All posts by Robins Trust

It’s time to vote for the Supporters Player of the Year

As we enter the final month of the season, attention turns to who will be our player of the season.

At Cheltenham Town the award for Supporters Player of the Year has a special resonance and importance for the Robins Trust.

Later today (Saturday, April 6), the forms will be out and the Trust, working alongside the Football Club, will be asking for your pick to be the fourth winner of the Bryan Jacob Cup.

From the National League title winning season onwards, an agreement was struck with the Club to name the supporters’ award in Bryan’s memory.

And if you’ll forgive us going over old ground, with every year that passes it becomes more and more important to remember Bryan and his outstanding legacy to the club – and more importantly, the club’s supporters.

When the first meetings were held back in 2004 over the possibility of turning the Cheltenham Town Independent Supporters Association into a Trust, Bryan was there.

I was the Trust’s founding chairman and Bryan was the Trust’s founding secretary. Be left in no doubt, however, that he was the brains and the braun behind the organisation from day one.

Bryan was the man who sourced our first share certificates, paid for our first batch of membership pin badges and sourced a dodgy copy of a database programme for us to do our record-keeping on.

In the eight or so years that followed the Trust’s formal inception in 2005, Bryan was at the centre of everything we did, he was the workhorse of the Trust.

Along with fellow board member Leo Hoenig, He and I attended numerous Supporters Direct annual conferences in London.

It was travelling to and from London for these that I got to know Bryan the man as well as I knew Bryan the Trust secretary.

From his life in the forces in Asia to settling in Gotherington, to our shared passion for travelling to Australia we spoke about many, many things.

He never did tell me that the Trust were to be the sole beneficiary of his will, however.

So it was something of a surprise when after his death in 2013, the Trust received notification from a solicitor that we were to receive his inheritance.

It was that incredible gesture that led to the Trust investing £200,000 in Cheltenham Town in 2015, securing a Fan Elected Director and ensuring that supporters were represented at the club’s top table.

I have always used the mantra that Bryan didn’t leave the money to the club, he left it to the supporters of the club – and I will remember that more than ever when the Cup that bears his name is handed to this season’s deserved winner.

The winner will follow Danny Wright, Billy Waters and Mo Eisa in having their name engraved on the base of the trophy, but their inscription always plays second fiddle on that Cup to Bryan and his amazing legacy.

So, when the forms go out, or the tweet directs you to place your vote. Do so, not only to reward this year’s best performer, but to thank and recognise Bryan Jacob and his legacy given to the supporters of our Football Club.

James Young, Robins Trust chair

Submit your Questions to the Club for the upcoming Fans Forum

This week, the Football Club are holding their annual shareholders meeting and fans forum and the Trust will be in attendance.

Through the Trust, the fans are the fourth largest shareholder in Cheltenham Town and we always want to ensure views of the average fan are heard by the board.

We have our Fan Elected Director as a conduit to that happening every day, but events like the shareholders meeting offer another chance for Trust members to have their say.

All attendees are welcome to ask questions, however questions from shareholders will be invited first, and all Trust members are shareholders in our Club.

So, Trust chairman James Young will be attending the meeting as the Trust’s formal representative and will ask any questions put forward by Trust members.

Only questions put forward by existing, full Trust members can be asked. But please use this chance to air any praise, questions or criticism you may have, so we can help build a better club.

Robins Trust invest further in the long term success of Cheltenham Town

A new £8,000 investment has strengthened the Robins Trust’s stake in Cheltenham Town Football Club.

The latest investment means the Trust now holds close to 190,000 shares and holds the fourth largest stake in the club.

It now means that over the past 14 years £284,644 has been invested in the club on behalf of the supporters.

Robins Trust Fan Elected Director Dave Beesley said that the current investment came after a request from the club at a board meeting.

“After receiving the request from the club, we had a discussion among the Trust board about whether the Trust was able to invest,” he said.

“We have a duty in our constitution to maintain prudent reserves – a rainy day fund if you will – but the unanimous feeling of the board was that to make an £8,000 investment.

“This investment was made possible by the fantastic support of our members and match day draw punters.

“The Trust would love to continue making investments like this as part of its commitment to the long term success of the club.

“The more members, and participants in our various events and the match day draw, the bigger our future investments can be.”

While in the past the Trust have earmarked special projects for investment or invested on the proviso that money is spent on certain things, this policy will change.

After receiving advice from Supporters Direct – the umbrella organisation for Supporters Trusts – the Trust will write to the club to outline a change in policy.

Trust chairman James Young explained: “Dave and I were tasked by the Trust board to speak with Supporters Direct and ask their advice on the best way for the Trust to operate.

“After those discussions and advice from Supporters Direct a proposal was made to the Trust board to make a change.

“Supporters Direct have advised us to have a more formal relationship with the Club and the only proviso on this investment is that we hold meetings to explore that new relationship.

“We want to be a friend and supporter of the Club, but we are also duty-bound to represent our members and all Robins fans’ interests, to be a critical friend.

“I have written to the club explaining this proposed new relationship and look forward to meeting with them soon.”