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Maidstone United programme notes: 1985 and all that

It’s been another busy week at the Robins Trust, wrote Dave Jennings in our programme notes for the FA Cup first round match against Maidstone United.

Firstly we’re delighted to announce The Kemble Brewery, the popular matchday venue in Fairview Street for Cheltenham fans, as an official Trust partner.

Our members can now not only enjoy the menu in a friendly atmosphere but take advantage of an exclusive 20% discount on all food purchases by showing their membership card.

Food is served Tuesday to Sunday each week and dishes vary from pizzas to Sunday roasts.

For opening times please visit www.thekemblebrewerycheltenham.co.uk and follow them on Facebook for news of events and special occasions. We thank everyone at The Kemble for supporting the Trust with this excellent offer!

In other news, we held our first ever ‘Saturday Surgery’ before today’s match. The new idea has been created to allow supporters a regular opportunity to approach members of the organisation to discuss any Club or Trust related issues that they may have, enabling us to represent them.

You may have seen Acting Chairman Tarran Wilson and new board member Jack O’Neill located in the main bar chatting to fans.

Other members of the Trust, including the Fan Elected Director, will always be dotted around the ground and are always happy to discuss any supporter matters.

Finally you may have also seen that Robins Trust members will receive ticket priority for November’s historic first Football League Gloucestershire derby.

November’s ‘El Glosico’ clash with Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn will see a large travelling contingent of Robins heading to Nailsworth.

With tickets likely to be in high demand, the Trust have, once again, secured ticket priority, ahead of general sale tickets.

Robins Trust members will then have a priority window running between Thursday, November 9 and kick off in the League Two home match with Luton Town on November 11.

If you’re not already a member, then you have until midnight on Wednesday to join up and ensure second tier priority.

Back to matters on the pitch and today’s match evokes memories for supporters of a certain vintage of the 2-1 win against today’s opposition on August 24, 1985.

Madonna was In to the Groove at no.1 in the UK charts, Dirty Den an Angie were pulling pints in the Queen Vic and Everton were the current Champions of English football.

John Murphy’s men were Champions of the Southern League and had taken their place among the elite of the non-league, taking on the Stones in their first ever National League (Gola League) match.

Whaddon Road was the venue and there was over 1,000 spectators (a rare occurrence in the 80s), winning thanks to goals by midfield maestros Steve Brooks and Brian Hughes.

The victory set us up for a tough but enjoyable first season at that level and we eventually finished 11th in the league – won that season by Enfield.

Lincoln City programme notes: Meet the new Robins Trust board!

During the Relaunch of the Robins Trust and the election of a New Board we have been looking at ways in which we can add value to all our members, wrote Dave Jennings on behalf of the Trust in our notes for the match against Lincoln City.

We have been discussing with local businesses the opportunity they have by becoming a Robins Trust Partner, offering preferential deals, offers and discounts to Trust Members.

Over the next few weeks we will be announcing our Partners and the benefits they will offer. Currently we have negotiated deals with local businesses such as Pubs, Restaurants & DIY Outlets.

If you are a local business or have a service to offer and you are interested in becoming a Trust Partner we would be delighted to hear from you.

Those who recently attended the Trust AGM will have seen our commitment to not only representing the interests of our supporters, but also the interests of the wider community in which we live and work.

The safety and comfort of our fans is paramount but we will also be in conversation with the local community understanding the impact of the Football Club and how we as a Trust can develop Social Value initiatives.

We are here to be your Voice at the Club, a point of contact for your concerns and issues. As a Trust Board we will take it upon ourselves to encourage full inclusivity in how we support our club, developing initiatives to widen our support base across our whole community.

We have recently worked with the club to introduce the Robins Trust Speedy Skips Half Time Challenge. Our Trust Members, Jack O’Neill and James Robinson took part in the first event which will give our fans the opportunity to demonstrate their own football talents while raising funds for Sue Ryder charities.

Speedy Skips have kindly offered to donate £100 for every ball that lands in the skip! We would like to hear from you if you would like to take part in future Half Time Challenges.

December 9th! Keep this date free in your diary. We have exciting news coming soon!

Statement on today’s FA Cup ticketing announcement

Within minutes of the FA Cup first round draw, the Robins Trust – through fan elected director Murry Toms – made immediate contact to the club board over ticket pricing for the match.
The Trust board felt that £10 adult tickets in all areas of the ground would encourage fans to attend the match, while also rewarding supporters for their support over the past year.
Murry put those arguments to the board, in line with his responsibilities to represent all Robins fans.
However, after discussions with the rest of the board, a decision was made to implement another pricing strategy.
Murry said: “Shortly after the draw I got in contact with the rest of the board to ask for tickets to be £10 in all areas of the ground.
“Discussions with the rest of the board followed and led to another pricing strategy.
“The club board is democratic and we respect the financial needs of the club and the decision that has been made.
“However, as fan elected director it is my responsibility to campaign for the needs of regular supporters and, as a Trust board we wanted to make our stance public.
“The Trust remains determined to put forward the case for affordable football, while balancing the needs of the club’s finances.”

