It's time to sign up again for the new season
Bairnstrust Final Newco Announcement
As we all know Newco Rangers are now in Division 3, as voted at the SFL meeting, and now is time for Falkirk Football Club and it's fans to move on. We believe that is the correct stance, however much controversy exists as to the role played by Falkirk Football Club, with a National newspaper accusing Falkirk of voting to place them in Division 1.
The Club had made early statements that Newco should go to Division 3 yet the most recent statement suggested that a reconstruction of the leagues would be appropriate and the vote taken at the most recent SFL meeting was secret and, as such, would remain confidential. In an attempt to clarify the position taken by Falkirk Football Club, Bairnstrust has had a number of discussions with the club through our Board Delegate and Chairman.
We find the lack of transparency from Falkirk Football Club to be unsatisfactory especially as in the Falkirk Herald recently the General Manager talked about improving communication with the supporters. The fans of the football club have been very supportive in the last year or so and we believe should always be at the forefront of the clubs minds when decisions are made.
This unsatisfactory position is timely, as it supports the Bairnstrust’s long term ambition to have the fans better represented on the Board and to bring the Board to account for its actions. We believe this can only be achieved by Bairnstrust increasing its Shareholding to a much larger percentage.
We will shortly be organising a fans Q&A session which will explain extensive changes we are planning to make within the Trust. It is our hope that the fans will embrace these changes and see them as a positive step forward. On the same night fans will also get the opportunity to put questions to the Football Club Chairman, other club Directors and the Manager Steven Pressley.
We would finally like to wish the Manager, his coaching staff and all the players ‘good luck’ for the coming season and urge the fans to get behind the team as they have done every season.
Chairman on behalf of Bairnstrust Board
Bairnstrust have taken a decision to cancel the monthly meeting due to be held at the Stadium on July 16th 2012, for the following reasons:
1. The Scottish game is still in a state of flux and the ramifications of the SFL vote on Friday are still rumbling on with no resolution.
2. Our club has been widely accused of voting to parachute Newco Rangers into Division 1. At this juncture despite pressing the club for clarification we still do not know which way they voted or if indeed they will make a public statement.
3. The Club were unable to send a Director to attend.
4. Bairnstrust believe that it is best to hold a meeting when everyone is possession of as many facts as we can obtain and the club Board can be represented.
We trust you understand why we have taken this action. We will announce the date of the meeting when we have a much clearer picture and when the club can be represented. We envisage that this could be later this week or early next.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Bairnstrust Board Representative, Alastair Brookes, attended the club Board Meeting today.
The Trust had previously met on Wednesday night and discussed the latest sketchy proposals from the football authorities.
Bairnstrust have come to the following conclusions;
1. Fans want change much sooner that this proposal.
2. There is far too little detail in this proposal to make a proper judgement in such a short time period, whilst acknowledging there are many parts of it which are what supporters have asked for in the past.
3. Bairnstrust have not changed their view on Newco and the proposals in this outline plan we believe should only be discussed on the premise that all Newco clubs start at the bottom of the current league set up. Asignificant majority of fans, including Newco fans, want Newco in Division 3. Why does the game consistently ignore what its customers want on this issue?
4. Bairnstrust believes supporters have no confidence or trust in the current senior office bearers in the game in Scotland and would like to see changes made to rebuild that confidence and trust.
5. Any working party formed to re-structure the game should have some involvement from supporters as the McLeish report recommended.
6. Any decision made on Friday by the SFL clubs should be respected and the authorities should abide by the SFL's decision but still implement change to re-structure the game.
7. Bairnstrust believe that any decision other than entering Newco into Division 3 will lead to many fans turning their back on the game throughout Scotland. We also believe however that fans will support clubs in greater numbers than before if the game is seen to be upholding sporting integrity.
We understand the club have a difficult balancing act in very difficult times, however we believe this is still a plan to fix a short term issue for a minority of clubs in Scotland and gives no firm guarantees of the changes in the game the supporters want. Add this to the fact that the change is proposed to take place over four years, Alastair was directed to argue that the club should reject this current proposal unless Newco is entered into Division 3.
