Meet and greet the Canaries Trust Board

Want to find out more about the Canaries Trust?

Come and meet us, say hello and find out more about the Trust.

We're holding our latest "meet and greet" this Saturday, from 13.00, before the Bristol City game.

We'll be in Carrow Road, just behind the Barclay Stand and we look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

OTBC


More shares for the Canaries Trust!

On top of last month's acquisition of 504 shares in Norwich City FC, the Trust has successfully acquired a further 40 Ordinary shares on behalf of the fans.

The Canaries Trust has now purchased a total of 2,124 Ordinary Shares in Norwich City Football Club.

Onward and upwards!


Fifteen years and still going strong

15 years ago, this month, the Trust was preparing for it's launch at Norwich Castle. Here is a potted history.

CANARIES TRUST - 15 YEARS AND GOING STRONG

NORWICH CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST

In 2001 the owners of Norwich City Football Club, Delia Smith and Michael Wynne-Jones asked an FSA representative, a member of the Shareholders Association and myself to attend the inaugural Supporters Direct Conference at Birkbeck College.

Within a month SD chaired a meeting of a variety of NCFC fans groups where it was agreed to try and establish a Supporters Trust at Norwich City and later that month, at the invitation of the Club, a presentation was made to the NCFC AGM which received popular support from the NCFC Board and the shareholders present. This was followed by an open meeting, post-match, at Carrow Rd to hear a presentation from SD and the NCFC Chairman. There was a degree of scepticism from many fans present but enough were in favour of setting up Trust The following January it was agreed to launch the Trust formally with an open-meeting in July.

In the summer, needing to raise funds, the Club announced a share issue and asked the Trust if it would delay the launch to maximise the uptake on the shares before the Trust got involved in fan share purchase. In return, they offered the Trust the opportunity to hold the meeting at Norwich Castle adjacent to the NCFC Centenary Exhibition and most importantly the ability to continue to purchase Ordinary shares at any time and to fund raise at Club events.

Prior this open-meeting a fan loaned the new Trust £500 to make its first share purchase and we were under way but it wasn’t all “plain sailing”.

Within a couple of years there were complaints from some NCFC supporter groups centred mainly on different Trust initiatives. The Club called a meeting, under an independent Chairman, of the nine major supporters clubs, to discuss their objections at the how the Trust was operating and to allow the Trust to respond. The Trust had to explain the difference between itself as a formalised democratic Industrial and Provident Society and the other groups but the mistrust lingered.

A_LA_NANTAISE

As a celebration of the first ten years of the Trust, Supporters Direct helped the Trust arrange the first informal “twinning” with an overseas fans group, “A la nantaise”, the first democratic fans group of FC Nantes, a Ligue Un team which has the same colours and same nickname as Norwich City .

To formalize the partnership, we signed a common text expressing our common vision of football, our belief in community ownership and good governance in football.

SHARES

Over the years the Trust has continued to use its funds from subscriptions and events to purchase shares from the Club on behalf of fans but in 2011 the club increased the price of an Ordinary share from £30 to £100. Two years later the Trust was informed that the Club would no longer make ordinary shares available to the Trust but suggested that it might like to purchase shares from individuals seeking to sell their shares back to the Club.

The Trust Board had negotiations with the Chief Executive to explain the Trust’s constitutional position regarding subscriptions and share purchase. The outcome was the Trust could continue submitting future applications in £2000 blocks but with the caveat that each application would now require the agreement of the NCFC Board of Directors.

To retain access to NCFC shares the Trust agreed to assist the Club with the numerous enquiries from individuals regarding share sales and purchases by allowing the Club to re-direct individuals to the Trust website. The site would hold a list of those individuals seeking to buy or sell shares and the Club would deal with all the legalities of any share transfers.

The new price of shares duly led the Trust to change its policy to include share purchase from those individuals wishing to sell shares on the website and the Trust has now made “The Fans” the 14th largest shareholder in Norwich City Football Club

CANARIES TRUST.

In 2015 to coincide with a new Chairman and a closer relationship with the Football Supporters Federation, the Trust AGM agreed to renaming the Norwich City Supporters Trust the Canaries Trust and undertake a change in profile and presence with co-opting representatives from Forces2Canaries, Proud Canaries and BarclayEndNorwich .


Steve Stone at the Trust's August Board meeting

At our August board meeting we were delighted to be joined by Steve Stone and Joe Ferrari and were able to discuss a wide range of issues with them. What follows is a synopsis of the main points.

THE TRUST ASKED HOW CLOSE STEVE FELT WE WERE TO WHERE WE EXPECTED TO BE AT THE CLOSE OF THE TRANSFER WINDOW.
Steve Stone (SS): The position changed after the Millwall game - there were some frank discussions and it was agreed that the team needed an experienced Championship centre back, but Club had very little funding left to do the deal. If NCFC stay in the Championship players on large wages will have to go - but the Newcastle deal for Grant Hanley was agreed because of the player’s age and would not have been an option if he was 30. The Club, based on past experiences, are wary of last day panic buying.

THE TRUST ASKED ABOUT THE SUSTAINABILITY OF NCFC
SS: This is one of the advantages of a young squad which will have significant value if players need to be sold next summer. At present there is no facility with Barclays Bank but an overdraft facility was secured against parachute payments. It is important that fans understand that money coming into the Club is not disappearing, but is all being used. For example, between £4M and £5M has been used on settlements for departing staff.

TRUST: WE UNDERSTAND THAT 12 CHAMPIONSHIP CLUBS HAVE MADE RECIPROCAL TICKETING ARRANGEMENTS. WHAT’S NCFC’S STANCE ON THIS?
SS: The Club have not given the issue any recent consideration for the long-argued reason that the Club can sell out whatever the size of the visiting allocation.

CURRENT GROUND DEVELOPMENT PLANS
SS: There are no plans to consider expansion until such time as the Club have proved capable of long term PL football. The “old” cantilever plan for building a tier immediately above the City Stand had no facility for “Corporate Accommodation” and therefore new plans (£30M-£40M) would need to be considered.

THE TRUST NOTED THAT AWAY FANS AT FULHAM WHO BOUGHT TICKETS IN THE NEUTRAL SECTION DID NOT RECEIVE POINTS. IS THERE ARE WAY AROUND THIS?
SS: There had been historical “problems” with Fulham regarding ticketing allowance for a recent match at Carrow Rd. and Fulham had responded by restricting the away allocation for City’s visit on the first day of the Season. The Club would investigate if there was any way the information on City supporters in the Neutral Section could be gathered and applied to their points accrual.

ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE STATUS FOR CARROW ROAD
The Trust explained their continued interest in this and described their previous discussions with David McNally who had a negative attitude to the idea.
SS explained his background in the Licensing Trade had made him familiar with the concept as many Pubs had taken this route and he was aware that Clubs the size of Liverpool and Man Utd had taken this route. He suggested we re-submit our request.

SAFE STANDING
SS said following a recent change of heart among clubs, including Liverpool, regarding Safe Standing he has been looking at the “rules” and the “art of the possible” including the cost of conversion to one to one ratio and to ticket pricing. He recognises that some displacement of ST holders might be difficult but in terms of atmosphere he thinks it could be a good thing.

THE TRUST QUERIED WHAT IS HAPPENING TO FANS GROUP MEETINGS FOLLOWING THE DEPARTURE OF ED GUICHARD.
SS noted that as EG has moved on, the next meeting will be with Joe Ferrari and Gemma Gifford. SS was most impressed with the Barclay End Norwich’s work with the Club and with the organised “March to the Ground” and the improvement in atmosphere. Outstanding issues regarding banners and flag poles will hopefully cleared at next Mondays meeting. There have been changes in the marketing department and the communications team will be dealing with fan engagement moving forward.

SUPPORTER LIAISON OFFICER
SS confirmed that Stephen Graham was still the Clubs SLO although his main responsibility remains ticketing. SS said that he was aware of differing SLO responsibilities between Clubs and was willing to re-assess the role of the NCFC SLO.

SECURITY POLICY ON BAGS
Trust asked if there was a format for bag searches.
SS: There is no formal ratio for bag searches and the new Security Staff have the flexibility to balance length of queues to number of bags searched on the basis that a queue can become a target as much as a stadium.
In response to some fan queries regarding long-distance fans arriving with overnight bags SS felt there should be no need to bring them to the ground.

CANARIES FOR EQUALITY
SS: In response to the escalation of the campaign, Gemma Gifford will be in touch with Proud Canaries regarding a piece being written by one of their members. The Club had recently dealt firmly with fan abuse issues and were happy to keep the reporting of homophobic, racist and disability chanting under review. John Leggett, Head of Safety and Operations Team will communicate with Di Cunningham.

SHARE PURCHASES
The Trust Chairman asked what would be the Club’s attitude to a more “aggressive” approach by the Trust to purchase shares.
SS: The Club would have no problem. The Club was impressed by the Trust’s recent share purchases. In response to a question regarding the increasing delay between the Club Solicitor agreeing the paperwork, and hence payment to the vendor, and the production of a new share certificate, SS said that all share transfers have to go to NCFC Board meetings and he will look into the current delays.

SPONSORSHIP OF UN-SPONSORED YOUNGER PLAYERS
The Trust proposed that, rather than have a number of players un-sponsored after a couple of months of the season, they could be nominally sponsored by the different fan groups.
SS: The proposal is a novel one and could be adopted if groups were willing to pay a small fee that could go to CSF. It will be considered.

INTER-FAN GROUP 6-A-SIDE TOURNAMENT
The Trust asked if this was something the Club could support as they had done so in the past. It could be held at Carrow Park and a trophy awarded to the winners.
Joe Ferrari (JF): The idea could be linked to the Visiting Fans weekend and could also be used as a CSF fundraiser.

TRUST STAND AT BRISTOL CITY GAME
SS confirmed that this could go ahead at the back of the Barclay Stand and include the co-opted fan groups and their banners etc.

CHRISTMAS FOODBANKS COLLECTION
The Trust explained that it would like to follow the lead of other fan groups and organise a collection at pre-Christmas games in conjunction with one of the local organisations.
SS accepted the idea in principle that collecting at an event where 22000 + people gather was a good idea, but the Club could not be involved with handling procedures. SS suggested the Trust discussed it with one of the local Foodbanks and then get back to the Club.

PRE-SEASON TICKETING ARRANGEMENT
Nev Townsend said feedback from fans who had travelled to Germany were disappointed by the lack of publicity and information about ticketing and local facilities.
JF: The Club always provides information for fans travelling to away matches in the League and Cup, but the fluidity involved in overseas pre-season matches would make it difficult to provide the same information. The Club has to be mindful it could be culpable if bad information is given out.


Show your support for the Canaries Trust!

A new supply of Canaries Trust car stickers is now available. Get yours by emailing the website or sending a direct message to Trust chairman Robin Sainty. Help us promote shareholding by the fans, for the fans!

New shares for the Canaries Trust!

The Canaries Trust is delighted to announce that, on behalf of the supporters of Norwich City Football Club, we have just acquired a significant tranche of shares.

The purchase of 504 Ordinary shares and 1 Preference B share means that the fans are now the 14th largest shareholder in the Club. It is the culmination of almost 15 months of research and negotiation by the Trust board to get the deal over the line - it also coincides with the 15th anniversary of the Trust's formation in September 2002!

There is even more good news, because more purchases are on the cards if we can raise sufficient funds. So if you're not already a member - or you know others who aren't - then please join us now!


The Canary Challenge is up and running!

Are you part of the Canary Challenge? Like Daniel Farke's team, it's up and running. Check the Week 1 standings via the Canary Challenge tab above!

New Board members

With our expanding membership and activity, we recently invited applications to join the Canaries Trust board. In particular, we were looking for skills to make our social media presence more dynamic and relevant to younger fans. We couldn't have asked for a better response! Three new members attended the Board meeting last Wednesday and we're now delighted to formally welcome James Mingay, Elliot King and Chris Newby to the team. Those who follow us on social media will have already seen their impact!

Canaries Trust at the Royal Norfolk Show

The Royal Norfolk Show is always a worrying time for the Trust because it involves two days of hard work and those board members still working have to use up holiday entitlements to make themselves available to run the Trust stand.

However, it’s also one of our main fundraising opportunities and so when the first day of the Show dawned with apocalyptic levels of rainfall we feared the worst but by Thursday night we were delighted with the overall result as our two main competitions, the ever-popular roll-a-ball and the pick a square game to win a signed shirt, were highly subscribed. Not only that, but we picked up some new members and saw the first entries for this year’s Canary Challenge (about which you will find more information elsewhere on this site) being completed.

This has gone some way towards replenishing the coffers which have been drained by a number of share purchases in recent months and, as ever, everything that has been raised will go towards purchasing more Norwich City shares to be held in trust for you, the fans. However, we need to keep our cash flow positive, so if you can help by signing up for our 100 Club or the Canary Challenge or simply persuading your mates to join us (for just £12 pa) then please do so!


Canary Challenge up and running!

The fixture list is out, the new season will be here before we know it and that can only mean one thing: Canary Challenge time is here again!

The competition has become something of an institution in its various formats over the years. It’s a bit of fun that lasts all season, but nevertheless sets up fierce rivalries between groups of friends and work colleagues. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, every penny raised will go towards purchasing shares in the football club on behalf of you the fans so that we can have a say in the future of our football club.

If you have played before, welcome back. If you haven’t, it’s super easy. All you have to do is predict how you think the top six and the bottom three will pan out in the coming SkyBet Championship. For every week one of your selections is in the correct position, you will score points which will accumulate throughout the season. The winner will pick up a cheque for £250. Second prize will be £100 and there is a prize of £50 for the entry finishing third.
We will publish a league table showing how everyone is doing every week on here and also on social media.

For more details on how to enter and to see the rules of the competition click on the ‘Canary Challenge’ tab.


Congratulations to Delia!

We're delighted to congratulate Delia on her appointment to the Order of the Companions of Honour. It's a rare and prestigious honour, well deserved for the inspiration to cook that's she given to millions (including some of us!)

And she's one of our own...


Opportunity to join the Trust Board

With the increased level of interest and activity around the Canaries Trust, we are looking to add two new members to the Trust Board.

We are looking for people of energy and ideas. They should be comfortable with computers, happy to attend monthly meetings at Carrow Road, and ready to put their stamp on the organisation as it develops. If you might be interested, please contact the chairman: robin.sainty@hotmail.co.uk

Exciting times for Norwich City, and for the Trust!


More winners!

A big thank you to everyone who entered the Canaries Trust FA Cup competition. Almost 250 entries!

Congratulations to our three winners: Andrea Buckingham, Jonny Whittaker and Nigel Page.


We have Winners!

Latest winners in the different Trust competitions:

Canary Challenge

First place: Paul Ruddock ("Diss Canary")
Second place: Tracy Muszalic
Third place: Gary Field
Fourth place: Marc Bicker
Fifth place: Gary Jones

An honourable mention to Matt Howes, whose team is living up to its title "Uncomfortably mid-table"...

100 Club winners

The first winners of the new 100 Club competition:

1st prize (£56): Robin Sainty. Robin has donated his prize back to the Trust.
2nd prize (£24): James Harrison of Easton

See information elsewhere on this site join the 100 Club. The more participants, the bigger the prizes!


Welcome to Daniel Farke

The Canaries Trust warmly welcomes Daniel Farke to Norwich as our new Head Coach.

The Board has acted boldly with the creation of a new structure, the appointment of Stuart Webber and now of City's first non-British manager/Head Coach. Like Stuart, Daniel clearly brings energy, dynamism and purpose to the job. He is highly regarded at Dortmund; unlike most of the rumoured candidates for the job, he is also familiar with the workings of our kind of structure. His chemistry with Stuart Webber is plain to see.

Daniel's commitment to a positive and brave style of football will be music to the ears of City fans. Last season revealed clearly the challenges at Norwich; it won't be easy to revitalise the team, and it won't all be plain sailing. But these appointments, culminating with Daniel's, give Norwich fans something to be excited about. OTBC.


New competition - welcome to The 100 Club!

The Canaries Trust is proud to launch a new competition, for Canaries Trust members and non-members alike.

We are dedicated to increasing the shareholding held in trust for Norwich City fans, and we hope to be announcing a major new development soon. But this means we need to boost the Trust's funds for further share purchasing. We are therefore launching a major new monthly competition, easy to enter, which will increase our resources while giving everyone a chance to win cash prizes.

If you click on the new "100 Club" tab, you'll find all the details and be able to download a form to fill in and enter the competition. Entry is open to all, not just Trust members, so don't forget to tell your friends. The more people who join, the bigger the monthly prizes!


Supporter Group Meeting with the Club, 8 April

Yesterday, the Canaries Trust was one of several Groups invited by the Football Club to its latest Supporters Group event, which formed one part of the Club's Global Canaries Day. Other groups present included Proud Canaries, Barclay End Norwich, Capital Canaries, Northern Canaries and Norwich City Fans Social Club.

Newly appointed Managing Director, Steve Stone, main Board director Tom Smith, plus six other Club officials hosted the meeting.

Steve gave a brief presentation, which reflected upon the events of the past year, plus, more importantly, the new vision for the future.

The departure of two CEOs, poor player recruitment (over several transfer windows) and underperformance on the pitch, combined with an acknowledgment of poor fan engagement, were recognised to have dented confidence in the Board.

In addressing those issues, the Board’s thinking has focussed on putting expertise in the right places and on balancing the short term and the medium-long term. Critically, the traditional football manager role is all too often focused on just the short term - unsurprising, given that it's a results-based business - at the expense of medium to long term interests of the Club. Hence, the ultimate decision to go down the two tier, Sporting Director - Head Coach route.

