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Achievements
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RAMSTRUST ACHIEVEMENTS SUMMARY

RAMSTRUST online: www.ramstrust.org.uk Telephone 0870 432 1871

Regardless of club ownership, RamsTrust aims to work alongside Derby County FC to help re-establish our club amongst the top clubs in England. Trust members desire entertaining football with first-class, good-value stadium facilities and fair ticket pricing alongside regular, transparent communication from the club with its fans.

Supporters’ trusts embrace the aim of fan shareholdings in their club so that generations of the club’s true support can retain a local stakeholding and formal representation. Trusts also encourage collaboration with fans on heritage and community initiatives, which can help to preserve the club’s rich history, improve supporter participation and enhance the community contribution.


Elections

RamsTrust holds formal annual elections to appoint a Board to run the Trust. This yields changes in the trust board with fresh ideas and input emerging from new recruits. The AGM sees formal annual accounts presented and the trust’s business plan and strategy are revised in accordance with membership input.


EM Trusts

RamsTrust instigated the East Midlands Trusts forums - ‘EMTrusts’, which are regular meetings between different East Midland supporter trusts. The forums discuss issues affecting all the clubs & trusts in the region.

EMTrusts includes: Cambridge Utd, Chesterfield, Grimsby Town, Kettering Town, Leicester City, Lincoln City, Mansfield Town, Northampton Town, Notts County, Peterborough Utd, Rushden & Diamonds, and Worksop Town.

EMTrusts share ideas and best practices for effective trust operation. The trust’s UK umbrella body, Supporters Direct, used the EMTrusts format to successfully set up regional forums for trusts in the North West and the West Midlands - RamsTrust members assisted by attending their set-up meetings.

Peter Gadsby, then DCFC Chairman, addressed a regional meeting of EMT in September 2006 which RamsTrust hosted at Pride Park Stadium. RT hosted a meeting in May 2011 which featured a guest appearance by the FSF’s Malcolm Clarke.


Supporters Direct & FSF

A RamsTrust member was elected to the national board of Supporters Direct in 2005 and was again elected in 2008. A RamsTrust member was elected to the Supporters Direct Council for England & Wales in 2011.

RamsTrust members regularly attend Supporters Direct Annual Conferences and the Football Supporters Federation’s annual “Fans’ Parliaments”, voting on Conference resolutions. At the 2009 SD Conference, RamsTrust proposed that SD increase their board from 9 to 12 members to broaden the representation of trusts; the resolution was carried with a greater than 3 to 1 majority.


Newsletters

RamsTrust mails a regular newsletter to members detailing the Trust’s activities. The mail-out includes articles, reports, news bulletins, activity updates and seeks feedback to ensure members’ ideas & opinions are utilised.


RT Online

RamsTrust’s website at www.ramstrust.org.uk allows all fans to see what the Trust is doing and what we stand for in our aims and formal policies, provides reports and press articles. Fans can join online, make donations, vote in polls, write articles, buy RT merchandise and make their voice heard on major issues surrounding Derby County. There’s a website members’ area with exclusive reports, bulletins and coverage and an active members’ messageboard to join in online discussion.

 

The RamsTrust Rendezvous

RamsTrust held a lively Rendezvous stall in Derbys Westfield Eagle Market since season 2003-04 to ensure a regular public presence. The Rendezvous became a focal point for RamsTrust campaigns & promotions and meeting place where Rams fans can gather to chat about any matters concerning DCFC or football in general.

The Rendezvous promotes RamsTrust merchandise lines alongside official DCFC goods; the Rendezvous also acts as an agent for the official RAM matchday programme. Heritage articles are displayed and classic Ramsfootball footage is shown on our DVD unit.

2008 saw the Matchday Rendezvous move to the DW Soccerdome at the kind invitation of their management. The Soccerdome complex enjoys a thriving pre-match patronage with family football events, the DW Store and the Soccerdome bar - RTs foyer display adds to the atmosphere and build-up to Derby County home matches.


RT in the Media

RamsTrust maintains links with local media, enabling fansconcerns and ideas on Derby County matters to be aired. From January 2003, we contributed a regular weekly column for the Derby Evening Telegraph website at www.therams.co.uk and also contributed a series of membersletters in theirLetters Knowcolumns.

The Derby and Burton Trader weeklies carried RamsTrust columns in which members gave personal opinions on the Rams and other football topics. Later, the Independent Burton Trader carried a weekly RamsTrust article. We have regularly contributed columns and articles to the official DCFC matchday programme, The Ram.

