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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Fans urged to join new Barrow AFC trust

BARROW AFC fans have the chance to stake their claim in the new Holker Street regime at the first meeting of the Bluebirds Trust on Friday.

The new supporters’ group will meet in the Crossbar to discuss plans for the future and how followers of the club can stay involved.

AFC members voted last month to end the their ownership of the club and accept a £600,000 takeover offer from Barrow-born, Texas-based millionaire businessman Paul Casson.

Casson’s takeover is still being finalised with the FA, but it will mean an end to direct supporter ownership of Barrow.

As a result, the new Bluebirds Trust has been established to give them a united voice – and work towards the purchase of shares, if and when Casson puts them up for sale, something he hopes to do in two years’ time.

The Trust will be represented on the new Holker Street board by Pete Garbacz – also a director under the former regime – and he is keen for as many fans as possible to be involved and turn up on Friday (7pm start). He said: “The more, the merrier – we need as many people as possible just to show there is support for it.

“It’s important we get as many people as possible there. If only 10 people turn up, it’s a bit of a waste.

“We need backing and we need people to be there in numbers to prove to the directors that there is a need for the trust.”

He added: “The aim is to make sure that the fans are represented, but also to provide a vehicle so that in two or three years’ time, when Paul Casson hopefully offers shares, to purchase those shares – in the spirit of fan ownership, to take a little bit of the club back.

“The immediate thing is to get the trust set up. The goal after that is to carry on the fundraising work which has been going on around the club, to raise money to buy shares in the club at a later date – that’s going to be the main aim.

“The secondary aim is to look at working with local community groups to look at cheaper tickets for certain groups of people, or working with schools. The main crux though is trying to raise money to purchase shares when they become available.”

As well as the future purchase of shares and working in the community, Garbacz’s dual-role on the trust and the club board will allow him to bring supporters’ concerns to the attention of the new regime.

He feels Casson has already shown a willingness to listen with the vote carried out last week on a new club badge.

“I need to stress that we’re doing this with Paul’s blessing – he’s on board and he’s working with the trust, hence why I am on the board at the moment,” added Garbacz.

“It’s not a ‘them and us’ situation, it’s more wanting to all move forward as one, to progress the club.

“Things like the badge, that was one area of concern. Those concerns were fed back to Paul and we’ve ended up with something similar to what we used to have, but a bit more updated.

“That’s what the trust wants to do – make sure that the heritage of the club is looked after, while moving forward as well – we’re not going to be anchored in the past.

“I’m a devil’s advocate on the board – I’m the fan liaison, so if I see something that is going to be contentious, then I will raise that.

“That is what the trust will do, make those points and ask those questions.”

Those fans who wish to be involved with the trust, but who cannot make it to Friday’s meeting, are asked to email their support beforehand.

Messages will be displayed on the night and can be sent to info@bluebirdstrust.co.uk

Have your say

To "I want a season ticket" that is a fair question. The reason for this is that the ownership of the club is in limbo at the moment, some issues like the shirts and the floodlights are being sorted as a priority but we can't really sell season tickets until everything is sorted with the FA and other bodies.

The season tickets will follow soon, but until the takeover is sorted this isn't really possible.

I'm conscious that people want to buy season tickets and as soon as were able they will be on sale.

Posted by Pete Garbacz on 4 June 2014 at 16:45

I would like to ask the fans rep, why are we the only club not doing early season tickets

Posted by I want a season ticket on 4 June 2014 at 16:06

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