As with any structure, of course, its success will be hugely dependent on getting the right combination in place.

An open question and answer session followed - Steve Stone, Tom Smith and Joe Ferrari all contributed to answering the numerous questions from the floor.

A few key points to emerge:

Although helpful, success on the pitch isn't wholly dependent on how much cash you have. It’s how you actually spend it that's critical, Huddersfield being a prime example of doing it right this season with a fraction of the budget of the three relegated clubs.

Squad balance, in terms of age profile, needs to be improved - the Club has major work to do in this area, which will probably take more than one transfer window.

Player development is key and making better use of the loan system for youngsters to bridge the gap between Under 23's and the first team needs to be reviewed.

Though not technically directors of the Club, Steve Stone and Stuart Webber will attend all Board meetings.

All possible efforts will be made to secure promotion next season, the last in which we’ll benefit from parachute payments. Plans are in place to deal with the shortfall if we do not gain promotion, though. Bringing through our own players will be key to maintaining a strong squad.

All questions were answered openly, and it was stressed that wider and more frequent fan engagement is high on the Club’s agenda.

PS It’s too soon to talk about the identity of the new Head Coach, but the intention is to appoint him as soon as possible at the end of the season. And the Club will make every effort to keep Mitchell Dijks!


Welcome to Norwich City's new Sporting Director

A warm welcome to Norwich City's new - and first - Sporting Director, Stuart Webber.

Stuart joins with a pedigree of success, not least in the role he's just left at Huddersfield. While our Club has huge strengths, not least a great fan base, recruitment has clearly been an area of failing in recent times. Stuart has proved himself adept at it, and we're delighted to see he will now lead all aspects of the Club's recruitment strategy.

Next priority is the Head Coach appointment, in which Stuart will play a major part. Like all City fans, the Trust is anxious to see the position filled as quickly as possible. Above all, though, getting the right man is key. We believe we're on the right path with Stuart as Sporting Director, and we look forward to further changes to revitalise our Club.


Trust competitions - update

It's very close at the top of the Canary Challenge!

Meanwhile, watch this space for the announcement of an exciting new competition starting in May.


Trust statement on New Structure

The Canaries Trust welcomes the new management structure announced today by the NCFC Board.

Structure matters, and needs to be altered over time. The Trust applauds the Board for acknowledging the necessity of change, and creating a new structure which looks fit for purpose.

Clearly, the choices of Sporting Director and Head Coach will be crucial; like all fans, we await those appointments with keen interest. In the meantime, we congratulate Steve Stone on his appointment and wish him every success in the role of Managing Director.

These changes deserve our support, as does the club's reiteration of its desire to strengthen engagement with supporters.


Trust statement on Alex Neil

The Canaries Trust wishes to express its appreciation for the Board's decisive and - in our view - correct action in parting company with Alex Neil. We recognise it was not an easy step to take.

We would like to put on record our gratitude for Alex Neil's work and contribution to our football club, including giving us the never-to-be-forgotten memories of the playoff final and promotion in 2015. We wish him every success in future.

Our fervent hope is that, with this step behind us, everyone can unite to drive the Club forward.


Trust AGM report

The Trust AGM was held last Thursday at Carrow Road. The Chairman reported a highly successful year in terms of share purchase and new memberships and stressed the need for the fans to have as large a shareholding as possible while confirming again that the Trust has no desire whatsoever to try to get a supporter onto the Club Board.

The Treasurer reported that the Trust had seen an increased income but also increased outgoings as a result of the purchase of nearly 300 ordinary shares and 1000 "A" Preference shares in the course of 2016. All Board members and officers offered themselves for re-election and this was carried unanimously.

The formal AGM was followed by a debate led by Rob Butler and Chris Goreham of Radio Norfolk who entertained the audience with their views on the season and anecdotes about their experiences. The Chairman stressed to members that it was important that they let the Trust know the issues that they wanted raised with the Club and a number of points were raised about improving the atmosphere at games and the interview given to the Times by the owners last year. Inevitably there were also many points raised about the performance of the squad and the manager over the last year, as well as the former Chief Executive.

The Trust board were delighted that the meeting was attended by Club director Tom Smith who noted a variety of issues that he will discuss with the Club Board and was very happy to chat with fans after the meeting.



"State of the Canary Nation" debate

With the club hopefully emerging from a difficult few months both on and off the pitch we hope that as many people as possible will attend our AGM debate with Canary broadcasting icons Chris Goreham and Rob Butler on Thursday 16th in the Norfolk Lounge at Carrow Road. The formal AGM will start at 7.15 with the debate kicking off around 7.45. Everyone is welcome to both elements although only members can vote at the AGM.

The title of the debate is “ The State of the Canary Nation” and embraces where we are now, where we want to be in the future and realistic ways in which we can get there.

If you’ve got a view on City’s future then please come along and share it with us because we are here to represent the views of our members.


Canaries Trust statement on CEO departure

While the board of the Canaries Trust welcome the departure of Jez Moxey, a person whose approach and policies have, in our opinion, contributed significantly to the rift between fans and the football club we are also concerned that once again the club finds itself without a Chief Executive at a critical period.

We have just experienced a period where the club appeared to be drifting without clear direction and we hope that the board will now be able to find ways to re-engage with the fans and to appoint a new Chief Executive who can drive the club forward.

This has not been a good year for the club or its fans and we trust that this incident will mark the turning of a corner.


TRUST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

This is the calling notice for our up-coming AGM and open debate.

Canaries Trust
(Trading name of Norwich City Supporters Society Ltd)

Annual General Meeting
in The Norfolk Lounge, Barclay Stand, Norwich City FC
Carrow Road
Thursday 16th February 2017
6.45pm for 7.15pm

Agenda
1. Apologies
2. Minutes of AGM held on 25th February 2016
3. Annual Report
4. Financial position of Trust
5. Appointments of Auditors
6. Elections
7. Any Other Business

The AGM will be followed at 7.45pm by a free open meeting for the Trust’s 15th Anniversary debate on

STATE OF THE “CANARY NATION”
with
Chris Goreham & Rob Butler

All City fans are welcome to attend but only current members may vote at the AGM


CONSULTATION WITH FAN GROUPS

CONSULTATION WITH FAN GROUPS 11/01/2017

The Trust have thanked Jez Moxey for a very constructive meeting last night. Especially the Club’s plans for supporter engagement, as long as there is recognition that there may be sound procedural reasons for interacting directly with different groups on odd occasions. Overall the plans sound very attractive and will, we believe greatly improve the club’s rapport with fans.

What follows is the Club’s resume of the meeting:-

Norwich City were pleased to hold their latest consultation meeting with a number of supporter groups at Carrow Road on Wednesday evening.

Representatives from Barclay End Norwich, Canaries Trust, Capital Canaries, Forces2Canaries, Hong Kong Canaries, Norwich City Disabled Supporters Association, Norwich City Fans Social Club and Proud Canaries were in attendance.

Several Club matters were debated with representatives of the Club - Jez Moxey (Chief Executive), Ricky Martin (Technical Director), Joe Ferrari (Head of Communications), Ben Kensell (Head of Commercial) Danny Casey (Customer Sales and Ticket Office Manager), Peter Swordy (Head of Operations) and Gemma Gifford (Media Relations Manager) answering and discussing a wide range of questions across multiple subjects.

Topics covered included, but were not limited to: -

FAN CONSULTATION
- The Club gave an outline of its new consultation structure which was first announced at November’s AGM and will be communicated in more detail in the upcoming release of its new updated supporter charter.
- This provides a more far reaching commitment to consultation and engagement with supporters than before and will include throughout the year monthly face-to-face meetings with fans and other events, as well as an ongoing commitment to communication through the Club’s digital channels. It was specifically noted that this does not exclude the Club from meeting with fans/groups on specific topics or receive invites to non-matchday events such as supporter group AGMS/social events.
- Other forms of direct supporter interaction, including on-going digital consultation with supporters through social media, with views of supporters being monitored on a daily basis and received directly from them via e-mails, phonecalls and letters to the Club will continue and the Club will, where it feels necessary, respond to certain issues raised by supporters publicly from time-to-time.
- Online surveys being sent to supporters to further assess the views of fans on a variety of topics, across a wide demographic, with a view to publishing the outcome.
- The 'exemplary' loyalty of supporters and the Club's need to maintain an 'open, honest and trusted' relationship with those supporters.
- The role of the Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) and how this could be improved through increased awareness and visibility. Positive feedback from those groups present for the work of Stephen Graham as Norwich City SLO.
- The opportunities represented by the 'Global Canaries' brand and how to capitalise upon it, with an initial focus on pre-existing supporter groups across the globe. A Global Canaries focus group to look at possibilities and ideas with the Club to be proposed but it was recognised that promotion to the Premier League was required in order to make the most of this opportunity and some early planning would be well advised.
- Discussion to take place with relevant groups about the use of facilities for their events at Carrow Road.
- Responding to direct questions the CEO gave a perspective of supporter interaction with his former club and in particular the Wolves Parliament. It was noted that there were no current plans to create something similar here within current consultation framework.

FOOTBALL CLUB/GOVERNANCE
- Plans to progress the Club as a self-sufficient yet robust competitor, both on and off the pitch, against a backdrop of the financial position of the Club as outlined at the AGM in November.
- Investment and strategy for shareholding and the concept of the self-funding model. The Club maintains the aim of doing everything it can to maintain a competitive squad to take us back to the Premier League, with all spare cash going towards maintaining and strengthening the squad.
- The development of young players at the Club, the use of the loan system and the importance of further improving player recruitment with recent structural changes taking place internally and aims for the future following the recent arrival of Richard Money as the Club's new Academy Manager with more and more focus on producing home grown players.
- Financial impact of relegation on the Club – reductions in football department wages, including player and manager contract and nature of the Club moving up and down divisions in recent seasons affecting player trading as well as Club finances. CEO confirming he would never reveal details of individual employment contracts despite being asked about the Manager’s contract at the meeting.

TICKETING/OPERATIONS
- Ticketing prices, with a particular focus on the FA Cup third round tie at home to Southampton and subsequent admittance that the Club's pricing decision for that game was wrong. Discussion around free coach travel and future matches.
- Wigan fixture change and notice given – request from supporters for their concerns to be represented to the EFL.
- Season ticket renewals for the 2017-18 campaign – confirmation that details will be released shortly.
- Improving match atmosphere and half-time entertainment – discussion of positive stadium management and matchday atmosphere in German’s Bundesliga.
- The question of safe-standing, the consistency of Carrow Road stewarding and the frameworks which the Club must work within and adhere to.
- The challenges of seat availability at Carrow Road to move groups of fans together – and reflections of groups on unreserved seating areas, sitting groups together and models and trials at other clubs such as Celtic, Bristol City and Burton Albion.
- Discussions about supporter flags and possible locations in Carrow Road.

EQUALITY AND INCLUSION
- Signage at Carrow Road is being reviewed and will be updated to incorporate reference to homophobia.
- Reporting mechanisms for supporters to report abuse – more prominence to be given to contact details in matchday programme.
- Proud Canaries would like to offer their services as an educational resource as part of any anti-discrimination work the Club is undertaking, including through the Community Sports Foundation.
- Canaries for Equality - The coordination of inclusion programmes to help champion and give more prominence to the work the Club and key organisations and partners do to combat discrimination and promote equality and inclusion.
- Access at Carrow Road for disabled supporters, including the number of wheelchair positions available within the stadium and continued work and review in this area moving forward, including how the Club would meet new Premier League requirements in the event of promotion.

AOB
- Questions on pitch hire availability this summer.
- Questions submitted by Global Canaries on shipping prices for Club merchandise and website/broadcasting plans – Club will contact these groups directly with answers to their questions.
- The CEO reiterated the Club’s stance that the purpose of the new supporter consultation policy was to genuinely build closer links with its loyal supporter base through the various mechanisms discussed. He wanted to ensure fans that regular, open, honest and structured dialogue with fans was very important to the Club and that communicating in a consistent and fair manner where no one supporter or group had an perceived advantage over the next was necessary.
- It was also stressed and agreed that the Club and the fans should, wherever possible, work together for the benefit of the Club.


TRUST reports a record year for purchasing NCFC shares on behalf of all fans.

The TRUST has reported a record year for purchasing NCFC shares on behalf of all fans.

CANARIES TRUST ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2016

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
2016 was both a successful and a difficult one for the Trust. Success came in the form of some very effective fund raising and the purchase of the highest number of shares in the organisation’s history. In addition the new website and a tremendous amount of hard work by Gary Field and Mandie Thorpe has seen the Trust’s membership system overhauled and updated and while much more work is needed we are approaching the point where we can mount a sustained recruitment drive.

In addition we have managed to increase awareness of the Trust through regular exposure in the local media, particularly Radio Norfolk to whom we are extremely grateful.

The difficulties have stemmed from a change in the attitude of the Club itself following the replacement of David McNally by Jez Moxey. Despite having developed a very good working relationship with Ed Balls in the interim period between David’s departure and his successor’s arrival we suddenly found ourselves shut out by Mr Moxey who showed no appetite to meet any supporter organisations despite repeated requests.

Clearly this is a major issue going forward and, along with some worrying remarks attributed to the owners in a recent Times interview, it adds urgency to our quest for increased membership as we feel that there is a growing need for the fans to have a bigger stake in the Club, something that can only be achieved by a higher level of Trust income. We are also working on ways to improve communications with members too and will be explaining more about this at the AGM.

Overall 2016 saw us move forward but we need to accelerate that process in 2017.

Robin Sainty
Chairman

NORWICH CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST BOARD

Chairman:
Robin Sainty

Vice Chairman:
Mandie Thorpe
Myra Hawtree (until July 2016)

Treasurer:
John Easton

Trust Secretary:
Mike Reynolds

Board Members:
Kathy Blake
Paul Bond (ex-officio)
Gary Field
David Harper
Stewart Lewis
Mal Mortimer
Caroline Spinks

Co-opted Members
Di Cunningham (Proud Canaries)
Jack Reeve (TalkNorwichCity)
Neville Townsend (Forces2Canaries)
David Wiltshire (BarclayEndNorwich)

The Trust formally meets on the last Wednesday of every month excluding December and informally to organise the activities for the Royal Norfolk Show.

The Trust would like to thank Norwich City Football Club for the facilities that they offer the Trust.

SHARE PURCHASE
The accumulation of shares in Norwich City Football Club has become the principle aim of the Trust with the purpose of giving the fans a stronger voice on Club matters.

We have recently received several donations from Trust members who have transferred a proportion of their NCFC shares to the Trust. This enables them to help the aims of the Trust whilst retaining the right to attend the NCFC AGM as an individual shareholder. The Trust provides the Share Transfer form and the Club organises the share transfer.

It is worth reiterating that these shares are held in perpetuity for all fans of Norwich City Football Club.

This year the Trust has increased it’s shareholding in NCFC by 296 Ordinary shares and 1000 “A” Preference Shares through both purchase and donation.

he current position is that the Trust owns:-
Ordinary Shares =1555
“A” Preference Shares = 1100
“B” Preference Shares = 1

Trust members who are also shareholders also have the ability to retain their shares but pledge their voting rights to the Trust.
Full information on this subject can be found at

http://www.canariestrust.org/Shares

FINANCE AND MEMBERSHIP
Once again there has been a small but steady increase in membership with a surge at the Royal Norfolk Show. It should be noted that currently, once a member becomes a shareholder in Norwich City Supporters Trust they remain a legal shareholder until such time as they notify the Trust they wish to cease being a shareholder. Only members who renew their annual subscription may vote at the Annual General Meeting.

It is only through renewal of the annual subscription that the Trust can continue to purchase shares in Norwich City Football club on behalf of the fans.

SOCIAL MEDIA
The website remains the Trust’s main source of information to members and a new design was launched last April and includes a number of new pages aimed to keep members information updated.

The Trust has used social media to communicate to the “outside world” via both Facebook and Twitter, both of which can be accessed from

http://www.canariestrust.org

The twitter account @canariestrust has over 2200 followers and is growing daily. The size of our following is very important as it opens new opportunities for fund raising so please follow the Trust on Twitter and Facebook

FUNDRAISING
Currently the Trust runs two major fund raisers, a mini-fete at the Royal Norfolk Show and the season long Canary Challenge.
Canary Challenge: The Trust is now running a 2016/17 Challenge with 410 participants. The Trust would like to thank Archant Newspapers for their sponsorship of this year's competition. You can find out more about them at:-

http://www.archant.co.uk/

Royal Norfolk Show 2016: Once again the Trust accepted the kind offer of the Football Club to be part of their presence at the Royal Norfolk Show which included a stand within the Club’s marquee.

DIVERSITY AND FAN ISSUES
This new working group will bring together the expertise of both Proud Canaries and Barclay End Norwich along with other Board members to consider wider Football Supporters Federation such as ticket pricing, safe standing, equality and diversity issues. This will cover issues that affect fans on a match day and improve the atmosphere at matches.

The activities of the two co-opted groups brings new areas of interest to the Trust Board

PROUD CANARIES
It's been an important year for Proud Canaries; for the first time Norwich Pride coincided with a home game and the club's readiness to show support by flying the Rainbow Flag at Carrow Road generated what became an international Meme, trending on Twitter for several days in July - #Everything. It was the response from NCFCs Social Media department to a Troll who took issue with the club's endorsement of the City's Pride event with a query on the club's Facebook Page 'What the Hell has this to do with Football?' The same advocacy was evident in Tom Smith, Michael Wynn Jones, Delia Smith and Ed Balls all wearing the campaign badges and by Cameron Jerome, Russell Martin and the Murphy twins who all wore Rainbow Laces at Derby.