Our Steve Bloomer statue project fundraising work was also the subject of articles in West Midlandsnewspapers The Halesowen News, The Black Country Bugle and Express & Star.

RamsTrust had aTrusted Viewcolumn in the Derby County matchday programme The Ram throughout season 2010-11, and a DCFC website column was proposed for 2011-12.

 

Sponsorship

RamsTrust sponsored a Derby County player for every season between 2003 and 2008. We have also sponsored a local junior team, Chellaston Under-11 Girls.

 

HERITAGE:

The Baseball Ground

A RamsTrust delegation met with and advised developers from The Walbrook Group regarding a fitting memorial tribute and street naming at the Normanton site of our famous old stadium The Baseball Ground, prior to the stadium demolition.

 

Derby Museum Exhibition

RamsTrust’s May 2003 ‘Win, Lose or Draw’ exhibition in Derby Museum gave fans access to very rare football & Derby County heritage artefacts and cherished memorabilia. RamsTrust continue to campaign for a dedicated Derby County Museum at Pride Park Stadium.

 

Brian Clough

When Derby honoured legendary ex-manager Brian Clough as a Freeman of the City in May 2003, RamsTrust presented him with a unique engraved crystal bowl on behalf of Derby fans - honouring his status as a Living Legend in Derbyshire. After Mr Clough’s death in 2004, RamsTrust successfully lobbied several local authorities to name the A52 road between Derby & Nottingham as Brian Clough Way.

 

Cloughie Remembered Evening

In January 2005 RamsTrust held a ‘Cloughie Remembered’ evening, remembering the popular Mackworth Councillor Lonny Wilsoncroft and Rams’ legend Brian Clough. Lonny sadly died of scleroderma in May 2004 at the age of 52. Journalist Gerald Mortimer chaired the football forum with guests Roy McFarland, John O’Hare & Roger Davies and authors Michael Cockayne and Tim Crane. The evening raised £1,350 in aid of Lonny’s Trust.

In July 2009, RamsTrust participated in the ‘Clough’s Way’ football forum at Derby Assembly Rooms which was attended by 1,000 fans. RT provided Cloughie displays and memorabilia in the foyer, adding value to the event.

 

Clough & Taylor Statue

Fans set up an independent online petition in 2008 to canvass support for a project leading to a stadium memorial to the club’s greatest managerial team. RamsTrust supported their petition by distributing publicity flyers to promote the campaign - and the club announced a Clough & Taylor statue project in April 2009. The magnificent statue was unveiled in season 2010-11 in celebration of the great Clough-Taylor partnership.

 

Peter Taylor Biography

Peter Taylor's daughter, Wendy Dickinson, undertook the writing of her father's biography and the first volume, “For Pete's Sake”, was published in August 2010. RamsTrust liaised with Wendy to promote & sell the book and she guested with her brother Phillip and co-author Stafford Hildred in a forum at RamsTrust's 2010 AGM.

 

A Derby County Miscellany

The 2011 RamsTrust AGM in September was followed by a football forum where local football writers Phil Matthews and Gareth Davis talked about their new book of Rams’ trivia, “A Derby County Miscellany”.

 

The Steve Bloomer Legacy

RamsTrust submitted proposals to Derby County for a stadium statue tribute to their greatest player, Steve Bloomer at Pride Park back in 2002. A project team emerged from which fund-raising contributed several thousand pounds towards the pitch-side Steve Bloomer bust, which was unveiled in January 2009.

RamsTrust has presented Steve Bloomer displays at each Cradley Day since 2004 to celebrate his legacy. Cradley Day is a heritage & culture festival that takes place every two years in the West Midlands town where Steve Bloomer was born.

Cradley people and Rams fans are very proud of the incredible Steve Bloomer legacy and at Cradley Day 2008, the local MP presented RamsTrust with a £100 cheque on behalf of the Cradley heritage group toward the Steve Bloomer stadium monument. RamsTrust has had articles on Bloomer and Cradley Day published in several West Midlands’ newspapers and periodicals and the Derby County matchday Ram magazine.

The Cradley memorial to Bloomer in Bridge Street B63 was vandalised and stolen in summer 2010; it was recovered and re-sited some time later. RamsTrust attended the re-dedication of the tribute with Cradley Then & Now personnel and local councillors.

