EFL Whole Game Solution – Update From The Trust

Following on from the open letter to all Robins Trust Members and Supporters of Cheltenham Town the Robins Trust would like to explain their current thoughts with regards The Whole Game Solution.

Many supporters will have read or seen some of the headline behind the recent football league proposals not least the proposal for an additional 8 teams to be included within the football league to form 5 divisions of 20 teams.

We are told by the EFL that the driver behind these proposals are to solve fixture congestion and improve the national team. Whilst every English football fan will agree that the national team needs improving we can’t see what positive impact league two matches will have on the English national team. The Premier League already has a league of 20 and although the Championship has a league of 24 teams none of the most recent England squads included players from the Championship.

The second issue that we are told needs resolving is that of fixture congestion and the clashes with the Champions League. Clashes with Champions League football does have an effect on attendances, however improved planning around midweek fixture should be able to resolve this given the fact that the current league two fixture list currently only has 6 Tuesday night matches scheduled.

The current proposals offer far too much contradiction, the above paragraph is designed to reduce the amount of mid week matches in an order to increase attendances. However the proposals then offers the suggestion to consider the FA Cup becoming a mid week completion whilst keeping the tradition and prestige of the competition and the idea of a winter break.

As supporters of league two clubs we would not be against the idea of a winter break in the Premier League and even the Championship but lets use this to the advantage of league one, league two and the non league pyramid. Lets use a winter break in the top two league in the country to promote football at a lower level and use this as a time to show case football to the thousands of supporters that believe there is not a life outside the premier league.

Finally we lead onto the financial implications of the proposals. Each club in league two will be playing four less home games resulting in a reduction in matchday revenue and the current football league and premier league solidarity payments will now be split over an extra eight teams. How this loss in revenue will be covered is still yet to be explained within the proposals or indeed how the current split between football league or solidarity payments following the new league structure.

Far too many of the current proposals are unknown or contradict themselves. A proposal on how the additional eight teams will be made up has still to be determined (apart from knowing that 2 teams will not be relegated for one season the criteria for the other six has yet to be decided).

The Robins Trust can assure fans that there voice will be heard on these proposals and are planning to use our AGM due by the end of November to discuss these proposals. . It is hoped that by this time more information may be known following a league meeting of all EFL clubs on September 22nd and the Robins Trust are also planning to attend a meeting of all EFL supporters Trusts regarding this subject to be held in October.

If you would like to contact the Robins Trust on this subject or any other matter please feel free to speak to any raffle seller on a match day or email info@robinstrust.org


Clive Gowing, Louise Gowing, Mike Collins, Andy Wiggins, Leo Hoenig, Brian Lancaster, Claire Mitten, Anne Mitten, Tarran Wilson – (Your Trust Directors)



Football League Whole Game Solution Consultation

Open Letter to members of the Robins Trust and supporters of Cheltenham Town FC

Following discussions with both supporters direct and a number of Cheltenham Town supporters, I want to ensure Robins Trust Members and all supporters of Cheltenham Town FC that they will be engaged regarding the recent Whole Game Solution proposals presented by the Football League.

Continue reading Football League Whole Game Solution Consultation

Colin Farmer – A Message Of Condolence

The Robins Trust would like to offer their condolences to the friends and family of Colin Farmer following the sad news of Colin passing away earlier this week. Robins Trust chairman Clive Gowing pays tribute to Colin below.

Many tributes and messages have been written this week since the news of Colin passing was announced and I think the most fitting thing is the amount of different people have spoken out to offer their condolences.

Colin was a fantastic servant to Cheltenham Town FC and every supporter should be thankful for the work he put in over his 29 years on the board at CTFC. The transformation of the football club in that time is a truly remarkable achievement and it is fitting that Colin’s last season at the club was the most enjoyable and important season of his 29 years.

He was a person who didn’t seek the limelight and would just get things done. One of his phrases was “leave it with me” and if he said that you knew that within a couple of weeks the problem would be fixed.

Many of these problems would have been fixed by Colin calling in a favour or two and costing the club nothing apart from maybe a couple of complimentary tickets. The fact he could pull in so many favours over the years proves that he was a man that was truly liked.

Colin was everyone’s friend who had a story for any occasion even if he did tell them more than once! He did however keep it very quiet last season that he had in fact played for Forest Green and it was only in his passing that this was discovered. I am sure he would have taken a good ribbing if that fact had been know during parts of last season!

I have known Colin for a long time but it is only really the last year since I joined the board that myself and my family really got to know Colin well. Although that was not long enough the sadness we all feel of his passing is a real testament of his character and the way he can touch you in such a short time.

Bryan Jacob Cup – Clive Gowing (FED) Programme Notes

The voting forms are now out for the inaugural Bryan Jacob Cup – the new name for the Supporters Player of the Year Award.

As I am sure you are aware, Bryan’s legacy to the club and the supporters is huge. He played a pivotal part in forming the Robins Trust and was our first ever society secretary.

Bryan loved Cheltenham and his club, and was a regular visitor to the training ground during John Ward and Keith Downing’s spells as manager. He was also an ever-present on match days.

When he died in 2012, Bryan left his entire estate to the Robins Trust in his will and as such we have so much to thank him for.

That incredible gift of £200,000 saw the Trust achieve our goal of having a fan elected director, the role that I am honoured to have served in for the past year.

Continue reading Bryan Jacob Cup – Clive Gowing (FED) Programme Notes

Ground Share With Gloucester City – Statement from Clive Gowing (FED)

I am writing in response to the news that the Football Club have agreed an extension to the ground share agreement with Gloucester City, as confirmed by Paul Baker in yesterday’s matchday programme.

As the Fan Elected Director (FED) I feel that I have a responsibility to give you all some more insight into how this decision was reached, and why I voted in favour of extending the ground share.

Continue reading Ground Share With Gloucester City – Statement from Clive Gowing (FED)