Recently Proud Canaries organiser Di Cunningham was invited to attend the House of Commons Select Committee on Homophobia in Sport. Di gave evidence noting the rapid rise in LGBT Fan Groups and suggested that they'd not only improved the match day experience of LGBT Supporters but helped make stadia more pleasant for everyone. Di recommended that the FA and Leagues be required to show Leadership in systematically mandating relevant directives to ensure effective signage and stewarding and in fostering LGBT Supporter Groups.

Over the summer Di became Chair of Pride in Football - the alliance of the Country's LGBT Fan Groups - currently 24 with more in development. In Autumn with representatives from other groups she attended an International Football Pride Week conference in Berlin.

BARCLAY END NORWICH
The Barclay End Projekt initially started with the intention of drawing attention to issues which affected many fans, but which may have been previously under represented. While best known for their campaign work relating to safe standing and ticket prices, their main objective has always been to improve the atmosphere at Norwich matches.

They feel now is the right time to move their focus to improving the atmosphere at Carrow Road and strongly believe that the best means of supporting the team is to create an atmosphere which is as colourful, passionate and distinctive as possible. In order to achieve this the group needs to be a focal point which can unite the core vocal support.

ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE
The Trust is still considering whether to raise the issue again as more football clubs are being registered as Assets of Community Value.

SUPPORTERS DIRECT
“Supporters Direct” is closely linked with the Cooperative movement and is funded by subscription plus an annual grant which has been seriously reduced. Its aim is to help people "who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the football club they support" and it offers support, advice and information to groups of football supporters in the UK and in Europe.

The organisation is currently struggling for finances as some external football sources have re-directed their funding to other areas.

The Trust attended the joint Football Supporters Federation / Supporters Direct Conference at Wembley.

There were “workshops” which helped Trusts regarding increasing membership and community responsibilities and also information on issues such as Safe Standing, Assets of Community Value, and Homophobia at football grounds and Financial Fair Play.

For details of what it does and how many Trusts are in operation visit www.supporters-direct.org

FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS FEDERATION
The Trust and several members of the Board are members of FSF which campaigns widely and vociferously on issues affecting football fans. The Trust is represented at the South East Region by Neville Townsend.

The Trust were involved in the FSF “Twenty’s Plenty” campaign and helped with a leafleting campaign that was organised by the BarclayEndProjekt.
For details of what FSF does visit www.fsf.org.uk/


Trust statement

Canaries Trust statement

The Canaries Trust, like all football trusts, is governed by the rules of Industrial and Provident Societies with the aim of overseeing the governance of football clubs. This was recognised by Alan Bowkett in a letter shortly after his resignation when he wrote:

"Whatever course the Board chooses I am confident that we must and will maintain the local and community nature of our club. This is where an organisation such as yours is so important, ensuring the executive and Board is held to scrutiny and account for their stewardship. I was most aware of this during my time on the Board and am of the firm opinion the new Chair will be too."

While we are not a protest movement, nor is it our normal practice to comment directly on playing matters, we feel that the current situation has seen a confluence of the issues of governance and what is happening on the pitch which makes a statement imperative. We also note today’s statement from the Swansea Trust which paints a picture of a club interacting and communicating fully with its fans.

We are aware that a strength of feeling such as has not been seen at the club for many years is growing amongst fans who feel that they are being taken for granted and left in the dark due to lack of any meaningful communication from the club at a time when a squad generally regarded as one of the strongest in the Championship is lurching from defeat to defeat under a manager who appears to have lost any sense of direction.

While we accept that replacement of managers shouldn’t simply be dictated by fan feeling it is also quite clear that people who spend huge amounts of money to support the club every season have a right to some sort of explanation from the club as to why it is taking no action as the team slips ever lower in the league.

However as a Trust we have to look beyond the issue of who manages the club and ask serious questions about the future planning of the Board in the light of the loss of parachute payments in 2018, given the Chief Executive’s statement that promotion is the only thing that is being targeted. We well remember the end of the Robert Chase era and the dark days of 2009 and fear that without a proper plan in place and effective communication between the club and its supporters we could see a return to such times relatively quickly if that objective fails and no contingency plan exists.

As a result of the Trust’s acquisition programme the 15th largest shareholding in the club is held in trust for the fans. We strongly suggest that those fans have a right to know what the board’s thinking is for the future of this great club. If the priority is balanced books and long term faith in a manager regardless of on field success then it is only fair that that is made absolutely clear before the deadline for season ticket renewals.


Meet the Trust Board

As part of the Trust's development we're keen to get out and meet as many City fans as possible to answer questions, explain what we do and find out what fans want from us.

Consequently the majority of the Trust Board will be manning an information post at the rear of the Barclay Stand before Saturday's game and will be happy to hear your thoughts and give you more insight into the work of the Trust. Whether you're already a member or not we look forward to meeting you and hearing your ideas about how you would like to see the Trust develop, so please come along and say hello!


FANS SURVEY ON WHOLE GAME SOLUTION - PLEASE HELP!

This season, the Football League (EFL) will be consulting its 72 clubs on a range of proposals the 'Whole Game Solution' that affect the structure of the bottom three divisions as well as the English football calendar - including regionalising of the bottom two divisions, creating an extra division, a winter break and moving two rounds of the FA Cup.

The Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) will lead a delegation of fans meeting the EFL next month and the 'Whole Game Solution' will be at the top of the agenda.

With this in mind we would like to gather your thoughts on the 'Whole Game Solution' and the other issues it raises in order to take the views of genuine supporters to the EFL. To help us do this the FSF have launched a survey which is on the Trust's Facebook page.

We would like to hear from you, the survey closes midday Monday 24th October, we would be grateful if you could share this once again to get as many of your supporter's opinions as we can.

Thank you for all your help, for those of you that have already carried out your own survey and not yet sent us your results but would like to, please send these again by the 24th and we would be happy to present them along with our own findings at the meeting.

Many thanks


ENGLISH FOOTBALL LEAGUE, FAN CONSULTATION AND WHY JOINING THE TRUST IS IMPORTANT.

Fan consultation was always been something of a hit or miss affair throughout football generally.

However, what may be unappreciated by many, from 2016, the role of all Supporters Trusts - and that includes the Canaries Trust - now has a formal position within football's governance rules covering how clubs must now consult with their fans.

It has always been the Trust's view that it is only through sensible and regular debate with the Club that fans will get answers and solutions to the key issues of the day.

A strong Trust will ensure this can happen and, the more members we have the greater the opportunity of bringing about any changes.
The process of fan consultation has evolved over recent years, as illustrated by the below timeline.

2012 - A commitment by the Football Authorities. “Clubs will be required, under league regulation, to set out in a structured format the ways in which they will consult & engage with different supporter interests & groups.”

2014 - the Government launched an Expert Working Group (EWG) on issues relating to Supporter Ownership and fan Engagement.

2016 – the EWG report put forward a series of recommendations in relation to structured dialogue that were subsequently endorsed by the Premier League, the EFL & the FA.

WHAT THE REPORT SAID.
“Clubs will meet with a representative group of supporters at least twice a year to discuss major issues.”

“The Leagues will recommended that this representative group of supporters includes the club's Supporters Trust.”

“The Leagues will advise clubs that no individuals should be excluded from the meetings without good reason.”

“If attendances at these meetings is restricted to a small group of supporters a significant proportion of this representative group of supporters should be elected, selected or invited to these meetings in line with basic democratic principles.”

“Senior representatives from the clubs – either club owners / directors and/or senior executive management - should represent the club at these meetings.”

“Each of the Leagues will provide a template to clubs outlining the minimum level of information which should be shared at these meetings.”

“Although the focus of these meetings will be on strategic and major issues, all parties will be able to table additional topics where relevant and timely, to ensure that the issues which matter to supporters and clubs are discussed.”

“The Leagues will oversee these commitments and, if needed, clarify them in their rule books and will take into account any feedback received from Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation on the effectiveness of this approach.”

“The Group would recommend that any substantial changes to club colours or crest are discussed as part of the structured dialogue.”
The English Football League.

On the 9th June the EFL clubs agreed the following for their 2016/17 rulebook:

111 - Clubs shall hold at least two meetings/fans forums per Season to which its supporters (or representatives) are to be invited in order to discuss significant issues relating to the Club. The framework for these meetings shall be documented in the Club’s customer charter, but are subject to the following minimum criteria:

111.1 - Clubs must be represented by the Club’s majority owner, board director(s) or other senior executive(s);

111.2 - where meetings are not open to all supporters wishing to attend, the supporter representatives must be elected, selected or invited in line with basic democratic principles;

111.3 - individuals cannot be excluded by the Club without good reason (the Club acting reasonably).

Fan consultation is becoming increasingly important and the Canaries Trust intends to be at the forefront of this process with the Club.

Needless to say, if you have any queries, specific issues, or this is something in which you'd like to get actively involved, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


The Canaries Trust goes Chilean

Over the years, as membership of the Canaries Trust has steadily grown, not unsurprisingly, we've picked up a handful of new members abroad; from Ireland, France, Belgium, Canada and the United States of America.

Often, these Canary fans are ex-pats, having travelled overseas, from Norfolk, or beyond, either for family or work reasons.

It therefore recently came as something of a pleasant surprise for the Trust to recruit its first member from Chile, Diego Echeverria.

We all have our own personal reasons for following Norwich City and we were therefore naturally curious to hear Diego’s story. A quick enquiry about his affinity to the Canaries received the following reply, which we thought was worthwhile sharing.

"I first became aware of the club during the 90's, but it wasn't until mid-2000's that I started to actively follow Norwich City. The Premier League has extensive worldwide coverage so it makes life easier for far-flung supporters, but the championship requires a bit more of engineering to be able to watch the games."

"Why I love Norwich City? It's a hard answer because there is no particular event that made me a supporter. I wasn't born in Norwich and have no roots in Norfolk what so ever. Nevertheless I care for the team and can proudly call it "my club."

"Maybe it was the atmosphere at Carrow Road, Holty's goals, Wessi's magic or the hard fought spirit of a team that has been able to battle in this league of riches, and keep loyal to their traditions."

"Therefore I absolutely support the Trust and I'm delighted to be a part of it."

"The club can have ups and downs in terms of success, but in the end when things are harder to achieve the satisfaction is ever more rewarding. In Chile, we had to wait 100 years to finally lift a trophy, and the wait was worthwhile when we beat Argentina in the Copa America final, twice!"

Welcome aboard Diego! OTBC


TRANSCRIPT EFL CHAIRMAN ON WHOLE GAME SOLUTION

Below is a transcript of EFL Chairman Ian Lenagan’s speech at the opening of the 2016 Supporters Summit.

N.B Unfortunately the opening moments are missing from our audio recording. The transcript begins as Ian is talking about the Whole Game Solution.Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the transcript however some parts may not be word perfect.

WHOLE GAME SOLUTION
Lenagan: “The EFL has proposed the discussion. This is not a proposal to do it. This is a proposal to talk about it for 12 months. And at the end of it the odds are that it might not go through because you have to get a 90% majority of the EFL clubs. That means if 8 clubs vote against it out of 72 it will fail.

So you can imagine that’s a fairly major task. So I do make the point again, this is not a proposal from The EFL board to do this, to move to 4 divisions rather than 3 divisions. It is a discussion. It’s a proposal that we should have that discussion to see what the clubs think, what the National League think, what the Premier League think, what The FA think.

We’ve already before we put the proposals together had lots and lots of conversations with the FA and The Premier League, who have particular problems with fixture congestion. If you bring UEFA into that equation as well, we are currently in danger of being fined by UEFA because of putting games on at the same time on a Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday when there are European games taking place, but we have little option than to deal with that.

I don’t know if you recall during last season The FA Cup round where there was a draw, I think it was Man City against somebody, I’m not quite sure who the two of them were but it took 6 weeks for the replay to take place. Purely because it was impossible to find anywhere to place that fixture during that 6 week period during the fixture calendar. And the fixture calendar is getting worse and worse and worse as we move forward.

The whole question in terms of what we should do is obviously as important with The FA Cup as it is with the Premier League fixtures, as it is with The EFL fixtures and we’ve just gone on the initiative to actually put it forward. The proposal was actually first debated in March of this year at a strategic away day of The EFL board, at that time The Football League board, and the proposals were worked up following very detailed conversation with The Premier League and with The FA.

Martin Glenn, the new chief executive of The FA, while he’s had a difficult time over the last EURO four weeks or so, is a very capable man who comes from industry, from the retail sector who has brought a refreshing change as the first executive for a long long while of The FA. Obviously Richard Scudamore from a Premier League viewpoint and Shaun Harvey speaking on behalf of The EFL have put these proposals for discussion together.

There are certain elements and parts of it that are pre-conditions. So for example in terms of the Whole Game Solution, if it starts at all, will start in 2019/2020. The EFL clubs have determined that they can not be any worse off and there’s a threat that they could be worse off if you lose four home fixtures. If you reduce from 23, sorry to 24 clubs from 20 clubs, you obviously lose home fixtures. So there’s got to be additional ways to compensate for that. And the clubs have decided that they will need to be at least financially better off.

Secondly, promotion and relegation between the Championship and The Premier League will stay always at three up three down. That will not change. As an interim arrangement if these proposals go through [and we] move from 72 clubs to 80 clubs, there will be no relegation in the last season, for what is currently League 2. So those two teams that would have gone down to The National League will be safe, which means 6 new teams have to come from somewhere, if you’re going to end up with a Whole Game Solution of 80 clubs.

And just to put it in perspective, a year ago, when the whole question of what many people called B-Teams that we prefer to call Cat One Academy Teams, when the whole issue of that came up there were many people, me included, that were very concerned that if the EFL Trophy, the old JPT Trophy, moved to allow the introduction of Cat One academies, B-Teams, whatever you want to call them into that competition, that that would be “the thin end of the wedge” in allowing those same levels of teams into the Football League.

The Football League Board at that time, made the decision a year ago to demonstrate that this is not “the thin end of the wedge” and that these two things are not connected at all. They made the decision that where previously it would have only needed 51% vote, ie 37 clubs out of 72 to allow new members 16 clubs, 8 new clubs, whatever it is, it would raise that from 51% to 90% – that’s a massive change, that means that 67 out of the 72 Football League clubs would need to agree that this is a proposal they want to take forward. And if there are only eight clubs that speak against it, then it will not occur in terms of eighty members of The EFL rather than 72.

There’s a big engagement process going on to discuss this. Yes we’re continuing with The FA and The Premier League but more particularly with The National Leagues, where are three meetings are intended to be held with them to talk about it because it will obviously affect them. But the discussion process has four elements in it.

It started in August of this year with the clubs having been presented and agreed that the discussion was worth having. November in the Divisional Meetings there will be the initial feedback from the clubs as to what they think when they’ve talked about it for three or four months. And it could kill it at that particular point in time. And the proposal under discussion will reach [a] conclusion and it goes no further. You then move on to February at the February divisional meetings of all 72 clubs. At which [point we will see] if there is a motivation to move forward for forming a proposal. That proposal [would] be put together by February, to be voted on in June at the EFL Annual Conference.

So it’s quite an obstacle course to get through before these proposals might become formal proposals to be put to the vote, in June of next year.
I mention that the clubs will make the final decision, that’s really the whole of the issue as far as the Whole Game Solution, to put some flesh on the bones.

If you move on to The EFL Trophy, the old Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, it’s significant that after 10 years, the sponsor withdrew. You may or may not be aware that the view from The Football League clubs particularly The EFL clubs, is that as far as The Trophy is concerned, you either want to go out in the First Round so you don’t have many fixtures, or else you want to get to the final.

Speaking as a director of Oxford United who got the Final next year, it is very beneficial to get to the Final because the vast majority of the money, the [inaudible] are at finals level. So there is a mixed view. In terms of the last couple of years, attendances are down by 18% particularly in the early rounds. Income from gate receipts is down by 15% – it’s tired, it needs a refresh of some description. Or else it might possibly not survive. And that might solve some fixture congestion issues. So the two things have some relative relationship in that respect.

But at the current moment it needs strong re invigoration and one of the reasons for inviting Category One Academy Teams to enter in to it, is that re invigoration. Do we know whether a League 2 club rather than play against an Academy Side of a Premier League or a Championship side or not? That answer is no we don’t currently. Opinions are moving around a large amount. But the clubs decided by a vote of 15-6 and 15-8 in favour that in League 1 and League 2 and the Championship because they’re not involved in the Trophy we’ll go along with whatever L1 + L2 decided. So it was a fairly strong majority to go forward with this one year trial and that is all it is: a one year trial.

The reasons behind it, re invigoration first of all. Secondly the whole player development question of young players, and within the rules of the EFL Trophy a minimum of 6 U21 players and 5 senior players. That’s the structure that will have to play in the competition.
What will that do? That will improve the opportunities for young players to play against men. To play competitive games which is to the benefit of the clubs themselves if you’re interested in home grown players coming through but it’s also to the benefit of England, as a team. And by God we need that benefit don’t we?

So those are two of the reasons that The EFL clubs decided it was worth a one year experiment, And that’s all it is, it is a one year experiment, That’s all it is, it is a one year experiment and it may get killed at the end of that one year because the full review that’s done, at the end of that process is when the decision will be taken.

