|Why was the Yeltz Trust formed?|
The following was distributed at the first AGM of The Yeltz Trust in March 2010. It tells the story of the recently troubled history of Halesown Town FC and it’s relation with the club’s supporters. The article is re-produced in full...
The story of the Yeltz Trust - warts and all!
I'll just briefly re cap on why the Trust exists. In 2007 Nigel Pitt announced he intended to move aside from his position as Chairman of Halesowen Town, the only Supporters body we had at Halesowen was HTSA which as a supporters Association could only fill limited roles within the football club, a supporters association or supporters cub basically raises funds and hands them over to the football club, it doesn’t own assets , has a limited role within the community and in reality has limited power with the wider football community and authorities.
We made moves to form a Supporters Trust as this can fill all the roles HTSA couldn’t, unfortunately we had very little support for a Trust at that time, the Club was sold, everyone thought the future was rosy so that was the end of that. Well before the end of the 2007/08 season a prominent person connected to Halesowen was urging me to push ahead with a Trust as there were signs of serious problems ahead, we were heading for the play off final, so again it was very difficult to motivate people.
We are all well aware of what followed and faced with the imminent demise of HTFC people finally woke up to the idea of a Trust, a meeting was arranged to propose the idea, we listened to people from Trusts at other clubs who had ‘been there done that’ a vote was taken and 100% were in favour of the Trust being formed.
It took a lot of hard work and man hours to bring the Yeltz Trust to reality and I want to thank everyone involved in the steering committee that made this happen, a special mention must go to former Trust Chairman Mr Guy Cooper, without whose input the project would in all likely hood have failed.
Jumping forward to where we are currently, new millionaire owners, doing well on the pitch, the future looks rosy. I want people to always remember why we arrived at that decision to form the Trust. There is a danger that people start to get complacent and think there is no need for a Trust, this has happened at other clubs where a takeover has gone ahead and people begin to think all is rosy, but without doubt the need is as strong now, if not more so, than ever. Football club owners come and go as do players and managers, the only constant at a football club is its fan base and local community, which in reality IS the football club. We came VERY close to losing Halesowen Town altogether and it is important that we build and prepare so that next time this happens we are in a position to act.
The launch of the Yeltz Trust has been extremely successful; we have well in excess of 250 members which represents a large percentage of the Halesowen Town fan base. Supporters Direct are pleased with the way we have handled the launch of the Trust and matters that have arisen since and I would like to thank all at Supporters Direct for their continuing help and advice.
We are all well aware the stance that was taken toward the Ingrams due to their association with Morrel Maison, the decisions the Board took during the battle for control of Halesowen Town were all made with the long term future in mind based on all the information we had at that time, the Ingrams certainly had their own views on the Trust Board and its membership, issuing threats of legal action against Board members did nothing to help relationships between the parties.