The IMP’s get their golden share

Friday, 29 March 2024 | News, In Focus

Foes on the pitch (not recently!) and friends off it. The IMPs asked Stuart Hatcher about his experience with the BU Special Share. "To say they helped us is a massive understatement and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude."  
Share |

The Red Imps Community Trust at Lincoln City is a pretty active supporters’ trust, probably best summed up by our strap line ‘Supporting Our Fans Our Club and Our Community’. We have just shy of 6000 members, we try and do a lot, and two of us are elected onto the Imps board of directors. Our treasurer is also a club director in his own right, so we are well represented in the decision-making processes at board level. You may wonder what this has to do with Bees United, but that’ll come clear in a bit hopefully.

Tracey Crouch’s Fan Led Review was very well received and straight away LCFC chairman, Clive Nates, and his board felt that discussions should ensue to work out what elements of it should be adopted now for the good of the club going forward. Waiting for how things panned out was thought to be too long a process.

Lincoln City have rated pretty highly in a range of Fan Engagement measures over the last few years, so this was a natural step to take. Led by director David Lowes, a FLR group was established comprising representatives of all fans’ organisations.

Whilst the White Paper omitted certain elements of the Review we all agreed that we should take on board everything that worked for us.

Eventually, last August, a FLR presentation was made to the club board which it approved. This included our existing Supporters Board being adapted to form a Fan Advisory Board, David having an official Fan Engagement remit as part of his role, and the Red Imps Community Trust holding a Golden Share, called locally a Fans’ Share.

This is where the Brentford connection comes in.

As part of looking at the ins and outs of a Golden Share, we’ve sought advice from Stuart Hatcher and Don Tanswell based on their BU Special Share experiences. To say they’ve helped is a massive understatement and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

Our Fans’ Share gives our members the right to vote on a range of matters – heritage and otherwise. Our club colours, badge, and name are included as is any proposal to change the name (or dare to) of our Stacey West Stand, which acknowledges the two Imps fans who perished in the Bradford City Valley Parade disaster. Nor least is any future plan to relocate away from our LNER / Sincil Bank home. In essence a move not-too-far away may go through unencumbered by the Fans’ Share process but to a location further away will be judged by our supporters, which is a very good thing.

In our experience Lincoln City has always done well, or at least better, when everyone is pulling in the same direction and respect each other, whether a director, a member of staff, or a fan. That seems to be the case at the moment.

Our Fan Led Review discussions and eventual conclusions has added to that and our Brentford friends have played a big part in all of it. We’re proud of our Trust and from where we’re sitting I hope all Bees fans are proud of yours. They certainly deserve it.

Rob Bradley

Chair of the Red Imps Community Trust and Elected Supporter Director   


We played them in 23 league seasons, from 1933-4 and last played them, 10th January 2009 2-2[a]