It obviously 64 clubs, organised on a 16 groups of four, with at least at least one Championship, League 1 and League 2 club in each of those groups, and there various other details associated with it. There are 24 Category One Academy clubs from which we need to get 16, and next week will see the announcement on which of the 16 teams are going to be in The EFL Trophy. We’re waiting for one or two other things to happen but we have the 16 already, and it’s just a case of some of the others deciding, and it’s in a priority order of the 24 clubs that the invitations have been issued.

That’s the EFL Trophy issue.

So disabled supporters and accessibility: The EFL is committed to improving the experience of disabled Supporters. It’s a rather different situation between The EFL clubs and Premier League clubs. The Premier League clubs have got 90% of their capacity used for disabled supporters – where it’s less than 50%, 49% in fact as far as The EFL clubs are concerned. So we have a lot more proper capacity available. We’re also less well off than Premier League clubs. So in terms of the commitment forward, we’re not committing to meet the Accessible Stadium Guideline because we can’t afford to do all of those and we don’t believe there is a need for it because of the remaining 51% capacity.

We are on the other hand committed as EFL to improve the facilities and matchday experience, and Level Playing Field are working with us in complete conjunction in terms of the assessment that will be used. The EFL Trust are working with us, they’re putting £1.1m in for up to 20 EFL clubs to improve the disabled facilities.

We’re again doing a number of mystery visits to check on behalf of disabled supporters so that we can see where to spend the monies, that we’re committed to spending on improving the scenario. And we’re also producing during the early part of this season a disabled facilities guide to supporters, and the guidance document as far as the clubs are concerned.

Those are the four main issues that I was here to speak about, to set the basic facts as far as you’re concerned. [I’m happy to answer questions] a variety of things, and I’d be delighted to hear them on behalf of The EFL.”


CHAMPIONSHIP TO REDUCE TO 20 TEAMS, MAYBE.

SUPPORTERS SUMMIT, WEMBLEY STADIUM, 16th JULY 2016

The Trust was represented at the Summit but as there was a singleton representative only selected sessions can be reported on and because of the wide ranging discussions the major issues will be highlighted.

OPENING PLENARY

Question and answer session with new EFL Chair – Ian Lenagan and Guardian Journalist Owen Gibson, focusing in particular on the proposals for the new EFL league restructure and the introduction of PL U21 teams into the EFL Cup trial.

• The new name English Football League has been created to remove any misunderstanding.
• There will be autumn and spring meetings between the EFL and Supporters Direct and Football Supporters Federation.
• EFL will operate a “secret shopper” campaign looking at the away facilities at all EFL Clubs,
• EFL restructure known as The Whole Game Solution. This has been brought about by the fixture problems created by UEFA expanding its TV coverage of all matches making it difficult to fix mid-week dates that do not clash. The idea is to increase the EFL to 4 divisions of 20 teams. This will be discussed by clubs for one year and will fail if 8 of the 72 clubs oppose the idea.
• The EFL Trophy plans to include 16 of the 24 Category 1 Academies was brought about by the withdrawal of the previous sponsors coupled with the view that teams either wanted to go out in the 1st round or get to the final and that attendances were down by 18% and income by 15%.
EFL believes the introduction of Category 1 teams comprising 6 U21 players and 5 Seniors will re-invigorate the competition and so it will be trialled for 1 year. The EFL assured fans this was not the “thin end of the wedge” enabling future inclusion of B teams.
• The EFL are supportive of ruling concerning Stadium Accessibility as required but cannot commit to implementing the guidelines by 2017 for all EFL clubs.

STRUCTURED DIALOGUE BETWEEN CLUBS AND SUPPORTERS.

A recap from James Mathie on SD’s campaign to ensure a minimum level of communication and consultation between supporters and leaders of clubs. Premier League and Football League clubs now both have obligations for 2016/17, this workshop will look at what they are, and how we can continue to work together to improve and develop the commitments that have been made.

• Clubs should meet with fans groups twice a year to discuss important issues or needs and that where a Supporters Trust exists it must be invited.
• The level of representation from the Club should include owners or, in the case of overseas owners, their CEOs and other Club Board members.
• Still need to define a supporters group, for example does a website / fanzine qualify?
• Policing of the policy may be difficult at certain Clubs where all relationships have broken down

SAFE STANDING

There was a live link to Celtic prior to their friendly with Wolfsburg to discuss the work involved in installing the Rail Seats and to see them filling up pre-match.

• The Safe-Standing campaign has been on hold until the outcome of the Hills borough campaign was known.
• There will now be a delay in the campaign in order to see how it works out at Celtic.
• It is suggested that where fans are interested in getting such a facility at their own grounds they should suggest their Club contact Celtic and see for themselves.
• The Celtic scheme has not increased capacity.

HILLSBOROUGH JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

We will hear from prominent people involved in the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

• A moving account from Roy Bentham who was at Hillsborough, he was one of those lifted out of the pen, and was involved in the campaign.
• He discussed the trauma of those involved.

CREATING CHANGE – SCRUTINY, PROTEST & PRESSURE.

Looking at the different roles Trusts play when there is conflict between clubs and their supporters. From protesting for a change in ownership to professional, credible scrutineering of decisions made in the interests of the club, Trusts play a varied and important role in creating change. Three Trusts (Blackpool, Newcastle United and Charlton) will discuss their current position and past experiences followed by a Q&A session.

SD KITE-MARK

Developing a set of simple standards for professional sports clubs to demonstrate their commitment to their supporters and community. This session offers the chance for delegates to discuss the important attributes that make up a well-run club with Martin Cloake from THST and SD’s James Mathie.

WHAT IS THE SECRET TO A GOOD SUPPORTER-LED CAMPAIGN?

With a focus on the Olympic Stadium Coalition and the Dons Trust ‘back in two ticks’ ground sale campaigns, we hear from key people involved (including Kat Law from THST, Richard Hunt from CAST, Jeremy Gardner from QPR 1st, Jane Lonsdale Dons Trust and SD’s Nicola Hudson) to find out the secrets of their success, and will discuss the learnings for future campaigns and collaboration.

FAN CULTURE

A chance to get an insight into the workings behind the voice of the fan media, with input from the traditional (The City Gent, Bradford fanzine) and the new (The Fighting Cock, Spurs podcast and The Anfield Wrap, Liverpool podcast) on what motivates them to do what they do. A perfect opportunity for creative fans to get together, and existing fanzine writers or podcasters or vloggers to network and share their experiences.

FANS FOR DIVERSITY

An update on the Fans For Diversity project from FSF Diversity and Campaigns Manager Anwar Uddin on the work undertaken in 2015/16, and plans for the coming year. Pride in Football will also be on the panel, presenting their work and updating fans on the situation with regards to LGBT fan groups and campaigns across the country.

THE NATIONAL GAME & NON-LEAGUE

The Premier League gets all the attention, but there’s a huge amount going on across the country that goes unreported. This workshop is an ideal place for fans from the lower leagues to come together and discuss the issues that affect them and their clubs, with input from Mike Bayly (Non-League Day), Mark Harris (EvoStik League Chairman) and Tim Fuell (Media officer, Hayes and Yeading).

TICKET PRICES

Michael Brunskill from the FSF will lead a discussion on the work undertaken in the ticket price campaign - successes in the form of the £30 Premier League away ticket cap, as well as taking soundings on how best to tackle the issue throughout the Football League.


Last Seasons Canary Challenge Winner Receives His Prize

Canary Challenge 2015/16 Winner John Dawson received his cheque for £250 from Membership Secretary Mandie Thorpe recently.

John said “I’m chuffed to win the Challenge, especially as I avoided putting Norwich City in the bottom three!! I think this year’s Challenge is going to be much harder to win as the Championship usually throws up a few surprises, but I will be aiming to repeat my success!!"

Entires for this year’s Canary Challenge can be completed online using PayPal at www.canariestrust.org/CanaryChallenge


Canary Challenge technical problem resolved

Apologies to anyone who had a problem with submitting entries to Canary Challenge on Friday. There was a technical problem which was resulting in forms not being accepted due to a section of code being removed for site maintenance but not restored. Thanks to all who reported this and all is now working perfectly!

Royal Norfolk Show

The Trust is delighted to announce that we will be running competitions for all ages both inside and outside the Norwich City marquee at this year's Show with prizes such as signed footballs and shirts up for grabs so please come along and say hello.

We will also be launching this year's ever popular Canary Challenge where you can predict the promotion and relegation teams in this year's Championship to win big cash prizes. We are delighted to announce that this year's top prize of £250 will be sponsored by the Pink'un. The second prize of £100 will be sponsored by the Eastern Daily Press and the third, of £50, will be sponsored by the Eastern Evening News. This year we are also happy to announce fourth and fifth prizes of £30 and £20 respectively kindly sponsored by Haines Watts.

Forms will be available at the Show and you will also be able to enter online at www.canariestrust.org (click on the Canary Challenge tab) from 1st July. Entries are still just £3 or you can have four goes for a tenner.


Six-monthly members draw

Congratulations to Richard Lincoln for winning the half yearly membership draw prize of £50.
Richard said ‘thank you for the winnings, lets hope we are all smiling this time next year!”

Trust statement

This has been a difficult week for the Club and its fans with the shock departure of the Chief Executive, David McNally, closely followed by confirmation of our relegation from the Premier League.
We would first of all like to place on record our thanks to David for his pivotal role in saving the Club from administration and then restructuring to a point where we have spent four of the last five seasons at the top tier of English football and are financially secure. While two relegations in the last three years have detracted from his record there can be no argument that he leaves a significant legacy and we wish him all the best in his future career.
However, we now have to look to the future and having had discussions with the club in the last few days we are confident not only that it is in good hands but also that plans are in place to learn from, and avoid a repetition of, the errors that were inarguably made both this season and in 2013/14
It may seem that we are at a low ebb currently but we feel that the future is both bright and exciting as the Club looks to bounce back to the Premier League immediately and we hope that all City fans will keep the faith.

New Board members

We are delighted to announce that, as part of the ongoing development of the Trust, we have appointed two new members to the Board with immediate effect. The first of these is Steve Hedge, whose long career in industry will help him to bring a highly professional approach to matters relating to Norwich City and it's supporters.
The second is Jack Reeve, who will be well known to many people through his Talk Norwich City You Tube channel and his varied media work. Jack will bring a youthful perspective to the Board as well as his highly impressive communication skills and we look forward to working closely with both of them as we move forward.

Another victory for the fans

As one of the Trusts pushing for full publication of the details of West Ham's deal with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LDDC) to use the Olympic Stadium largely at the taxpayer's expense we are delighted to confirm that our coalition has today won a landmark victory . The following press release explains more:


"The coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts & groups demanding the publication of the full financial terms of the contract between West Ham United and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LDDC) today expressed “satisfaction” at the rejection of the appeal by the LLDC to the information tribunal.

The failure of the LLDC to convince the judge means that the original decision by the Information Commissioner (ICO) ordering the publication of the terms must be enforced, and that the information sought by the coalition, MPs, the entire Greater London Assembly and thousands of members of the public will now have to be published.

There is however a right of appeal should the LLDC decide that it wishes to appeal against the decision.

A coalition spokesman said ““We’re naturally delighted with the outcome, as we see this as an issue of fairness to the taxpayer, to clubs near and far, and to football as a whole. We now respectfully request that the LLDC do what is right, waive the right to an appeal, and publish the deal in full so that it can be properly assessed and its implications understood.”

“Naturally, due process has to be completed, and though the LLDC’s appeal has been dismissed, it will be their decision as to whether they want to continue to pursue a case that has fallen at every hurdle – with the further financial cost to the taxpayer that will bring.”

“We believe that the tribunal stood up for what is right, namely the right of members of the public to know how their assets are being used, and money is being spent.”

“The very reason we launched this campaign was because there was considerable doubt about the use of a major public asset, and the money being spent. Don’t forget that these are terms granted to a privately owned business: a Premier League football club who will next year be in receipt of more than £100m per-season just for turning up.”

There is no right of appeal against the decision by either party except on specific legal grounds."


CANARIES TRUST ALMOST DOUBLES ITS SHAREHOLDING IN NORWICH CITY FOOTBALL CLUB.

The accumulation of shares in Norwich City Football Club is one of the principle aims of the Trust and so far this year the Trust has increased it’s shareholding in NCFC by 1,012 shares increasing our stake-holding to 2,371 shares. This increase gives the fans a stronger voice on Club matters.

Trust members who are also shareholders also have the ability to retain their shares but pledge their voting rights to the Trust or can donate part of their shares to the Trust as many have done. The Trust in conjunction with NCFC are able to implement share transfers at zero cost.

It is worth reiterating that these shares are held in perpetuity for all fans of Norwich City Football Club.

Full information on this subject can be found on the Shares page.


Premier League Clubs today announce a new deal for away fans

After consideration of a range of options, Premier League Clubs have today undertaken that away fans will be able to attend Premier League matches for the next three seasons and pay no more than a maximum of £30 for their tickets.

Clubs know that away fans have a unique status:
 They are essential for match atmosphere and stimulate the response from home fans that
distinguishes Premier League matches from those of other leagues
 They have additional travel costs and pay individual match prices, as season ticket and other
discounts are not available to them
 Responsibility for them is shared between Clubs and therefore it is right that there is a collective
initiative to help them

This has long been understood by Clubs who currently provide away fans with a range of measures designed to assist them, including the Away Supporters’ Initiative (ASI) introduced in 2013.

At their last meeting (4 February 2016) Clubs unanimously agreed that more should be done to help away fans and,
after consideration of a range of options, have now decided to introduce the new £30 maximum price for away tickets. This replaces the ASI as a single, League-wide recognition of the importance of away fans


TWENTY'S PLENTY CAMPAIGN CONTINUES

Trusts and fans groups at all twenty Premier League Clubs have written to each club asking them to support reduced away ticket prices and an increased Away Supporters Initiative. The Canaries Trust letter reads:-

"The Premier League is one of the world’s greatest leagues with an appeal that transcends borders and culture. While it’s obvious that a huge part of that appeal is on-the-pitch action it is our firm belief that match-going supporters play a vital role too.

Would the world watch if the stands were empty? We don’t think so.

Away fans are the Premier League’s most loyal “customer” – the majority are season ticket holders at their own club and invest huge amounts of time and money following their side on the road. Without their presence inside our stadiums the atmosphere suffers immeasurably.

Yet clubs treat the away fan as a second class citizen.

We call for all Premier League clubs to back:
• A £20 cap on all away tickets - Twenty’s Plenty;
• A substantially increased Away Supporters Initiative (potentially up to £1m per club per season set aside primarily to subsidise ticket prices and/or travel for fans);
• An increase in the availability and discounts offered to young adults.
Premier League media rights jumped from £5.2bn (2013-16) to £8.3bn (2016-19). Last season 13,746,753 fans attended a top-flight game. The £3.1bn increase alone equates to £75.17 for every fan, at every game across the three season deal. Clubs could basically let everyone in for free and still see an increase in revenue.

It’s in the game’s own interests to use a small fraction of that huge media deal to ensure football is affordable for the away fan. If the number of travelling fans falls significantly so too will the Premier League’s media deal. This is a financial argument, not just a moral one.

That is why we have written to all top-flight clubs asking them to back these measures which would help ensure stadiums remain vibrant and provide the spectacle that TV audiences across the globe love. All clubs must come together as fans have to recognise this and it’s for this reason that we’ve lobbied our own club and written to every opposition club.

One of the unique things about British fan culture is the extent to which we follow our teams across the country. That loyalty shouldn’t be taken for granted. Clubs must recognise this at March’s Premier League shareholders meeting – give Twenty’s Plenty your full support.

Yours faithfully,
Mike Reynolds
Canaries Trust Secretary

Other Norwich City supporters groups who have given their backing / support to this campaign and the CT letter are Forces2Canaries, Barclay End Projekt, Kent Canaries and Chelmsford Canaries."


The campaign to lower Premier League ticket prices is an ongoing battle

The campaign to lower Premier League ticket prices is an ongoing battle uniting fans from all clubs, despite Livepool owners lessening the cost at Anfield after walkout

By JACK BEZANTS FOR MAILONLINE

The issue of supporter unrest at the cost of Premier League tickets was thrown firmly into the public eye when around 10,000 Liverpool supporters exited Anfield in the 77th minute of the 2-2 draw with Sunderland in protest.
Liverpool's owners have since reneged their position on cost but while a battle has been won, the war to lower the price of tickets remains. It is something which unites fans across the Premier League and beyond.
A statement from Liverpool fan groups Spirit of Shankly and Spion Kop 1906, responding to Wednesday's u-turn by FSG, said: 'More must be done to make football affordable. We have always stated that this is a journey... and this is a positive step in the right direction towards fairness and away from greed, but it is only one step.'

Sportsmail has approached fans of all 20 Premier League sides to ask what they think about the situation and where it needs to go next:

Arsenal: Arsenal Supporters Trust

Arsenal Supporters Trust has worked closely with other supporters' groups to increase pressure on this issue.
There are various tactics we have used, last week we successfully more tickets for FA Cup finalists. We have mobilised an online and email campaign to get Arsenal to scrap a season ticket surcharge.

Aston Villa: John Morris, North West Villa Supporters' Club
To be honest, with Villa, it is affordable to me. You can get in, as an adult, for £25.
But it starts at the very top of the game. For the FA Cup final, my ticket was £90. My daughter's was £70. It is outrageous and nobody gives the Football Association stick in my opinion.
I would say I am priced out of eight away games. I refuse to pay around £55 which means I do not go to Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Norwich and Chelsea, for example.
It is not the working man's game anymore.

