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Cst Launch Event Report

It was standing room only at the Broadwood Suite on September 4th as Clyde Supporters’ Trust (CST) Chairman Alan Henderson welcomed principal guest Dougie Donnelly, Alan Kernaghan, Jack Ross, Clyde FC Directors, local politicians and members and potential members to the CST launch meeting.

Dougie welcomed the arrival of the Trust and committee members Ian Roberts and Brian Spoors outlined what the Trust could do for Clyde FC. James Proctor of Supporters Direct gave a resume of the supporters’ trust movement’s progress to date in Scotland.

Committee man Cammy Macdonald opened the second half by announcing that 205 supporters had signed up to become members to the Trust including a substantial number who had joined on the night. That took the numbers past the target set for the end of the year, and is also a SFL record. He explained it was up to the members how the trust worked and to everybody to raise funds. The committee would be seeking ideas from members on what to do and how to do it, Cammy said. Major suggestions so far were that the trust should run the club shop; increase hospitality on match days and get a seat on the club Board. Many trust members wanted the trust to take on a Commercial Manager role. Cammy said there was a lot of goodwill in the local community and this could be extended. More people could be brought in and the trust could do something about raising local interest. ASDA’s local manager, Colin Pearce, had suggested working with the trust and there may be other areas for potential collaboration.

Club captain Jack Ross highlighted the changes in the club since he joined as a part time player four and a half years ago. He said the players gave their backing to the supporters’ trust and would be willing to help. Jack added that the reaction of fans to the situation in January when he was reportedly going to leave the club but stayed was “extremely humbling”, and noted one poignant event in particular that had made a big impact on him.

A show of hands was taken to give the current committee a mandate to continue in office until the AGM on February 5th. There were no dissentions.

Here’s a round-up of the suggested trust activities put forward the night.

  • a 50-50 draw or the like could be established for match days given that a trust-run lottery was a long-term aim.
  • a “dinner” in November to celebrate the 25th year of the 1978 league winning team. Former star John Brogan was willing to organise getting the team together. The event could also act as a celebration of 125 years of Clyde and act as a thank you for departed director John McBeth. Chairman Henderson said this was “an excellent idea”.
  • Advertising forthcoming Clyde matches in the town. Another suggested there should be adverts on how to get to Broadwood in the Evening Times. Another suggested TV advertising for the club; another noted Clyde used to advertise in the Daily Record. Ian Roberts said cost was an issue here but it was worth a look.
  • Erect signposts guiding people to Broadwood from the M80 for example. Cammy said it was part of the CST remit to advertise the club on a wider basis. The donation of raffle prizes for the launch demonstrated what could be done and that goodwill existed. He again cited the involvement of ASDA as an example which could lead to advertising Clyde games.
  • Publicity; a member said the club was starved of it and what had been done to publicise the CST launch. Brian Spoors said sports editors had a natural bias against smaller clubs and that journalists needed to be spoon-fed information. He said the committee had learned to create press material with headlines and contact details in ready to print text.
  • Run and lottery and use the profits employ a commercial manager to fill the match-day hospitality boxes. The lottery could be used as a promotional vehicle and provide seed corn for many functions. Tickets could be sold in pubs and shops paying these “agents” 20 percent of their ticket sales. Ross County and Stranraer worked similar systems successfully. Brian added that a lottery licence application was proceeding and it was possible a lottery could be available for launch by late October.
  • What would CST be doing for communication in the short term? Alan said there would probably be an open meeting every 4-6 weeks.
  • How could people get in touch with the committee? Cammy said the plan was to get phone numbers on the website. Alternatively, people could write c/o Clyde FC or to the registered address. The match day programme already had CST information.
  • Was the committee large enough? Committee man John Alexander explained that trust rules stated that there should be no less than five and no more than 12 members of which two would be co-opted. The CST currently had a 10-man committee.

Discussions also took place with Clyde director Gerry Dunn, one on shirt sponsorship and the lack of it given the club’s need for revenue. He said a proposed sponsor failed to materialise leaving the club with the choice of accepting little or no money or waiting until a decent deal came along. Ian said the CST could have a role in this area given that among its members there may be people able to help with sponsorship. Admission prices were also discussed with Gerry Dunn. A member said that now that there was a fans’ forum, CST now had the opportunity to sound out what feelings were on season ticket prices etc.

Over £1,000 was raised on the night through a raffle of attractive prizes donated by local businesses and individuals and from an auction of Clyde FC collector’s items.

The principal auction prize – a game of golf at Dullatur GC with club captain Jack Ross and centre back John Potter went for almost £300. There was brisk bidding too and a similar knock down price for a framed 125-year anniversary shirt signed by the current playing squad.

The shirt worn by Stevie Convery in the game that clinched promotion and the 2000 Second Division Championship – and signed for the lucky bidder by Stevie who received a very warm reception on his guest appearance – also fetched over £200 while almost as much was raised for a Gist-sponsored under 19 squad shirt signed by the six under 19 “graduates” who had established places in the senior squad, including regular starter Mark Gilhaney. Cammy Macdonald acted as auctioneer handling light hearted but spirited bidding in a generously funded climax to the evening.

The committee are now concentrating on the difficult, but important, task of bringing everyone’s input together, figuring out what action to take next and communicating this with the Membership. Look out for an update this week!