The Glentoran Community Trust became a legal entity as of Monday 15th May 2006. A press release for the ‘official’ launch took place on Friday 19th May at the Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast, then the first open meeting, and enrolment night, for the new GCT took place on Wed 7th June 06.
As of that first night, the Glentoran Community Trust enrolled it’s first 132 official members, and the list grew substantially in the following weeks and months. Membership is open to anyone, it’ll cost you no more than £20 a year to join and you can now apply online.
Should you have any queries in the meantime however please feel free to contact us at the link above, we will always try to get back to you within 48hrs.
SO WHAT IS THE GCT… ?
THE FIRST SUPPORTERS TRUST EVER TO BE ESTABLISHED AND LEGALLY REGISTERED IN NORTHERN IRELAND.
What is a Supporters Trust?
There has long been talk of supporters getting together and exercising our collective strength to influence the way the club is run, and to turn back the tide of the club becoming more and more distant from us the supporters, and from the community within which the Football Club exists. But until recently there was no real idea of how best to go about this. A Supporter’s Trust is simply a tried and tested way to help achieve this objective. So the Trust concept creates an environment in which ALL supporters of Glentoran Football Club can get together in a very structured way – making it easy for the club to understand what the supporters, as a body, feel about a particular issue and because it can deliver a single message from a large body of people the strength of that message is difficult for the club to ignore.
And now for the legal bit …
The Trust, formally called the “Glentoran Supporters Society Limited” is as of Monday 15th May 2006 registered with the Registry of Companies Belfast under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965 -1978. You will come to know it by the more common trading name of the “Glentoran Community Trust”. We are governed by a set of rules (the “Constitution” or “Model Rules” drawn up for us by Cobbetts solicitors of Manchester) which give strict guidance as to the way the GCT is run. They will be made readily available to all, including from today downloadable in Word.doc format from the GCTNI.com website. Companies Registry Northern Ireland has approved these Rules and the Registry must also approve any changes. They will not allow any changes that weaken the principles of the Trust.
It exists for the benefit of its members (YOU!!!).
It must be inclusive, in that anyone who cares about the club can join.
Any money it receives can only be used toward achieving the Trust aims – YOUR aims.
It is democratic – one member gets one vote no matter how much money they give.
There can be no changes to these principles unless the members themselves vote for it (in practice this means they will not change). The Trust has NOT been set up to replace existing supporters clubs and organisations. They operate independently and will continue to provide an extremely valuable service to their members.
What is an Industrial and Provident Society? Supporters Direct recommend that Trusts be registered as an Industrial and Provident Society with the Registrar of Friendly Societies. As such all its actions and conduct will be regulated by the provisions of the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1965 – 1978. More information on this subject is available on the Supporters Direct website www.supporters-direct.org/. Supporters Direct is a government initiative, funded by public money, with offices in London and Glasgow. Supporter Direct’s aim is to provide assistance to those “who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the football club they support”. They offer support, advice and information to groups of football supporters.
So what’s in it for you?
The Trust exists for the benefit of its members – YOU!!! The aims of the Trust are all about you and your club, bringing it closer to the Community of East Belfast and beyond, by helping the development of young footballers, supporters and promoting active citizenship with the Club at the hub – while enshrined in the Trust Constitution, YOU, the Trust members, must get something tangible in return. By supporting the Trust you support these ideals. The cost of running the Trust will be kept to a minimum and will be met from a proportion of the membership fees, and both private and public funding. By supporting the Trust, you will ensure that the supporters will always aspire to have a significant say in how the club is run. We believe that the Trust, by bringing the community closer to the club, OUR club, will create renewed interest in Glentoran FC as a valuable asset to the people of East Belfast.
With the advent of a new millennium people from across the globe have earned the right to expect more, the supporters of Glentoran Football Club and the wider community of East Belfast have earned the right to expect more. But mindsets need to change… or we all die together. We believe that the Glentoran Community Trust will ultimately become the catalyst for change right across Northern Ireland football.