Leeds United Supporters’ Trust is an independent, democratic, not-for-profit organisation, committed to providing a voice for Leeds United fans – wherever they are.
We promote the majority view of our members whilst keeping the fans, the club, and the local community at the heart of everything we do. We will always canvass the opinion of our members on all major issues related to supporting the football club, and then represent these views accurately. Our aim is to give Leeds United fans all over the world a voice.
Leeds United Supporters’ Trust belongs to its members. Our responsibility is limited to obeying our constitution, achieving our objectives, and the will of the Trust members. The first £1 of your membership fee buys you a share in the Trust.
We have worked closely with Supporters Direct to come up with a new Code of Conduct, and social media policy, both for our members and for our Board. SD are planning to update their model documents based on these. Social media can be useful, but it does have a darker side, and we wanted to make sure our members are protected / have some recourse if they are on the receiving end of abuse.
To be clear, we are not trying to stifle criticism or constructive feedback. We simply want to prevent abuse, or cyber-bullying, from taking place within our membership. Joining up as a member of the Trust means you accept, and agree to abide by, all the terms.
Supporters Direct recommend that Trusts be registered as an Industrial and Provident Society with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As such all its actions and conduct will be regulated by the provisions of the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1965 – 1978. This has now been superseded by the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/registered-societies-introduction/co-operative-community-benefit-societies-act-2014).
Because it is registered as an IPS with the FCA, there are certain requirements that it has to meet, and other things that it cannot do. In particular, the FCA will not register any amendment to the Rules which is not in accordance with the democratic and community benefit principles established in the Trust’s constitution.
The Trust has to file annual reports to the FCA. We have appointed an independent financial examiner, but don’t have to present audited accounts at the Trust’s AGM and to the FCA. Instead, we file an annual return to the FCA website. Supporter groups should also be committed to producing financial reports to every meeting of the Trust, which is also something we do.
Everything that a Trust does will be guided and controlled by its Constitution. The IPS Constitution is directly based on the Model Rules for a Football Community Mutual, drawn up by Kevin Jaquiss of Cobbetts Solicitors, specifically for Supporters Direct.
Leeds United Supporters’ Trust 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.
The Constitution guarantees that:
The objectives of Leeds United Supporters’ Trust, as set out in the Constitution, are to:
Among the powers granted by the Constitution for the attainment of these objectives, are the power to acquire an interest in the club (i.e. shares), the power to establish, promote, and maintain any lawful fundraising scheme and the power to hold and exercise proxies for shares in the club.
The profits or surpluses of the Trust can only be used to maintain prudent reserves and on expenditure to achieve the Trust’s objectives.
Membership can be open to any person, corporate body or firm who is a supporter of the club, or has an interest in the game of football in the area, and who agrees to be bound by the rules of the Trust. Any member aged 18 or over has full voting rights, and any member aged 18 or over can stand for election to the board.
The Constitution contains machinery for expulsion of members under appropriate circumstances and reserves the committee’s right to refuse membership applications.
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 the Trust. Shares carry no right to interest, dividend or bonus.
The essential machinery for the day-to-day running of the Trust will be a management committee (the Board), though the constitution is flexible enough for other arrangements (like sub-committees or an Executive Committee) to evolve if appropriate or necessary. The Constitution makes it possible for the Trust’s membership to specifically direct the Committee’s actions, if felt appropriate. There must be an Annual General Meeting every year.
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
This summary is for indicative purposes only, and whilst it represents an honest attempt to summarise the model rules and legal status of an IPS it should not be regarded as a legal or definitive document in any sense.