Trust Everton was first suggested as a concept on various fans forums early in 2011 and registered as Community Football Assets Ltd operating as Trust Everton on 12th October 2011. It will be run as a not-for-private-profit social enterprise.
The News Archives section of this website contains copies of these early posts.
Trust Everton’s mission is to see the future of Everton FC secured for the current and subsequent generations of Evertonians.
Broadcasting rights, ticket receipts, merchandising and sponsorship represent the principal revenue streams of most top-flight football clubs. Prize money and larger shares of broadcasting revenues are linked to success in national and European competitions, particularly the UEFA Champions League.
The past decade has seen clubs adopt two extremes in their efforts to attract and retain the best players, and secure success on the pitch along with the enhanced revenue streams with which it is linked. A small number of clubs have secured significant investment from new owners. Many others have taken on greater debt and related servicing costs. Most have spent a growing proportion of their revenues on player wages. Trust Everton is not alone in believing that these approaches are unsustainable for the game of football as a whole.
There is a growing consensus that English football needs a new financial model. However, the challenge to find a replacement remains. One component that many would like to see form part of this alternative is the supporters’ trust, of which the most widely used model in the UK is that of Supporters Direct.
As at the start of the 2011/12 football season the Supporters Direct model had been implemented by over 250,000 followers of over 170 clubs from football and other sports, including an impressive seventeen from the Championship and ten from the Premier League. The total funds raised across all sports amounted to just over £30 million, with 25 clubs being owned or controlled by their supporters.
These numbers produce per trust averages of around 1,500 members and £180,000 of funds raised, and an average of £120 of funds raised per trust member. The clubs that are owned or controlled by their fans are smaller in scale than a Premier League football club. The Supporters Direct model requires a particular legal form, namely an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS), which is subject to regulation by the Financial Services Authority.
Trust Everton needs to be certain that its legal structure is suitable for the particular goals it has set because Trust Everton itself will be a fundamental component of the new financing model it wants to develop. For this reason Trust Everton has been incorporated initially as a private limited company. If it transpires that this is not the most appropriate legal structure, for example if it is decided to adopt the Supporters Direct model, then Trust Everton will convert or transfer its assets to another more suitable legal entity. Only at this stage will fundraising begin.
In the meantime Trust Everton maintains an active dialogue with Supporters Direct and is grateful for the continuing support and guidance provided by Supporters Direct and its advisers.
In the near term Trust Everton is focussing its limited resources to the parallel tasks of considering the most appropriate financial and legal models and building a database of interested Evertonians.
Trust Everton is committed to keeping supporters informed of progress by e-mail in the form of either a newsletter or links to updates on this site. To register to receive these communications please visit the Register page on this website.