Bournemouth: Steve Jenkins, In The South End, It's All About AFC Bournemouth

As an independent one-man operation there is not much I can do apart from join up to the current running campaigns. For example, I signed the 20 is plenty petition. When information is available I will be posting on my site to encourage readers and fans to join. If we don't make our voice heard it will never happen.

Chelsea: Tim Rolls, Chair, Chelsea Supporters' Trust

We will be working with the Football Supporters Federation and supporters groups from other Premier League clubs about the identification and implementation of the most effective campaign tactics.
This is a Premier League wide issue, not a parochial club one, and any campaign will be more effective if treated as such.
I guess tactics like walkouts, late arrivals, boycotts etc are all possible options but would need careful planning, co-ordination and publicity, and the objectives would need to be clear and widely understood.
There may be other ways to get the message across that enough is enough.

Crystal Palace: Chris Waters, Crystal Palace Supporters' Trust

The Trust and Palace fans in general have long supported lower ticket prices, and in particular the Twenty's Plenty campaign.
While season tickets in particular are good value at Selhurst Park, with prizes frozen for next season, the price tiering of certain games and the obligation to buy tickets for a 'lesser' match when buying tickets for a game against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United has begun to price out some casual fans, especially families.
The big issue is the ridiculous cost of away games, coupled with the disdain for travelling fans in the scheduling of those games for TV, creating additional cost and inconvenience.

Everton: George McKane, Everton Supporters' Trust

EST have maintained an active role in the campaign for lower ticket prices. EST are proud to have initiated and support several Campaigns including 'Twenty's Plenty' a national drive for all tickets prices for all Premier League clubs to be capped at £20.
This is part of our Aims and Objectives at EST and we are in regular touch with other Supporters Trusts throughout the Country including of course Spirit Of Shankly, to add a unified approach to ticket pricing.
Leicester City: Ian Bason, Foxes Trust Chairman
Along with many fellow Premiership Trusts we have written to our club requesting a ticket price freeze for the duration of the new TV deal (three years), introduction of a special price rate for 18 – 21-year-olds (who are either studying or in low paid jobs) and a significant increase in the Away Fans Fund.
We also continue to back the FSF's £20 in Plenty Campaign. The Premiership Trust's and the FSF are working very closely on campaigning, with the level of TV revenue the clubs do not need to generate more money from ticket prices.

Liverpool: John Gibbons, The Anfield Wrap

At Liverpool we have just seen a comedown on ticket price increases, so we will probably just take time to reflect on how fair the current offer is.
However, ticket prices are a national problem and football fans need to work together to fight it, especially on issues like categorisation.
It means away fans of traditionally larger clubs are having to pay much more, often twice as much, to watch their football team from the same seat as a fan of another club, through no fault of their own.

Manchester City: James Delargy, Manchester City FC Supporters Club

As the supporters' club, we are a voice for the fans. We are always on the side of the fans. Ultimately, the cost of not just tickets, but also things such as kits, is too much and we are always conscious of it.
Football needs to be accessible for all. City has a huge following, in areas of Manchester that are not the most affluent. We are keen to make sure it becomes more accessible for them.
In other areas of improving fan experience, we are promoting a football vs homophobia campaign and the club have been very supportive of that. It is going to be played at half-time at the Etihad this weekend.
The Manchester City supporters club want to see less affluent parts of the city helped out with costs

Manchester United fans feel they pay extra away from home due to categorisation of matches

Manchester United: Stewart Woodhouse, Red Mancunian

I have seen a freeze for six years now at the club but when we were taken over by the Glazers, it went up quite considerably. I would estimate around 25-30 per cent in the first three or four years.
Away from home, it is categorisation that is the big, major problem and it is one all over Europe, too.
We go away, we go in Europe, we get charged more just because opposition clubs know they are going to sell out, just because United are there. I don't think the Premier League have ever looked at it.
What Liverpool did (walkout against Sunderland) was good. Now, they don't have it anymore.

Newcastle United: Michael Martin, true faith, Newcastle United Fanzine, also at www.true-faith.co.uk

The FSF is leading a national campaign and we'll follow their lead 100%.

Norwich: Robin Sainty, Canaries Trust

We have had regular dialogue with NCFC's chief executive and also took part in the national Twenty's Plenty protest.
We are continuously promoting the ticket price issue on social media and via articles and blogs. We will continue to chip away at the club and make ticket pricing a central issue in our membership drive.
We will also happily lend support to any other bodies protesting against the issue with the proviso that they share our view that this is a Premier League wide issue, rather than one or two rogue clubs.

Southampton: Nick Illingsworth, former chairman of the Southampton Supporters' Club

It is great, what Liverpool did. This needed someone to make a stand. For Saints, I hope what happened there has made the club sit up and take notice, too. It would be a crime if clubs did not realise what supporters are to them.
The writing is on the wall. Against West Ham on Saturday, Southampton had 3,000 empty chairs.
Seats are overpriced but all the indications are that Saints are a listening club. I think they will see what is happening. They need to build a fan base which will tile up.

Stoke: Angela Smith Chair, Stoke City Supporters Council

Stoke City have frozen the price of season tickets for the last eight years. As a result the average age of the fan based has reduced.
The club also tries to get reciprocal deals with other clubs so that the price of watching for away fans is affordable. Stoke City also provides free transport on official coaches for our fans going to away games.
If other clubs did similar then many of the problems would be alleviated. I will of course support anything that makes football more affordable.

Sunderland: Jan Rowan, Sunderland Supporters' Group.

As a branch we are writing to the Football League and liaising with other branches through the Branch Liaison Committee (BLC).
The BLC meets on a regular basis with representatives from SAFC to discuss ticketing and other football related topics.
I think that there will be more discussion at forthcoming meetings to organise ways to raise awareness of the ticketing price structure across the football league.

Swansea: Swansea City Supporters Trust

The Swansea City Supporters' Trust is in a unique position in the Premier League in that it is a major (21 per cent) shareholder in the club and has a full Director on the Club Board.
As such it has a regular dialogue and ticket prices are very much part of that. Promotion of the Club's 'True2TwentyTwo' scheme is seen as a positive contribution to the overall campaign for lower ticket prices.
The scheme allows Swans fans to purchase away tickets for Premier League games at a maximum price of £22. Whilst the scheme is not perfect, the True2TwentyTwo window closes four weeks before matchday, it is something which is appreciated by most fans attending away fixtures.

Tottenham are flying high on the pitch but the fans in the stands, fans face more price rises

Tottenham: Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust

At the end of last season, the club indicated it wanted to raise the price of home match day tickets for the 2016/17 season by around 2%. We said that we opposed that move.
Against a backdrop of almost 700% rises over the last 15 years, and a record-breaking new TV rights deal, we do not believe there is any justification whatsoever for increasing prices.
Fans at other clubs, particularly Liverpool and Arsenal, have spoken out about home pricing at their own clubs, generating welcome discussion about the issue of affordable football. We hope our own Club Board will take note of prevailing opinion when deciding on home pricing for next season.

Watford: The 1881 Movement

Luckily our club is that rarity in the Premier League; Watford supported the proposed £30 cap on away tickets and they asked every club if they would reciprocate with cheap away tickets to which sadly only two or three agreed.
As a group we actively support the FSF campaign (Twenty Is Plenty) and are affiliates of the FSF. We have customised banners to display at games home and away.
We use social media to highlight the need for cheaper match prices and liaise with other supporter groups as well as financially supporting them where possible to produce their own campaign material.
This is OUR game. If enough people stand up to the spiralling costs, one day we might be able to reclaim it for everyone who can't afford it anymore.


West Brom: Alan Cleverley, Secretary, West Bromwich Albion Supporters' Club

Football has a captive audience. You can walk out, you can choose not to buy a ticket but there will still be people turning up.
I supported the Liverpool walkout but I am unsure if I would do it myself.
Did it effect the game? It did in my opinion. It was very interesting. As for targeting sponsors, it depends who they are but I can’t see it working everywhere.

West Ham: Zaman Siddiqui - westhamtillidie.com

I feel that targeting sponsors themselves will help to subsidise decreases in ticket prices. The fans are directly supported with any general costs, be it travel or hospitality. These things add up!
Also, I am against incessant queries regarding players' wages, such as salary caps and reforms to the PFA financial model, as they may unsettle existing players or deter new players from coming here. We need to get Neymar and Messi!
Finally, there needs to be a governing body for charity work. The PFA doesn't do much about it, so I nominate Steven Naismith as head of this new body!


ATTEMPTING TO BRING TICKET PRICES DOWN

With the 20 Premier League shareholder clubs preparing to meet next week the Supporters Direct Premier League Trusts have written to their respective CEOs on ticket pricing.

The letter is as follows
“At a meeting of all Premier League clubs in March 2015 it was agreed that a total of at least £1billion from the total £5.14bn sale of UK live rights will be shared beyond the Premier League in the 2016/17-2018/19 period. This would include investing in ‘Fan engagement and match-day experience’.
We welcome this and thank you for backing this policy. We are writing to you now, ahead of the next Premier League shareholders meeting, to ask you to back a simple and effective proposal that delivers on this commitment.

We have discussed these ideas with other Premier League Supporters’ Trusts Groups who are also writing to their Clubs. Our proposal is that a portion of the new TV money should be used to secure the following benefits for all match-going fans across the game:

• A freeze on all ticket prices in all categories for the three years of the new tv contract

• New money to be set aside to allocate every club a £1m per season Away Supporter’s Initiative fund, an end to away match categorisation and a cap on away ticket prices

• Price reductions for 18-21-year-old fans – the future generation of supporters

There are other initiatives and promotions run by Clubs which offer benefits and we hope these will continue but we believe there is merit in having three main policy ideas that are applied across all Clubs in the Premier League so that everyone benefits.

We are asking you to table the proposal we have set out above at the next PL shareholders’ meeting and to vote in favour of that proposal. Each PL club is being asked to do this by their supporters.

The cost of football tickets has been keenly and publicly debated for some time, and we believe you have the opportunity to take practical action to address supporter concerns and send out a positive message about the responsible way the Premier League is utilising the additional TV windfall to engage with supporters and invest in the long-term future of the game.

We have given careful thought to these ideas and the areas we highlight for support - away fans and younger adult fans - are two categories we believe merit extra attention as they are key to the future social and economic health of the game.

Away fans are vital to the atmosphere and experience every fan attending a game enjoys. They bring the tribalism and sense of contest that so enhances the TV pictures beamed around the world.
The Away Supporters Initiative, where the clubs unilaterally agreed to ringfence £200k each per season for the away fan experience, shows it is possible to take the sort of step we are proposing.

Young fans are the future of the game. They are also very likely to be amongst those fans who are the loudest and most vocal at games. Yet as ever more young people are in full time education or lower paid employment it is important more focus is giving to making football affordable for them.

The proposal for a general price freeze would ensure benefit filters through to all fans. With every club in the Premier league expecting an additional income stream of at least £45m per season from the new domestic TV deal as well as increasing revenue from overseas rights it is a policy that can well be afforded and would generate much goodwill for Clubs and the league.

We do hope you will be able to support these measures. We are committed to assisting you uphold the commitment given in March 2015 to fan engagement so please do contact us if you would like any further input or discussion on them.

We look forward to hearing from you and of the position the Club proposes to take on this subject.

OTBC”

At the same time the Football Supporters Federation has given supporters the means to lobby their clubs directly. Follow the link below to send an email to the chief executive at our club urging them to use a fraction of their new £8bn TV deal to cap ticket prices.
http://www.fsf.org.uk/twentysplenty


PREMIER LEAGUE PLANS TO HELP CLUBS AS REPORT RELEASED

Football clubs and fans should meet twice a year to discuss "major issues", according to a government report.
Supporters' trusts should also be given the opportunity to bid for clubs that become insolvent, according to the Expert Working Group on Supporter Ownership and Engagement.
The Premier League has also proposed an extra £1m to help.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: "Supporters are the lifeblood of the clubs they support."
"Over time there has been a growing disconnect between them and those that run their clubs," she added.
"So it was right that government set up this group and brought the football authorities and supporters together to see what more can be done for clubs to engage with fans."
Other recommendations of the report include:
• Any planned substantial changes to club colours or crests to be discussed with fans as part of the structured engagement.
• The FA to assess how to best engage with representative supporter groups within its decision-making structures as part of its current review process.
• The football authorities agreed to keep the Owners and Directors Test under constant review and will take into account any feedback received from the supporter organisations through structured dialogue.
The report has been endorsed by the boards of the Football Association, Premier League, National League, Football League, Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federations. It follows consultation with ministers from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The recommendations could help Championship strugglers Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers.
The Addicks are 23rd in the league after a 6-0 hammering away at Hull City on Saturday, two days after re-appointing Jose Riga as head coach.
Charlton fans have protested against owner Roland Duchatelet and his apparent reluctance to communicate with them.
And Bolton fans have set up a Supporters' Trust in a bid to have a say in the future running of the club, which on Monday avoided an immediate winding-up order. Neil Lennon's side are currently bottom of the league.
The report has been criticised by the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST) and the Labour party's shadow minister for sport Clive Efford, who both believe further reform is required.
Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of MUST, which opposes the Glazer family's running of United, said: "We are concerned that there was an effective veto for any member of the group, so that any meaningful reform which was not attractive to club owners was effectively blocked."

MINISTERS MUST ENSURE REPORT MARKS ‘NEW ERA’ FOR SUPPORTERS

Clubs must implement proposals for structured dialogue on strategic issues including finance, governance and ownership

Supporters Direct (SD) today welcomed publication of the Government’s expert working group report on supporter ownership and engagement as a “step forward” with the potential to mark the start of a new era of meaningful dialogue between supporters and football clubs if the recommendations are implemented effectively.
The report contains a number of recommendations which are designed to assist supporter ownership including opportunities to bid in an insolvency process, and additional funding set aside to help supporters’ trusts to prepare an ownership bid, where they have the consent of the owner.
The group also endorsed SD’s proposals for community owned sports clubs (COSCs) which would reward supporter owned clubs with tax breaks.
SD, which was part of the group tasked with making recommendations to Government, said that the new guidelines must be implemented by football’s governing bodies within the spirit in which they were intended.
The new regime of “structured dialogue” with supporters must mean the new bi-annual meetings with trusts include meaningful information and effective discussion of finance, governance and ownership. SD said it hoped ministers would regularly monitor progress made by clubs.
SD said the changes could help relationships both at local level between supporters’ trusts and their clubs, and at national level between Supporters Direct and the football authorities.
SD pledged to continue to lobby in the areas where it would ideally have liked the report to go further to improve club governance and to make supporter ownership realistic whatever level a club is playing at.
The report was launched by the Government today at AFC Wimbledon, the League 2 club formed and owned by its supporters’ trust. On the platform with the Sports Minister, Brian Burgess, Chairman of SD, said:
“The Government must keep pressure on the football authorities to ensure that this marks the start of a new era of meaningful dialogue, both at local and national level. It is a welcome step forward in a long-term process of reform, aiming to reconnect clubs with their communities.
“We’d like to thank the football authorities for their constructive engagement with the issues, which we look forward to building on. We are expecting the structured dialogue between clubs and supporters’ trusts to be properly structured and be accompanied by suitable information to discuss the major issues of finance, governance and ownership.
“We also welcome the positive assurances from the Minister of Sport to maintain pressure on the football bodies, and other government departments, especially the Treasury.
“If the Government is serious about supporter ownership, we need their support to encourage supporters to save for, invest in and succeed as community owned sports clubs. That means help with tax breaks and support to implement our COSC proposal.
“Ultimately the success of this report will be measured by the number of supporters who feel empowered to either take ownership or secure a greater say in the governance of their beloved club.”


Trust Annual Report for 2015

CANARIES TRUST ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 31ST DECEMBER 2015

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

It has been a year of transition for the Trust as we have attempted to increase our public profile and our level of activity both in terms of share purchase and getting involved in supporter related issues. The close links forged with Forces2Canaries, the Barclay End Projekt and Proud Canaries have meant that we have been actively involved in combating discrimination and abuse at grounds, have supported the Football Supporters Federation's Twenty's Plenty campaign to try to bring down ticket prices and also have encouraged debate about safe standing. We were also part of the consortium of Supporters Trusts which has successfully pushed for the public disclosure of the full details of West Ham's deal for use of the Olympic Stadium largely at the tax-payers expense.

We also had a very good (and very hot!) Royal Norfolk Show which raised significant funds for share purchases followed by a very successful Canary Challenge campaign which further boosted the coffers and we are now working with the club as the official broker for share sales and purchases and are trying to bid for as many small parcels of shares as possible. We feel that this is a more cost effective approach than buying new shares from the club, although that avenue is also open to us.

Our communication with the club has been good and David McNally, Joe Ferrari and Stephen Graham, the Supporter Liaison Officer have all attended board meetings, while we worked closely and successfully with Stephen Balmer-Walters, in respect of the Show, and think that the relationship formed will be very productive going forward. We also gained good exposure through competitions to win signed shirts and footballs.

Going forward we will continue to develop our social media presence and seek to ensure that more and more fans know who we are and what we do as we feel that we are gaining momentum as the message that fan shareholding is the only way to have a real voice with the club is getting through to more and more supporters. I believe that we have a very strong and committed board and that we can build strongly on the foundations that we have laid.

