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Stronger Together


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The Supporters Trust launched Stronger Together today at the Fans Meeting at the Caley Club. Full details are on our website (see the link below), but this is the announcement released today:

 

Fan investment is the way forward for a stronger and community focused ICT

An initiative that aims to increase the shareholding of Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans has been launched by the ICT Supporters Trust. 
 
The group aims to achieve the greatest possible supporter and community influence in the running and ownership of Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.
 
The Trust has called on fans to invest in the Stronger Together Fund, which aims to increase their shareholding of the football club and assist in creating a sustainable football club with supporters at its heart. 
 
A longer-term goal of ensuring that a democratically elected fans’ representative sits on Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC’s Board of Directors is also key to the plans. 
 
The Trust aims to make sure that the voice of ICT supporters is heard and that fans are communicated to with honesty and transparency. 
 
The Supporters Trust already hold 108 Ordinary Shares which carry an enhanced voting right totalling a minimum of 10 per cent. The Trust also holds a further 13,658 Ordinary Shares which carry normal voting rights.
 
Investment in the football club by the Stronger Together Fund will be made at the discretion of the Trust Board, with the prime objective being to increase their shareholding in the football club. 
 
The Trust aim to bridge the perceived gap between the club and its supporters, using any income generated by the Stronger Together Fund to purchase shares in the club, with a view to gaining a seat on the Board. They believe that supporter’s issues can then be raised at board level, ensuring fans are properly represented and have a say in the running of their club. 
 
Jennifer Aitchison, Chairperson, ICT Supporter’s Trust said: “This is a crucial time for the football club, both on and off the pitch. We must come together in order to ensure the future of the club for generations to come. 
 
“One of the most common and regular pieces of feedback we receive is that fans have become disengaged with the club and no longer feel a local affinity. We have already highlighted some instances where the club could be engaging better with fans, through affordable hospitality, season ticket deals, stewarding at games, and where we feel they could be driving better income streams from match, match-ball and man of the match sponsorships as well as player sponsorships. 
 
“The club has rightfully been chasing the pounds lately to ensure the long-term future of the club but we also feel that ICT is missing out on contributions that derive largely from engaged supporters who feel they have a real stake in the club. The Stronger Together Fund provides an opportunity for Caley Thistle fans, both locally and around the world, to directly influence the running of the football club.” 
 
The initiative gives supporters the opportunity to donate as much or as little as they can afford, either as a one-off payment or by regular monthly contributions. Payments will be made to the Supporters Trust, not to the club. 

 

The Supporters Trust launched Stronger Together with a brochure which explains the initiative in detail, and includes details of how to make a donation to Stronger Together. The brochure is available here:

https://www.ictsupporterstrust.org/stronger-together

The launch was very well received by the many fans present at the meeting.

The Club Chairman and SLO had been briefed on the initiative during the week, and were supportive of it too.

We hope that many fans, whether located locally or afar, will see the merit in supporting this initiative.

If anyone has any questions, either post them in this thread, e-mail us at info@ictsupporterstrust.org or by completing the form on our "contact us" page:

https://www.ictsupporterstrust.org/contact

Activity like this has worked successfully for clubs like Falkirk, Morton and Hearts, and we hope to make this scheme similarly successfully over time.

An update on the other issues at today's Fans Meeting will be posted in the next couple of days.

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All members of the Supporters Trust should have received details of Stronger Together by e-mail from the Trust yesterday. If you did not receive it, please let us know.

The courier and Press and Journal were at Saturday's Fans Meeting, and both have covered it on line and we expect it to feature in their print editions:

https://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/sport/fans-investment-initiative-looks-to-give-supporters-greater-347261/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/sport/football/inverness-caledonian-thistle/6425681/appeal-for-caley-thistle-fans-far-and-wide-to-back-trusts-new-fund/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

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The Supporters Trust Board has been encouraged and heartened by the many supportive messages received, both at Saturday's Fans Meeting and subsequently.

To pick up on some of the questions raised since Saturday (many of which were covered in the presentation on Saturday, in the brochure about Stronger Together or in the Q&A at the meeting), the objective is to raise funds which will be used to allow the Supporters Trust to invest in the club through the purchase of shares.

