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RamsTrust Board

Following on from yesterday’s AGM, the trust is now governed and operated by the following elected directors:

  • Jim Wheeler – Chair
  • Tanya Noon – Secretary
  • Pete Drew – Treasurer
  • Elaine Dean – Vice Chair
  • Kevin Hepworth
  • Malcolm Turner
  • Martin Rawson
  • Paddy Breslin
  • David Kierton

    plus the following co-opted directors:

  • Bob Donald
  • Paul Sturges
  • Jil Matheson
  • Paul Harris

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RamsTrust Meeting With Administrators

This morning, representatives of the RamsTrust met with the Administrators appointed by the Directors of Derby County Football Club Limited, Carl Jackson and Andrew Hosking of Quantuma, Stephen Pearce, legal representative from Pinsent Masons and, for part of the meeting, with Manager Wayne Rooney.

It was a very positive meeting. The Administrators were clear that the Club very much has a viable future and no obstacles are insurmountable! They are already in positive discussions with commercial funders to enable the club to continue to meet its obligations until a new owner is in place.

They are still assessing the full financial situation of the Club (assets and debts), and are preparing materials to market the Club to encourage potential bidders.

There is considerable interest from previous and new interested parties. Now that the Club is in administration, the debts owed by the Club will be able to be discounted as a result of the administration process, which will place the Club in a better place as far as any potential purchasers are concerned. The Administrators are therefore confident of rescuing the club and undertaking a successful restructuring that will place the Club in a good place going forward. The Administrators’ objective is to reach a successful conclusion in the near future, targeting the end of the year (before the January transfer window) as a realistic aim. This would then enable the Club to strengthen in January rather than having to sell players.

They have every confidence in Wayne Rooney and will be supporting him going forward. In return Wayne confirmed that he and the players are in this for the ‘long haul` and he is very much focused on the job in hand. As far as player sales are concerned, this is academic anyway, as the transfer window is closed until January, by which time, new ownership should be in place.

The Administrators confirmed that Mel Morris is totally supportive of the process and will co-operate in a timely sale of the Club and the assets connected to it. The intention is to sell the Club, the ground and the training ground as a combined package. Supporters should consider that Mel is still a substantial creditor of the Club, and remains very supportive of the process to help the Club going forward – so some criticism that has been levelled is unwarranted.

The Administrators confirmed that they wish to hold regular meetings with the Trust on behalf of supporters and are very keen that communications will be very much open with both the Trust, Wayne Rooney, the playing staff and all of the staff associated with the Club.

The Administrators also urged the Trust to encourage as much support as possible at home matches, as all revenue collected on match days  goes directly into the Club coffers to ensure the Club can continue with minimal impact before a takeover can be concluded.

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Annual General Meeting 2021 Agenda


The RamsTrust AGM will be held on Thursday 23rd September, 2021 at 8.00 p.m.

The meeting will take place using Zoom video conferencing. Unless you have already done so, will members please email membership@ramstrust.org.uk and ask for a link if they wish to attend.

1. Chair’s welcome and report.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting.

4. Matters arising.

5. Resolution 1: To accept the Annual Report and Financial Statements year
ended 24th March, 2021.

6. Resolution 2: Independent examination of accounts
It is hereby resolved that subject to the provisions of Section 84 of the
Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, the members of
the Society shall not require an audit for the accounts covering the current
financial year ending on 24th March 2022 when they are presented to the
next AGM held in 2022. Instead of an audit, an independent examination
by Richard Millington shall be carried out, as per our rules.

7. Results of ballot for Society Board members.

8. Guest Speaker – Dame Jil Matheson on The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA).

9. Any other competent business.

10. Close.

Download the agenda here

Our speaker, Jil Matheson, is a member of RamsTrust and a board member of the SGSA. She served as National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority from 2009 until her retirement in 2014. Jil chaired the OECD’s Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy and the UN Statistical Commission. She is a Trustee of NatCen Social Research, a member of Council of the Academy of Social Sciences, a member of the Royal Society’s Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education, and a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

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Tanya Noon, Society Secretary

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Welcome

Tweets by RamsTrust

RamsTrust on Facebook

Welcome to the RamsTrust web site. You can join here.

RamsTrust is the democratic Derby County Supporters’ Trust, founded to campaign for and deepen supporter ownership, representation and influence at Derby County Football Club.

If you would like to learn more about RamsTrust, please navigate the site using the links at the top and bottom of each page.

Alternatively, if you would like to contact RamsTrust, please fill in the form below:

Letter to Derby County Directors

To the Derby County Directors,

It has now been 6 weeks since our last letter and 5 weeks since a supporters group meeting where those
present were not able to share what was discussed. Supporters are increasingly concerned that there has
been no further communication from the club while the transfer window has closed and various media stories have been published regarding further punishments and charges from the EFL.

This failure to communicate has further increased concern among supporters, especially now the opportunity
to strengthen the playing squad has gone. The decrease in attendances at Pride Park is indicative of
supporters’ disillusionment and while the atmosphere has been positive so far, there is an increasing risk that
this can change quickly without the club engaging with fans.

