CAS Trust attended a Football Summit at Wembley Saturday just gone
#supporterssummit14 was the annual gathering for Supporters Direct and Football Supporters Federation (both of which CAS Trust is affiliated to).
A Broad range of issues were discussed including: the future of the English National team, and the FA's suggestions for change; Financial Fair Play, Fan Safety, and Protecting the Heritage of clubs. The latter session was attended by Eltham MP and shadow minister for Sport Clive Efford (notably no other political parties were present), as well as reps from Cardiff and Hull fans.
There does seem to be a real agenda for change in Football at most levels, even Greg Dyke thinks the football association needs to change from being "Old White Men" although his commitment only allowed a rather polished piece to camera rather than a personal appearance.
More news and any progress on the various topics is expected over coming weeks.
CAS Trust were also invited to take part in a panel discussion about the work of different Supporters Trusts, and in particular relay the journey each Trust had taken.
Trust Chair Barnie Razzell remarked that the occasion had been inspiring after hearing what the other panellists had done for their clubs. He was also pleasantly surprised by the reception CAS Trust received and the regard other fans held Charlton fans in, particularly a number of fans of foreign clubs.
At one stage the panel were asked to outline the difference between a supporters club and a Trust. Barnie described this as a bit like the difference between the Fans Forum (a very worthy body that it is) and CAS Trust at Charlton - a Supporters Trust was not so concerned with social and travel, but also not reliant on the club for its existence, and with its own network and website meant it could always act independently as a Voice for fans - CAS Trust has continually surveyed Charlton fans and published their views on its widely read website, since its formation, rather than presume to speak for them; investigating issues around Financial Fair Play, and campaigning on issues in Football that concern fans, as well as importantly achieving ACV status for Charlton's home ground the Valley.
Another most welcome development was the information that a Standard de Liege fan from the Socios-Standard group (google translated as here) was present at the conference , and it was only after that final session that representatives from both clubs who form part of Roland Duchatelet's Network Trusts eventually met.
There was clearly a great deal to talk about and the conversation was friendly and informative, over and above the usual sharing of stories between fans of different clubs - Indeed contact had been initiated prior to the tournament at STTV, but ironically an aggressive junk mail filter had captured Liege's approach to the Charlton group.
We were very impressed at the level of organisation at Standard's 'Trust' and there may be a lot to learn on a number of fronts.
We very much hope Standard fans (who may be pleased to hear they have just signed Celtic forward Tony Watt) and possibly others from the network can come to our AGM on September 11th, and possibly a match at Charlton - after all Network fans may need Network solutions.