What is the Greenock Morton Supporters’ Trust?
The Supporters’ Trust was formed in 2000, as the club battled for its very survival. Recognising the helplessness felt by Morton supporters everywhere as the club was allowed by its (then) owner to slide towards oblivion, the trust aimed not only to unite and to rally the Morton support, but to empower them by raising funds to purchase a significant shareholding in the club and by winning a seat on the club’s board of directors. In short, as the football club emerged from the ashes of the Scott era, the Supporters’ Trust would maintain a watching brief from the inside, ensuring that the same ills could not be repeated under future custodians.
In the years that have followed, the relationship between the football club and the Supporters’ Trust have evolved, for the better. In so far as the football club are concerned: off the park, the Rae era has seen Cappielow restored to its former glory, whilst on it the club has re-established itself as a First Division outfit, with aspirations to climb higher still. We now have a Youth Academy to be proud of, and a Community Trust committed to taking Morton into the local community, with the aim of creating a healthier and safer Inverclyde. With regard to the Supporters’ Trust: we now hold (by some distance) the second highest shareholding in the club, and have donated a further £30,000 to Morton youth development. Whilst the Supporters’ Trust is no longer represented on the club’s board of directors, representatives of the Trust board are invited bi-annually to attend board meetings of the football club, at which matters of concern to Supporters’ Trust members, or matters of common interest between the club and the trust are discussed in a healthy, honest and frank manner.
The Supporters’ Trust is a key contributor to the Youth Academy, having donated money, physiotherapy equipment and training kit, with a commitment to continue that level of involvement in the future. At the same time, members of the Supporters’ Trust’s board of trustees, Nick Robinson and Chris McCorkindale (ex-secretary), sit alongside Crawford Rae and Stuart Rae on the board of the Greenock Morton Community Trust. Thus the evolution of the Trust since its formation is one that now sees us work with the football club actively to ensure the club’s future prosperity both on and off the park.
How is the Trust run?
The Supporters’ Trust is a democratic body, organised on the principle of one member, one vote. Each member is able to vote on key issues (board membership, approval of accounts, significant changes to key policies or rules, and more) at general meetings. The month-to-month decision making is taken by a Trust board which must consist of no less than six and no more than 15 members. It falls upon the Trust board to ensure that the Trust fulfils its key objectives:
- To strengthen the bonds between Greenock Morton Football Club and the local community in Inverclyde and the surrounding area and to represent the interests of the local community in the running of Greenock Morton Football Club;
- To benefit present and future members of the community in Inverclyde and the surrounding area by promoting, encouraging and furthering the game of football as a recreational facility, sporting activity and focus for community involvement;
- To provide and maintain facilities for the enjoyment of professional football;
- To promote coaching schemes to develop the skills of young people and to widen interest in football regardless of the gender, race, colour or religion or those involved.
The Trust board are at all times accountable to the general membership, both for their performance and for their conduct in their roles as trustees.
Who are the Trustees?
The Trustees are members of the Trust, who are either elected from the membership or co-opted onto the board by its existing members on the basis of their particular skills and/or expertise. The board currently consists of:
- Allan Feeney – the Trust’s chairman;
- Mary Seller – the Trust’s secretary;
- Nick Robinson – the Trust’s treasurer;
- Laura Wohlgemuth;
- Claire Melville;
- Ryan Deegan.
If you are a member of the Trust and believe that you have the expertise, skills or simply the desire to join the board of trustees and to shape the ways in which the Trust is run, then you can do so in two ways. First, by standing for election to the trust board at an Annual General Meeting (generally held in the close season each year); secondly, using our contact page, outlining your background, your skills and/or areas of expertise, and the reasons why you would like to join.
What can you do?
There are a number of ways in which you can help the Trust to meet these objectives:
- Become a member – for just £10 a year you can become a member of the Supporters’ Trust. This small fee will entitle you to vote on all of the key decisions at the Trust’s general meetings, to stand for election to the Trust board, to receive information on the running of the Trust and the football club, and to feed into regular meetings which take place between the Supporters’ Trust, the football club (including the Youth Academy) and the new Community Trust.
- Become a board member – Supporters’ Trust members are entitled to stand for election to (or to be co-opted onto) the Trust board. The board meets once per month and is responsible for the day to day running of the trust – everything from organising fundraising events, to meeting with club officials on areas of concern or common interest, and much else besides.
- Support our events – the Trust aims to organise a number of events throughout the year. Some of these events, such as the popular Fans’ Game, are organised with the aim of raising money which will then be used to support the Trust’s objectives (for example, moneys raised at each of the fans’ games have been donated to the club’s Youth Academy, or its predecessors). Other events, such as the public meeting between Morton supporters and Gillian Donalson (GMFC ‘s Chief Executive) on the decision to vote Rangers Football Club into the Scottish Football League, are free to attend but serve the purpose of maintaining a dialogue between the football club and its fan base.
Whether you decide to join the Trust as an ordinary member, to stand for election to the Trust board, or simply to come along to our various events, you can play a significant part in helping the Trust to achieve its core aim: ensuring that Greenock Morton Football Club continues to survive and indeed to thrive at the heart of our community.
Mon eh Ton.