RamsTrust also helped to keep the Bloomer heritage alive by assisting a Cradley film-maker in the production of a comprehensive history of the Black Country town of Bloomer's birth. RamsTrust contributed Bloomer information, narrative and images to the project directors. The DVD set, which had a special episode dedicated to Steve Bloomer, was launched in February 2011.

 

COMMUNITY & FUNDRAISING:

Kick Out Racism Campaign

RamsTrust has participated in the national Anti-Racism in Football Weeks of Action each October since our inception to involve Rams fans in the Kick It Out campaign. We’ve distributed DCFC’s “Give Racism a Red Card” and Kick It Out literature and held interactive quizzes at our Rendezvous to keep the campaign in the public eye. Derby defender Pablo Mills guested at our event in October 2004. In 2010 we also joined forces with the Hope Not Hate campaign.

 

Community Partnership

RamsTrust supported the Derbyshire Youth Games community event in 2003 with a stall and games for youngsters and held several open ‘Roadshow’ events at local venues with star guests such as Robin van der Laan.

RamsTrust has also participated in the Derbyshire Community Partnership Fun Day in the city centre Market Place and the Midlands Co-op Society’s annual charity Fun Days in Normanton Park, operating a busy marquee with tombola and football skills activities. The Fun Days were major annual summer events, attracting 20,000 people.

 

The Co-operative Society

The Co-operative Society held a “Celebration of Co-operatives” event at Villa Park, Birmingham in July 2010 where many different co-operatives held displays and seminars. RamsTrust represented football trusts and Supporters Direct, meeting fans from all over the UK to share a successful day with fellow co-operative organisations.

 

The Big One

In June 2008 another large community event, “The Big One” took place in Chaddesden Park. RamsTrust participated alongside many voluntary organisations, with family activities, demonstrations and competitions and merchandise on offer at a very successful and sunny summer day in the park.

The 2009 Big One event was unfortunately a victim of bad weather but RamsTrust had another successful day at the Big One in 2010, joining forces with the Midlands Co-operative Society for a large shared stall.

The Big One community event in Chaddesden Park took place again in July 2011; RamsTrust again shared a stall with the Midlands Co-operative Society. The MCS donated proceeds to The Motor Neurone Disease Association.

 

Derbyshire Day

RamsTrust was invited to participate in Radio Derby's Derbyshire Day community event at picturesque Carsington Water in September 2010. We had a very busy day among many local stallholders and attractions and were then invited to participate in the 2011 event held at Sudbury Hall. RamsTrust enjoyed another successful Derbyshire Day at Sudbury Hall and have been asked to take part in the 2012 event at Hardwick Hall.

 

Chris Warne Memorial Match

In August 2004 RamsTrust organised a memorial match at Belper Town FC for Rams fan Chris Warne who died of vCJD in 1997. Belper played the Ex-Rams All-stars, with Kevin Hector, Roger Davies and David Nish appearing. A well-attended day included an auction and prize draw and the event raised over £5,500, which was divided equally between the Human BSE Foundation and the Derby County Youth Academy.

 

Belper Town Jamie Walker Event

RamsTrust assisted Belper’s April 2006 fundraising event on behalf of young striker Jamie Walker (22), a lymph cancer sufferer. There was an all-star ‘Legends’ match followed by a raffle & auction, and the well-attended family event raised over £9,000 for the Kingsmill Hospital Haematology Department.

 

Lymphoma Association 25th Anniversary Events

May 2011 saw charity matches at both Pride Park Stadium and Chesterfield FC’s b2net Stadium in aid of the LA’s 25th Anniversary celebration appeal. RamsTrust assisted with the running of the Derby game and the promotion of both events. Legends teams from both clubs played a TV All-Stars M1 Management team; both games had an exciting 6-5 scoreline and a figure approaching £30,000 was raised for the Association.

 

Ockbrook & Borrowash Cricket Club

We participated in a fundraising forum for OBCC in October 2005, providing displays, DVD football media and a quiz in a sportsman’s evening at Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s Gateway Centre. It raised £3,000 for the local cricket club. The evening presented a memorabilia auction and an entertaining Q & A session with ex-Rams and Forest guest players on the panel.

