A Matter Of Trust: Some Supporter-Owned Highlights From 2011

It is the end, then, of another long, hard season, and perhaps now is an appropriate time to be looking at how those clubs that are owned and run by their supporters trusts this season managed to fair. As AFC Wimbledon paraded the trophy that confirmed their accession into the Football League nine years after their formation, the words of the FA’s committee, that a new club in the borough would be, “not in the wider interests of football”, have never sounded more hollow. Wimbledon, however, are just one of nineteen clubs in England, Scotland and Wales that are owned by supporters trusts, and they are not the only one of these to have had some degree of success this season. It is worth, then, taking a moment to reflect upon some of the other Supporters Trust-owned clubs that have had cause for celebration this season. Gretna FC 2008: Gretna FC were a prime example of how the sugar daddy model of football club ownership can fail. Funded by Brooks Mileson, the club rose swiftly through the ranks of Scottish football, played in the UEFA Cup and competed in the 2006 Scottish Cup final, where they only lost on penalties to Heart of Midlothian. However, promotion to the Scottish Premier League meant that the club had to abandon its home, Raydale Park, and play its home matches at Motherwell....

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