Robin Sainty

Chairman

NORWICH CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST BOARD

Chairman: Robin Sainty

Vice Chairman: Myra Hawtree

Treasurer: John Easton

Trust Secretary: Mike Reynolds

Membership Secretary: Mandie Thorpe

Board Members: Kathy Blake
Paul Bond
Gary Field
David Harper
Mal Mortimer
Caroline Spinks

Co-opted Members Neville Townsend (Forces2Canaries)
Di Cunningham (Proud Canaries)
David Wiltshire (BarclayEndProjekt)

The Trust annually invites the Shareholders Association to provide a co-opted member to join the Trust Board as detailed in the constitution.

The Trust formally meets on the last Wednesday of every month excluding December and informally to organise the activities for the Royal Norfolk Show.

The Trust would like to thank Norwich City Football Club for the facilities that they offer the Trust.


DRAFT MINUTES OF THE OF THE 13TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF NORWICH CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST HELD ON 12TH FEBRUARY 2015

1. Apologies

Mal Mortimer, Caroline Spinks, Dave Harper, Roy Blower, Nic Hopkins, Denis Cox and Catherine Reynolds

2. Minutes of AGM held on 19th March 2014

The minutes of the 2014 Annual General Meeting were agreed and seconded. There were no matters arising from them.

3. Annual Report

In presenting the Trust Annual Report, the Chairman took the opportunity to inform the meeting on the ever expanding Supporters Trust movement of which the Trust is just one of over 150.

The Chairman explained the major aim of the Trust which was to be a relevant shareholder in NCFC and using its increasing shareholding to achieve a dialogue with the Club on a number of issues. The Chairman explained the agreement the Trust has with the Club regarding the purchase of shares but also the new arrangement where by the Trust actively operates a “share shop” on the website on behalf of the Club. For this reason the Trust also buys NCFC shares from third parties subject to the availability of funds and the price asked.

The Chairman explained how the Trust had approached the NCFC CEO to seek agreement that the Club would not oppose the Trust seeking to make Carrow Rd stadium an Asset of Community Value like Anfield and a number of other stadia. The Trust was not successful but will re-open discussions.

The Chairman informed the meeting of the Trusts plans to invite other NCFC fans groups to attend Trust meetings in the way Forces2Canaries do.

Finally the Chairman informed the meeting of the plans for the future beginning with the re-branding from Norwich City Supporters Trust to the Canaries Trust and modernising the way in which the Trust works. The subscriptions will rise from £10 to £12 per annum but with a free six monthly lottery with a £50 prize.
The Chairman said that there were often references to the fact that a number of the Trust Board had links with NCISA and INCST and he assured those present that supporters were now operating in a different environment where Clubs were mainly only interested in the views of shareholders and that was why modernisation and increased recruitment were of the greatest importance.

4. Financial position of Trust

The Treasurer presented the last set of audited accounts.

5. Appointments of Auditors

It was agreed that Mr Ford should continue to act as “independent investigator” and the Chairman will formally thank Mr Ford.

6. Trust Rules

The rule changes agreed at the last Annual General Meeting had been ratified by the FCA and the Trust were now operating within these rules.

7. Any Other Business

The Chairman, on behalf of the meeting, thanked the departing Chairman Paul Bond for all his hard work since the creation of the Trust and also Pam Bassham and Chris Holmes who had been the mainstay of the Trusts fund raising, especially their organisation of the Trusts presence at the Royal Norfolk Show.


The AGM was followed by an open meeting for a Question and Answer Session with Michael Bailey and Darren Eadie.


SHAREHOLDING

The accumulation of shares in Norwich City Football Club has become the principle aim of the Trust in order to give the fans a stronger voice on Club matters.

It is worth reiterating that these shares are held in perpetuity for all fans of Norwich City Football Club.

Trust members who are also shareholders also have the ability to retain their shares but pledge their voting rights to the Trust.

This year the Trust has increased it’s shareholding in NCFC by 120 shares through both purchase and donation. The current position is that the Trust holds:-

Ordinary Shares = 1257
“A” Preference Shares = 100
“B” Preference Shares = 2
We have recently received a number of donations from Trust members who have transferred a proportion of their NCFC shares to the Trust. This enables them to help the aims of the Trust whilst retaining the right to attend the NCFC AGM as an individual shareholder. The Trust provides the Share Transfer form and the Club organises the share transfer.
Over the year the Trust has matched a number of “vendors” to “prospective purchasers” with the NCFC operating the Share Transfer service at no cost.

Full information on this subject can be found at
www.canariestrust.org/Shares

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR STATUS

The status of Associate Director of Norwich City Football Club was created to offer a role to individuals who purchased £25,000 of Ordinary Shares in Norwich City Football Club. It remains an aim of the Trust to be recognised alongside these individuals.

MEMBERSHIP

Once again there has been a small but steady increase in membership with a surge at the Royal Norfolk Show. It should be noted that currently, once a member becomes a shareholder in Norwich City Supporters Trust they remain a legal shareholder until such time as they notify the Trust they wish to cease being a shareholder. Only members who renew their annual subscription may vote at the Annual General Meeting.


It is only through renewal of the annual subscription that the Trust can continue to purchase shares in Norwich City Football club on behalf of the fans.

COMMUNICATIONS

The website remains the Trust’s main source of information to members and a new design was launched last April and includes a number of new pages aimed to keep members information updated.

The Trust has used social media to communicate to the “outside world” via both Facebook and Twitter, both of which can be accessed from

http://www.canariestrust.org

The twitter account @canariestrust has over 1870 followers and is growing daily. The size of our following is very important as it opens new opportunities for fund raising so please follow the Trust on Twitter and Facebook

FUNDRAISING

Canary Challenge: The Trust is now running a 2015/16 Challenge with 410 participants

The Trust would like to thank Nurture Financial Planning for their sponsorship of this year's competition. You can find out more about them at

http:/www.nurturefp.co.uk.

FA Cup Game: The Trust once again operated an FA Cup game which has proved a popular fund raiser but requires more trust members to be involved in selling it.

Royal Norfolk Show 2015: Once again the Trust accepted the kind offer of the Football Club to be part of their presence at the Royal Norfolk Show which included a stand within the Club’s marquee.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

Norwich City Football Club has an excellent record regarding its link with the community and for this reason the role of the Trust in this area has been limited.

The Trust used it’s presence at the Royal Norfolk Show to raise money for the CSF

The Trust has worked with the community radio station Future Radio on a few occasions during the year.

ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE

The Trust is still considering whether to raise the issue again as more football clubs are being registered as Assets of Community Value.

SUPPORTERS DIRECT

“Supporters Direct” is closely linked with the Cooperative movement and is funded by subscription plus an annual grant which has been seriously reduced. Its aim is to help people "who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the football club they support" and it offers support, advice and information to groups of football supporters in the UK and in Europe.
The Trust attended the joint Football Supporters Federation / Supporters Direct Conference in Birmingham.
There were “workshops” offering assistance to Trusts regarding membership and community responsibilities and also information on issues such as Safe Standing, Assets of Community Value, and Homophobia at football grounds and Financial Fair Play.
For details of what it does and how many Trusts are in operation visit www.supporters-direct.org
The Trust is also a member of Supporters Directs Premiership Trusts Group and there have been two formal meetings thus far. The Group has discussed the issue of the “Norwich City Parachute Payments”, Policy recommendations regarding consultations between Clubs and supporter groups and Supporter Liaison Officers amongst other topics.

FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS FEDERATION

The Trust and several members of the Board are members of FSF which campaigns widely and vociferously on issues affecting football fans. The Trust is represented at the South East Region by Myra Hawtree.
The Trust were involved in the FSF “Twenty’s Plenty” campaign and helped with a leafleting campaign that was organised by the BarclayEndProjekt.
For details of what FSF does visit www.fsf.org.uk/

Mike Reynolds, Trust Secretary



Official Calling Notice for Canaries Trust Annual General Meeting

Canaries Trust
(Trading name of Norwich City Supporters Society Ltd)

Annual General Meeting
in The Norfolk Lounge, Barclay Stand, Norwich City FC
Carrow Road
Thursday 25th February 2016
7pm for 7.15pm


Agenda
1. Apologies
2. Minutes of AGM held on 12th February 2015
3. Annual Report
4. Financial position of Trust
5. Appointments of Auditors
6. Elections
7. Any Other Business

The AGM will be followed at 8pm by am free open meeting for a
Question and Answer Session with

Iwan Roberts

All City fans are welcome to attend but only current members may vote at the AGM, details at:-

http://www.canariestrust.org

Mike Reynolds Society Secretary
Registered Office: 8 St Philips Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 3BL


2015: A year in the life of the FSF

2015: A year in the life of the Football Supporters Federation of which the Trust is an affiliated member.
January
Ticket prices (what else?) kicked off 2015 when FSF chief exec Kevin Miles led a delegation of fans meeting with the Premier League. Their message for the clubs was simply: to end match categorisation.
Fans from a cross-section of clubs and supporter groups met with Premier League officials demanding an end to match categorisation – which can see some away fans charged more than double that of others – as well as concessionary pricing for young adults.
FSF chair Malcolm Clarke said: “This business of categorising matches is blatantly unfair. Just because Manchester City have a lot of money doesn't mean their supporters have, and the same is true of the other teams who get charged the highest prices every time they play."
Elsewhere, fans of Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United came together to help the club sort out problems with access to their away end after a crush before their league cup match at White Hart Lane.
• Month in numbers: 35 - price difference, in pounds, between category “A” and “C” away fans at Upton Park this season.
February
Research released in February confirmed what we’d suspected for a long time – that the overwhelming majority of football fans want safe standing.
According to a survey produced by the Welsh Conservatives 96 percent of football fans back safe standing and want to see a safe standing pilot in Wales. The 2,364 fans surveyed made it clear that the choice of safe standing should be made available, and the technology would reduce conflict with stadium staff.
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said: “Legislation governing standing was drafted in a different era, to address a different set of problems and it’s time for politicians to move on and give the people what they want.”
A young Crystal Palace fan settled his long-running action against Thames Valley Police in February. Tommy Meyers needed extensive surgery after being unlawfully arrested and bitten by a police dog when travelling to an away game at Reading in 2011. "This case illustrates the importance of seeking legal assistance in both criminal and potential civil cases,” said FSF caseworker Amanda Jacks.
• Month in numbers: 96 - the percentage of fans who support safe standing.
March
The Premier League’s new TV deal starting in 2016 will see an increase of 71% on the previous cycle, domestic rights alone going for £5.1bn.
With money pouring into the game, fans demanded something back. We brought together supporter groups under the banner of #ShareTVWealth and demonstrated outside a meeting of the Premier League shareholders – calling for the following:
- An Away Fans Initiative Mk II at £1m per club to subsidise ticket prices for away fans
- Structured engagement with fans on how to spend this money
- An end to the application of match categorisation to away fans
- No reduction in away allocations or relocation of away fans to inferior accommodation.
March also marked an important victory for Hull City supporters, as once more the FA rejected a move by the club’s owners to rename the team Hull Tigers. The name change was voted down by the FA Council 70% to 30%. Hull City Supporters’ Trust said: “This decision will also be welcomed by fans of other clubs who may be concerned that their clubs might, at some point in the future, face a similar threat.”
• Month in numbers: £10.19m – the amount broadcasters will pay per Premier League match starting in the 2016-17 season.
April
April was the month of boycotts as Cardiff City, Liverpool and Newcastle fans all stayed away from games for very different reasons.
The Bluebirds returned their full allocation of tickets to Leeds United, due to draconian travel and collection restrictions, leaving the away end at Elland Road completely empty.
Liverpool fans boycotted Hull City away after being asked to pay £50 for a Monday night game (more than double what fans of other clubs pay to see their team at the KC Stadium). And finally, Newcastle United fans left St James’ Park half-empty for their match against Spurs, expressing their discontent at how the club was being run by owner Mike Ashley.
In the world of politics, we helped launch the VoteFootball website – a simple campaign tool that lets voters see where their election candidates stand on various matters of footballing policy (whether it be safe standing, ticket prices and so on). Thousands of voters made use of the tool and it will continue to help the public hold their elected representatives to account in future.
Month in numbers: £120 - the cost of a season ticket at Eastleigh, the cheapest in the top five divisions.
May
One of the biggest off-pitch stories of the last twelve months has to be the FIFA scandal. In joint operations between the US State Department and the Swiss authorities, FIFA officials were arrested in dawn raids in Zurich on a plethora of corruption charges.
Some of the charges were staggering, with corruption appearing endemic in the organisation. “They were expected to uphold the rules that keep soccer honest. Instead they corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and enrich themselves,” said the US attorney general, Loretta Lynch. “They did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament.”
Some things are bigger than football. In May, the football world paid tribute to 56 football fans who perished in the Bradford fire, thirty years ago.
Leeds United Supporters’ Trust chair Paul Keats attended the memorial on behalf of the FSF. He said that though the amber and claret of Bradford City was everywhere, fans from every club had paid their respects. “Football united, in remembrance,” he added.
• Month in numbers: The 56 - RIP.
June
A major breakthrough for the safe standing campaign came in June as Celtic were given the go-ahead to install rail seating at Celtic Park. Initially, 2,600 rail seats will be installed for the start of the 2016/17 season. Our safe standing campaign co-ordinator Peter Daykin said: “Celtic deserve praise for being brave enough to pursue this and for listening to their fans.”
Developments north of the border will no doubt increase the pressure on authorities in England – if fans can stand at Celtic Park, why not White Hart Lane or St James’ Park?
The results of our 2014/15 Away Fans Survey were also published – Wigan Athletic came out as the highest scoring away day, narrowly beating Derby County to the top spot.
Wigan’s combination of large allocations, affordable tickets and good facilities proved popular amongst away fans. QPR’s miserable season wasn’t confined to the pitch as travelling fans scored their trip to Loftus Road a lowly 3.58. Crystal Palace limped to 4.94 while Liverpool completed the top-flight’s bottom three with 5.32. Blackpool (5.00) were rock bottom of the Championship.
• Month in Numbers: 6.26 – average score fans gave away grounds out of 10 across all leagues this year (down from 6.44 last year).
July
Supporters and activists from around the country descended on Manchester for the 2015 Supporters’ Summit, our annual event with our friends at Supporters Direct.
Highlight of the weekend was our FIFA Question Time panel featuring Stephen Russell from the Playfair Qatar campaign, sports ethics campaigner Jaimie Fuller and former-MP (and Fulham fan) Tom Greatrex. The FSF AGM passed a motion calling on fans to lobby FIFA sponsors.
July was a pleasing month for fans of Swansea City – the club announcing that for the 2015-16 season all travelling Swans would pay no more than £22 for their away tickets. The move represented a huge boost for the Twenty’s Plenty campaign. If Swansea City can do it, why not other clubs?
Pressure on the Premier League clubs to give something continued to ramp up as Norwich City earned promotion to the top-flight following last year’s relegation. This meant their parachute payments of £24m were returned. We wrote to all Premier League clubs outlining how this returned payment could and should pay for Twenty’s Plenty at every club for a whole season.
• Month in Numbers: £20m – the cost of funding a £20 cap on all away tickets in the top flight for a year.
August
As the Twenty’s Plenty campaign enters its third year, we estimated it’s saved fans £738,000 since launching. Twenty’s Plenty created an environment where clubs look to enter into reciprocal deals, saving money for thousands of away fans.
A coalition of supporter trusts from London, and beyond, called for a full public inquiry to be launched into the deal between the London Legacy Development Committee (LLDC) and West Ham United for Olympic Stadium rental costs. A petition asking for the Government to open this inquiry has racked up more than 25,000 signatures.
• Month in Numbers: 68,000 – the number of away fans that have already benefited from reciprocal deals.
September
The FSF Roadshow has been out across the country throughout 2015 and in September arrived at Broadhurst Park, the home of FC United. It was a real pleasure to visit FC United’s fantastic new facility, and talk to supporters about FSF campaigns.
FSF Cymru also continued their good work – meeting with the Football Association of Wales to talk ticket allocations and travel. Wales had a fantastic qualifying campaign, eventually made it to the Euro 2016 finals, with the FSF Cymru team providing excellent support to Welsh fans along the way.
• Month in Numbers: 57 – the number of years since Wales last qualified for a major tournament.
October
One of the largest nation-wide actions by football fans took place on the first weekend of October – supporters up and down the country backed the Twenty’s Plenty campaign. Twenty’s Plenty banners were displayed by home and away fans at every Premier League ground, as well as many in the Football League. The campaign’s core message, a £20 cap on away ticket prices, reached an audience of millions.
Ticket prices remained in the spotlight all month, as Bayern Munich fans protested at the Emirates Stadium. £64 tickets led to Club Nr 12 call for reciprocal pricing in European competition.
• Month in Numbers: 20 – Twenty’s Plenty.
November
We brought together MPs from across the House of Commons to form the Football Supporters All Party Parliamentary Group. The group aims to represent the interests of match-going football fans in Parliament and support the objectives of the FSF. The newly inaugurated cross-party group will be chaired by Ian Mearns MP.
The FSF’s diversity work was recognised at the Asian Football Awards. Our diversity and campaigns manager, Anwar Uddin, won an Asian Football Award for the “behind the scenes” category for his work on our Fans for Diversity campaign. Congratulations to Anwar!
• Month in numbers: £4.50 - the price of a pie at Kidderminster. The most expensive in the country - hope they're good!
December
Once again, the FSF awards celebrated all that’s good about the beautiful game – from the best fanzines, pundits, players and much more. Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez picked up Player of the Year, Jamie Carragher won best pundit and Robbie Savage accepted the Radio Show of the Year award on behalf of BBC 5Live’s 606. The third year of our partnership with William Hill, the awards were a huge success.
FSF chief exec Kevin Miles said: “Where our awards are unique is in celebrating the best fanzines that are out there, promoting the SLO role and giving credit to those clubs that provide the best away experience.”
Elsewhere, AFC Wimbledon announced that they will be returning home to Plough Lane after the club won planning permission to build a new stadium. We wish the Dons all the best at their new home.
• Month in numbers: 11,000 - the initial capacity of New Plough Lane, AFC Wimbledon's planned stadium.

