What is a Trust?

A Supporters Trust is a democratic organisation of supporters. Our aims are to secure the future of the club, keeping the club with the fans where it belongs. It is not a protest group. Rather, it is the long-term solution for supporters to have a say in the future of their club. It is not just another Supporters Club, but an umbrella organisation;
The Trust is its membership; that is, every single person who has signed a Trust membership form. The Board is just the vehicle by which the Trust will establish itself. They are elected by a democratic election at which any member is eligible to stand for office.
The Trust is an Industrial & Provident Society (IPS) fully regulated by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act and accountable for all its financial dealings and transactions. An IPS belongs to its membership. Literally. Every member owns a £1 nominal share in the Trust. Those shares cannot be traded or transferred. The share entitles the member to a vote; one member – one vote. Each eligible member has the right to stand for election to the Trust Board, to vote in the election of Trust Board representatives and to attend the AGM.
Our constitution has been drawn up by Cobbetts, a law firm which works close with the Co-operative party and the Co-operative Bank. Cobbetts are widely regarded as the country’s leading experts in this area. Everything that the Trust does is guided and controlled by its constitution. The rules of the Trust are available for inspection from the Trust. It is also situated on the Trust’s web site www.wst.org.uk Alternatively, it can be requested by post on payment of a £2.50 fee (to cover copying and postage fees). The beauty of being an IPS is that it has a written constitution in place that ensures all the administrative and financial details are clearly defined and transparent – a basic essential so that all members can have faith in the structure of the Trust, so allowing them to concentrate on the real work of the Trust, and ensuring that the Trust is a democratic society.

  • All actions and conduct regulated by Registrar of Friendly Societies
  • Registrar ensures the Trust and its officers act legally and appropriately in respect of our Constitution
  • The Trust is guided and controlled by the Constitution – based on a tried and test model drawn up specifically for Supporters’ Direct by an expert in the field.
  • The Trust belongs to its membership – one member, one share with a nominal value of £1.
  • Shares cannot be traded or transferred nor do they carry any rights to interest, dividend or bonus.