VISTA newsletter June 2012 by BWAAWB


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									 VISTA                                                                                                              O WNERS ’
                                                                                                                    U PDATE

   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 (
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                                                         
as a Highlanders co-owner.
Due to the restructuring of Victoria Highlanders                                                                    
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
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

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.

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!

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