supporters and their ideas and suggestions for where the club could improve its governance and commercial performance.

To whom is the Supporters Trust accountable and how can they exercise their power?
The Sheffield Wednesday Supporters Trust is accountable to its members.
The Supporters Trust adopted the model rules supplied by the Financial Conduct Authority in their entirety on the advice of the Football Supporters Association. The model rules are clear that the Trust is governed by its members who determine the Trusts policy at meetings and elect Directors to serve on the board. The Directors then run the Trust on a day to day basis.

Members can exercise their power through meetings and in elections of individuals to the board. Supporters Trust will establish a series of consultative meetings with members for the purposes of seeking their views on Trust strategy and policies in the run up to the first annual general meeting in May/June 2021. We will notify members of the date and time of these meetings and how they can be accessed by email. The board always welcome dialogue outside of meetings through email (swfcst@gmail.com).

Who is currently running the Supporters Trust?
The Supporters Trust is currently operated by an interim board consisting of the following people:

James Silverwood – Interim Chair
Tom Scott – Interim Vice Chair
Steve Walmsley – Interim Secretary
Matthew Millward – Interim Treasurer
Jenni Smith & Tom Hocking – Interim Communications Coordinators.

Can other people join the interim board?
Absolutely. We advertised for the appointment of a Treasurer with Matthew Millard joining the team. We are currently recruiting for several positions available on the interim board including Secretary, Website Coordinator, Membership Coordinator, Community Coordinator, FSA Liaison Coordinator, Communications Coordinator and Diversity Coordinator. The role descriptions can be found here.

What policies do the interim board adhere to?
The interim board operate according to a number of policies listed below in alphabetical order:

Board Membership and Conduct Policy
Data Retention Policy
Disciplinary Policy
Election Policy
Equality Charter
GDPR/Privacy Policy
Social Media Policy
Standing Orders for General Meetings
Standing Orders for Society Board Meetings

Can I help the Trust in other ways than serving on the interim board?

Certainly. Please contact us on swfcst@gmail.com to register your interest.

When will the first election to the board of the Supporters Trust take place?

The Supporters Trust adopted the model rules supplied by the Financial Conduct Authority in their entirety on the advice of the Football Supporters Association. The rules state that the first Annual General Meeting of the Trust must be called in the period between the end of the financial year and no longer than 6 months later. Our first financial year ends on 31 March 2021. The interim board is aiming to hold an AGM in May or June 2021 when we can present the Trust’s accounts to members. The AGM will also elect an independent elections group that will oversee the Trust election process to ensuring its runs smoothly and to appropriate democratic standards.

Notwithstanding any delays in this process the interim board is aiming to hold the first election in July 2021.

How is the Supporters Trust funded and are the accounts audited?

The Trust is funded by the £10 annual members fee. This may be supplemented in the future by fund-raising efforts as appropriate and approved by the board. At the end of each financial year the Trust’s accounts will be audited and sent for regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Once approved they will then by presented by the board at an annual general meeting of members.

What is the current strategy of the Trust?

The interim board feel that Sheffield Wednesday fans will speak with a stronger voice, and gain more influence and better connections with the club, by joining together in a Supporters Trust. The main objective of the Trust is to communicate the views of its members to Sheffield Wednesday through effective dialogue. The strategy of the interim board has four main aspects.

Providing a voice for members.
Being a sound organisation.
Influence SWFC club strategy.
Deliver a community trust.

More information on this strategy can be found here.

Will the Supporters Trust seek to own the club or buy shares?

This is not the strategy of the interim board who believe that the modern Championship makes fan ownership a very difficult proposition given the scale of financial issues involved. Our objective is to engage and attempt to influence the club so that action is taken to mitigate the concerns of our members and act upon their ideas and suggestions where the governance and commercial performance of the club could be improved. All our ideas and energies are focused on this and we have never had a discussion (beyond how to write this FAQ!) about trying to own or buy shares in the club. It is worth pointing out that in the interests of transparency that the Trust is a members-based organisation and if members were to elect a board who thought fan ownership of Sheffield Wednesday was a good idea then the strategy of the Trust would inevitably change from the position articulated above.

Who are the Football Supporters Association and why have a relationship with them?

The Football Supporters Association (FSA) was born from a merger between Supporters Direct (SD), a government established organisation to supervise and support the establishment of Supporters’ Trusts, and the Football Supporters Federation. You can find more about the FSA on their website.

A relationship with the FSA is useful for several reasons. First, they have an ongoing relationship with the English Football League, an issue that is especially important given our club’s recent troubles. Second, the FSA organise national campaigns around issues of importance to all football fans that the Trust will be able to engage with.

Who regulates the Trust?

The Trust is regulated as a Community Benefit Society by the Financial Conduct Authority under the name 1867 Supporters Society Limited.


We need your voice…

We’re looking for short video clips of you and your Wednesday friends and family talking about the club and what it means to you….

The best videos will be used on social media channels and will help us to build the profile of the Trust and encourage people to join.

It’s easy to get involved…

Just send us a video clip, filmed on your phone of you talking about one of the following subjects – starting with one of the following prompts (ignore any that are not relevant to you and chose one or two you feel passionate about):

  • To me Sheffield Wednesday means…..

  • To my Business Sheffield Wednesday means….

  • To my Family Sheffield Wednesday means….

  • The next time I can watch Wednesday in a crowd will feel…..

  • My wish for Sheffield Wednesday’s future is…..

  • I want a thriving Sheffield Wednesday Football Club because…..

  • I feel like Sheffield Wednesday should be more….

  • Sheffield Wednesday means so much to this community because….

  • My first Sheffield Wednesday match felt…..

Videos should feature 1 person answering 1 question but you can submit more than one.

Each recording should start with you saying one of the prompts above

All videos should be under 20 seconds long

Please film all clips LANDSCAPE format - with your phone on its side

Please try to leave a few seconds before you start talking and don’t stop recording immediately when you stop – this will help us with editing

Feel free to dress the part – of you want to wear club colours that would be great but it isn’t a requirement

Have your say on matchday experience & what you want from a Trust.

Fill in the survey today

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1867 Supporters’ Society

Privacy Policy

This document sets out how we use personal information. For the purposes of data protection legislation this applies to any activity involving use of personal data for example collecting, storing, sharing and destroying.
The categories of data that we collect, process, hold and share include:
Contact details for members of the Society
Contact details for people with whom we engage or work as a Supporters’ Society

We collect and use this data for the purposes of carrying out our role and function as a Supporters’ Society. We do not make this data publicly available as we hold the data for business use with our members and those with whom we engage and work. Some of the data we hold may already be publicly available in any case eg via organisational websites.

We are provided with information on a voluntary basis by either organisations or by individuals.

We hold the information for the time that we need to use it for business purposes. Information is held securely. On occasions some information is retained in paper files. We do not share or use information for direct marketing purposes and we do not use data to enable decisions to be taken by automated means.

We share information with organisations and individuals for business purposes relating to the functions of the Supporters’ Society.

Individuals have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information contact:

Individuals also have the right to:

Object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
In certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
Claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance via swfcst@gmail.com Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioners’ Office at http;//ico.org.uk/concerns/


1867 Supporters’ Society

Approved by the Board 5th May 2020