Meet the Board and Associates
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I became a member of Blues Trust, like many fans, during the ownership saga. The Trust’s work in providing information and action to help keep our club in existence was very much appreciated by me as a fan and becoming a member was a way of supporting that work.
It’s great that the ownership issues have been resolved, that the team are on the up and there is a positive feel and outlook at St. Andrews. This allows the Blues Trust to concentrate on a positive way forward building relationships with new owners to see how we can help with bringing success, bigger crowds and working out how the club can be influenced by and support the fan’s voice and groups.
I am passionate about fans being involved with the club and want to help the Trust to be an influential fans voice and move from strength to strength in the national supporters movement that recognises football clubs need to be more than just businesses.
This is why I stood for nomination to the Board. I was happy to be accepted onto the Board at the 2016 AGM and delighted to take on the position of chair at the Board meeting on 19 November 2016.
I will need some time to build relationships as I am new to this, but already I am finding the commitment and knowledge of my fellow Board members and the inclusiveness and ambition of other fans groups to be inspiring. I look forward to working with the Trust, other Groups and the Club to play a part in the Birmingham City success story about to be written.
I consider fans owning shares in a club is healthy for the club and protects traditions and survival over the long term. I am very hopeful that the new owners will have the club’s interest at heart and will take the club forward, however I also see a possibility of a sell on in a few years time. If this becomes reality then I would want the Blues Trust to be in a position to be able to organise a serious and realistic offer for fans to own a significant part of our club.
I am a lifelong Bluenose having held a season ticket for the last 10 years and through the 70’s and early 80’s.
My paid employment is a Director of a housing association and I have held a number of voluntary director positions including community interest companies.
Re-elected 18th November 2017
My name is Margaret Decker. My dad first took me to St Andrew’s in the 1950’s and we used to stand in the Railway end. Between then and now there were many years when I didn’t go to games but I now have a Season Ticket in the Kop, in the back row of Block 28. I am retired but have worked as a teacher and in the voluntary sector, in England and abroad. I stood for election to the Blues Trust board because I agree with its purpose, which is to work to achieve the greatest possible supporter and community influence in the running and ownership of Birmingham City Football Club. When I first started going, football was still the people’s game and ordinary working people could afford to go to games. It is now being turned into an entertainment product for the rich. I believe that one way to counteract this trend is for supporters to have more of a say in the way their clubs are run. The Football Association, the leagues and clubs need to give greater priority to the needs of supporters; for example, kickoff times should be convenient for supporters attending games and not moved to inconvenient times to suit TV companies. What is good for the fans is good for the clubs and for the game of football.
My name is Peter Bull. I’ve been a supporter of Birmingham City FC since the early 1950’s and have been a season ticket holder on the Kop, and earlier the Tilton, for many years. I attend nearly all home games, but now rarely attend away games because of other commitments.
I retired in the middle 1990’s having spent 40 years in the Civil Service and am now enjoying some leisure time, travelling, walking, boating on the English canal network and photography. I also have a strong interest in IT matters and run my own websites. These things make me sound quite busy but I always find time to watch my favourite football team.
In recent years, since the ownership of BCFC by its Hong Kong parent company, I have become fearful of the club’s survival. I am passionate about reinstating our status in the league. In short I want my club back and ideally would like the fans to collectively own a block of shares in BCFC so that we can be represented on the club Board and have a say in how the club is run. This is not a criticism of the current staff at St Andrews who have done a sterling job in all the circumstances, but more the Directors in remote Hong Kong.
I believe that fans should have a collective financial interest in the club and that this could be achieved by acquiring a block shareholding via a holding of community shares in Blues Trust which is a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. It is for this reason that I joined up with Blues Trust in early 2013. I made a proposal to the 2013 AGM that the Trust should make a serious attempt to try to acquire a shareholding in BCFC and that we should test the appetite of the fans by asking them to make pledges to see how much we could raise. The results were very interesting and it is nice to know that there is an army of fans waiting to invest should the opportunity arise.
I was co-opted to the Board in Dec 2013, formally appointed in Nov 2014, and try to attend all Board meetings. I enjoy working with the Trust and am at present helping to develop its website. One of my aims is that we should try to increase the membership beyond its present modest levels to several thousand.
Re-elected 18th November 2017.
My name is Richard Stanley and I’ve been a Blues fan for as long as I can remember. My father took me to my first game in 1961 and I got my first season ticket in 1972. My great grandfather used to go to matches when they were still called Small Heath Alliance, so Blues are truly in my blood.
By profession I am an accountant, and have worked in a number of different organisations including one of the big 4 accounting firms, private practice, nationalised industry and European and American multinationals. I am now retired.