We have consulted with a number of Trusts from other clubs and their views are broadlly the same as Bairnstrust.
Bairnstrust Chairman, of behalf of Bairnstrust Committee
12th July 2012
Newco and Proposed Changes to Scottish Football
As a significant Shareholder in Falkirk Football Club with representation on the Board of Directors, we believe it is important that we present the views of the organisation which have been communicated to the club by Alastair Brookes, our Board Representative.
This current situation has been neither created by Falkirk Football Club nor the Scottish Football League. However, the events of the last few days have turned the unwelcome focus on both our Club and the Football League organisation which we are part of. We have applauded the club for the stance they took last week, for showing leadership to other clubs and for supporting the stance that a huge majority of our fans had been lobbying for.
We do, however, believe that under no circumstances should ANY Newco be parachuted into any division of the football league. Any Newco MUST have to re-apply to gain entry via the bottom of the pyramid system. No club, no matter their size or influence, should be awarded favoured status. All clubs have to start to live within their means. If commercial pressures are coming from both sponsors and media partners in these difficult times, yet they are not being supportive, then we would suggest that these are the wrong partners for the long term. It is time for Football Clubs to support their true long term partners - THE FANS.
BairnsTrust ran a survey of SFL fans in the last few days. This survey clearly indicated what the supporters of these clubs want to happen in the future. The results can be found here
Bairns Trust would like to see the following five fundamental principles.
1. One governing body formed with administrators in whom fans and clubs have confidence.
2. Larger leagues with clubs playing each other twice only, with more promotion and relegation.
3. A fairer distribution of wealth, which is awarded on merit rather than on status or size.
4. Play-offs in all leagues, as take place in England and the lower SFL leagues.
5. A fairer democratic voting system to be introduced.
If Scottish football fails to grasp this opportunity to radically reshape the game to meet the aims of their REAL long term partners, then it may never recover properly from recent traumatic events. We would like to see our Club leading the debate from the front. We hope that both the authorities and other clubs will listen and subsequently reshape the game in a way that the vast majority demand.
Bairnstrust Chairman of behalf of Bairnstrust Committee
2nd July 2012
BairnsTrust recently ran an Online Survey asking fans of all SFL clubs what they thought of the ongoing saga which is currently taking place within Scottish Football, you can now read the:
Results of SFL Fans #newco Survey
Bairnstrust believe that for the long term benefit of the game in Scotland all clubs should now be treated on an equal basis.
If clubs break the rules then their size or influence in the game should not preclude the authorities from handing out a fair and relevant punishment.
We will convey those views to the BoD and lobby the club to ensure that sporting integrity is held above short term financial gains as that pathway will generate longer term sustainable finance for the Scottish game.
End of Season Sales List
Can't see spreadsheets ? here's a free to download Excel Viewer
BairnsTrust Financial accounts to 30.9.2011
for all to examine online
BairnsTrust AGM 2011 minutes online
The Fans' Plan for the Future of Scottish Football
Supporters Direct Scotland, the voice of football supporters’ trusts in Scotland, publishes The Fans’ Plan – key recommendations to shape the future of Scottish league Read the story here
February Meeting Minutes
avaliable to read online
Newsletter No 90
avaliable to read online
Offensive Behaviour Act
BairnsTrust were represented at the Supporters Direct hosted event on the evening of Wednesday 29th February 2012 as the final leg of the Police Football Focus Group roadshow:
Glasgow - Monday 27 February - Novotel, Pitt Street, Glasgow
Dundee - Tuesday 28 February - Tannadice Park, Dundee
Edinburgh - Wednesday 29 February - RAF Club, 25 Learmonth Terrace,
Other Trusts and supporter groups from Hearts, Hibs' ErinTrust, Raith Rovers, Livi For Life and Alloa also attended.
The recent Hearts v Celtic fixture attracted much debate as did the the Old Firm.
It was noted that the Act only applies to regulated SPL/SFL games and not Juniors, Amateur or under age fixtures and will only apply to the sport of football.
