Meet the Board

12 Dec 2019

Here is an alphabetical list of our current Board members, some of whom were appointed at the last AGM and some have been co-opted since.

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 Blues since the early 1950’s and have been a season ticket holder 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, photography and gardening. I also have a strong interest in IT matters. I like to keep busy but 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.

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 of a survey 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 its Treasurer and also develop and maintain its website including the membership database. One of my aims is to increase the membership way 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

Mark Holland - Fan Unity and Partnerships

email:  markholland@bluestrust.org

My name is Mark Holland and I am fourth generation Brummie on both sides of the family.  Whilst my maternal side seem preoccupied with another club on the other side of the City, my paternal family are all ‘Noses’.  My late grandfather was born and raised in the area of Garrison Lane and was a lifelong supporter of the Blues.  Not that you would have thought it given his critical assessments even after a win (how did they play? - 'Rubbish' was his stock answer to that question).

This passed on to my dad who was a regular attendee as a boy and well into the 80’s.  The family moved away, and I am sad to say I never really picked up on the football bug until a few years ago when my own son started to play.  When it came to taking him to his first match there was only ever one choice.  The first game as a family at St Andrews was Preston North End at home last year in the baking sun. That was it for us, my son and I are hooked, and my dad is back at Stans so full circle!

I have a number of qualifications in the management of crowd safety and public events.  My view is that football should be a safe and enjoyable experience for families but there is room for emotion and a bit of healthy tribalism within reason!  I have worked at a regional and national level including project work on behalf of the Home Office.

Whilst I am a latecomer to Blues and football in general (even started playing five aside at 40yrs of age!) the importance of the game to communities, families and individuals is blindingly obvious.  A club with the history and profile of BCFC must be protected.  I have no issue with the notion of foreign ownership, but the remote nature of the Club’s current controlling stakeholders causes me great concern.

What I am not seeing is much in the way of interaction with the fan base and I feel this needs to be addressed.  The only way I can see this improving is for the fans to come together in numbers to make their voices heard.  Not necessarily through protest but by way of meaningful discussion and cooperation in the first instance.  I have only one objective in joining the Blues Trust board and that is contribute to ensuring there is a Birmingham City Football Club in existence for future generations to follow and have pride in.

(Co-opted 23/01/2021)

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

Bruce Kyte - IT Support

email:  brucekyte@bluestrust.org

Hello I am Bruce Kyte

My becoming a blues supporter started like so many with my father taking me to a match way back in the early 1960’s.  I have been a season ticket holder for 24 years, and prior to that I would usually be found in the Kop.  Like the words from ‘Keep Right On’, reference joys and sorrows, plenty of the latter, the joys watching Trevor Francis beat Bolton on his own, Play off final in 2002 and Wembley 2011.

I am still working, over the years I have travelled many different career paths, initially serving an apprenticeship as a mechanic/electrician.  I now work freelance through my own company which supports companies either implementing a new instance of an application or the uplift to the latest version.

I originally joined the Blues Trust, because I was becoming concerned about the ownership and worrying financial state of the club, coupled with the lack of interaction between the club and its fan base.  It is a real concern to me that, with the amount of debt that burdens the club, I do not want to see the Blues experience the same recent fate of clubs like Bolton, Bury and Wigan.  On my own, I cannot make an impact on the concerns listed above, but through the Blues Trust working with likeminded fellow fans is the only way that the club/fan engagement can be improved.

For a long time now, I have held the view that unless your club is Premier League, the rest are of no consequence, and this is reflected in our local media, newspaper and TV, though the Trust and its affiliations campaign for a more balanced reporting.

I am a volunteer on the Severn Valley Railway; this has sadly been severely curtailed by the pandemic.

(Co-opted 23/01/2021)

 

Linda Magner - Membership

email:  lindamagner@bluestrust.org

Like many supporters I was born into a Bluenose family in 1954.

I was raised in Highgate Birmingham until 1979 when I moved to Redditch where I have been ever since apart from a 5-year spell living in Hemel Hempstead.