Despite being a Blues fan for such a long time, like many fans my involvement with the club largely consisted of attending matches and the occasional club-run event. However, the record home defeat against Bournemouth on 25th October 2014 allied to the uncertainty about the future of the club was a watershed moment. I wanted to give more active support to those trying to improve the situation.
Already a member of Blues Trust, I attended the open meeting at The George in October 2014 and, having met some of the Trust Board at that time, I subsequently started to more actively support them.
I strongly believe that a football club belongs as much to its supporters as it does to its owners. Players, managers and financial owners are transient – fans are forever. Even though football has now become dominated by money and business interests, all supporters should still have the right to have a voice in the running of their club. Through the Trust, I will work to try and bring this about. I will also seek to build the relationships with both the Club and other fan groups, and work with them to seek solutions to issues which are important to supporters.
Appointed 18th November 2017.
I’m a Manchester based GP and Blues fan of some 26 years, my first game being as a guest of my friend’s whose father was a Gloworm sponsor in the early 90s. I grew up in Northfield and went to both primary and secondary school in Birmingham before leaving for university at the turn of the Millennium. I have relevant Board level experience from my role as a Director of the Central Manchester GP Federation.
I count myself blessed, as the last quarter of a century has been some time to follow our club – arguably the best. In my time I’ve been lucky enough to have seen everything: the Leyland Daf, the Third Division, Auto Windscreens, leaping two leagues at once, Watford under the floodlights, the mud against Ipswich, the Cardiff dance twice, the Playoffs four times; penalties won, penalties lost. A 3-3 draw between Premier League promotion and relegation. The greatest day in our history. Prison. Bruges. A near-death escape.
You might reasonably surmise that we’ve survived everything thrown at us thus far without the need for a Trust, and I understand how Blues’ fans natural cynicism might fuel a natural distrust of any attempt to organise us fans. However, if anything I’d argue that we’ve had lucky escape after lucky escape this last few years, and the lesson of this rocky period is that we must be vigilant. We must keep probing and pressing, asking questions of the people behind the Club, ensuring that their plans are sustainable and with Blues’ best interests at heart. At very least, there must be some vehicle through which the fans have a voice, no matter how small.
Sure, we can doff the cap, eat the dirt and accept that this is the way it must be or, as one of the genuinely most creative and entertaining sets of fans in the English leagues, we should take the responsibility to set an example to the rest.
I don’t at all think it’s naive to think that the wheel is starting to inch the other way, as it has elsewhere in Europe, and we must be ready to embrace that future when it comes. Brummies have always been good at that. We’ve always been more Anglo-Italian than Auto-Windscreens; defiantly anti-establishment and quirky originals, and there is absolutely no reason why we cannot hope, one day, to be considered alongside other vanguards of supporter representation. For every pointless trinket like PSG there’s a Benfica, a Panathanaikos; something to at least aspire to even in the very remotest regions of possibility.
We can either accept that we will never have any say whatsoever into how Blues are run, forever frustrated – or we can at least keep chipping away, persisting, trying to get the message across. This is the purpose of the Trust.
Co-opted Board Members
Co-opted 2nd February 2019
Hello. I’m Richard Docker and I was co-opted to the Board in February 2019.
It’s all my dad’s fault! This love affair that I have enjoyed….and often endured(!)….with Birmingham City began in the 1960’s when he took me to St Andrew’s for the very first time. 28 January 1967 was the date. Blackpool were the visitors for an FA Cup tie and the Blues won 2-1. I was hooked, and I have passionately supported the club ever since.
I have been a season ticket holder for more years than I can remember and, despite living in Derby for the past 30 years, have raised 3 committed Bluenoses of my own. The grand children are still young and a work-in-progress, but I’m confident…….
I am recently retired with an employment background in local government (housing), management and administration.
I became a member of the Blues Trust, and more recently a member of the Board, because I shared its concerns about the ownership of our football club and I wanted to add my support to the drive to increase the engagement of fans with those that own and run it. I was, and remain, anxious that genuine supporters across the game as a whole are being marginalised as international finance and corporate interests increasingly attach themselves to football in the UK. And I have become ever more concerned at the way professional football has developed in recent years. I am not at all convinced that the current model is sustainable despite the staggering sums of money presently involved at the top of the tree. For every Manchester City, there are many more Bolton Wanderers.
As individuals we may not be able to do very much to change the overall structure of the game but, through the work of the Blues Trust and it’s links with other like minded supporters organisations, I hope that we can exert some measure of influence locally and of course with our beloved club.
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