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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

Full details of next week’s Robins Trust AGM and relaunch


The Robins Trust will relaunch with a new look and new ambitions next week.

Since the Trust was established in 2005, great successes have been achieved.

More than £250,000 has been invested in Cheltenham Town Football Club, securing Robins fans an elected representative on the club’s board of directors.

Much of this success can be credited to the hard work of a long-standing Trust board, and especially down to the efforts of outgoing Trust chairman Clive Gowing.

With Clive standing down as Chairman and Fan Elected Director, and with the election of Murry Toms as FED, the Trust felt it was time for a fresh new look.

Murry explained: “Since I was elected to serve as FED in April, the Trust has been preparing for a relaunch, aimed at making the next step.

“A decade ago, the idea of having a Fan Elected Director was something of a pipe dream – that all changed when the Trust received the fantastic legacy from our founding secretary Bryan Jacob.

“The role and responsibilities of the Trust changed when we achieved our long-held aim of securing a Fan Elected Director, and now the Trust must change to follow suit.

“At our AGM on October 12, we will outline some exciting changes the Trust will be making with the aim of achieving some ambitious new goals.

“We will be electing a new Trust board and proposing a change to our membership subscriptions that we believe will make the Trust become more representative, and more open than ever before.

“What has been achieved by the hard-working board since inception back in 2005 has been nothing short of remarkable.

“Our aim, now, is to build on that outstanding base and make the Robins Trust better than ever.”

Manager Gary Johnson and Chairman Paul Baker will be joining us for a Q&A afterwards, which will kick-off at 7.45pm.

The evening is open to all supporters of Cheltenham Town, although existing Trust members ONLY are able to vote on each of the items on the agenda.

With only two members of the existing Board standing for re-election, an election to fill the remaining places on the board will be held, with nominations open to all Trust members.

Any existing Trust member willing to stand for election to the Trust Board, must inform the acting chairman by Thursday, September 28 (5pm).

In the event that there are more nominees than available places on the Board (16), details will be published of an election prior to the AGM.

  • The AGM will be held on Thursday, October 12 (7pm) at Cheltenham Town Football Club (main bar).

AGENDA:

1. To receive and approve the accounts for the year ending May 31, 2017

2. Robins Trust 2.0 – Relaunch of the Trust

3. Elections to the Society Board
Because of a number of resignations over the previous year, an entirely new Trust Board will be elected to serve for a two-year period. Nominations to stand for the Trust board must be received by the Trust, within two weeks of the date of the meeting. In the event that applications for the board exceed the maximum number permissible (16) by the Trust’s rules, an election will be held with details published prior to the meeting.

4. Change to Trust membership subscriptions
To approve or reject the following proposal in regards to membership subscriptions: (One member, one vote. Straight majority).

1. OPTION ONE:
In order to make the Trust more accessible and to encourage greater membership numbers, Adult Trust subscriptions will be reduced to £5

a. All memberships to run from June 1 each year, in line with accounting dates,
regardless of date joined.
b. Family subscriptions will be withdrawn
c. All existing year-long memberships will be honoured for the term of the
initial subscription.
d. New members joining, if vote approved, will run until May 31, 2018.

2. OPTION TWO:
Keep the current subscription costs and renewal process

5. Open forum

Exeter City programme notes: Grecians are prime example of what fans can achieve working together



The Robins Trust provides some thoughts for the club’s matchday programme for each home game. These were our notes for the visit of Exeter City on Saturday 26 August, 2016:

The match against West Ham United was a fantastic occasion. It was a beautiful night, with all four sides of the ground packed and the only disappointment was the result.

I’m guessing around 3,000 of the people here that night will not be inside the LCI Rail Stadium this afternoon, which is an eternal source of frustration but make no mistake, those supporters are key to the club growing their regular fanbase over the next few years.

With a little luck those people will have enjoyed the occasion and begin to come back a little more often over the season, and we will warmly welcome them when they do.

Exeter City are League Two’s sole supporter-owned club, and I really admire them. Their Supporters Trust became the majority shareholder in 2003 after they dropped out of the league with the club millions of pounds in debt. The organisation kept the club afloat in tumultuous times and that’s something, thankfully, we have never had to face here in Cheltenham.

