The Robins Trust have announced some significant developments in regards to the estate of the late Bryan Jacob:
In November last year the Trust announced that Bryan – our inaugural secretary – had left his entire estate to Cheltenham Town Supporters Society Limited in his will.
At the time the exact amounts this fantastic gesture would realise and the time-frame for when the funds would be transferred were not known.
However, in the last week the Trust board has received the final accounts from the executor, signed off those accounts and are now in receipt of the money.
Trust chairman Clive Gowing said: “Bryan’s unbelievable gesture amounted to a figure of £222,015 – one that surprised and overwhelmed us on the Trust board.
“Once again we would like to pay tribute to our friend and colleague Bryan for this incredible gift to the supporters of Cheltenham Town.
“When it was announced at our AGM, there was a fantastic response from our members and Robins supporters and that hardened the Trust board’s resolve to properly honour Bryan’s memory.
“Since that announcement the Trust has had open and constructive talks with the Football Club and chairman Paul Baker, and have great confidence of forming a strong working relationship.
“We are now working towards taking the next steps in the process that will see a fan-elected Trust representative on the Cheltenham Town board, and would like to announce those to our members.”
The money from Bryan’s estate cannot be used to buy shares in Cheltenham Town Football Club without the direct approval of the Robins Trust membership.
In accordance with the Trust’s rules, any investment amounting to more than £20,000 has to gain the majority approval of the membership at a Special General Meeting (SGM).
The Robins Trust are therefore today (March 18) announcing that a SGM of the Trust will be held on Thursday, April 16 with the approval of the transfer of funds as item number one on the agenda.
If the Trust members agree to invest the money in the Football Club as per item 1 on the SGM membership, a second vote will be held over the structure of the investment.
The Trust Board have agreed three separate proposals for the investment of the money from Bryan’s estate and these are detailed in the agenda for the meeting.
All three proposals have been discussed with the Football Club, but the Trust board feel it is right for the Trust’s membership to have the final say on how the money will be invested.
Gowing continued: “Since the announcement in November, the Trust board have been in constant communication with Paul Baker in regards to what happens next.
“We have received assurances from the Club that agreement by our members on either Proposal A or B will see a fan elected director, represent the Trust on the Football Club board.
“The Trust has also agreed with the Football Club that if either Proposal A or B are approved, then a Trust representative will sit on three of the sub-committees to the Football Club board.
“Discussions regarding Proposal C remain ongoing.
“The relationship between the Trust and the Football Club has never been stronger than it is at present – and we are confident that relationship will mean Bryan’s money is used in a good way.”
The SGM will also see elections held to be the Fan Elected Director as item number three on the agenda.
Nominations are now open to all Robins Trust members who have been a full member of the Trust for more than 12 months (in accordance to the Trust’s rules).
Anyone wishing to stand for election must make formal representation to the Trust in writing by Thursday, April 2.
Each candidate will then be invited to make their case for election at the SGM, prior to the election being held.
Anyone wishing to vote in these elections must be a full member of the Trust by the closing date for candidate nomination, in accordance with Trust rules.
Gowing added: “Now, more than ever, the ordinary Cheltenham Town supporter has a real chance to influence the decision making and running of their football club.
“Having a fan-elected director will mean that every Trust member will have a route to having their views heard by the club board.
“We hope that these latest developments will herald an increase in the Trust’s membership, with more and more Robins fans now able to have their say.
“We hope to welcome many new members in time for the elections on April 16. Just as in upcoming General Election, you need to be registered to vote.”