Argyle Fans Trust.
Well for a variety of reasons Lunchtime Legend has been gathering dust for the last few weeks so I thought it was about time I posted something here!
And the topic is going to be one of my familiar tropes, football democracy. On Saturday I received my membership card for the Argyle Fans Trust. Around the same time as the news was breaking that the players and staff had once again not been paid by the club.
Whilst it had started to look like the club was moving in the right direction clearly the club is not yet saved and the potential new owners certainly look to be a little secretive if not out and out shady. Whomever the new owners of the club turn out to be I am increasingly of the opinion that the Fans Trust representing the voice of us supporters is going to be crucial for the future of Plymouth Argyle Football Club.
I am not, if really honest, the most most observant follower of the Church of Argyle. Whilst I am not an apostate I don’t go nearly enough, 2010-11 was probably the season in which I went the least in my adult life, but I do love my club and I want them to thrive and do better. I bet there are loads of people out there just like me.
Obviously for Argyle to do better the most important thing we can do is all go through the turnstile more often and get the crowds up (I for one have promised myself that I will go much more often next season). But I think a very close second has to be joining the Fans Trust.
Firstly by joining and paying fees we give the Trust the resources to best be able to put forward the views, needs and expectations of Argyle fans. Good will gets you only so far in this world and any organisation needs resources (both in terms of money and of course in terms of volunteering where people can) to be effective.
Secondly though is a question of legitimacy. The fans trust is a democratic body, but in order for them to speak with the loudest possible voice for the fans they need to have as many of us behind them as possible. In my day job I am a Trade Union official with the CWU. My office has strong union membership with the overwhelming majority of staff members and behind the Union. So I know from experience the more people are behind you the more your voice counts and the more you are listened too. The more fans who join the trust the stronger voice they will have in getting our interests as Argyle fans listened too.
I would love to one day see Argyle owned by the fans. It is the kind of thing people will often automatically dismiss as being pie in the sky. But it really isn’t, I in common with I’d imagine most real football fans, was delighted to see AFC Wimbledon promoted to the football league this season. What happened with the whole “franchise-gate” was an absolute disgrace and for a fan owned, democratically run, club to raise like a Phoenix from the Ashes back into league football so quickly was an amazing fairy tale.
And it really should provide confidence to those who dream of their club being owned by the fans. It can happen. And if it is to happen for Argyle then as many fans as possible have to join the trust. Football isn’t just business, our clubs are something more a vibrant part of our communities and places. Football generally, but Argyle specifically deserves better.
So this blog has been a pretty unapologetic puff piece for the Fans Trust. I hope that all my Argyle supporting readers will join. It only costs a tenner and you can now do it online and via PayPal.
No excuses folks get to it!