They have handed over the best part of £2million in that time through fundraising initiatives, including the ‘Red or Dead’ scheme to begin to clear the debts in which supporters chipped in with £500 a time to raise almost £150,000. The subsequent 1931 Fund, Pitch in for City and Light Up The Park campaigns have added a further quarter of a million to the club’s coffers which is, quite frankly, a staggering achievement.

My career has taught me that when people work together, amazing things can happen and I’m trying to bring a bit of that to Whaddon Road. The Grecians are a prime example of what can done when everyone gets together, and I applaud them. I think we should take inspiration from it.

It’s vital for the club to have a robust Trust, ‘just in case’. Effective fan mobilisation at the likes of AFC Wimbledon, FC United of Manchester and Exeter City is borne out of a crisis and we’re so fortunate to have swerved one our own but that leaves us here with a bit of an identity crisis.

That sense of ownership is key to greater levels of engagement at every level across the club and we should aspire to that in some form. Remember as a Trust we’re the fourth largest shareholder having invested around £240,000 of our own but our level of fan involvement is nowhere near theirs. Why don’t we buy the club one day? We’ve seen in recent campaigns the impact that supporters can make.

Having that level of financial and emotional investment brings an added responsibility of care for the club, and a greater community around it all. Everyone becomes an ambassador and plays a part in its success, on and off the pitch.

We’ll be announcing plans to drive recruitment at our AGM on October 12, when we hope to share our plans for the next 12 months. We want to treble our membership to become more representative of the wider community. If you’re not a member already, we urge you to sign up. You’ll find us in the bar, where we’ll talk all day long about what we want to do. Come and say hello and get involved.

Murry Toms
Fan Elected Director

Open Day 2017: No dramas! Robins Trust to launch Aaron Downes Legend T-shirt


He was the first player to sign up to Gary Johnson’s Robins revolution and led us to National League title glory – now Aaron Downes is to star on a T-shirt.

Cheltenham’s number one Aussie has been a massive fan favourite during his time with the Robins due to his fine on-field performance and, perhaps more tellingly, his leadership and character off it.

In the famous green and gold colours of Australia, the shirt shows Downesy with the National League trophy with the man himself explaining the reason behind the “No dramas” slogan.

“I suppose it’s a fairly typical Aussie phrase and it’s certainly one I say a lot,” Downes said.

“Unlike a lot of what Harry Pell says, it makes perfect sense!”

“I am honoured that the Trust have chosen to do this. It’s a massive thing for me that the fans think of me in that way.

“I have always appreciated the fans at every club I’ve played for and I am pleased to say they have always seemed to take to me.

“That kind of relationship with the supporters has always meant more to me than going to the next club for a few extra quid.

“I have always wanted to be that loyal bloke who is appreciated by the fans and I am thrilled that, they’ve chosen me for this shirt.

“That day when we picked up the National League title was one of the best moments of my career. I still get a shiver down my spine when I see the pictures now.

“And now to have the moment captured in the green and gold of Australia is perfect.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since inception in 2005 the Trust has produced a number of legend shirts to commemorate the great players and cult heroes to have represented the Robins.

There are plans to release a number of new designs over the course of the next season, but acting chairman Tarran Wilson and the Trust board felt that captain Downes should be the first.

Tarran said: “When we spoke at a Trust meeting we all agreed that Downesy would make the perfect design for the second phase of Trust shirts.

“He was the first man to sign up to the new era, was captain of our National League title winners and has become a massive fan favourite.

“We are hoping to launch new designs throughout the season, honouring special players and special moments, so watch this space.”

The Aaron Downes NO DRAMAS T-shirts cost £14 or £12 for Trust members and will be on sale at the Robins Trust run Cheltenham Town Open Day on Sunday.

There is an initial limited edition run of shirts for sale in a variety of sizes, but the Trust will be taking orders and producing another run to satisfy demand.

The Trust are also running a prize draw for a signed Neil Grayson legend shirt – to be in with a chance of winning it, visit the Trust stand at the Open Day.