 

Edward Bright

Early in 2007, local youngster Edward Bright was stricken with Y-strain meningococcal septicaemia and fundraising began to provide him with a better future. RamsTrust auctioned a signed shirt for Rams’ Player of the Year Steve Howard (whom RamsTrust sponsored for the 2006-07 season) on eBay and it raised £250 towards Edward’s appeal fund. Please visit Edward’s site at: www.edwardbright.eu

Ockbrook & Borrowash Cricket Club held a benefit event for OBCC and Edward Bright at another sportsman’s evening at Pride Park Stadium in October 2007. RamsTrust assisted them again with a quiz, prizes and displays. The evening included an auction and star guest panel. It featured Roy McFarland, John O’Hare and Kenny Burns and was a huge success, raising over £9,000.

 

Lewis Mighty

RamsTrust again assisted OBCC at their May 2011 sportsman’s dinner, held at The Spot Banqueting Suite. Alongside the raffle and memorabilia auction there was an East Midlands’ football forum, with guests Alan Birchenall, Roger Davies, Archie Gemmill and Kenny Burns. The event raised £10,000 and 50% of the proceeds were donated to the Lewis Mighty Fund.

 

Derby ‘Til I Die

In 2008 RamsTrust joined forces with The National Literacy Trust and Legends Publishing to fund and produce a Derby County edition of the “‘Til I Die” book, which was written entirely by Rams fans that had contributed their favourite anecdotes from supporting the Rams. RT provided 600 copies for distribution to schools, libraries and colleges in the area and the book helped to make a significant contribution to community literacy work.

 

Don’t Ditch It’ T-Shirt appeal for Africa

Fans discarded free T-shirts given by the club throwing them onto the Pride Park Stadium pitch as Derby lost at home to QPR in a televised game. RamsTrust worked to produce a positive outcome by asking fans to donate unwanted T-shirts - and the response helped RT to enable charities to send 150 shirts to African orphanages.

 

Super Rams Giant Flag

In 2007, Rams fans wanted to enhance the matchday spectacle so RamsTrust facilitated the purchase of a huge 39ft x 28ft “Derby County - Super Rams” flag. Fans raised all funding for the £1,800 giant flag via donations plus sales of a replica lapel badge, of which 500 were sold. RT hopes club and community can enable Junior Rams and groups from schools and youth clubs to parade the flag at games. A group of volunteer fans is active in ensuring that the giant flag ‘crowd surfs’ Rams supporters at Derby County matches home and away.

 

The Tralee Rams

RamsTrust helped an Irish community youth organisation from Tralee, County Kerry to make visits Derby and to take part in 5-a-side matches at the JJB Arena. The group have watched Rams home games and also paraded the fans’ Super Rams giant flag on the Pride Park Stadium pitch at a Championship home game.

 

Forums with Club & Media

In October 2003 RamsTrust held a football forum where members and guests asked opinions of local journalists Neil Hallam & Steve Nicholson. RT hosted a club Q&A session at Pride Park Stadium in February 2003, when Derby County FD Andrew McKenzie and Secretary Keith Pearson took questions from members. The 2011 RT AGM again welcomed Mr Nicholson alongside authors Phil Matthews and Gareth Taylor for a football Q & A.

The trust hosted a Q&A event with the Sleightholme consortium in February 2004; 150 people attended the forum with DCFC’s Jeremy Keith & Steve Harding. It was at this meeting that fans learned that the then new owners had paid just £3.00 for Derby County and that no investment was to be forthcoming from them.

 

Meetings with Derby County’s Board

RamsTrust has participated in regular meetings with DCFC to present members’ views & questions during the past and also attended supporter group forums held with Rams officials. DCFC President and Chief Executive Tom Glick guested at RamsTrust’s AGM in September 2008, answering a range of questions from members.

 

ACTION FOR CHANGE:

RamsTrust is ‘fiercely independent’ and has campaigned for open and transparent governance at our club. Where the best interests of clubs become compromised, trusts enable fans to act collectively for change.

Many UK trusts have been instrumental in restructuring and refinancing clubs with rescues & takeovers which have stabilised their club, improved supporter representation or shareholding and enhanced community links. Supporters Direct regularly acts in coordination with the FSF to lobby on national football issues and campaigns.

 

Dept. of Culture, Media & Sport Inquiry into Football Governance

The DCMS has conducted an inquiry into football governance in the UK to assist reform of the football authorities and the regulation of the game. The inquiry, which presented its findings in July 2011, included an essay submitted by a RamsTrust member as evidence. The DCMS report concluded that the gamemust reform finances and governanceand recommended changes to strengthen club ownership rules and trust involvement.


John Sleightholme Regime

The Co-operative Bank allowed Sleightholme’s consortium to gain ownership of Derby County in October 2003 for £3.00. Concerns grew about rising debts, the overdraft, loan terms, late accounting and board disunity and this led to growing suspicion about the motives of the club’s owners.