My first match was on the 23/09/1967 when Blues were playing away at Blackpool.  Dad told mom we should visit the illuminations so took us there for a day trip (Crafty aye?).  I played my face until dad agreed to take me to the match with him.  We lost 0-1 but we went the following week where Blues played at home to Middlesbrough and we won an amazing 6-1.  I was hooked thereafter.

I have 4 children and 8 grandchildren and a husband that loathes football.  I am a member of Redditch Blues and have had a season ticket for a number of years.

Other interests roll around motorcycling though I no longer ride myself.  I enjoy riding pillion with my hubby.  I was involved as a volunteer in Riders Rights, M.A.G - Motorcycle Action Group, ensuring we got a fair deal for riders and lobbied Parliament and kept an eye on directives coming from the EU.  Trevor, my husband, worked professionally in riders’ rights for the British Motorcyclists Federation where he has lobbied and written papers and presented them in both Brussels and Westminster.  He is very supportive of me joining the Blues Trust Board and is willing to advise and work as a sounding board for me if needed, in my attempt to address issues affecting Birmingham City Football Club.  With his professional experience I can draw on his abilities on how to be listened to and raising awareness of the Trust.

I am interested in increasing the membership of Blues Trust and working towards developing a dialogue between Supporters and Birmingham City Football Club Board.

Recently retired from working in an Emergency Control Room, I now have time to lend a helping hand and run a Nanny Daycare facility

My main wish is to see us back in the Premier division during my lifetime.

KRO

(Co-opted 23/01/2021)

Rob Simpson - Associate Board Member

email:  robsimpson@bluestrust.org

Hi.  I decided to become a blues fan at a very young age on the basis that they were my closest club and gave me my best chance of being taken to see them play.   Aged 9, the call came and me and my Dad were off to see us play Oldham on a cold and wet Tuesday evening.

It was a brilliant night.  Blues won 2-0 with goals from Gemmill and Ainscow and I’m pretty sure Mark Dennis picked up a card as well.  What more could you ask for on a first visit to St Andrews?

I have since added two more supporters to our great club.  Myself and my son are both season ticket holders whilst my daughter makes special guest appearances only.

I joined the Blues Trust as a member soon after its formation as I felt the relationship between us fans and the Club’s owners had stopped.  Many other clubs had found Supporters Trusts a good way to improve relationships within their clubs. I wanted to support our Club in any way I could so joining the Blues Trust was the right thing to do.

I have now volunteered to become a member of the Board of the Blues Trust to help it continue to meet its main aims.  The Trust has achieved some great things to date and I want to help it continue to do so into the future.

Rob Simpson

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

Christine Street - Without Portfolio

email:  chrisstreet@bluestrust.org

Like many others, I blame my Dad!  He took me to my first Blues match when I was about five in the Railway End.  Since then, I’ve remained an eternal optimist that at some point we’ll be a giant Club, get back in the Premiership and win the title.  Well, if Leicester can do it, I’m sure we can – just hope it’s in my lifetime!

I’ve been a season ticket holder since 2002 and my daughter used to accompany me until she moved to live with her fiancé in Peterborough.  Now I drag along my hubby, who’s definitely not such an optimist!  I’ve been fortunate to go to many of the greats including the Leyland Daf Cup Final, Worthington Cup Final, Play off Final as well as a trip to Braga when we were in the Europa Cup and not forgetting our win over Arsenal ten years ago to get the Carling Cup.  I forgot to mention my daughter’s fiancé is a gunner so we love to talk about Obafemi whenever we can bring his name into the conversation.

By profession, I’m a self-employed HR and Training Consultant.  At the moment I’m helping UHB with recruitment for the Covid Vaccine Workforce, which is a massive project.

I’m looking forward to becoming involved with the Trust in the hope that we can at some point have more of a voice in the Club and how it is run and increase engagement with the fans.

(Co-opted 23/01/2021)

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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