As the quickest legislation ever passed through the Scottish Government the Offensive Behaviour Act came into force on 1st March 2012 and there will be interesting implications for Falkirk supporters:
* Any anti-Dunfermline songs will now come under the offensive behaviour terms.
* Norrie McCathie chants will be deemed intolerable and be subjected to the full force of the Act.
* Those found in possession of "smoke bombs" will be served with a football banning order.
** Read more on the Scottish Government website
BairnsTrust are in negotiations to have members of the Police Football Focus Group to give the same presentation to Falkirk supporters at the next Trust Fans Forum .
Share Save Scheme
Fans Forums 2012
BairnsTrust, in conjunction with Falkirk Football Club, bring all fans the chance to meet with the management team again, this time through a series of meetings which are being held throughout the district. We know that many of our fans enjoy having the chance to meet with the 'team' and share their views about our club. More details here
25th January 2012: - A brief report of the Fans Forum can be read here
NOW ON SALE
Unique Framed Prints
Campbell Christie 1935 - 2011
Campbell Christie, the former general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, has died at the age of 74, Mr Christie died at Strathcarron Hospice in Denny, after a short period of illness.
Campbell served as STUC general secretary from 1986 to 1998, he also served as chairman of Falkirk Football Club, and most recently he chaired a commission on the future of public services in Scotland.
Awarded a CBE in 1997, he held honorary doctorates from St Andrews, Stirling, Napier, and Glasgow Caledonian Universities, together with Queen Margaret's University College
He was loved by many for his principles, his humour and his courage, his life will not just be measured in the offices he held or the achievements he won, many as they were, but also in the generosity of spirit and dignified manner which distinguished all his actions.
Campbell was a true public servant and was very active in the civic life of Scotland, serving on many other bodies and organisations, not least his beloved Falkirk FC.
Campbell was chairman of Falkirk Football Club during the team's run in the Premier League.
He stepped down after the Bairns played in the 2009 Scottish Cup Final, Campbell had three spells as chairman and steered the football club through some of its greatest turmoil and greatest successes, he was a great supporter of BairnsTrust.
All at BairnsTrust would like to pass on our condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed by everyone at the football club
Supporters Direct Scotland Annual Conference
Several members of BairnsTrust committee went along to the Supporter’s Direct Conference at Hampden on Saturday 4th June 2011. The title of the conference was ‘The future of Scottish Football’ and there were over 25 Trusts representing clubs across Scotland – from Albion Rovers to both sides of the Old Firm. It was a great opportunity to meet other fans to hear what is happening at their clubs and to share ideas.
The most interesting part of the day was a panel discussion included David Longmuir (SFL), Neil Doncaster (SPL), Fraser Wishart (PFA Scotland), Gordon Thomson (Clyde FC) and Dave Boyle (Supporters Direct). Fans again made it clear that they were opposed to the reconstruction of the SPL to a top ten during that discussion. The main thing to note from the response was the continued intransigence of the SPL to even think about an alternative model that doesn’t include playing each other 4 times.
During the open debate at SD’s recent Hampden conference, Neil Doncaster outlined his proposals to the SPL and SFL for a top division of 10 clubs and an SPL2 of 12 clubs, claiming that his proposals would increase the available funds and the trickledown effect to the lower leagues were the changes to go ahead.
The plans are based on the following objectives: finance and commercial as well as increasing interest and quality in the game (although aren’t these mutually exclusive? constitutional relationships; player development; and the performance of the national team.
Doncaster came under a lot of criticism and it was clear that the SPL were effectively basing the whole reconstruction debate around the need to have 4 Old Firm games and 4 Edinburgh derbies guaranteed. In a later session the details of the SPL pans were discussed and for most fans the assumptions they made about increased TV revenue as a result of the new set up were wildly optimistic and completely ignored the volatile nature of the broadcast market in the future. Fan interest and gate revenue appeared an afterthought.
These proposals generated a great many questions and the chairman of the debate needed to extend the time give for question on this issue, which was not helped by the fact that all five panelists had the opportunity to answer every question despite most being directed towards either Neil Doncaster or David Longmuir.