Grimsby Town notes: Our ambition is to become more representative of our fan base

Thank you to everyone who came to the AGM on Thursday night, wrote Fan Elected Director Murry Toms on behalf of the Robins Trust in our programme notes for the Grimsby Town match on Tuesday

We were pleased with the way it went, outlining our ambitious plans to grow the organisation into something a little more representative of crowds we get here at Whaddon Road.

We spent our summer reorganising the team and talking to as many people as we possibly could about who we are, what we do well and what we don’t. Now the nights are drawing in we need to get on with it and start turning all of that positivity into action, and our annual meeting was a timely opportunity to share our ideas.

Let’s be honest, there aren’t many people that want to give up their Thursday night to attend an evening of formalities but it doesn’t have to be turgid, and we tried to approach it differently this time around. Our monthly get-togethers have been enjoyable so there’s no reason why our AGM shouldn’t be too – we’re football fans after all.

We have a team of skilled and enthusiastic people, each determined to make a difference to the Trust and ultimately the club. Unfortunately Louise Plumb was absent but the remaining 12 new board members were introduced on the night so that everyone is clear on who’s who, and what skills they bring. A few old faces, and plenty of new. And a good range of ages and backgrounds.

We aimed to spread the load between as many of the new faces as possible to break the monotony with a visual presentation of what we’ve been up to over the last 12 months. We heard from Tarran on how we’ve converted a further £10,000 into shares, taking our total investment in the club to £270,630 to remain the fourth largest shareholder.

Membership has risen by 42% since the end of the financial year at the end of May, but we feel that our current tally of 330 supporters is still way short considering the size of the regular crowds we get.

It’s ambitious, but we want 1,000 people to join us. At the moment we don’t even have a thousand followers on Twitter but we’re clear on what we want to do over the next 12 months so we believe we can hit that mark.

In short it’s all about greater representation and the community around the club.

For starters we’re going to give everything a lick of paint, and I stumbled through that bit. The look and feel of what we do has remained the same since 2005 and I don’t think anyone could argue that it isn’t now a bit tired.

We shared five options for the new logo in our programme notes for the Swindon Town game and since then over 42% of the responses in the public vote decided that ‘option A’ would best represent us in the future. Soon we’ll be redesigning all of our bits and pieces.

James Young shared our new ‘RISE’ manta, distilling well over 100 pages of utterly dull rules and regulations into one handy crib sheet so that supporters can be crystal clear on what the Trust does for them. It’s here to Represent, Influence, Serve and Encourage you, but if you head over to our website you’ll need less than two minutes to fully understand our role.

Dave Jennings has been busy on the commercial front with the clear brief of creating real value to the Robins Trust membership card. He acknowledged that there have been issues in the past, but we’re tackling those to make it so simple to join and renew. His conversations with local businesses have been fruitful and in time, we are looking to add a raft of exclusive offers and discounts for all.

Myself and Dave are also meeting with the Community Trust in a few weeks time to explore a way in which we can work with them. And of course, one of our founding principles is a guaranteed cup ticket and that hasn’t changed. Now the FA Cup has come back around, you never know who that might lead in January and beyond.

Have your say on the future of the Robins Trust

A new look, a new board and a new mission for The Robins Trust will be revealed next week.

The new team of board members will outline a clear new message as well as a fresh new look at the Trust’s AGM on Thursday, October 12 (7pm).

Following Clive Gowing’s decision to stand down as Fan Elected Director and the election of Murry Toms as his successor, the Trust has decided to stop and take stock.

A new group of prospective board members has been assembled and they have been speaking to a wide range of people, exploring how the organisation is viewed by everyone at the club. 

Trust FED Murry Toms explained: “Over the past 12 years the Trust’s role and ambitions have changed. 

“Following the landmark investment enabled by Bryan Jacob’s legacy, the Trust’s long-term ambition to have a Fan Elected Director was achieved and now it is time to refocus.

‘The new board has decided to channel efforts into making the Trust more representative of the fanbase and the wider community.

“Our aim is to significantly increase our numbers and reach at least 1,000 members.

“The new board have developed a new plan for the Trust going toward and some significant changes will be outlined at the AGM.”

Play your part in the future

Before the AGM takes place, the new look board are asking all Robins supporters to have their say on a new Trust logo and brand.

There are three ideas for a new logo to choose from, with the most popular becoming the Trust’s new brand.

“We have been working with a local designer – and Whaddon Road regular – to produce a fresh new look,” Toms added.

“We know there’s a lot more work to be done, but we have assembled a talented and committed group of supporters who each have a role to play in moving the Trust forward.

“It has been great for us all to talk to so many people around the club over summer about what they think it means to them, but now’s the time to turn the conversations into action.

“At Thursday’s AGM we hope to share some of those ideas, and encourage more people to take part in the process. 

“This vote is a small but important step to everyone feeling a sense of ownership of what we’re doing as fans for the club.”

Robins Trust AGM – full details

The AGM will be held at the side bar at Whaddon Road on Thursday 12 October, starting at 7pm.

As part or the Agenda there will be a vote on subscription pricing and we will announce our new logo. 

Full details about the AGM here