RamsTrust independently investigated the owners and compiled a detailed dossier about them; local and national media called into question the regime’s suitability for governance. Diligent work from RamsTrust helped journalists to expose a complex financial maze and secretive ownership riddle through offshore ownership vehicles. Fanbase and media commentators increasingly shared concerns stemming from the trust’s revelations.

Overt lobbying escalated and RamsTrust’s BOARD OUT flyer campaign commenced in September 2005. Fan opposition escalated when it was apparent that a local consortium wanted to rescue Derby County. RT petitioned the club’s bankers in December 2005, demanding the board’s resignation and a change of ownership.

RamsTrust had initiated public protest against the regime in September 2005. After-match demonstrations against the Sleightholme regime protests erupted in 2006. RT acted in association with the newly formed single-aim Rams Protest Group as both trust and the temporary protest group demanded that the regime steps down.

 

Local Ownership

Peter Gadsby’s consortium took control of the club on 28th April 2006; the new board’s assessment revealed that Sleightholme’s regime left Derby County £56m in debt. Fans celebrated a rebirth for Derby County under local ownership. Debts were reduced and the millstone of the ABC Corporation’s stadium mortgage was removed.

A whirlwind promotion to the Premier League followed the appointment of Billy Davies as manager in 2007 but the financial gap between Championship and Premier League proved a step too far in 2008. The local consortium did not possess the harmony, stability and financial depth to sustain the Rams in the Premier League and the club was immediately relegated after a disastrous on-field performance.

In 2008, Crown Court proceedings brought fraud charges against former DCFC directors and associates. In June 2009, Jeremy Keith was convicted of false accounting; Andrew Mackenzie and Murdo Mackay were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the club. They had contrived to steal £440,625 from Derby County FC. All three ex-directors and an associate, Peter Lowe, received jail sentences for their crimes.

 

Overseas Ownership

A full-time DCFC board structure emerged late in 2007, then Paul Jewell replaced Billy Davies as manager. Adam Pearson succeeded Peter Gadsby as Chairman and aimed to secure new overseas investment. American media and sports group GSE acquired the club in January 2008 for circa $75m. The new owners appointed Tom Glick as President and CEO; they declared the aim of the investment group was to re-establish DCFC in the top flight.

Paul Jewell did not bring about the expected recovery and he resigned in December 2008. Nigel Clough replaced Jewell, which again boosted the hope and expectations of Derby’s large loyal fanbase.

Adam Pearson departed in November 2009 to become chairman of Premier League Hull City and the sale of his shareholding severed Derby County’s remaining UK/local ownership links. Mr Glick took responsibility for football matters and co-director Tim Hinchey left DCFC to return to America at the end of 2010.

Liaison has proved difficult with the GSE-led regime. The team failed to make anticipated progress and the player wages budget was halved. In 2009-10 and 2010-11 the squad lacked quality, depth and experience and fought off relegation in both campaigns.

Ex-owner Peter Gadsby, having made a bid to purchase the club in 2010, then approached GSE again early in 2011 seeking a shareholding but was further refused. Mr Glick had told RT at the same time that “there were no bids, and no biders” for the football club.

Unrest following the team’s lack of progress led fans to stage after-match stadium protests in February 2011, calling for GSE to either invest or sell the club. Following the protests and negative press for the club as the team struggled, RT issued a Press Release querying GSE’s commitment to DCFC; a trust-club meeting with the Rams’ CEO was secured.

RamsTrust met with DCFC in February 2011 to convey supporter concerns, advising that without a better team, unrest would grow and loss of faith in the GSE would result. DCFC then recruited loan players and the team avoided relegation. At RT’s suggestion, the season-ticket renewal deadline was deferred by a month to mid-May 2011.

In 2012, the ownership remains committed to successful Academy player graduation into the first team alongside a policy of relatively low squad investment, as supporters continue to hold expectations for the club to regain and consolidate Premier League status.

 

RamsTrust is the trading name of Derby County Supporters’ Society Limited.

Registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965-78, Registration Number 29493R.

RAMSTRUST, PO Box 6377, DERBY DE1 9XP. Registered office: CJH Solicitors, 119 Osmaston Road, Derby DE1 2GD.

www.ramstrust.org.uk

www.supporters-direct.org

Last Updated on Wednesday, January 04 2012
 

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