There was also a fascinating session by Clyde FC directors who talked us through how they are constituted as democratic club with one member one vote. Their finance director talked about their budgeting approach and how they only pay out what they can cover in revenue. The financial impact on the player budget of living within your means was clear for all to see as we know from recent developments at our own Falkirk Community Stadium. Everyone was impressed by the openness on the finances of the club, with their business plan and management accounts online and accessible to all shareholders.
The chance to meet other Trusts was really valuable and we were delighted to play a part in helping make sure that the SPL heard the views of fans directly on their proposed reconstruction.
BairnsTrust raise over £5,000… with more to follow!
BairnsTrust would like to say a big thank you to all the supporters who gave generously to the collection at Tuesday night’s game against Partick Thistle. This was set up at the request of fans and managed to raise an excellent amount of £761.77. Fans should be reassured that this money will not be a simple donation. In keeping with the aims of BairnsTrust, this money will be used to buy shares in Falkirk FC, providing vital funds for the running of the Club and increasing fans ownership and representation at the Club we all love.
In addition, BairnsTrust has already given £2000 as a donation to the Falkirk Academy in the last month. There is still an outstanding sum of around £1000 from calendar sales which will also be donated to the Academy in the next month.
Surplus bank balance of around £1,500 will be used to buy shares in the next few weeks as we continue to support the Club and also keep the interests of fans at the forefront of discussions.
Volunteers of BairnsTrust will be holding further collections in the away end at the Stirling Albion game on Saturday and at the last home game of the season against Ross County on April 30th. Any amount of contribution you can afford to give will be gratefully received.
Would you like to buy shares in your own name? BairnsTrust operate a share-save scheme, allowing you to contribute any amount per month (min. £10) for a stated period, usually two years. If you are interested, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently recruiting new volunteers so, if you have any relevant skills or experience and feel you can contribute to the running of BairnsTrust, please get in touch.
BairnsTrust guest in the boardroom for the Dunfermline game last Saturday was Colin Suggett of Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, Newcastle United. (1966-1978). Colin became a youth coach at Newcastle United then Director of Coaching at Ipswich and chief scout a position he now holds at Carlisle United.
The BairnsTrust committee met tonight (Wednesday 2nd Feb 2011) and after debating the information given by the board representatives have decided that, at the request of many supporters a meeting should be held to explain some of the facts which led to the situation between HMRC and the football club, which arose on Monday 31st January 2011.
BairnsTrust have organised a meeting for Fans on Saturday 5th February 2011, at the Falkirk Stadium starting at 10:30 am until approximately 12 noon.
If you have questions on the role of BairnsTrust during the recent winding up order or any other matter, then now is the time to come along and ask.
We will endeavour to answer your questions openly and honestly.
Statement from the Chairman
Today (Monday 31st January 2011) at 15:24, I received a text message from a fan informing me of the issue between Falkirk FC and HMRC.
The news of this 'winding up' order has never been mentioned to me before then, and as far as I am aware, to any other board member, and I was at a board meeting as recently as last Thursday 27th January 2011.
I immediately contacted George Craig and Martin Ritchie to clarify the situation.
Falkirk football club are surprised at the action by HMRC as we were in talks with them to spread out PAYE payments over a period of time, BairnsTrust were aware of this but were not unduly concerned.
At no time were Bairnstrust aware that HMRC were taking this course of action today.
I have since received assurances from George Craig that the situation has been resolved, he has also released a statement on the club website which should put an end to a sorry day which should have seen us celebrating two victories over Raith Rovers in as many days.
It is the remit of BairnsTrust to keep fans informed, especially if the club is in danger
For anyone who has other concerns, I look forward to seeing you all at the next BairnsTrust meeting
Supporters Direct Gathering Urges Action
Bairnstrust Chairman Tom Paterson and Vice Chairman Sandy Monfries, joined other Scottish football trust representatives in a well attended, very positive meeting which was organised by Supporters Direct Scotland at the Falkirk Stadium on Sunday 23rd January 2011.