While we understand the club cannot reveal confidential details that impact ongoing takeover talks, the
feeling from a growing section of supporters is that the club is using the excuse that it cannot discuss ‘some’
things to avoid saying ‘anything’ and thereby avoiding scrutiny.

Football clubs are not simply another business with ‘stakeholders’. Derby County provides our city with an
identity. The club is an intrinsic part of our community. Derby County is a part of the lives of so many people
in Derbyshire. You took on the great honour and responsibility to be custodian of our football club.

We ask you to front up with fans and answer the following questions that concern the continued viability of
the club. We believe these questions can be answered regardless of takeover talks:

We would therefore again ask for a public response to the following questions:-

Are the Directors able to confirm that there is funding in place to ensure the club can complete the season?

Can you confirm that all outstanding debts to HMRC will be covered, so there is no danger of administration
before the end of the season?

Can you confirm why the EFL has now added an additional charge for failure to pay outstanding transfer fees – and when this will be resolved?

We understand that further information on the takeover can’t be given until a deal is agreed with credible
investors, but we would still urge the club to keep supporters informed as much as possible. Supporters need
assurance that there is light at the end of this tunnel.

Best Regards,
Jim Wheeler, Elaine Dean, Tanya Noon, Peter Drew, Kevin Hepworth, Malcolm Turner, Martin Rawson, Paul Sturges, Bob Donald, Patricia Goodwin, Patrick Breslin – The RamsTrust Board (on behalf of all members)

Supporters’ Groups Club Meeting

Last Wednesday representatives of various supporters groups were invited to meet with Mel Morris and club officials ahead of the new season.

Mel took us through everything that has happened over the past 2 years (and touched on earlier decisions). He intended to sell the club 2 years ago, and has had to continue to subsidise the club ever since then – though he never intended to. This cannot continue in perpetuity.

There are ongoing discussions with a number of potential investors which are at an advanced stage, but are dependent on the conclusion of discussions with the EFL to agree a final deal. 

Only once a deal is agreed can investors then apply to EFL Owners & Directors test – which can take an unspecified period of time and will delay a takeover going through. Mel believes this should change to allow investors to apply to the EFL for a ‘licence’ up to an agreed value to take over a club – meaning they can enter final discussions knowing the investors can conclude a deal.

Mel would also fully support a fans consortium to take over the club if it could be arranged (whilst also considering current negotiations are ongoing, so would need to be arranged very quickly). 

Discussions with the EFL are ongoing in order to resolve the outstanding issues and lift the transfer embargo.

Mel is frustrated that the club has not fully capitalised on his ongoing investment in the Academy (“£4m per annum”) which has made the Academy rated 8th best Category 1 Academy in the country. He feels more young players should be given first team opportunities, and the current situation may give more young players a chance to progress – in their and the club’s best interests.

The current situation means the club and fans all need to pull together and get behind the team.

The club wants further engagement with supporter representatives in a few weeks time to discuss operational and supporter experience concerns in a ‘post-covid’ environment.

Mel would also support increased engagement with supporter representatives as advisors to the board (he felt now would not be the right time to bring in a formal supporter director given current challenges).

I did not feel he was evasive, although there were some questions which he could not or would not answer (e.g. current total debt figures for the club). Overall all club representatives seemed open and honest – and anxious to alleviate supporters concerns. 

Cheers, Jim Wheeler, Chair – RamsTrust.

Letter To Derby County Board

To the Derby County Directors

We are disappointed that there has been no reply since we wrote to you privately two months ago over our
concerns about the current state of the club. About the same time, you also promised publicly to engage
with supporters’ groups.

This failure to communicate has further increased concern among supporters, especially with the new
season a few weeks away. We understand negotiations are in progress for a potential takeover, but as yet
there has been no ACV application for transfer of either Pride Park or Moor Farm, so this cannot be
completed before the season begins.

We would therefore again ask for a public response to the following questions:-

Are the Directors able to confirm that there is funding in place to ensure the club can complete the
forthcoming season?

Can you confirm that all outstanding debts to HMRC can be covered, so there is no danger of administration
before the end of the forthcoming season?

We realise that we are under a transfer embargo until these debts are met. In Sunday’s pre-season friendly,
we were forced to play at least 5 players not contracted to the club. Can you confirm whether you expect to
be able to sign any of these, or other players, in time for the start of the season?

Now that the Football League will not be appealing against the sanction decision, can the club confirm when
they will submit revised accounts to get the transfer embargo lifted?

We understand that further information on the takeover can’t be given until a deal is agreed with credible
investors, but we would urge the club to keep supporters informed as much as possible.

You will understand that supporters are both upset and frustrated at the continual lack of communication
from the club. It is at the point where the failure to keep promises about this is now unacceptable with no
respect for your customers and supporters.

We therefore encourage you to engage in meaningful dialogue with all supporters – at a most crucial time in
the club’s history.


