BairnsTrust is the trading name of the Falkirk FC Supporters’
Society, Ltd. It is a not-for-profit company owned by its members,
and is registered as an Industrial and Providential Society with
the Register of Friendly Societies in Edinburgh. The core activity
of BairnsTrust is to amass shares in Falkirk FC, which will be held
in collective ownership for the Trust members. In doing so, those
who care most for the club will gain an increasing say in how the
club is run.
BairnsTrust has a set of rules or Constitution that have been approved by the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
The rules are designed in such a way that the organisation will
serve the community. Its aims include…
1) Strengthening the links between Falkirk
FC and the local community
2) Promoting football in the community
3) Involving supporters in the running of the club and electing
supporters to the board of directors
4) Preserving the heritage and traditions of the club
5)To act as an umbrella group for supporters in its links with the
Is this just another fundraiser?
No. This will undoubtedly raise funds for the club, but that is
not the aim. Indeed, the Trust members could decide to spend the
money on other community-related activities. The Trust’s constitution
is wide ranging and allows for many activities. However these activities
must be carried out for the good of the club and the community it
serves. Possible activities of the Trust include promoting youth
and children’s’ football, dealing with the club on fans’
consumer issues (e.g. admission prices, replica strips, facilities,
parent and gender issues, segregation), organising social events
(Back the Bairns have agreed to work in partnership with the Trust),
or more or less anything else that its members decide.
The reason we 're doing this is to increase the say that fans have
in the running of the club. The difference between this and previous
initiatives by Falkirk supporters, such as Back the Bairns and Teambuilder,
is that the money raised will be transferred into a shareholding,
rather than taken by the club as a donation. As a result, the supporters
who raise the cash gain an increased influence in the club. No particular
interest group or clique within the support can control BairnsTrust.
It does not seek to control or take-over existing Supporters’
Clubs or organisations. Indeed, the establishment of BairnsTrust
was actively supported by Back the Bairns, Teambuilder, the Federation
of Falkirk Supporters’ Clubs and a number of independent supporters’
clubs, as well as individual shareholders and supporters. It is
a collaborative effort of all Falkirk supporters who want to be
a part of the club’s future and help safeguard it from the
troubles of the past.
Why a Trust?
The theory being applied here is 'whole is worth more than the sum
of the parts". The Trust will act as a collective voice on
behalf of all its members. The Trust bound by its rules and the
law to hold democratic elections to the committee of the Trust and,
in time, to the board of directors of Falkirk Football Club. All
members of BairnsTrust have an equal say at meetings and other decision-making
processes, such as elections. Any member can stand for election
to the Trust committee or as a director representing the Trust on
the Club’s board of directors subject to club approval and
the requirement to agree to abide with the Elected
Supporter Directors Code of Conduct. The Trust committee has
to report to the Register of Friendly Societies annually to ensure
that its principles are being upheld.
Many clubs in England have already benefited from the involvement
of their supporters' organisations. Many Trusts have directors appointed
to their club's boards and some, such as Lincoln and Chesterfield,
are actually under overall control of their supporters' Trusts.
It's a tried and tested method - and it works. Falkirk supporters
care for the club first and foremost. BairnsTrust aims to be a protective,
permanent and pro active force in the future of the club.
Further information on Trusts in general can
be found at http://www.supporters-direct.org/docs/FAQ.doc