The Honest Men Trust are offering Ayr United fans the chance to win a signed Ayr United shirt. All you need to do is join or renew your membership of the Trust, which costs just £10.  One member will be drawn at the end of the season to receive this season’s home shirt signed by the squad.

The Trust is now in its tenth season, having formed in 20o3, and continues to support Ayr United Football Club, Academy and work towards our principle goal: a financially sustainable, open and inclusive Football Club owned by its supporters which is a genuine community asset.

Much has been achieved in the last ten years. We have seen the formation of the Ayr United Football Academy, an organisation which had its genesis as part of a THMT initiative.  The Academy goes from strength to strength and THMT continues to play its part by having a representative on its board. More recently we have seen the formation of a working group containing all major stakeholders in Ayr United, looking at transferring the majority shareholding of Ayr United Football Club into community ownership, with a constitution which provides an ‘asset lock’ for Somerset Park.  Once again, The Honest Men Trust are playing their part in this and are represented on the working party, trying to ensure that, as much as possible, a solution is found which maximises THMT’s values of: democracy, sustainability and transparency.  The process of trying to alter the governance of Ayr United towards a set of articles which will secure the club in perpetuity, is one which as an organisation we have been quietly championing for almost four years, indeed since our formation in 2003.

We continue to support both the Club and the Academy financially, through various sponsorships, and continue to offer and provide assistance when it is sought, where possible.  Membership subscriptions and fundraising efforts such as the successful comedy night in October (supported by Supporters Direct Scotland and the Co-operative Group) and Goalden Goal are vital in supporting the Trust to support Ayr United Football Club and Academy.

As a Trust we have also been approached for assistance by both Whitletts Victoria and Girvan Football Club, and in both instances members of our Society Board provided help in the form of shared knowledge and ideas. This knowledge has allowed both of these football clubs to progress in a more community-based and inclusive direction, which we believe is to their, and their fans benefit.  The help given to these two clubs reflects one of the roles of THMT to “support and encourage the game of football in South Ayrshire as a recreational facility, sporting activity and focus for community involvement”.

On a wider scale, Trust Chairman Neil Bone has been elected onto the Council of Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) for a second term. As a representative of The Honest Men Trust it’s therefore also true to say that THMT have helped play a role in the evolution of Supporters Direct Scotland. The last 18 months have seen SDS play a pivotal role in helping Dunfermline fans secure their club, help ordinary Hearts fans establish The Foundation of Hearts as the preferred bidder for their club as its seeks to exit administration.  You may well be of the opinion that these clubs ‘deserve all they get’ and perhaps you are right, but what is not in any doubt is that their fans had absolutely NO chance of altering the course of their clubs policy, which (rather obviously to me) drove their club to the very edge of the precipice, and over in the case of Rangers.

These are the high profile situations, but SDS also assist the likes of Annan Athletic and Elgin City – and Ayr United – because SDS are the organisation who will help ANY Supporters Trust, and indeed under the Scottish Fans banner help ANY supporters organisation.  The collective capabilities and experience of the organisation and its members can, and does, have a meaningful role to play in the future of Scottish Football.

So membership of The Honest Men Trust is a membership not only of THMT locally, an organisation  working to secure the Ayr United’s long term future, increase the involvement of supporters and strengthen its links with the local community; that seeks to represent the views of Trust members and the wider Ayr United support; and that supports the Ayr United Football Academy as a partner;  but also of Supporters Direct Scotland nationally.

You can find out how you can join The Honest Men Trust by visiting the ‘Membership’ page of our website.

Fans, Club, Football, Community… United 

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