Best Regards,
Jim Wheeler, Elaine Dean, Tanya Noon, Peter Drew, Kevin Hepworth, Malcolm Turner, Martin Rawson, Paul Sturges, Bob Donald, Patricia Goodwin, Patrick Breslin – The RamsTrust Board (on behalf of all members)

RamsTrust AGM and Board Election 2021

For Members.

The RamsTrust Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place, as follows:

DATE:             Thursday, 23rd September, 2021

TIME:             8.00 pm

VENUE:         The meeting will take place via Zoom video conference. 

Members please confirm your attendance by emailing membership@ramstrust.org.uk and we will send you the link before the meeting.

Your support is important so please make a diary date for this important event. This year we have four vacancies, 3 for three years and 1 for one year, on the RamsTrust Board. We are now inviting nominations to all full members wishing to stand for election.  Please give this opportunity some consideration, as this is your chance to play a leading role in the trust. 

RamsTrust is committed to furthering the interests of Derby County fans and the general community of football supporters, so please come forward to formally volunteer some spare time and energy in active participation.  RamsTrust is an independent, open and democratic supporters group that endeavours to make a positive contribution to the future of Derby County Football Club.

The AGM also gives the opportunity for all members to submit any items or resolutions for inclusion in the AGM’s agenda.  Please note that another member must second any such proposals.

If you would like to discuss the role as a Board member, require a nomination form, advice on its completion or any aspect of the election process, please contact the Chair of the Election Management Group at this email address: election@ramstrust.org.uk.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is no postal process.

If you wish to stand, please complete the form and forward to the email address given on the form.  All nominations will be verified on receipt.  In the event of any dispute over the validity of the form, the candidate will be contacted. The closing date for nominations in Friday 27th August 2021.

An election will be held unless there are four or fewer nominations for the four available positions and all candidates are willing to accept terms of office.  The election results will be given at the AGM.

In case of any complaints regarding the election procedure, there is an Election Management Group, chaired by John Boyle.

The Agenda for the meeting will be placed on this website at least 7 days before the meeting.

Thank you again for your continued support and we hope to see you at the 2021 AGM.

Tanya Noon, Society Secretary

European Super League

RamsTrust would like to join with @WeAreTheFSA and all the football community in rejecting the proposals for a new ‘European Super League’. This blatant money-grabbing scheme is against all principles of fair competition which make the game the best in the world.

This natural progression from the breakaway Premier League – designed to make the richest clubs richer – is clearly devised to avoid further sharing income with all other clubs. A healthy sport is reliant on strong competition and distribution of income to allow all clubs to rise through the pyramid and compete in leagues and cups – that is the dream for all teams, players and supporters.

This is what allows smaller clubs to develop players who go on to play for the ‘bigger’ clubs and international teams. This episode – which will surely fail – exposes the true intentions of the owners of the clubs involved, purely to line their own pockets at the expense of fans across the world. This is not healthy for football, not good for any of the teams across Europe (either members of this league or not) and totally disrespectful to all supporters whose interests are ignored. RamsTrust members are calling for the footballing authorities to take all disciplinary action they can against these clubs – not only to stop this proposal, but to stop any future attempts to destroy the Beautiful Game.

Statement

There are various reports this evening that Derby County FC are unable to pay their players and are on the verge of administration.

RamsTrust is therefore calling on the club to make an unequivocal statement on the true situation – over 2 months since the club released a statement on November 6th advising supporters the takeover “is expected to close very soon”.

Whilst we understand that contractual details cannot be revealed whilst negotiations continue, over the past 2 months some supporters have still not received ticket refunds and all supporters who have paid for this year’s tickets are becoming increasingly concerned.

The manager’s position is still in limbo, and we are now in the January transfer window without knowing the budget or feasibility of signings. Meanwhile the club remains in the relegation zone of the Championship and now with a potential points penalty supporters’ concerns are increasing. 

Can the club please update all supporters on the situation to give us some confidence for the remainder of the season, and longer term future?

Join RamsTrust here.

Agenda – RamsTrust Annual General Meeting 2020

Monday 14th September, 2020 at 8.00 p.m.

VENUE: The meeting will take place using Zoom.

Members please let us know if you wish to attend and a link will be sent to you.

1.   Chair’s welcome.

2.    Apologies for absence.

3.   Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting.

4.   Matters arising.

5.    Resolution 1: To accept the Annual Report and Financial Statements, year ended 24th March, 2020.

6.   Resolution 2: Independent examination of accounts

It is hereby resolved that subject to the provisions of Section 84 of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2004, the members of the Society shall not require an audit for the accounts covering the current financial year ending on 24th March 2021 when they are presented to the next AGM held in 2021. Instead of an audit, an independent examination shall be carried out, as per our rules.

7.   Results of ballot for Society Board members.

8.   Guest Speaker – Malcolm Clarke – Chair, Football Supporters’ Association.

9.   Any other competent business.

10. Close.

Zoom video conferencing