VISTA O WNERS ’ U PDATE JUNE 2012 All contents of this newsletter are the opinion of Victoria Independent Supporters’ Trust Associated (VISTA); and are not endorsed, pre-approved or authorized by Victoria Highlanders FC. VICTORIA INDEPENDENT SUPPORTERS’ TRUST ASSOCIATED (VISTA) We represent all Victoria Highlanders FC season ticket holders, who as a group own 30% of VHFC. We are an entity created by VHFC fans, for fellow fans, and are operated by fans. MISSION STATEMENT: "Our goal is to promote Victoria Highlanders FC as a financially-sustainable spectator sports club, based on supporters' involvement and community ownership." YOU OWN THE CLUB! TWITTER: @VictoriaISTA (twitter.com/VictoriaISTA) Do you hold a Victoria Highlanders FC season ticket? If so, you are part owner of the club - and there is an FACEBOOK: organization that specifically represents your interests facebook.com/VictoriaISTA as a Highlanders co-owner. EMAIL: Due to the restructuring of Victoria Highlanders VictoriaISTA@gmail.com Football Club (VHFC) this past off-season, season ticket holders will soon own 30% of the club, making Victoria Highlanders the first partly-supporter-owned soccer club in Canada. This puts our club in unique PROPOSED VHFC company with other supporter-owned clubs, such as OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern München, Swansea City and AFC Wimbledon. VHFC season ticket holders will be able to vote on club matters every year at the Highlanders' AGM, and two fan representatives will meet with the club regularly to put forward our interests. Victoria Independent Supporters' Trust Associated - or "VISTA" for short - is the first supporters' trust here in Canada. VISTA aims to represent all of the Highlanders' season ticket holders (also known as club 30% - Season-ticket holders (supporters) owners), by holding elections to choose the two fans' representatives that will meet with the club, and by 30% - Community soccer clubs speaking on your behalf with a unified voice. VISTA also intends to promote active ownership of our 20% - Alex Campbell Jr. football club - both on and off match-days, and during (club founder and president) the season and off-season. Victoria Highlanders FC is truly OUR club - so get involved, and let's grow VHFC into a giant! 20% - Future owner-operator WHY SUPPORTER-OWNERSHIP? What exactly is a "club"? The Merriam-Webster will be operated by paid employees (and some Dictionary defines it as: volunteers) who work for the club, and we don't expect to be a part of any decision-making behind • an association of persons for some common the scenes. object usually jointly supported and meeting periodically, or But shouldn't a sports club be run as an actual club? • a group identified by some common Shouldn't people have a different relationship with characteristic. sports clubs than they would with... say... a movie theatre? Shouldn't members of a club have the Do these definitions reflect a professional spectator ability to be actively involved with its operations? sports club? If not - why not? Today in Britain (the birthplace of modern soccer), Most North Americans are only familiar with having a the supporter-ownership model is revolutionizing passive relationship with pro sports clubs - going to how football clubs are run. Are sports clubs here games at the stadium, perhaps watching on TV... in North America next? and that's about it. We assume that these sports clubs WHAT IS A SUPPORTERS' TRUST? The basic definition of a supporters' trust is a both registered membership associations - not democratic, not-for-profit organization of limited companies. supporters, committed to strengthening the voice for supporters in the decision-making process at a In Germany, all soccer clubs (except for some club, and strengthening the links between the club historic works teams) are required to have at least and the community it serves. 51% member ownership. In England, where supporter-ownership is a relatively In Sweden and Turkey, all soccer clubs are entirely new concept, there are now supporters' trusts at more fan owned. No other form of club ownership is than 170 clubs - including Manchester United, allowed. Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, and Newcastle. Over 100 supporters' trusts own shareholdings in their In North America, 2011 NFL Super Bowl champions clubs (including 20% supporter-ownership of Swansea Green Bay Packers are supporter-owned. And here City in the English Premier League). in Canada, CFL clubs Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue In Spain, football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are Bombers are all owned by supporters. WHY HERE IN VICTORIA? Victoria Highlanders FC founder and president Alex VISTA has already been active in helping Victoria Campbell Jr. announced in November 2011 that majority Highlanders FC. Last November, when the City of ownership of the club would go to season-ticket Victoria was considering permanently converting Royal holders and community soccer clubs, as a way of Athletic Park to a baseball-only venue, we launched a better integrating the club into the local community, and publicity campaign to help raise awareness and keep ensuring VHFC's long-term financial sustainability. RAP open to soccer. We secured the support of 17 of the 24 candidates who ran for Mayor and Council in the As club supporter-owners, we have a very positive November 2011 election - and 75% of Councillors who relationship with Campbell, and we look forward to working were elected for the 2011-2014 Council term now publicly with him to make Victoria Highlanders FC one of the best support keeping RAP as a multi-sports venue. football clubs here in Canada. We hope to demonstrate to the North American sporting community that So why not get involved? After all - supporter-ownership is a better model for clubs to follow. it's YOUR club!