For more information about the Robins Trust Cheltenham Town Open Day visit www.robinstrust.org and www.ctfc.com

The Robins Trust Cheltenham Town Open Day

WHERE: Seasons, Quat Goose Lane, Swindon Village, GL51 9RX.
WHEN: Sunday, July 16 2017 from midday. Doors open 11.30am.
COST: FREE

Running order:

12pm: First team get to work for their daily training session
12.30pm: The Cup-winning Cheltenham Town Ladies host an open training session
1pm: Watch the Robins v the Robins as the squad go head-to-head in 7v7 action.
1.30pm: Launch of the 2017/18 change kit
2.15pm: Meet Gary Johnson and the players
2.30pm: Robins fans v Legends

Open Day 2017: Bring your boots, girls!

Cheltenham Town’s Ladies team will take centre stage at the Robins Trust run club Open Day on Sunday, July 16.

The 2016/17 GFA Women’s Trophy winners will be holding an interactive training session – and girls of all ages are invited to bring their boots and get involved.

Open Day 2017 will kick-off at midday, when Gary Johnson and his first team squad report for work on a busy day of pre-season training, but attention will soon shift from the men to the ladies.

From 12.30pm manager Graham Fletcher and the Ladies team will be running a training session for girls of all ages.

Fletcher said that the idea of getting his squad involved was that of the Trust’s Fan Elected Director Murry Toms.

Cheltenham Town Ladies boss Graham Fletcher

“Murry has been key in getting us there on the day and we are delighted to be involved,” he said.

“We have a session planned with the girls that will include something that we call the Cheltenham Game followed by a number of interactive games for people to get involved with, so bring your boots.”

The interactive session is perfectly planned as it kicks off Girls Football Week, a Football Association run scheme aimed at improving female participation in football at all levels.

Fletcher is even hopeful that some new talent will show themselves at the Open Day and add to a burgeoning number of players who put on the red and white shirt and represent Cheltenham Town.

“This is perfectly timed for us as it comes at the start of Girls Football Week and at a time when Cheltenham Town Ladies are going from strength to strength,” Fletcher added.

“In the past few months we have merged with Cheltenham Spa Youth and we now have a pathway of players from under-8 level through to the first team.

“At our first training session earlier this week we had 48 girls involved and that shows the strength in depth we have as a club.

“We have also been lucky enough to have Baroness Sue Campbell, head of women’s football at the FA come along and see the great work we are doing.

“And with the women’s team playing two games at Whaddon Road this coming season, it’s a really exciting time to be involved with Cheltenham Town Ladies.”

The Ladies team have also been included in a special event to launch the club’s new change strip, with the full details revealed – like the new kit – at the Open Day.

Open Day 2017: Download the poster

Trust FED Murry Toms is thrilled to see the Ladies team play a full part in the Open Day.

“While there is no official link between the two clubs the Trust board and I felt that it was vital to have a good, strong bond,” he said.

“I have a young daughter and when she grows up I want her to be able to have a chance to wear the red and white stripes and call herself a Cheltenham Town player.

“I am sure that is the case for hundreds of parents across the town and Gloucestershire. Hopefully the Open Day will showcase the great work down by Graham and his fantastic team of footballers.

“Like Gary Johnson and his team, the Ladies represent our town and the Trust are thrilled they can be involved at the Open Day.”

The Open Day will also feature the launch of the new 2017/18 change kit and the Fans v Legends match that was one of the rewards for the Crowdfunder Scoreboard campaign.

For more information about the Robins Trust Cheltenham Town Open Day visit www.robinstrust.org and www.ctfc.com

The Robins Trust Cheltenham Town Open Day

WHERE: Seasons, Quat Goose Lane, Swindon Village, GL51 9RX.
WHEN: Sunday, July 16 2017 from midday. Doors open 11.30am.
COST: FREE

Running order:

12pm: First team get to work for their daily training session
12.30pm: The Cup-winning Cheltenham Town Ladies host an open training session
1pm: Watch the Robins v the Robins as the squad go head-to-head in 7v7 action.
1.30pm: Launch of the 2017/18 change kit
2.15pm: Meet Gary Johnson and the players
2.30pm: Robins fans v Legends