Banbury United is owned by its supporters …... the supporters who are members of Banbury United Community Football Club Ltd, a Community Benefit Society which owns the club.
Saturday’s game is a Members’ Day where new and lapsed Members can join/re-join the Club for 2018-19. As an incentive and a thank you we are offering a free drink to all existing members and those who sign up on the day.
The basic membership rate is £10 for the 2018-19 season although you can also join as a Gold member with additional benefits for £25. Our Membership Secretary Susan Duester will be in the clubhouse to collect forms and distribute drinks vouchers. Other Board members will be around the ground to talk about membership.
We are a club owned by its members. We could have 10 or 10000 members. We had 220 members last year. Since our first year 370 people have been members, we would like all of them to be members in 2018-19.
We are appreciative of all returning members but would like to build our membership. We are often asked, “Why should I join?” the simple answer is that we are a Members’ Club, being a Member entitles you to be part of that, have your say in how the club is run and be a part owner.
You only have to consider where the team was in 2015 and look around the ground to see the improvements made since we became a supporters’ owned club. We have a Board of Directors and a number of volunteers who give up their time freely to help the club run and develop. That is a result of everyone pulling together.
We work hard to engage with the local community and we again have a club that the town can be proud of.
Our membership numbers are an indication to others parties as to how strong the club is. It also offers those involved in the running the club and endorsement (or otherwise!) or how we are doing.
We would hope that supporters would recognise the efforts that have gone into turning the club around and not leave it to others to join – ultimately if everyone did that we would have no members and we would have no club! No one is forcing you to join but apathy is at the root of a failing club. If you want a vibrant buoyant club we would urge you to become a member and have your say.
A strong membership creates a strong club.
This model means the club is owned by its supporters, there is none of the murkiness of ownership that exists at some other clubs. The club is run by a Board elected by its members. We are all supporters. Anyone who is a member can stand for election. You will see the Board on matchdays around the ground, we don’t stay away from games or hide in the Boardroom eating prawn sandwiches!
We try to be transparent in what we do. We have an AGM with full detailed accounts, we communicate with our members regularly via our website and social media. We believe we have the club’s interest at heart. But if there are other ways members would like us to communicate, or things they would like to see happen then let us know, we are always open to suggestions.
You can find more information about the Community Benefit Society, including a 2018-19 Membership Form in the CBS SECTION OF THE WEBSITE
For further details about Community ownership, see below
Secretary – Banbury United Community Football Club Ltd
WHAT IS SUPPORTER OWNERSHIP?
When we talk about supporter/community ownership we mean that:
• The Club is 'Democratic’ and the membership of the entity work on a one member one vote principle
• The Club is ‘Inclusive’ and that there are no substantial barriers to participation as a voting member, with membership open to all that are sympathetic to the aims of the Club.
• Any profits are reinvested back into the Club as opposed to being distributed to shareholders.
• The Club is committed to running as a sustainable business.
Some of the benefits to being a community owned club are:
Community ownership structure has been very beneficial in attracting and retaining sponsorship above and beyond what a privately-owned club can expect
• Volunteering and participation at the Club
We have seen a greater buy-in and trust from the community which has unlocked more volunteers and participation
• Match day spending/donations
Supporters know that the money they spend will be reinvested in the Club and we have seen they are more likely to spend or donate more.
• Developing/securing facilities
As a Community owned club we offer greater protection and transparency within our constitution, which appeals to partners and funders.
By giving people the chance to part-own a Club, we have increased connection with it, so people share the responsibility of sustaining ‘their’ club
• Strategic Partnerships
A club owned by its community has the potential to develop deeper longer term strategic partnerships, particularly local authorities who historically favour this model
The Club operates to more financially responsible standards, and can attract a different type of investment and utilise a different type of finance
Some of the common challenges to overcome are:
• Collective responsibility
The club will only be big as the community willing to support it. Most supporters are familiar with a private ownership model where although there may be a moral sense of ownership in reality it is more akin to consumers rather than owners of a small enterprise.
• Expectation in decision making
Although the ownership will be equally distributed of course it is impractical and unworkable for everyone to be involved in every decision. In reality decision making powers will need to be delegated to the Board, sub groups as well as individuals who are employed and empowered to undertake roles.
Updated 10:59 - 9 Nov 2018 by . Webmaster