It's Business as Usual for CAS Trust on Saturday, and there will be a stall outside the North Stand for Barnsley
This has been confirmed today by club staff who found time in a hectic post takeover schedule to kindly renew the permission.
So please come and join, renew or just chew the fat with us and other fans.
To paraphrase 'our Tone' CAFC former owner/largest shareholder ,from his blog in the Huffington Post: the owners, directors, etc may change but fans remain the same.
Indeed we would go further and mention they also give up collectively something like £4.5m a year every year too, many of whom attending every home game whenever and whatever the weather. He has been flattering about the fans too, shame I never met him in the last 18 months during my time as interim/full chair of CAS Trust.
Meanwhile a quiet revolution has been occurring: Fans now have regular face to face access to supporter representation, something entirely new at Charlton we think at least in our modern era. Our members and subscribers are now nearly 2,500 fans, and our total network amounts to 4253. Our membership continues to grow 20-30 new members per stall.
Through the existence of a supporters' trust fans who do not have access to a local group can be represented directly as members of a pan Charlton wide organisation, as a result many were not previously represented in that way.
That is not to devalue those groups and the Fans Forum in any way. CAS Trust attends all FF meetings, and we think it's a vital thing. Many fans are members of both Trust and local Addicks group, and we think that is also good thing. We have been active in our support of grass roots organisations, because they are in many ways the lifeblood of our core support, providing them with publicity and technical support should they need it, and new interested members from our survey work. We are determined to continue to try to earn the trust and respect of the members of those groups and indeed all CAFC fans.
Many local groups also provide a huge number of man/woman hours volunteering not just doing their own thing on travel and social events but organising events like Player of the Year dinners and the recent Back to the Valley 21 event at the Valley and East Kent branch, which were both so successful - many will recall CAS Trust hosted the 20th anniversary of Back to the Valley last year in Bartram's. They also represent the concerns of their memberships via the Forum, and I can assure you they aren't just about potholes and pies.
There are of course some differences. The Trust has a larger membership footprint and slightly different emphasis/purpose - we are also independent as a standing committee from the club, nationally recognised, and set up as a company/organisation in our own right. Plus we have a single spokesperson and website channel, etc. There is inevitably some crossover however, but we think the more the merrier and are determined to make the emerging new structure work.
As a Supporter's Trust our commitment to fans is to try and ensure there are now stalls at every home game, if not by the ground then in other locations such as the Liberal Club, assuming this is possible. So please join us and your local Addicks group (if there is one) today, and together we can make a difference.