HISTORY IN THE MAKING - BILSTON TOWN TO BECOME SUPPORTER OWNED
19th August 2023
History in the making: Bilston Town supporters vote to become the first West Midlands Supporter Owned Club
Supporters of Bilston Town Community Football Club have voted in principle to become the first ‘fan owned’ football club in the West Midlands. A well-attended supporters club meeting held on Friday 4th August unanimously voted to form a Community Benefit Society (CBS).
Under the CBS model, the club will be run as a ‘one member – one vote’ offering every supporter the chance to own their club, is able to participate and able to contribute to its successful future.
Bilston are being assisted to be become a supporter owned co-operative by the Football Supporters Association (FSA) who attended the meeting held at Queen Street to support the project.
Bilston aim to join a growing number of football clubs who are deciding to become owned and run by their supporters including AFC Wimbledon, Exeter City and Newport County, Chester FC, Scarborough Athletic, AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Bury FC and FC United of Manchester.
The vote to form a CBS is part of a wider project underway at Bilston to improve facilities and to open the club to all sections of the community. In addition to the men’s first team, Bilston also has a women’s team and an extensive youth development structure. Under the plan being developed Bilston aims to provide opportunity for everyone to be able to play sport and will play an integral role in supporting the wider public health strategy for Bilston and Wolverhampton.
Denise Frankham, Bilston Town Community FC Chair said,
“I am delighted that our supporters are so supportive of our plans for the club. Whilst Bilston wants to be as successful as we can on the pitch, we also recognise our wider responsibilities off it. Our club has been part of the community since 1894 and creating a Community Benefit Society aims to secure our future for the next generation and beyond. Under our plans the club will be owned by our supporters and together we can all ensure that the club goes from strength to strength and plays an integral role in the future of Bilston”.
Under the plans endorsed by supporters the fan owned club will:
Obtain an asset lock to legally prevent Bilston’s ground and the stadium at Queens Street from being used for private gain. The space will be used for football and to promote public health in Bilston.
Seek funding for a new pitch and improvements to the stadium.
Fans will work together to protect the history, legacy and future of the club. Every supporter can own part of the club by becoming a member.
Adopt a democratic model of ownership.
We look forward to sharing more information as the process moves forward in what we believe are exciting times, not only for the football club but also the people of Bilston.
More information on Bilston Town Community Football Club can be found here:
More information on the Football Supporters Association can be found here: