Frequently Asked Questions

The Trust

What is a Supporters’ Trust?

A Supporters’ Trust is an independent, democratic, not-for-profit, community-based organisation that seeks to give the fans a collective voice in the running of the club.

Broadly speaking, Supporters Trust’s try to get:-

  • Influence – the formation and running of representative bodies for supporters.
  • Ownership – the acquisition of shares in the football club to pool the voting power of individual supporters to further the aims and objects of the Supporters Trust.
  • Representation – securing the democratic election of supporters representatives to the Boards of Directors of individual football clubs.
What is Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust (DHST) ?

We are a Supporters Trust. It aims to secure a sustainable future for the football club by increasing supporter involvement in its running. We also believe the club should be run in the interests of the supporters and wider community it serves. It seeks to give the collective voice of fans are heard in key decision-making and future planning, particularly with regards to ensuring there is a sustainable and viable ground for the club, for now and for future generations.

DHST was set up along the lines recommended by Supporters Direct.

Who runs DHST?

DHST is run by a Board which (if there are sufficient candidates) is elected by the membership on an annual basis. This process takes place each spring, prior to our AGM in the summer, details of which are sent to all members.

Click here for details of the current board members.

What are the objectives of the Trust?

The Trust Board sets objectives to cover each two year membership period. These are reviewed as part of the annual.

The current objectives can be found here.

 

Who are Supporters Direct?

Supporters Direct is a government initiative whose aim is to help people who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the football club they support and, as such, they offer support, advice and information to groups of football supporters.

Supporters Direct has been working since 2000 to help supporters gain influence in the running and ownership of their club. In the last fifteen years we have helped our members to establish over 185 trusts in the UK and we have worked with supporters to purchase and develop more than 50 community owned clubs. We have supported these members in raising more than £50 million to be reinvested back into their clubs and communities including £6 million through community shares projects; an area where we are market leaders.
Is DHST an Industrial and Provident Society?

Yes.

What is an Industrial and Provident Society and how does it work?

An IPS belongs to its membership, literally. Every member will own one share, with a value of £1, in the Trust. Those shares cannot be traded or transferred.

Everything that DHST does will be guided and controlled by its Constitution. The Constitution guarantees that:

DHST must operate for the benefit of the community that it serves.

DHST’s members and its officers will not profit from DHST.

FSA operates a model rule system and monitors changes from the model. They will not register rule changes that fall foul of the constitution or the legal requirements for a DHST.

A copy of the Constitution is available here.

Why use this IPS constitution?

The constitution itself provides safeguards to supporters to ensure that it is run correctly and effectively, and no-one can run off with your money.

So for instance, DHST has to file annual reports, that are independently checked, and audited accounts have to be presented to DHST’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and to the FSA. As a further safeguard, groups may co-opt a number of independent co-optees, unconnected with DHST, who can act as monitors of the DHST’s actions.

What happens if the Trust is ever dissolved?

If the IPS ceases to exist or is dissolved by the membership, any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities will be transferred to

  • a sporting charity or charities operating in the area
  • one or more societies established for the benefit of the community operating in the area
  • one or more societies established for the benefit of the community, according to the membership’s wishes
Why does the Trust seek to secure shares? Why do DHST not just give their money to the club for nothing?

In the past supporters groups at various football clubs have given sums of money to those managing the football club without receiving anything in return. They have done this out of love for their club. Later however, some of these fans’ groups have found themselves ignored and even, at times, exploited by the club’s owners. DHST does not want to end up in the same situation and so it follows the advice of Supporters Direct, a government backed organisation that helps and advises fans on how to acquire shareholding stakes in the football clubs that they support, and asks for shares in return for the money that fans have raised.

The real value of shares is that they provide a lasting influence in the club and give the fans rights to have their real say in how things are running. And the more shares you have, the more say you have. Having more of a say in how the club is run allows DHST to ensure the football is run correctly according to company (for instance holding AGMs) and listens to it’s fans.

Shares also bind the Trust, the club and the community together. Organisations and directors of football clubs come and go, but DHST aims to be here not just for this generation of fans, but also the next. One of the reasons it will last is because it is a shareholder and will pass these on to the next generation of supporters who in turn will be guaranteed a voice in the club.

Getting shares for investment also ensures that the money goes into Dulwich Hamlet Foootball Club. The danger of just handing over monies and not receiving any shares in return then there is no way of ensuring that the money is spent on DHFC. Whereas if you get shares the money appears in the DHFC Ltd’s audited accounts and you know for sure it is spent on Dulwich Hamlet Football Club.

Examples of the different levels of influence that shares give are as follows:

  • Just 1 share or above allows you to get copies of accounts, notice of AGM, attend AGM, see the shareholder list, get Articles of Association etc.
  • 5% of shares allows a veto to be put on directors reducing the notice period for General Meetings (this could be useful as it prevents the ‘shotgun’ General Meeting scenario whereby the Club holds a General Meeting at a really awkward time without any notice so to push through a motion that people might find contentious;
  • 10% of shares entitles us to (a) call a poll at a General Meeting (b) call a General Meeting itself and, for instance, put a motion of no confidence to the board (both of these things could be very useful to us strategically, particularly the calling a GM);
  • 25% allows us to stop a resolution or rule change, for instance changing the Articles of the company (again, this could be useful as could prevent the winding up of a company or a adverse rule change.)

But it must be remembered that shares are a means to an end (influence in the club) not an end in themselves if it does not offer such influence.

Will the football club offer shares to the DHST?

DHST currently owns 90 shares in DHFC Ltd.

For many years the football club have not been willing to contemplate this. However, in late 2012, the football club indicated a willingness to offer shares however nothing materialised from this.

The current situation is that Nick McCormack (the majority shareholder) signed a legal charge with Greendale Property Company which means that they have an exclusive right to purchase. It also means that DHFC Ltd cannot offer the shares to anyone else, for example, DHST. Until this agreement is discharged or expires DHST or other investors cannot buy any significant shareholding.

 

 

Are there no alternatives to shares? Couldn’t DHST accept something else in return for the money it has raised?

The preference is for shares, but DHST would consider other legally guaranteed ways of having influence such as a directorship on the board of the football club’s limited company. However, this option would need to be discussed in further detail.

How will DHST ensure that it gets a fair return for it’s investment?

DHST will only pass money to the Club when it is satisfied with the terms negotiated.

Joining The Trust

Why should I join?
  • Supports the Trust’s aim of ensuring that Dulwich Hamlet has a secure future, and that the Trust is as representative as possible of all DHFC supporters.
  • Gains you access to exclusive offers, competitions, newsletters and volunteering opportunities at the football club.
  • Means you will receive a membership card by post. Your membership card will gain you admission at Streatham Ice Hockey Club games at the concessionary rate and hopefully more local discounts in future!

 

How much is it to join?

Membership costs:

£10 for adults

£5 for concessions (seniors 60+, full-time students and unemployed)

£2 for u18s

Becoming a member of the Supporters’ Trust…

  • Supports the Trust’s aim of ensuring that Dulwich Hamlet has a secure future, and that the Trust is as representative as possible of all DHFC supporters.
  • Gains you access to exclusive offers, competitions, newsletters and volunteering opportunities at the football club.
  • Means you will receive a membership card by post. Your membership card will gain you admission at Streatham Ice Hockey Club games at the concessionary rate and hopefully more local discounts in future!

You can join at the Club shop on match days or online here

Who can join DHST?

Membership can be open to anyone who wishes to support our aims, and agrees to be bound by the rules.

All members own one share, with a nominal value of £1, and these may not be withdrawn, traded or transferred. Once individual membership ceases the share registered in the name of that member will be cancelled and the amount subscribed for the value of the share becomes the property of DHST. Shares carry no right to interest, dividend or bonus.

How does the Trust communicate with its members?
  • this website
  • social media including our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts
  • we aim to send out a newsletter to members at least three times a year
  • from time to time we email our members
  • match day programmes
  • AGM
How can members communicate with the Trust?

We can usually be found around the Club Shop (which we run) inside the ground on match days where there is usually at least one Board member available.

Alternatively, please email us at info@dhst.org.uk for any general queries, media or membership enquiries.

The Supporters ‘ Trust is here to support fans on any concerns or issues that arise whilst attending a match involving Dulwich Hamlet. Please do not hesitate to contact us via the email address above.

Merchandise queries:

For any queries on orders purchased through our shop please use the contact form on the shop website here

Is there anything I can help with?

The Board are always looking for fresh blood, new ideas, and help from supporters, however large or small. We co-ordinate a group of volunteers who help with various roles at the Club on a match day including 50/50 ticket sales, programme sales or running the shop.

All and any skills are welcome. If you (or someone you know) could help us, please get in touch either at the Club shop on match days or email us at info@dhst.org.uk

How many members does the Trust have?

The Trust membership total currently stands at around 570 members – February 2018

100 Club

What is the objective of the 100 Club and what will the funds raised be used for?

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust has operated a 100 Club lottery since 2004.  The objective is to raise funds to invest in the Club for the benefit of supporters whilst also at the same time acquiring a significant shareholding that would enable it to have a meaningful influence on behalf of supporters in the way the club is run.

Over the years, it has not been possible to agree terms on which the money could be invested.  The last attempt was in early 2007 when there were discussions about a loan from the Trust to the Club, but these came to nothing.  Between that time and 2012, there have been no discussions on the subject of the 100 Club funds with the Club.  In late 2012, the Football Club indicated a willingness to offer shares but nothing materialised from this. At present, there is a legal charge over the majority shareholding which prevents anyone except Greendale Property Company being able to buy shares in the Club. Clearly any view on whether and how to invest will be strongly influenced by the situation with regard to the freehold on the ground (see the ‘Trust and the Ground‘ page).

The Supporters’ Trust Board will aim to keep 100 Club contributors informed of all relevant developments with regards to such discussions and would intend to consult with the contributors before taking any decision to invest the money.

As at February 2018, the fund stood at over £34,000, which represents a significant achievement and is likely to be a critical fund for DHST’s plans to deliver on fan ownership of the Football Club.

How do I join the 100 Club?

Click here to find out about joining the 100 Club.

How long do I have to commit to my payments to the 100 Club?

We would like participants to commit for a season, but there is no minimum requirement.

What is the minimum payment for the 100 Club?

Under the legislation governing the 100 Club, we must allow contributions as low as £1 a month, but we hope that most members will contribute at least £10.

Can fans less than 16 years of age join the 100 Club?

No, legally this is not possible.

I want to stop my payments to the 100 Club.

Simply stop the standing order, and inform DHST so we can update our records.

How does the 100 Club differ from the 1893 Club and the 12th Man fund?

The 1893 Club Lottery is run by the football club and the money raised is usually passed to the club for specific purposes but without seeking to obtain any wider influence.

The 12th Man fund is not a lottery, but seeks donations that are passed directly to the manager to supplement the agreed playing budget.

Both schemes are fantastic ways of raising money in the cause of supporting Dulwich Hamlet FC and many people contribute to one or more of the fund raising schemes in place.