Northampton Trust was the original football Trust formed in 1992. Read here about how it started and why it was formed. Since then many clubs across the country have formed supporters trusts. Some would not exist now without them. We play Northampton and then Exeter in a short period of time. Both have been at the forefront of the of supporter involvement. It will be interesting when clubs begin to fail again in future how some will be able to continue or proceed without the supporters who did so much when they were needed to do so.
The Origins of Northampton Town Supporters' Trust
Northampton Town Supporters' Trust was formed in January 1992, as a result of a large public meeting attended by over 600 fans. This meeting was called by a group of ordinary supporters, including Rob Marshall, editor of the fanzine What a Load of Cobblers, and myself, in response to a financial crisis at the club and a series of misleading statements issued by the then chairman.
The club was reluctant to send representatives to the meeting, but relented at the last minute, and the situation disclosed by them was a debt approaching £1.6 million, representing more than two years' turnover for the club. As the Trust subsequently discovered, the rot had set in some time before, and unpaid bills stretched back several years, to the time of the previous regime at the club.
The crisis, however, had been precipitated by the club's failure to pay the previous two months' players' wages, which amounted to about £64,000. The Professional Footballers' Association had had to cover this, and so it too had now become a creditor of the club.
The Trust was set up with two objectives: first, to raise money to save the club (but not for the then current regime), and to be accountable to the supporters for the expenditure of that money; and second, to seek effective involvement and representation for supporters in the running of the club in order to ensure that such a crisis situation would never occur again.
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