Hope you enjoy the festive fixtures, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


OLYMPIC STADIUM COALITION

The OS Stadium Coalition notes the unanimous motion of the London Assembly that the rental agreement between the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and West Ham United be published in full (‘Assembly blows full-time whistle on West Ham deal ‘secrecy’).

We also note that Assembly members made a direct reference to the ‘considerable public interest’, an interest that has coalesced around our campaign, which is specifically backed by 14 supporters’ trusts, individuals in their tens of thousands, other campaigners and frontbench and senior backbench MPs at Westminster as well as a number of London Assembly members.

We would like to issue our thanks to Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat members of the Assembly, all of whom have refused to allow this issue to disappear off the agenda. We ask that they continue to do as they have been, and further to continue to press London Mayor Boris Johnson to finally back with actions his own view in September that the terms of the deal should be published.

It is in the Mayor’s hands to place pressure on the LLDC to cease their frivolous appeal, currently set for the 25th January, and to finally place the deal, in full, into the public domain.


NCFC Chairman Alan Bowkett steps down.

Norwich City can confirm Alan Bowkett has stepped down from his position as Chairman and Director of the Club.

Mr Bowkett joined the Board of Directors in 2009 and the Directors and all at Norwich City Football Club would like to place on record their thanks to Alan for his contribution.

The Club has been working recently to refresh the Board of Directors and an announcement about new Directors and a new Chairman will be made in the next few weeks. The ownership of the Club will be unaffected by these changes.

The new Directors will bring additional expertise and fresh ideas about growing the business, as Norwich City continues its commitment to maintaining Premier League status



Virgin Media calls on Premier League to allow live broadcast of all matches

The Virgin Media chief executive, Tom Mockridge, would like the Premier League to consider regional TV blackouts to enable the showing of live 3pm kick-offs. Photograph: Peter
The head of Virgin Media, Tom Mockridge, has called on the Premier League to consider introducing US-style regional blackouts to enable it to show all 380 matches live on television.
The pay-TV company has also made it plain it does not expect the media regulator Ofcom to rip up the Premier League’s existing deals, expected to bring in more than £8.5bn, but that any changes should apply to the next contract, starting in the 2019-20 season.
Virgin has filed a complaint with the regulator arguing that by making only 41% of all matches available to broadcasters, the Premier League is keeping prices artificially high and restricting choice to consumers.
The Premier League, in unusual alignment with the Football Supporters’ Federation on the issue, argues that it is necessary to protect the 3pm blackout window on a Saturday to safeguard attendance in lower league football.
In other countries such as Germany, and with other leagues such as the NBA and the NFL in the US, it is common for fans to be able to watch all games or purchase a pass that allows them to follow their team.
Mockridge said the move was necessary to curb continuing inflation in the cost of live rights that was hurting consumers. He said 77% of Virgin customers, around a third of whom subscribe to BT Sport and Sky Sports, thought that sports channels were now too expensive.
Arguing the provisions had created a “nanny state”, Mockridge said: “Consumers are entitled to make their own choices rather than have other people make them for them.”
Under the three-year contract that begins next season, Sky and BT will pay £5.1bn – an 80% increase on the current deal.
Mockridge said making all matches available live may not bring the overall cost down but would act as a brake on inflation and allow fans more choice. He said the rules in the UK were an anachronism compared with the US and the rest of Europe.
“The Premier League argues there is a consumer benefit in limiting the number of matches. We would argue the opposite,” said Mockridge. “I am not criticising the Premier League. Richard Scudamore has done a terrific job for them but it’s up to Ofcom to act as the referee. Their primary aim is to protect the consumer. What is the consumer benefit in showing only 40% of the games on TV?”
Lower league clubs and their fans have traditionally lobbied against dropping the 3pm blackout for fear it would hit attendances. Mockridge suggested that, if they were given a greater proportion of the Premier League’s television money and protected by technology that would stop fans in Manchester watching Manchester United instead of Bury, they may feel differently.
Such a system works for the NFL in the US and, while Mockridge accepted there were cultural and geographical differences in the UK, he said the idea should be considered for those games that kick off at 3pm on a Saturday and are not shown on TV.
While it is unclear whether the idea would translate to the UK – where the unintended consequence may be that supporters of Manchester United could end up travelling to Liverpool to watch their side on television – Mockridge said the technology existed and was worth exploring.
The media regulator Ofcom has been looking into Virgin’s complaint for more than a year and is conducting a detailed review. There is no timescale for a decision but Ofcom has said the review could take up to two years in total.

Clive Efford MP Football Supporters Bill Published

MP Clive Efford’s ‘Football Governance (Supporters' Participation) Bill’ that will give football supporters the right to buy shares in their clubs and to elect representatives to boards is published today.
The text of the bill is available here.
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2015-2016/0050/15050.pdf
The bill is listed for Second Reading in the House of Commons tomorrow (4th December).
Clive Efford MP says’ “It’s time that fans are heard in the boardrooms of football clubs. Too many decisions are made without fans even being consulted. My bill will not give fans a controlling share but it will ensure they have a place at the table and will be able to put their views across.”
Background to the bill
Football clubs are attached to the communities in which they based like no other forms of business. Fans do not choose their clubs after comparing prices or being influenced by clever marketing, it is an emotional attachment that lasts a lifetime. Fans are the people that remain after club owners have moved on and they remain loyal through good times and bad. With few exceptions it is the communities around the clubs that provide the bulk of the fans that pack the grounds and make our football so exciting and attractive to watch. If the grounds were empty the TV companies would not be interested in paying large sums of money to televise games and the money coming into football from TV rights would dry up.
Yet time and time again we see fans being overlooked on issues that directly affect them: naming rights; sponsorship; cost of tickets – particularly for away fans; changing club colours; and costs of merchandise. These are all examples of disputes that have occurred between fans and club directors. It is time that fans had a voice.
This bill will not give fans a controlling stake, but it will allow them, where they chose to do so, to have a voice in the boardroom and where they have the means, to take a stake in their club. The fans’ group will be constituted to provide transparency about how funds are managed and the board representatives are held to account. Fans that are elected to the boards will have to undertake training to ensure that they understand the legal requirements of being a board member. It’s time to give fans a voice.
Where they chose to do so fans can set up an appropriately constituted group that will have the right to buy up to 10 percent of the shares available for purchase when there is a change of ownership, which is when 30 percent or more of the shares on offer. The group will also be able to elect and remove two members or up to 25 percent, whichever is the greater, of their club’s board.
From Supporters Direct

Survival proves key issue at Norwich City’s AGM

Courtesy of the EDP

Attracting top-level players, the prospect of expanding Carrow Road and problems with half-time sausage rolls – all just part of another Norwich City annual general meeting.
Shareholders had their chance to grill the club’s board of directors at Carrow Road on Tuesday night and often found they were receiving a similar answer, whatever their issue.
Preserving top-flight status is key to all of the ambitions the club’s hierarchy and supporters have, with chairman Alan Bowkett jokingly turning to manager Alex Neil and saying with a smile: “All we need is for Alex to make us a regular Premier League club and then we’re home and dry!”
That message was no surprise, emphasised further with chief executive David McNally’s illustration of the club’s “revised vision” with a football-shaped graphic.
At the heart of that was the message “we are Premier League”.
So when the issue of expanding Carrow Road’s current 27,244 capacity was raised, the answer remained unchanged. An investment of over £25million, which would take over 10 years to pay off, is not the priority in the club’s first year back at English football’s top table – but it remains in the board’s long-term hopes.
McNally reminded supporters that another year in the top flight would be worth around £65million in broadcast revenue alone, having earlier said: “It wouldn’t need too many things to go right to double our income year on year.”
That was emphasised by revisiting the annual accounts, revealed earlier this year, which showed City’s income was forecast to grow 91.6pc, from £53.6m to £102.7m, for the 2015/16 financial year.
When it was pointed out that the Canaries currently sit 16th in the English football pyramid but only have the 30th biggest capacity, McNally took a different tact.
“Our facilities at Colney have to be improved, we have not got a choice,” he said. “It has to be best in class if we want to attract and attain some of the best players in the world.”
Neil has been telling supporters the same thing ever since the summer transfer window and agreed that the club’s training ground at Colney must improve if he is to attract fresh talent in January.
“Six years ago this club was in financial turmoil and was rescued by a lot of the people sitting here and is now looking to get back established in the Premier League – and that is a phenomenal achievement,” the Scot said. “Although the first team went up through the leagues, behind the scenes it hasn’t caught up.”
The formal business of the night was concluded smoothly, with chairman Alan Bowkett and deputy chairman Michael Foulger re-elected to the board.
The absence of fellow director Stephen Fry for a second successive year was raised, with financial director Steve Stone passing on the actor’s apologies for his absence.
The evening started on a sadder note though, as a round of applause was given in the memory of former AGM stalwart David Batley, who passed away recently.
But the AGM finished on a quirkier note, although an issue which will be important to many City fans.
The problems of long half-time queues in the Jarrold Stand and food not being ready until 2.15pm at some games, when the stadium opens at 1.30pm for a 3pm kick-off, prompted McNally to pledge action.
“The queues are too long and that is not good enough, we have got to do something about it,” he said, adding that more tills and staff are needed.
Joint majority shareholder and celebrity chef Delia Smith added: “If I could come down and give you a sausage roll myself, I would, and like David said, we will investigate it.”
It summed up a relaxed night and encapsulated perfectly that although the Canaries are in a great position, plenty of hard work is still needed if the club is to continue on an upward trajectory.

Promotion to the Premier League may have held up the careers of Norwich City’s youngsters but manager Alex Neil is still well aware of the talent available to him.
Neil and City’s hierarchy were grilled on a range of issues at the club’s annual general meeting, including the lack of academy players currently playing for the first team.
Premier League rivals Southampton and Tottenham were held up as examples of clubs who are managing to integrate youth stars into their top-flight teams – but Neil insists the Canaries are not yet able to do that.
“We have loaned out more players than this club probably ever has in its history and that’s the way we’re trying to do it,” the Scot said.
“Let’s not kid on, us getting promoted has prevented some of the young players playing. The Murphy brothers (Josh and Jacob), Harry Toffolo. Those three in particular I would have had in the squad, in terms of being involved in squads on match days, as we would have needed to cut costs.
“But at the moment two of them are playing regularly in the Championship and the other in League One, so we are trying to get them ready for first-team football in the Premier League, as they’re not ready yet.”
Josh Murphy and Toffolo are currently playing in the Championship, for MK Dons and Rotherham respectively, and Jacob Murphy is shining for Coventry in League One – scoring a 10-minute hat-trick on Saturday.
“Southampton and Tottenham are on a much better footing, they’ve probably got nine or 10 players who cost £10million – we haven’t got any,” Neil continued.
“Tottenham have got an experienced squad which can carry one or two players being blooded in but this season our only objective is to stay in the Premier League and blood some of those players in the future.”

The Canaries boss was quizzed on a variety of issues at the club’s annual general meeting at Carrow Road last night, including his recent 
preference for a more defensive approach to games.
Neil has seen his team beat Swansea at home and narrowly fall to defeat away to Premier League big boys Manchester City and Chelsea recently and admits City supporters will see more of that style this season.
“Those first 10 games we were generally offensive and tried to play attacking football, as we did last season, but we were coming away in losing positions,” the City boss told shareholders.
“We were playing really well and I thought we were entertaining. I think our supporters were getting value for money, but we weren’t winning points.
“We played that attacking style last season and the start of this year because that is generally the way my teams play.
“But it’s not about me, it’s about the club and financial stability. The growing of the club is bigger than my philosophy. I’ve got to find a way of keeping us in this league so that style can grow with this team.
“I’m not so sure that playing that (attacking) style over the course of the season is going to work. It’s not as enjoyable for me but, ultimately, my job is to keep us in the league.”


Olympic Stadium Coalition. What we don’t know about the deal between the LLDC and West Ham United

The following Press Release is a campaign update from the Olympic Stadium Coalition. In the weeks since the LLDC decided to appeal against the clear judgement of the Information Commissioner (ICO) that the commercial terms agreed between itself and West Ham United had to be published, we have continued to build our campaign, speaking with MPs, London Assembly members, and others. We have found near-universal support for our campaign amongst those we have met, and we continue to arrange meetings with interested individuals.
We have also assessed the most recent releases of the contract between the LLDC and West Ham United. This release is intended to clarify what exactly we now know about the agreement.
Although the LLDC was ordered to release in full the financial terms of the deal between itself and West Ham United for the hire of the Olympic Stadium on September 15th 2015, they are currently releasing information in dribs and drabs.
They have so far released three further versions of the agreement, all with continued substantial redactions.
Although the LLDC is clearly exercising a right to appeal against the decision of the Information Commissioner (ICO), we continue to contend that the LLDC is simply dragging its feet, and using procedural delays to attempt to ‘time out’ the campaign.
Representing as we do fourteen supporters’ organisations, thousands of members of the public, and with the support of MPs, London AMs and other civil society organisations, we will continue to make the same demands for transparency as we made when we set out on this campaign, because we believe that a fair deal for the taxpayer, is a fair deal for football.
For more about the campaign, its aims and its supporters, please go to our FAQ section, or get in touch via our email address: olympicstadiumcoalition@gmail.com
This is what we don’t yet know:
How much the stadium costs to hire
How much the stadium maintenance will cost, and who will pay for it
How much each party will earn from stadium naming rights
What happens to the stadium in the event of financial difficulties at stadium company E20
What happens if West Ham United is sold by its current owners
How much West Ham United earns from matchday catering
How many jobs are being ‘created’
How much office space is being provided to West Ham United and on what terms

You can read more on our website, where we’ve posted information about each of these issues, and why we think they matter.

For further information please go to https://oscoalition.wordpress.com
You can also contact the campaign via email at olympicstadiumcoalition@gmail.com

Editors notes:

About
We are a coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts and groups. We are groups representing tens of thousands of football supporters from across the country, and across the leagues.

• We are seeking the full publication of the financial terms of the contract agreed between Boris Johnson and the LLDC (London Legacy Development Corporation) and West Ham United FC
• This is about whether information about the financial agreement to use a publicly owned stadium by a privately owned football club should be a matter of public interest.
• This is about ensuring public money is used well, and that it is not used as a subsidy to give one football a financial advantage over others
We hope the deal will be published. If the LLDC appeals, the suspicion of a cover up will grow.
• This campaign has thousands of supporters, more than a dozen supporters’ trusts from across English football, politicians from the GLA and Parliament and campaign groups supporting it.

This campaign, calling for a public enquiry into West Ham’s rental of the Olympic Stadium, started with a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, and a petition on the Government website. It raced to the 10,000 signatures required for a Government response within 24 hours. Within a week it had reached 25,000.

Football supporters’ trusts and groups, representing tens of thousands of football fans, as part of the coalition are:

Arsenal Supporters’ Trust
Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust
The Blue Union (Everton)
Canaries Trust (Norwich City)
Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust
Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust
The Dons Trust (AFC Wimbledon)
The Foxes Trust (Leicester City)
Fulham Supporters’ Trust
Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust
Manchester United Supporters’ Trust
QPR1st Supporters’ Trust
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust


A Review of Tales from the City Volume one

Last month saw the launch of Mick Dennis’s compilation book Tales from the City.

Mick has drawn from all walks of NCFC – players, journalists, ex managers, board members, and fans for contributions, and the finished product is an excellent glimpse into a world we rarely see.

There are some excellent stories and some very funny pieces. Check out Jon Rogers visit to the NCFC dressing room as a small boy, and Chris Goreham’s formative years in the commentary box. There are also some poignant paragraphs where the writer describes how family members no longer with us have had such a big influence in their love affair with Norwich City.

Some chapters are written by people who didn’t always have a great relationship with the fans, and it’s good to see things from a different perspective. Both Bryan Gunn and Iwan Roberts have gone through some rocky periods at the football club, but still have that special relationship so often seen when footballers come to Norfolk.

If you are looking for a Christmas present for someone who enjoys sports autobiographies and is an NCFC fan this is the book for you. It’s one of those books which reminds you just why you are a fan when things are going badly at the club, and consoles you with the fact that football is cyclical and it’s only a matter of time before things pick up again. Also it’s worth noting that this is ‘volume one’ so make sure you leave another space on the bookshelf.


New member competition winner receives prize

We recently got together with Scott Royal to present him with a football signed by the 2014/15 promotion winning squad as his prize for our new member competition that we ran in July, and here's what he had to say:


"I joined the Canaries Trust in the Summer because I believe that it is vitally important for fans to have a proper say in how their club is run. The very best way to have some clout in my view is to have a level of ownership. That way you get taken seriously. Despite the ups and downs we've experienced during their tenure, I believe that we have been incredibly fortunate to have Delia and Michael as joint majority shareholders. They genuinely have the best interests of the club at heart and I think that they see themselves as custodians of the club.

"However, at some point in the future the ownership of the club will change. At that point it will be more important than ever for supporters to have as loud a voice as possible. I urge anybody who wants to see the club thrive to join the Canaries Trust. By pooling resources we can together build a significant ownership in the club. It's the best £12 I've spent recently. And you might just win a ball!"


