Update from the BWFCST Board

12 Months On – A Message From the BWFCST Board

 BWFCST First Anniversary

Today, 06 January 2017, marks the first anniversary of the emotional and passionate meeting held in The Premier Suite, when over 1,000 concerned BWFC fans voted unanimously to proceed with the formation of a Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust.

Some 12 months on, much has happened to our club. Winding up petitions, court appearances, new owners, relegation to Division 1, a new manager, transfer embargoes (but even so, major playing squad changes), a new season and now much optimism at a 2nd place in the league at the season’s halfway stage.

As we look forward to Big Sam returning tomorrow with his Premiership Crystal Palace, that is quite an eventful year by any standards.

What Has the BWFCST Achieved In the Last 12 Months?

A brief summary of events would record that:

  • The BWFCST was formally registered as a Community Benefit Society on 15 January 2016.
  • A vested interest, on behalf of the club’s supporters, in the stability and sustainability of BWFC remains the overriding reason that the BWFCST was formed.
  • Several mandates have been given by members, when surveyed, to observe, question and raise concerns about BWFC governance matters as and when appropriate.
  • To this end, we have questioned the owners directly on several occasions, and will continue to do so.
  • In pursuance of the members’ mandates, meaningful and informative links have been established with Bolton Council, the University of Bolton, local MPs, the EFL, The FA, local and national media outlets, Bolton and Bury District Football League, the Football Supporters Federation and several other Supporters’ Trusts.
  • Similar contacts have been established with the other major stakeholders in the club.
  • Important and mutually beneficial partnerships have been established with club’s Development Association, Community Trust and Disabled Supporters Association.
  • The first BWFCST elections have been held and the board formed on schedule within 6 months of FCA registration.
  • Ongoing assessments of the methods of further community engagement have been established and continue to be developed, including the evaluation of potential community funding initiatives.
  • An application has recently been made to Bolton Council for the nomination of the Macron Stadium to be listed as an Asset of Community Value.
  • Valuable assistance has been available throughout the whole period from Supporters Direct.

What Next?

Just before Christmas, we met with the EFL to discuss their ongoing involvement with BWFC. Several matters raised by ourselves were discussed and we are currently awaiting issue of the formal EFL answers to our questions. We will update members as soon as we receive the EFL response.

At Mr Anderson’s Q&A session on 13 December ’16, he stated that it was his intention to engage with us. We hope such a meeting will allow us to provide our members with more clarity on the important matters relating to filing of accounts, availability of funding, removal of player trading restrictions and general club governance matters. We are pleased to confirm that we now have a scheduled meeting with Mr Anderson which will take place in the very near future. Again, our members will be kept fully in the loop once the meeting has been held.

As we look forward to the 2nd half of the season, the BWFCST board would like to thank all our members for their support and encouragement received over the last 12 months, particularly those involved in the Steering Group stage.

Our thanks and appreciation also go to the BWFC management and staff for the way they have worked tirelessly to ensure our club has a future.

Last, but not least, special thanks go to Phil Parkinson, his backroom staff and the players for their response to difficult off-field circumstances and their success in restoring pride and respect on the field.

On our members’ behalf, we will undertake to continue to develop all of the above, always with the long term stability and sustainability of our club as the main focus. Time and events will dictate how BWFCST involvement in the running of club develops in the long term.

We enter 2017 with an established and evolving Supporters’ Trust in place. That is more, much more, than we had in place 12 months ago.

Our blood, our sweat, our club – BWFCST

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