Blues Trust: Our Position
Blues Trust is an organisation for Blues fans. We are one of many. We are open, democratic and any Blues fan can join. We have our views and objectives, but have never claimed to represent all Blues fans. With such a variety of views amongst supporters that would be impossible.
We are an organisation that believes our members have the right to express their personal views. To that extent we believe in freedom of speech. To do otherwise would be censorship.
The recent article in our ‘In Off The Post’ series has seen a lot of criticism aimed at the Trust, and most of it because it was deemed to represent the Trust’s views. It did not. This was made very clear in the introduction to the article itself. So most of the criticism was inaccurate and misplaced. However, we understand that the current environment surrounding our football club is heated and we have certainly learnt a lesson from the vitriol poured on us on social media, a lot of it personal and completely unwarranted.
People who comment that they don’t know what the Trust stands for should browse our website. The answers are there. Below is a link to our post of 19 January that explains our position and our work regarding the Fan Led Review, and the opportunity we believe it presents as a catalyst for change.
Link to our article “A Catalyst For Change”
The recent Daily Mirror article by Neil Moxley is headed ‘Birmingham City must undergo fan-led review to save Championship club from failing owners’. What does he say at the end about Blues fans? ‘Their best bet might lie with Ms Crouch and the implementation of her recommendations’.
We get that some supporters don’t understand what we do, but the Trust has been active in a number of areas over the last twelve months, including extending the ACV on the ground, pushing various questions about the ownership of the club with the football authorities and actively participating in the Fan Led Review. The Trust was one of a few specially selected organisations to have one-to-one Zoom meetings with Tracey Crouch as part of the Fan Led Review. And why were we chosen? Because of the work we had been doing over the last 3 years to expose the situation at Blues with the Football Supporters Association and, through them, to the EFL and FA.
The FSA put Blues Trust name forward specifically. We asked fans to give us their views on the proposals for change when the Review was underway. Full details can be found on our website. Many of the recommendations in the FLR when it finally reported in November were put forward by Blues Trust. You can read more about what the FLR is here.
There are many ways of bringing about change. Direct action, complaining to authorities and boycotts to name just three. We feel the direct actions taken by supporters to date have been effective in putting our owners under the spotlight, and bringing national attention to the issues at BCFC. We recognise and support the right to protest, but we firmly believe that any protest should remain legal, safe and non-racist.
But it is our view that there is also another way of creating change at our club, a way that can run in parallel with other actions. That is through Government legislation based on the Fan Led Review. It will lead to transparency and fan involvement. Will it lead to new owners coming in? Who can tell? But even if the existing owners choose to remain it will force them to change their approach.
We have already started dialogue with the club on the FLR implementation so they can understand what will be expected of them under the new regime. Some may see this as controversial, but the sooner the recommendations made in the FLR are implemented the sooner greater transparency will be achieved and the ability of fans to have their say directly to the club will happen.
All Blues fans can help with this by writing to their MP as recommended by the FSA Want to fix football? Here’s how you can change things – Football Supporters’ Association (thefsa.org.uk). We will be promoting this and sharing templates as part of a coordinated national campaign towards the end of February (to fit with the governments timetable to have new legislation included in the Queens speech in May).
The Blues Trust will continue to strive to achieve the best for Birmingham City Football Club and its supporters, within the volunteer resources it has available.
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It is sad that individuals are so critical of the good work being done by the Trust. If those people joined the Trust and argued from within fans would have a stronger voice. Otherwise arguments among fans significantly strengthens owners a other rule makers.
I agree with Eric. However it was a mistake sending out the latest ‘In Off The Post’ viewpoint to twitter, which did give the impression that it was, at least, approved by the Trust even if not written by the Trust. Whether or not the Trust approved of the post, it has done a great deal of damage to the organisation.
It would seem sensible for any/all material posted on its site, or linked on social media, to be approved before publication. If people can just ‘publish’ anything they like on the Blues Trust, it will always end in tears.
Comments in response to articles (such as this) are not automatically linked/uploaded to social media, so why should any personal opinion be linked/uploaded to twitter etc?
The ONLY articles that should be uploaded to social media imo, are official articles/news that represent and approved by the Trust. Otherwise there will always be people on social media ready to criticise or with different agenda’s.
This could though be an opportunity for supporters to get together under one umbrella. At present there are many groups all working toward the objective of change in; attitude, communication, finance and ownership of Blues. Unfortunately the groups are disparate and, although very recently more organised, lacking coordination. If the various groups could come together under one official supporter’s organisation, it could provide the strength and unity to really increase the possibility of change at Blues.
Blues Trust has done an incredible amount of work behind the scenes on behalf of everyone who supports the Club. The Trust has perhaps been too quiet on what it does and has been doing. It would be a massive mistake if supporters use this publication error as an excuse to deride the work being done on all our behalf. All work is carried out by volunteers and mistakes may occur occasionally, but to attack the Trust, as some appear intent to do on social media, is just wrong.
We are all on the same side. We can see this is an opportunity; all join together and have a united fight against what is happening at OUR Club. Or, we can play into the hands of the current owner; try and destroy everything the Blues Trust has done over the years and fight amongst ourselves. It is now up to us, the supporters, to decide. Do we want the current owners to sit there laughing whilst we argue amongst ourselves, or do we unite and wipe the smile off their faces?
Up to us now …. KRO
We desperately need the owners to recognise this group and others who represent a respected part of the fan base. We need to know who are the people in charge of our club. We need them to realise the upset and frustration we are all going through. This club has stagnated and gone backwards in the past ten years. These are the years of dubious ownership.
If we could see a plan or ambition from the owners the supporters may feel part of the club which they surely are. If the fans have some say and involvement they may feel more content. The owners are turning fans away and this is not good for the future of this club.
Great comments Eric, Ivor. John too, although I’m not sure why the article should not have been published? If that is what you are saying John? And well done Blues Trust for pushing back and putting the record straight. Some of the comments made in response to the article in question were disgusting, and those that made them should be embarrassed. Since when has having a different opinion been the excuse for ignorant personal attacks?
Personally, I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about and I think the response was a massive overreaction. I thought Mitchell’s article, expressing his own view, was fair enough. I didn’t agree with all of it. I don’t think demonstrations are ever futile for example. And I think the current campaign has made the owners react. So well done to all those involved. And keep going. But I understood the points he was making and he did conclude by expressing the hope of a brighter future at Blues under new owners. Isn’t that what the active campaigners want too?
I suspect most of those who rushed to their keyboards with venom and bile had not fully read the article. Or perhaps even read it at all. Or maybe there are darker forces at work here who want to drive a wedge between us supporters? I don’t know. But if it is an orchestrated campaign, then we all need to stay alert and call it out because it is not helping the cause for the reasons that John explains. If we are at each other’s throats then we have no chance of changing the narrative with the club.
No doubt the events of the last few days have been challenging for everyone at Blues Trust. Honest volunteers doing their level best for the club we all love deserve better. So keep going and don’t give up. We need you to be successful in your efforts.
And as for Mitchell himself, I hope he is not too battered and bruised by this experience? If you’re reading this Mitchell, I for one enjoy your regular contributions and hope it won’t be too long before you are putting pen to
paper for us again.
Thank you Tilton. Being a long suffering Blues followe r – being battered and bruised is a given. Nothing stops us carrying on.