RIP Brian Lomax, the founder of supporter activism and the reason there is a Canaries Trust

David Conn writes

Brian Lomax, who has died aged 67, was the visionary pioneer for the idea that football clubs rightfully belong to their supporters and he became the founding father of the modern movement to form supporters’ trusts at almost every club in Britain. Lomax inspired a generation of activism with his remarkably open and generous manner, and with practical expertise, having himself formed an original supporters’ trust at then troubled Northampton Town in 1992.

Cambridge-educated and a lifelong political activist – for the Liberal Democrats – Lomax stretched a standard post-match grumble in the pub about Northampton’s much resented then owner into action: forming a mutual, democratic trust to seek a stake and involvement in the club’s running.

He drew on charitable structures he had worked with in his career, first as a probation and prison welfare officer, then as chief executive of the Mayday Trust, a social enterprise in Rugby which helped former prisoners and other disadvantaged people lead independent lives. Based on one member one vote, the Northampton Town trust collectively bought 8% of the shares and secured an agreement with the new board to elect democratically a director – Lomax was duly voted in himself, serving for seven years.

When I first talked to Lomax, and interviewed him for my 1997 book, The Football Business, he spoke in religious terms about football’s place in the modern world and about seeing his daughter, Emily, “enraptured” when he first took her to watch the Cobblers, at the age of nine. “I believe there are certain very important values in life and that football support embodies them,” he said then. “There is a sense of pilgrimage, of going to a sacred place; there is loyalty, sticking with something through good and bad times.”

He scoffed at the idea that football is merely an entertainment business, in which shareholders should be entitled to make money however they can.
“It’s about emotion, about sharing and comradeship, about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. These are very deeply rooted human needs and I believe that that is at the root of people’s love for football and loyalty for their clubs.”

In 1997, when the newly elected Labour government formed the Football Task Force to address critical concerns about the game’s new hyper-commercialised direction, Lomax presented the work he had done at Northampton as an alternative. His ideal of mutual ownership struck an immediate, heartfelt chord with thousands of football supporters and with Andy Burnham, the task force’s administrator.

Burnham worked with Philip French, then at the Football Trust, and others, to agree a deal from the Premier League to encourage supporters’ trusts, partly in return for the government backing clubs’ collective selling of TV rights, then under attack from competition authorities.

That led in 2000 to the formation of Supporters Direct, to promote and help fans form trusts, and Lomax left the Mayday Trust to become the organisation’s first managing director. The timing was again auspicious: very soon ITV Digital pulled its Football League TV deal and dozens of lower division clubs tumbled into financial crisis.

Lomax and his skeleton staff, including his deputy, Dave Boyle, found themselves speaking at packed public meetings across the country, of supporters worried their clubs were going bust and forming trusts to save them. Not all lasted as fan-owned, due to the continuing financial pressures they faced, but the survival of York City, Chesterfield, Bury, Brentford and many other historic clubs owes a great deal to their supporters’ efforts in newly formed trusts.

AFC Wimbledon, FC United of Manchester and others have formed from scratch as mutual, supporter-owned clubs. The original deal at Swansea City in 2001, where the trust bought 20% of shares and elected a director to the board, working alongside other shareholders, has endured into the club’s membership of the Premier League. Trust ownership of Exeter City has now lasted more than a decade, while Portsmouth fans helped save their club from years of wreckage and now own a majority mutual stake. Supporters Direct has been involved in the formation of trusts at 203 clubs in Britain; 107 trusts own shares, 75 have a director on the board.

Burnham, now the shadow home secretary, paid tribute to Lomax on Monday, describing him as a “great friend” who created a huge legacy. It was a sorrow to Lomax as he suffered with lung cancer that Northampton Town are once again in trouble, subject to a winding-up petition. He was too unwell to take up an invitation to speak to the crowd at Sixfields, so last week, on the pitch before the Cobblers’ 2-1 home victory against Stevenage, his daughter Emily read a stirring speech on his behalf.


Two new Canary books for Christmas!

With Christmas approaching our thoughts turn towards Canary based presents and while Tales from the City has been widely publicised (and will shortly be the subject of a separate review on this site), two lesser known titles are well worth a look. The first of these is Talk of the City, a book of 1000 City based quotes compiled by the former EDP journalist and lifelong City fan David Cuffley. While such books can be a little disorganised and consequently boring the author has done a great job of organising the quotes, which span the whole lifetime of the club, into easily digestible and coherent chapters covering such issues as the club's many financial crises, the FA Cup and "Some things are better left unsaid" which includes some well known gems such as Glenn Roeder's infamous "I must have missed your tenure as England manager" remark to a shareholder at an AGM as well as Chris Hughton's remark that "Ricky's profile is a perfect fit for us. He's young, ambitious and a proven goalscorer." about a certain Dutch striker....

There is a also a poignant chapter devoted to quotes from players and managers leaving the club, including those who had no idea that they were going when they were quoted, although whether that applies to Paul Lambert's statement that "I'm delighted that I'm at Norwich if that's what you're asking me. I have never said I wanted away. Not a thing have I said and people jump to conclusions." 8 days before resigning is a moot point!

Overall, this is a really interesting whistlestop tour through the many highs and lows of the club's history in the words of those that were there and as such is well worth a space on any fan's bookshelf.

The second book is rather more eclectic. Compiled by Derek Hammond and Gary Silke, "Got, not got; the lost world of Norwich City" is a series of vignettes that conjure up memories of a long lost past of rosettes, rattles and chewing gum card collections. Its full of lots of historic City based photographs including such evocative scenes as the interior of the City dressing room just after Steve Bruce's header against Ipswich had taken the Canaries to the 1985 Milk Cup Final. The photo captures a young fan sticking his head through the open window to shout his congratulations shortly before grabbing Louie Donowa's shirt and tie as a souvenir and disappearing into the night!

While it might all seem rather alien to young fans, anyone who was around in the 70s and 80s will find it highly entertaining and I'll leave the last word on it to my favourite football magazine When Saturday Comes "The real magic is the collection and display of the illustrative material of stickers, badges, programme covers, Subbuteo figures and other ephemera. It is astonishingly thorough, well presented, inspired and indeed, had me going" Yes, got, got, not got, forgot, never seen!"


What is the LLDC so keen to hide?

As many of you will know, the Canaries Trust is one of a group of 14 Trusts that have pushed for full disclosure of the deal giving West Ham use of the Olympic Stadium with the taxpayer footing most of the bill. West Ham will also keep the full proceeds for the sale of the Boleyn Ground.
Despite the Information Commissioner ruling in our favour and ordering full disclosure, and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, claiming to be relaxed about the decision the LLDC have today started legal proceedings to block the information becoming public. Now why would they do that?
https://oscoalition.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/fan-coalition-lddc-is-running-scared-of-the-taxpayer/

The truth will out

As one of the coalition of 14 Supporter's Trust involved in the campaign we are delighted to learn that the Information Commissioner has ordered that the details of West Ham's deal to occupy the Olympic Stadium, largely at the expense of the taxpayer, while pocketing the full profit for the sale of the Boleyn Ground will now have to be made public. Despite claiming that nothing underhand has occurred West Ham are apparently taking legal action to attempt to block this.
We are delighted that the increasing closeness of the Supporters Trust movement is bearing fruit.
http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/sep/16/boris-johnson-happy-west-ham-olympic-stadium

FSF's Twenty's Plenty Day- October 3rd

The FSF, to whom the Canaries Trust is affiliated, announced earlier this year that a national effort would be made to highlight the issue of rising ticket prices and to campaign for reductions on October 3rd. This is being co-ordinated at the Norwich City End by the Barclay End Projekt and will be supported by other supporter groups including the Trust.
This is an important, but also very complicated issue with many differing arguments to consider but the inalienable fact is that more and more fans are being priced out of watching their team live. This is NOT a protest against Norwich City but an attempt to publicise the issues and the concerns of fans, because change will only become effective if it is instituted across the board. We have discussed the issue amicably with the club and we are respectful of each others position on this issue, which will hopefully be clear from any media work that we undertake.
We also note the club's recent announcement that they will be arranging their campaign to raise money for refugee children on the same day as the protest and we fully support that campaign and will be seeking volunteers from our membership to help with bucket collections before the Leicester game.

Canaries Trust increases NCFC shareholding thanks to purchases and donations.

Over the summer the Trust has increased it total shareholding by 24 having purchased 14 “Ordinary” NCFC shares and having 10 “Ordinary” NCFC shares donated to it.

If NCFC shareholders wish to donate part of their shareholding to the Trust we can provide individuals with a Share Transfer form which they can complete and send with their existing share certificate to Jonny Wynne at the Legal Dept at NCFC who will make the transfer and re-issue you with a new NCFC share certificate.

The Trust currently holds 1259 shares on behalf of City fans and is committed to increasing it’s holding.

If you require further information you can contact Mike Reynolds by e-mail at

ncst.sec@ntlworld.com



Important news for all football fans

Some of you may not be aware of this, but as from 1 October 2015 it will become illegal to smoke in a car with anyone under the age of 18 present.
This new law will affect anyone who smokes while travelling in a vehicle with children. As this could affect football supporters travelling to and from matches whether home or away, we thought it would be helpful to bring it to everyone's notice, as there will be legal consequences for ignoring the new law. The link below provides information and video information for those that may have difficulties with the written word.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/smoking-in-vehicles


Looking for secure guaranteed parking on matchdays?

If you want a guaranteed parking spot near the ground and like to help charity, this is for you!

  • CHARITY
  • CANARIES PARKING
  • JUST 3 MINUTES WALK FROM THE GROUND
  • SPACE ALLOCATED FOR SEASON
  • GATED PARKING
  • LIMITED SPACES
  • £100 FOR ALL HOME MATCHES

Portal Voice and Data Ltd are a local supplier of voice and data services and we are renting our normal
business parking spaces, with all proceeds going to Musical Keys, a local charity that we support.
Musical Keys is Norwich based charity providing a service to people with special and/or additional
needs across East Anglia through music, movement and arts based activities.

You will be provided with a pass code to enter the car park, and a numbered, allocated space that will
remain yours for the season. It is valid for all Norwich City FC Premiership Home Games. (But not at
other times)

It couldn’t be easier, no more queuing, long walks, stress...

For more information, or to book a space please email musicalkeys@portal-comms.co.uk, or call
01603 228501 and ask for Ashley or Lucy.


Time's running out to enter Canary Challenge

Only 5 days remain for you to get your entry in for this year's Canary Challenge as the competition closes at midnight on Friday (7th).
Join in with your fellow fans in predicting the top six and bottom three in the Premier League this season and you could win up to £250! Points are awarded weekly throughout the season so there's lots of fun to be had, with an updated league table appearing on this site, Facebook and Twitter each week.
Why not get your workmates to join in and let us set up a mini league for you to make it even more competitive? Just click on the Canary Challenge tab and start playing!

Stephen Graham - a valuable resource

Many City fans may not have come across the club's Supporter Liaison Officer, Stephen Graham, but he's a valuable resource for those with problems at away games; helping fans who've lost their tickets, or who just need advice and information. Stephen came along to our Board meeting last night to tell us more about his role and to give us some idea of how other clubs approach supporter related issues. For example, we learnt that while Carrow Road offers 13 wheelchair spaces to disabled visiting fans, Stamford Bridge provides only 3 and White Hart Lane just 5, so that's clearly an area where City are ahead of the game. Stephen is just about to attend the first of four national meetings with his fellow SLOs and will be letting us know about any new developments, with more Premier League clubs looking to replicate Manchester City's excellent pre game Fanzone. If you have any ideas about how the fan experience can be improved then let us know and we'll be happy to pass your ideas onto Stephen.

Has City’s promotion paved the way for Twenty’s Plenty?

As a result of their promotion the Canaries’ parachute payment, a reported £24million will instead be shared amongst all top-flight clubs. This equates to £1.2m for each club, and has now created a scenario that could dovetail perfectly with one of the Football Supporters’ Federation’s long term objectives and one which the Canaries Trust back fully.
The Football Supporters’ Federation aims to work with clubs and help make football more affordable for fans – particularly those who follow their club on-the-road. Without away supporters we do not believe football would be the great live event that it is. Travelling fans are key to generating the atmosphere that home fans bounce off and vital to the spectacle that TV loves.
Premier League clubs receive billions in media deals and we firmly believe that away fans play a huge role in that. However, there are many barriers for the away supporter. Travel costs and ticket prices make following your team an expensive business – and away supporters also miss out on season ticket-related discounts and special offers.
One of the FSF’s key campaigns is Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets which was launched in 2013 and aims to make football more affordable for travelling fans, preferably by capping tickets at £20. The contribution of away supporters is recognised but home fans do not miss out as they receive the same offer in the return fixture.
According to the FSF’s calculations it would cost £20m to implement Twenty’s Plenty at every single Premier League fixture, an average cost of £1m per club. In the past the FSF have been told that clubs budget in three year cycles, in alignment with the Premier League’s media deals, and therefore they could not account for an unanticipated £1m expenditure.
However, City’s promotion means that every single Premier League club will receive £1.2m that has not been budgeted to spend elsewhere. The FSF wants to encourage every club to use this unexpected windfall to make football more affordable for one of the most loyal, hard-pressed groups in football – the travelling fan.
However, we at the Canaries Trust recognise that that this needs all clubs to buy into the initiative, not just a few, and not just the smaller ones. A lead from the giants of the Premier League would be a good starting point.

Some revelations are promised in a new book of essays about Norwich City

Tales From The City includes contributions from Grant Holt, Iwan Roberts, Bryan Gunn and Michael Wynn Jones. It is being published in October, with a launch event on 11 October at Open, on Bank Plain, Norwich. The book has been edited by Mick Dennis, who told Canaries Trust, I set out to produce a book I would want to read and I am honestly thrilled with the result. There are a couple of genuine scoops, some very moving moments, a lot of intriguing insights and, I hope, a good few laughs. There's certainly a lot of passion for the great club in the Fine City. The full list of writers is Mick Dennis, Lilie Ferrari, Chris Goreham, Bryan Gunn, Grant Holt, Paul McVeigh, Jon Rogers, Iwan Roberts, Simon Thomas, Charlie Wyett and Michael Wynn Jones. It is planned that this will be the first in a series of books of similar essays about the club. The launch event will be hosted by Simon Thomas, and several of the writers will be interviewed on stage. The £20 ticket price includes a copy of the book. Tickets are available at Open, or from their website: www.opennorwich.org.uk

Calling all Canary fans! Help support Norwich City CSF’s Run Norwich…

You may have heard that an exciting new running event is coming to the city this August.

Run Norwich is a new 10 - kilometre road race in the heart of the city centre, launched by the club’s official charity partner, the Community Sports Foundation.

Taking place on Sunday August 30, the route will pass many of Norwich’s most iconic landmarks(including Carrow Road, of course!)

The race has been developed in partnership with the club, Norwich City Council, Active Norfolk, The Forum, Norwich BID, Visit Norfolk and Visit Norwich and over 3,000 runners have already signed up.

The Canaries Trust would love to see you support this great event – particularly as proceeds raised from the race will go to the Foundation, who support disabled and disadvantaged individuals in the local community, as well as three other nominated local causes.

How can you get involved ?

RUN – There is still time to sign - up to the race!Every entry includes a £2.50 donation to support the club’s Foundation.You can go further by choosing to fundraise for CSF, or alternatively by purchasing a CSF Run Norwich t - shirt for £10 when signing up… but hurry, entries close soon!
VOLUNTEER – The race organisers require hundreds of volunteers to help run the event. Roles include race marshals, water station attendants, bucket collectors and many more. If you are enthusiastic, friendly and are happy to volunteer a few hours on race-day, CSF want to hear from you!

Best of all, the event is in the morning, so you’ll be back home in time to catch City’s away fixture against Southampton!

Go to www.runnorwich.org to sign up!


Canaries Trust at the Royal Norfolk Show

The Canaries Trust are delighted to announce that they will be at this year’s Royal Norfolk Show. Please come along and see us at the Club’s marquee where we will have children’s games, a free draw for a football signed by the promotion winning City squad open to everyone who joins the Trust at the Show and a Bradley Johnson themed competition run in conjunction with the Community Sports Foundation with a City shirt signed by Bradley and his team-mates as a prize for the lucky winner.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Norwich City Football Club commits to living wage

The Canaries Trust were delighted to learn that Norwich City Football Club will be introducing a commitment to pay a Living Wage to all of its permanent staff. The club have confirmed that they will phase in the Living Wage during the 2015-16 season.

Clubs of the Premier League have agreed to start paying the Living Wage by the start of the 2016 - 17 season, meaning that Norwich City are one of the few clubs leading the way on this initiative.
Before the Premier League’s announcement on this issue earlier this year, Chelsea were the only Premier League club to offer their full - time staff the Living Wage rates.Manchester United have since confirmed that they will introduce this by July 2015.

The Trust were also heartened to learn that our Club have also committed to reviewing the rates of external agencies and contractors who work at the Club, which again demonstrates a willingness by the Club to go the extra mile.

The Living Wage initiative has been highlighted against a backdrop of the Sky Sports and BT Sports deal for the Premier League viewing rights, amounting to a massive £5.136 billion across three years from 2016.
More information regarding the Living Wage initiative can be found at www.livingwage.org.uk and the full statement by Norwich City Football Club at www.canaries.co.uk/news.

Robin Sainty
Chairman
Canaries Trust