Bees United is an Industrial and Provident society – every member over 18 in good standing (i.e. paid the annual membership fee of £15 or £5 for seniors) has one share and one vote. All members have an equal voice through voting on resolutions at the AGM. Bees United, like other supporters trusts, was set up for this specific purpose – to give the fans collectively a voice in the future of Brentford FC. It is wholly democratic – one man one vote.
STANDING ORDERS – What is the latest situation?
The standing order donations are not a fixed amount but based on what individual fans decide they can afford. People in permanent employment can commit more than students or those between jobs. The standing order donations will continue indefinitely until the future of the club has been secured and it is able to cover its operating costs. If and when Bees United has taken over the club, Bees United will be able to look at the feasibility of introducing benefits and discounts for members. Bees United has recently announced that we are working together with Lifeline to target the funds we jointly raise at the most appropriate areas for the benefit of the club. Standing Order contributions currently stand at just under £5,000 a month. We are grateful to Bees fans for their support. Needless to say, the more money the Trust raises, the more clout we will have.
How much should Bees fans contribute?
The amount contributed to Bees United is a personal matter for each fan. It is a voluntary contribution that is subject to each fans personal circumstances. We have standing order donations of £5 from pensioners which is a lot to give up when your only income is from the state pension and a pledge of a £100,000 contribution to the club from a local businessman, if and when Bees United take control.
Loan Note Capital Fund
Bees United have established a Loan Note Capital Fund. The minimum loan note is ?1000 and arrangements have been set-up with Co-op bank for those supporters to wish to take out loans for this purpose. Loan Note funds are kept in a separate account and may be used for making loans to the club or for the purchase of shares in the club subject to the approval of a majority of loan note holders.
Bees United Committee
The society board or committee is comprised of up to 15 members. 7 members may be elected by the general membership, 4 places are held for co-opted members e.g. local council representative, local business representative, Club representative and supporters representative and up to 4 members may be appointed by Loan note holders in general meeting.
How many members does Bees United have?
Bees United membership is now well over 1200 and with 850 members of Lifeline working with us, we have something approaching half the core fanbase behind us. The society will go from strength to strength – there will always be a certain amount of apathy, but the majority of Brentford fans are now on board to rescue this great club and we hope that more will follow as success breeds success.
How much money has BEES UNITED raised so far?
Just under £300,000, including cash and pledges. A number of other fundraising activities are in the pipeline. Loan notes and standing order contributions continue to come in – the latter should provide us with leverage in case Bees United needs to borrow any monies, at any time.
How do BEES UNITED view the support received so far?
We have been delighted with the response so far and thank everybody who has contributed in any way. Bees United would also like to thank BIAS for its continued support and leading role in fundraising activities for the Trust. Our thanks also to the Bees fanzines for their support.