A Nottingham Forest blog with a concern for the wider game
I went to the AGM of the Nottingham Forest Supporters’ Trust last night. I stepped down off the board because I just had too many other commitments all piling up at the same time and didn’t feel that I could do the role justice, but it was great to meet up with those that are still moving the Trust forward and some of the members supporting them.
The Trust came about in a period of crisis when we had genuine concerns that our club might fold. I think that it’s fair to say that since the takeover last summer that situation has changed and we all feel much more confident about our collective future, but that doesn’t mean that the purpose of the Trust has now ended. Far from it.
The Trust bears the tagline “Then, Now, Forever” with the emphasis probably being on Forever, ensuring that there always remains a Nottingham Forest not just for us but for all the generations that follow us. Right now, that means putting in place strong structures and processes that embed the principles of fan engagement and transparency into the running of the club beyond the present owners and executives.
We also discussed how the Trust was not an organisation in isolation but also a part of the wider Forest fan base. Its specific areas of concern are different to those of other groups, such as the Supporters Club or Forza Garibaldi, but all Forest fans whether part of any of these groups or not are all united by their shared love for this football club.
I wonder whether there are opportunities for all established fan groups to work together to signpost the collective fan base to places that suit their own interests, to encourage participation for those who want to get involved in some area or another. That’s not to say that being a member of one or other group (or not) makes you in any way a better or worse supporter of the club, just that it maximises the chance to involve everyone and work together.
Whilst each group focuses on its own area of particular interest, there may also be opportunities to come together as a complete fan base to do other things, projects that make us feel proud, add to our collective personality as a football club, build and support our reputation both locally and nationally. I think it is important that we are a good partner to both our local geographic community and the wider game of football across the country and beyond. I am sure that there is lots that we could achieve in the name of Nottingham Forest.
Coming away from the meeting, I once again felt energised. It’s good to know that fellow fans are putting in time and effort to secure the (very) long-term future of the club. We have to remember that, although our club is now in a very different place to just 12 months ago, it is still the case that owners come and go whilst fans remain.