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  • Writer's pictureTUST


Dear Members,

The Gulls’ season may have finished but as supporters reflect on the disappointment of missing out on the play-offs and start to speculate on new signings, TUST can look back on another busy year. Football is an all year round sport these days and that applies to supporters’ trusts too, with plenty to keep them busy over the summer.

As you are well aware, the aim of supporters' trusts is to continuously monitor and support the longer term sustainability, governance and heritage of our nation’s community football clubs. In many cases, particularly where clubs are in crisis, this future stability has depended not only on the support of the fan base, but also on their democratic, representative organisations. In most cases this has been the club's independent supporters' trust working together with supporters in ensuring the above. Most significantly, the sense of importance clubs hold within their local areas as a community asset and the ownership of the actual ground has a major role to play in sustainability.

To this end, your TUST board has continued to develop its efficacy over the last season by:

  • Holding monthly TUST board meetings.

  • Developing possible action plans using others’ professional advice should the club need ‘saving’ or restructuring, which we would present to everyone if the need ever arose.

  • Developing these through meetings of our professionally led Strategy team. Obviously we would all prefer never to have the need to move them forward, but it is good to be prepared as hindsight is often too late.

  • Keeping in regular contact with the FSA and other fellow trusts, particularly through the South West Supporters Trust Group meetings. Furthermore, meeting with local councillors and with our MP, whilst also talking and listening to other important friends of TUFC.

As has been widely publicised, we have been closely involved with developing and supporting the Government Independent Fan-Led Review. This culminated with a TUST delegation meeting with the IFLR chairman, ex sports minister Tracey Crouch MP and our local MP, Kevin Foster, in Parliament recently. This was particularly to feedback the impact the IFLR might have on well supported, non-league community based clubs such as ours. Since then, the IFLR has been included in the Queen’s Speech, the recommendations receiving full cross-party support in Parliament, which means that the next step is a White Paper to move this towards being passed as statutory law. This will include establishing an Independent Regulator and panel, who will legally oversee the governance of football clubs, be they privately, supporter or community owned. Supporters will also be given a greater voice, for example in terms of decisions relating to the heritage and location of their clubs.

Secondly, as part of our remit, TUST has also continued to be there to represent supporters concerns and suggestions to the club. Sadly, the club executive have declined to meet with us in person despite our best efforts to foster positive relations. Our recent communications have therefore been in writing, as you have been regularly updated upon. For example the widely discussed new ticketing arrangement concerns and their impact on inclusion. Whilst also working to develop, in support of the club, the awareness of TUFC’s value within the community and its linked organisations through outreach. Examples of this within the last year include:-

  • The TUFC Inspirations (disability) team receiving full kit and home training equipment from TUST, run by TUCST.

  • The TUCST mini, below 6 years old, mixed football group receiving new tailor made mini-goals from TUST.

  • The TUFC Women’s team receiving a full grant from TUST to purchase new tracksuits for next season as sponsorship.

  • Weekly Fans’ Zone articles in the Herald Express and to members by Nick Brodrick, our Supporter Liaison Officer on all things TUFC as well as related football news.

  • Regular updates to members via Facebook and Twitter, including advertising the club and corporate members when requested.

  • Publicising TUST on Devonlive and other online ‘Live’ publications throughout the UK during March and currently on Palm Torbay Radio.

  • 0ffering to support other linked TUFC supporter groups, as appropriate.

  • Sponsoring the TUST Ian Twitchin Memorial shield and trophy.

  • Likewise, sponsoring the new TUFC exile supporters’ Away Player of the Season Award.

  • There are other initiatives currently in the pipeline.

This is what your basic 50p a week subscription pays for, and thank you to those that can volunteer more! Not only the above, but half of your fees go into the substantial contingency fund as outlined earlier.

This has been established, as directed by you, in order to be ready to coordinate an action or business plan to protect our club’s future, if ever the need unfortunately arises. This would be irrespective of whether the club was in private, supporter or community ownership. It would also obviously create a platform to involve our members and anyone with TUFC’s longer term sustainability and heritage at heart.

Have a great summer and do keep contacting us if you have any suggestions or concerns.

We are always here for our club!

Best wishes,

Michel Thomas Chair, on behalf of the TUST board

The TUST sponsored Ian Twitchin Shield and Trophy for the player making most appearances and awarded this season to Ben Wynter who played every minute of every game.





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