Meet the Board

12 Dec 2019

Here is an alphabetical list of our current Board, some of whom were appointed at the last AGM.

Click on a name to reveal the profile and email address of each Board member.

Karim Adab - Press and Public Relations

email: media@bluestrust.org

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.

KRO

Karim

Peter Bull - Treasurer and Resources

email:  peterbull@bluestrust.org

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.

Neil Cottrell - Projects Management

email:  neilcottrell@bluestrust.org

I was born and raised in Yardley and started watching and supporting Blues in the 1960s in the days of Vowden, Vincent, Bridges and Pickering. I moved to work in the South East in the late 70s but continued to regularly watch the team and have been a season ticket holder for the last 25 years. During my time supporting Blues it seems that rarely have we had a season when we have not been involved in a promotion or relegation battle - the roller coaster nature of Blues is one of the many appeals of the club.

I joined the Blues Trust at its inception in 2012 as I believe in supporters trying to influence the direction of the club and have been a member and supporter of the Trust ever since.

I am shortly retiring from my job as Head of Planning at a major transport company and as a director of two small not-for-profit member organisations and this gives me more time to dedicate to other activities so I’m very happy to have joined the Trust Board to try and contribute more directly to the Trust’s work.

Blues have made a number of financial losses in recent years and I worry how sustainably the club is  being run – we can see with the recent examples of Bury and Bolton where that can lead. 

I believe it is important that supporters continue to try and influence clubs and the game in general to ensure greater sustainability and greater consideration of the fans’ interests. This will often be a long-term process and I consider that Football Club Trusts are well placed to try and bring such change about. In my professional life I have often been involved in bringing about change over the longer term through planning and influencing and hope my skills can be useful in this regard here.

Margaret Decker - Without Portfolio

email:  margaretdecker@bluestrust.org

The purpose of Blues Trust is to work to help safeguard Birmingham City Football Club’s future and to achieve the greatest possible supporter and community influence in the running and ownership of the Club.  I belong to Blues Trust because I believe that fans need to be involved in safeguarding their own football clubs; we can’t trust the EFL to do it. The EFL allowed an unsuitable owner to buy Bury FC and then expelled the club when his financial mismanagement led to the club’s insolvency. 

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. I am retired but have worked as a teacher and in the voluntary sector, in England and abroad.

Richard Docker - Secretary

email: richarddocker@bluestrust.org

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.

Richard Docker

Cliff Horrocks - Chair

Cliff Horrocksemail: cliff.horrocks@bluestrust.org 

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.

Cliff Horrocks

Bob Pickett - Electronic Media

email:  bobpickett@bluestrust.org

Hello.  I became a Blues supporter aged 14 and my first game was at St. Andrews versus Crystal Palace on the 26th November 1966.  I was in my last year at school and Alan Kent, a classmate, convinced me to go with him.  I was immediately hooked and I’ve been going ever since.

I’ve been a season ticket holder whenever finances have allowed.  I rarely miss home games and I average about 10 away games each season.

I retired from full time employment in 2012.  Most of my working life was shared between Transport & Logistics and IT/Computing.  Between August 2012 & May 2016 I worked for the Blues in the safety department.

I joined the Blues Trust after the 2010-11 relegation season as I was very concerned about the way things were going at the club.

I use social media every day and I was co-opted to the board in November 2019 with the intention to use my skills to raise awareness of the Trust and encourage as many people as possible to become fully paid up members.  Hopefully this will help the Trust to achieve its aims.

David Roots - Membership and Marketing

email:  david.roots@bluestrust.org

I have only recently joined the Blues Trust, initially as a follower and then as a full member following my return to live in the UK after many years living overseas.

I am a lifelong Blues fan. My family connections with the club go back to pre-war trials and playing contracts which unfortunately never came to full effect because of the war.

That did not stop me being taken to St. Andrews at 5 years old in the 1962-63 season by my father and uncle to stand on a wooden stool on the Kop to cheer on the boys in blue with a bobble hat and wooden rattle in hand!

For me Birmingham City is more than just something to go to on a Saturday afternoon (or Sunday or week time game), it is part of your DNA and culture. This is where our club is, I believe, very different to other clubs in the area. We don’t support Blues for the glory or the trophies, we support Blues because it is our team, representing our city and our communities.

We have to accept however that since those first days when I went to St. Andrews, much has changed in football, not all for the good. It is now a big business with wealthy, and often foreign owners, hoping to cash in on the golden goose of Premier League status or Champions League at the very height.

Do these owners always know and understand what that football club means to the supporters, the town, the city and the community it resides in?  I don’t believe they do and they certainly do not always implement strategies in the best interests of the supporters and the club itself.

This is where a strong and vocal supporters group has an important part to play. In my view its role is to act as a promoter and protector of the supporters and club’s best interests. To have a voice that matters within the football club and to act as a safeguard protecting the future of the club.

The supporters trust should be involved in all aspects of the club, including the match day experience and helping to attract more new supporters to the club, especially the young.

I would like to see the Trust encouraging more 5-year olds like me back then to start supporting the club and enjoy that lifetime experience.

I would have these goals in mind for the Trust and work to promote and protect the best interests of Birmingham City FC.

KRO

David J Roots

Richard Stanley - Research and Technical

Richard Stanleyemail:   richardstanley@bluestrust.org

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.

Richard Stanley

Please note: All media and PR inquiries must be made to the appropriate Board member via email using our contact form here clearly outlining any request being made.

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