Nick Brodrick shares the latest TUST press releases for December 19
LOOKING FOR FAN ENGAGEMENT
TUST (Torquay United Supporters Trust) congratulates our Devon neighbours, Exeter City, for coming top of all the clubs in the four tiers of English football in the recently released Fan Engagement Index and Plymouth Argyle on their 14th place in the top twenty.
The Fan Engagement Index – based on publicly available data – awarded points to clubs based on how they communicate with supporters, how fans help with the club’s governance and the transparency of supporter meetings.
Kevin Rye, who previously worked with Supporters Direct, is now a fan engagement consultant said, “One of the reasons why clubs fall down is because they don’t have a direct relationship with the most active supporter organisation, which in most cases is a supporters’ trust”. He added, “I hope this gives some principles and structure to fan engagement and opens up the conversation between fans and clubs, bringing the two together”.
With Torquay United currently outside the EFL, the club clearly wasn’t included. But had it been where might it have come? Currently TUST has been frozen out from any involvement in the club despite it being the only supporter organisation in support of the Gulls with over 360 paid up fan and corporate members.
TUST chairman Michel Thomas said, “I strongly feel that it is extremely important that, at every football club, the owners and directors should liaise closely and positively with any supporters’ organisations in order to secure a longer term, sustainable position as an asset to the local community.” Exeter City came ﬁrst in the index because they put fan engagement at the heart of what the club does.
To strengthen the growing importance of supporters trusts TUST are to join with the trusts at both Exeter and Plymouth to form an inﬂuential Devon Supporters Group of all three clubs. In the forthcoming General Election the Conservative manifesto pledges to set up a fan led review of football governance, which will include consideration of the owners and directors’ test as well as promising to establish a £150million Community Ownership Fund to encourage local take-overs of under threat organisations or community assets, including “ local football clubs”, Labour, meanwhile, has pledged to legislate for accredited football supporters’ trusts to be able to appoint and remove at least two club directors and purchase shares when clubs change hands“.
That both the Tories and Labour include these in their manifestos underlines the need for football to be run properly and this can be done with the volunteers that make up Supporters Trusts such as those who willingly give their free time to Torquay United’s own trust who last season ran the highly successful Fan Zones and Matchday Ambassadors, neither of which, on orders from the club’s directors, have been seen this season.
Torquay United Supporters Trust (TUST) have announced that they have become the headline sponsors for the Torquay United Community Sports Trust (TUCST), the recently formed TQ1 club for our footballing community’s younger boys and girls and the Torquay United Women’s Team.
TUST’s sponsorship of these groups has provided training tops for the TUCST coaches,
competition shirts for the TQ1 sides and tracksuits for the Women’s team. TUST chairman Michel Thomas said, ‘We’re really pleased to be the headline sponsors of TUCST, TQ1 and the Women’s team, all part of the Torquay United family as TUST promotes one of its core objectives – outreach and engagement to support the future sustainability and value of our club within the local community’.
TUCST Community Manager Jamie McInnes added, ‘ We are thrilled and delighted to have received this support from TUST. The other coaches, the TQ1 club and the women are really excited with the great news that they have this new kit’.
The TQ1 club have already worn their new kit at a recent Plymouth Argyle tournament.
A presentation and handover of this new kit for the coaches and TQ1 kids took place on
Thursday November 28 at the Paignton Academy.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Nick Brodrick – TUST Supporter Liaison Oﬃcer and Press Oﬃcer
firstname.lastname@example.org – 07774493023