The Supporters Trust will look to purchase shares when it feels the time is right, and only if it is satisfied by commitments given by the club.

A long standing aim of the Supporters Trust is to have a fans' representative on the Board of the club. Any scale of shareholding in itself does not guarantee this as, for example, the Inverness Caledonian Thistle Trust Limited (the single biggest shareholder) does not have a representative on the Board.

By having fans representation on the Board, we can look to ensure that decisions are taken with the fans' interests taken in to account, and that the club does things that are important to fans. In the Fans Meeting, the Chairman was receptive to an approach, and the Trust Board will consider the timing of this at its next meeting, taking in to account the restructuring that was indicated would be taking place for 1 June.

The club Chairman and SLO were briefed on Stronger Together in advance of Saturday's launch. Both responded positively by e-mail and were supportive at the meeting.

We also discussed the plan with other major shareholders and were encouraged to proceed.

We are seeking to raise funds through Stronger Together. However, if anyone wishes to transfer their existing shareholding to the Trust, please contact us, and we will explore this with the club's Company Secretary.

The club is clearly facing some of the most challenging times it has faced in its 30 year history. The Supporters Trust wishes to assist in ensuring that we have a sustainable club that can move forward, hence the launch of Stronger Together. We recognise that this initiative alone will not turn around the club's financial problems, but we have been arguing for some time that the club should be looking after the pennies as well as chasing the pounds. We believe that this message has landed with the club, as evidenced by a Man of the Match sponsor being in place at Saturday's game for the first time in a long time.

For those not at the Fans Meetings or who have not joined the Supporters Trust, the Trust has made significant progress with the club this season.

This started with the Matchday Experience Survey, and then the strength of feeling shown at the initial Fans Meetings. The club has clearly recognised that there have been issues and has started to engage positively with the Trust and to address some of the issues raised by us.

We highlighted the need for an effective SLO, and welcome the appointment of Scott Young to this position. Scott clearly wants to maintain a positive working relationship with the Trust, to engage with fans, and to make a difference.

Scott has been joined at our last three meetings by Ross Morrison, the Chairman, and both have engaged openly and honestly with the issues raised with them. Until the Matchday Experience Survey and the Fans Meetings, the Trust was struggling to have any meaningful dialogue with the club. That has changed during the course of this season.

The club has recognised that their communication with fans has been very poor. There is still work to do on this, but we are now better informed than we have been for many years.

The club has recognised that the way some complaints were dealt with was very poor and, through Scott Young, are now showing a willingness to ensure that issues are resolved promptly and professionally.

The Trust has highlighted concerns about the Matchday Experience for fans with disabilities, and established a group to work with the club on this. The initial meeting is later this week.

The club has recognised our feedback that fans are priced out of hospitality, and we got confirmation on Saturday that new offerings will be available next season, with a mix of corporate and affordable offerings.

On our theme of looking after the pennies, the club has recognised that they have missed out on many sponsorship opportunities, in terms of sponsorship of players, matches, man of the match and match ball. This is starting to change, with a Man of the Match sponsor in place at Saturday's game. We will continue to push for the reintroduction of a meaningful player sponsorship scheme next season. This is a simple but effective way of increasing fan engagement, and we have even offered to administer it for the club.

These are just examples of what has been achieved, but we recognise that there is more work to be done, and we will continue to work on your behalf.

The Trust Board is made up of volunteers who are passionate about the club and happy to devote their own time to helping to take things forward.

Finally, thank you again to our many recently joined members for signing up, to all our members for their continued support, to everyone who has attended the Fans Meetings, and for all the supportive messages about the work we are carrying out.

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Posted (edited)

We have been looking at making alternative payment options available, which may be easier for many than setting up a Standing Order.

Payments can now be made through Stripe, following this link:

https://buy.stripe.com/5kA00Fe5U5Sq4YoaEE

The link allows recurring payments to be made on a monthly basis. The default setting is £10, but you can change this to any sum by clicking on "Qty 1", which appears below "ICT Sharesave". Changing the quantity to 2 makes the recurring payment £20 etc, changing the quantity to 5 makes the recurring payment £50 etc.

Thank you to everyone who has got in touch with positive feedback on Stronger Together and especially to those who have contributed so far.

Edited by ICT Supporters Trust
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