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/