The aim of the gathering was to galvanise fan and Trust action in response to the recent McLeish and SPL proposals for league reconstruction (or ‘deconstruction’, as Inverness Caley Thistle manager Terry Butcher put it in a recent BBC Radio interview!)
Around 50 people from 32 professional clubs and one junior team (Clydebank) took the trouble to turn up on a cold, wet afternoon, but soon found themselves involved in a passionate debate about the future of Scottish football.
The overwhelming feeling was that the proposals put forward so far are not a proper basis for achieving a credible and sustainable basis for the game in this country. As in the recent Supporters Direct survey (to which there had been a huge response), the great majority were against regionalising the lower leagues, and all but two participants vehemently opposed the idea of SPL ‘Colt’ or ‘B’ teams entering the SFL.
SD representatives were urged to talk with the Scottish Football League and to ask them to be much more proactive in their response to external proposals which have massive implications for clubs like Falkirk.
They were also encouraged to use their forthcoming meeting with SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster to seek a proper framework for consultation and decision-making with all clubs, to seek the assumptions and data necessary to consider viable alternatives to what is now on the table, and to press the views of supporters as expressed in the Supporters Direct Survey.
The clear wish of those present was that the needs of football development in Scotland should be driving the whole process, not financial interests disconnected from the wishes of football communities.
Supporters Direct is committed to holding those who run the game accountable to the real stakeholders – the fans. This is why continuing to build BairnsTrust membership is so important.
Monday 8th November sees Falkirk take on Dunfermline in the Youth Cup at Falkirk Stadium with a 7pm kick off. Admission will be £2 for adults and children free.
Fans who attend the match will have an opportunity to make a donation on the night to the Academy Sponsorship fund.
In return for a minimum of £10 donation, fans will receive a signed Certificate to confirm their support of the Falkirk Academy – BairnsTrust will have a stall available at the match.
Pledge forms will be avaliable from the BairnsTrust stall on the concourse near the open kiosk, and will be manned pre match and at half time. Forms can be completed and returned to the stall.
Pledge forms can also be downloaded by clicking HERE
Applications for BairnsTrust membership will also be taken.
Please attend and support the future of Falkirk FC.
Drinkell Signs for the Bairns
...... Trust that is, Kevin took the time to sign up to Bairnstrust on his recent visit to Falkirk Stadium. He was promoting his new biography,
'Drinks All Round' Kevin recalls his successful spell at Brockville where we won the First Division and B and Q Cup. Only £14.99
BairnsTrust have signed copies of his book avaliable, look through our Online Shop for further details
BairnsTrust in conjunction with Falkirk Football Club recently gifted football strips, and footballs to local school Langlees Primary School. The kit was handed over by Former Bairns players, John McLaughlan, Alex Duchart, and John Markie.
UEFA announces Supporter Liaison Officers at clubs
The introduction of a new UEFA licensing requirement from season 2012/13 for all clubs to have an operating Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) marks an important new chapter in club to supporter relations and emphasizes how important this relationship is considered.
Under Article 35 of the new UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations, clubs will have the obligation to appoint an SLO to ensure a proper and constructive dialogue between a club and its fans. The move is the result of close cooperation between European football's governing body and Supporters Direct - the body which provides guidance and backing to fan groups in 17 countries throughout Europe.
The SLO concept which has been under consideration for some time, has gained full support from the national associations represented in the UEFA club licensing committee and has been drawn up with the strong cooperation of Supporters Direct.
The concept, aimed at building a consensual and harmonious relationship with supporters, was presented and discussed at the European Football Fans' Congress in Barcelona last weekend organised by FSE. This event, the third of its kind, was attended by hundreds of fan representatives from around Europe who were provided an opening address by William Gaillard, the personal advisor to the UEFA President, before a series of workshops where thoughts were exchanged between supporters and UEFA on a number of important projects including Financial Fair Play and SLO's.
What is an SLO?
Supporter Liaison Officers at clubs already exist in a limited number of European countries and primarily help improve the dialogue between the fans and the clubs they support. Most importantly, SLOs must be credible with fans, and therefore should have experience with and contacts to the networks in the fanbase at the club.
