BBC Scotland’s top sports presenter and well-known Bully Wee fan Dougie Donnelly will be the guest speaker when Clyde Supporters’ Trust holds its launch meeting on September 4th at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld.
The Trust, officially known as Clyde Supporters Ltd, a fully registered society, has been formed as a community-based organisation with the aim of getting fans involved in initiatives to help Clyde Football Club while also promoting sports in community.
Mr Donnelly, a life-long Clyde supporter and one-time ball boy at their old Shawfield home in Glasgow’s east end, said: “Supporters’ Trusts have proved to be very successful at many clubs and I am delighted Clyde supporters are forming one. Obviously I will be happy to join and to assist the trust in any way. I am proud to be asked to help launch the Trust.”
“Everybody knows football clubs are suffering through lack of funds and initiatives, and for many initiatives like this have been a lifeline. Clearly there are many areas where the Clyde supporters can work to raise funds for the club as well as boosting its profile in its community and maybe even attracting more customers.” Mr Donnelly added.
Doors will be open at 7pm at the Broadwood Suite where a bar and buffet will be provided and the meeting will begin at 7.30pm. Clyde Club Captain and star midfielder Jack Ross will also meet fans at the event.
Clyde Supporters’ Trust official Cameron Macdonald said the meeting was aimed at enrolling fans as members and getting their ideas on the initiatives the trust should concentrate on in its first year.
“This is a totally democratic, member-run group so it is critical that fans come to the meeting and have their say about what the Trust should be doing to help the football club and promote sports in the community,” he said. “The membership fee has been deliberately kept down to £10 for over 18s to encourage as many people as possible to join
As well as registering the Trust, the steering committee has arranged banking facilities, printed the handsome share certificates and membership forms recruits will receive and is setting up a website and other communication facilities.
Mr Macdonald added that the initiative had the support of the Clyde FC directors. “Whilst the Trust is completely independent from the football club, we will obviously liase with club officials where that is appropriate,” he said.
The concept of Supporters’ Trusts first appeared in 2000 and since then a number have been formed in Scotland ranging from Berwick Rangers to Glasgow Rangers as well as local rivals like St Mirren and Morton. But the common theme running through them all is that the fans form them with one thing in mind – raising cash to help their club.
Some of the ways that other Trust’s have used their funds include buying equipment for the club, buying shares and getting involved on the Board or helping the club survive when times get tough, funding youth development schemes and a whole host of club and community ventures.
Fans will be issued more details on the launch in the very near future.