Especially during the ITV Digital affair, Trusts acquired a perception in many people’s minds that they were fundraising bodies who could work better at augmenting meagre club funds. The necessities of that situation meant that this was an operational priority for many trusts. Furthermore, the need to entrench their power through share ownership makes raising money a big issue. However, money is always a means to an end, the end being supporter involvement.
Often, people associated with a club will wish for a Trust as they have heard from other clubs how much money their trust has raised. The active support of a club can be very helpful, so an interest from there is always an opportunity. However, too close a relationship can create a perception that the Trust is merely a fundraising front for the club, which regardless of how the well thought of the club is by many fans, it fails to engage with the ‘middle ground’ who can be brought on board.
If club officials make contact, it is important to support their contention that the Trust could benefit their budgets, but to also get across that the trusts that bring those benefits do so because fans are willing to put money into it. They do this in greater numbers when they believe that the Trust is a genuinely new approach to club-supporter relations, not a new marketing scheme. The club may be non-committal about this, but it is important they are clear from the off about it.