They inform the fans about relevant decisions made by the club management board and, in the other direction, communicate the needs of the fans to the board, as well as building relationships - not just with various fan groups and initiatives, but with the police and security officers, They will also engage with fan liaison officers of other clubs before matches to ensure that the fans behave in accordance with security guidelines.
To implement the new requirements, a network of SLO project contacts from each national governing body across Europe will be created and work together with the UEFA club licensing team and Supporters Direct to assist clubs and supporter groups improve communication in each of the 53 UEFA member associations. This year more than 600 clubs applied for a UEFA licence with many more applying for domestic licences based on the same or similar principles. Hence, the broad scope and significance of the SLO project.
Like the licensing system itself, the implementation and development of supporter liaison officers will be a tool to raise minimum standards; a dynamic system changing over time, and focusing on developing and improving the dialogue between the fans and the clubs.
For further information on the Supporter Liaison Officer project please contact Antonia Hagemann and in relation to the UEFA club licensing regulations, Sefton Perry.
Click here for details
Alex Parker 1935 - 2010
Alex Parker, has died, aged 74, he suffered a heart attack and passed away on Thursday 7th January. Alex was born on August 2, 1935 in Irvine, Ayrshire, and was a former Scottish international footballer most prominent during his time with Everton.
Alex was a fullback, and began his career with Kello Rovers, turning semi-professional when he joined Falkirk in 1952. He stayed with the Bairns for almost six seasons, The highlight of his Bairns career was a Scottish Cup win in 1957 when Falkirk defeated Kilmarnock 2-1 at Hampden Park in a replayed final following a 1-1 draw.
Alex also became a Scotland international during this period, earning his first cap against Portugal in 1955. He was selected in the squad for the 1958 FIFA World Cup, making one appearance against Paraguay, which also transpired to be his final national team cap.
Alex moved to Merseyside in 1958 when Everton paid £18,000 for his transfer. Although his Toffees debut was delayed by his requirement to fulfil National Service in Cyprus, he eventually became a stalwart in the side which won the 1962-63 League Championship.
Alex left Goodison Park in 1965, joining Southport for £2,000. After 3 years with the Sandgrounders he moved to Northern Ireland to become player-manager of Ballymena United. He joined Drumcondra as a player in 1970 but left for Southport after only three months, where he was given a coaching role. Two months later he was promoted to manager but this appointment lasted only a single season.
After his retirement from the footballing world, Alex became a publican in Runcorn and lived in Gretna, Dumfriesshire.
Another legend joins the big team above.
All at BairnsTrust would like to pass on our condolences to his family and friends
Supporters Direct Scotland has put this survey together to try to measure the views of supporters on a range of issues facing football in Scotland.
Supporters Direct SURVEY
Former Falkirk striker Paul McGrillen has been found dead in his home. The strikers body was found in his home in Hamilton on Wednesday night. He was 37 years old.
Mowgli scored an impressive 23 goals in 82 games for the Bairns and also played for Motherwell, Airdrie, East Fife, Stirling Albion, Partick Thistle, Clydebank, Stenhousemuir and Stranraer. McGrillen was part of the Motherwell Scottish Cup winning team from 1991 but did not feature in the final.
He is the fourth member of that squad to die tragically young along with Davie Cooper, Phil O'Donnell and Jamie Dolan.
McGrillen was playing football for junior club Bathgate Thistle and featured as recently as last week where he played ironically against Motherwell.
All at BairnsTrust pass on our condolences to his family and friends
Information and documents
BairnsTrust have compiled Slide Shows from pictures provided by Falkirk Fans why not browse them on the Fans Pix page
Fans Pix page
If you have any interesting photos, which are Falkirk Football Club related and you would like share with others, then why not send them to us for inclusion on the Fans Pix page. We must ask that no obscene or pornographic material be submitted as they will not be accepted. Likewise, images must not be copyrighted by anyone other than the individual submitting them.
page was updated on 4th August 2012
© Copyright 2012 BairnsTrust. All rights reserved