11/10/2006

A Marriage Made in Hendon

Mob Articles

Hendon Football ClubHendon Football Club was formed in 1908. Over the years, the club has enjoyed some great times – domestic and European Amateur Cup wins, League Championships and County Cups galore. Perhaps the club’s greatest exploit was back in 1974 when Hendon went to St James’ Park and met - and matched - Newcastle United in the FA Cup.

Newcastle won the replay and went on to reach the final that year. Hendon, having lost the replay, went back to the Isthmian League and embarked on a long, slow journey towards non-league mediocrity.

Fast forward to 2006 and while the club’s centenary season is only a couple of years away, the odds are that Hendon Football Club will not be around to celebrate it. The club’s current owners are in the process of divesting itself of its football interests. The owners’ only significant football asset is the lease on the Claremont Road ground. Plans are in place for the lease to be sold back to Barnet Council and for the ground to be redeveloped for housing.

This would leave the club ownerless and groundless. But the future, while bleak, is far from hopeless.

In February 2006, a small group of supporters formed the Hendon Football Club Supporters Trust. The Supporters Trust’s mandate is to do everything within its power to ensure the continuation of Hendon Football Club playing at the highest level of football consistent with its financial position.

Over the ensuing months, the Trust’s Board have focussed their energies on growing Trust membership numbers, raising funds, ensuring the future of the club and raising the profile of the club and its current plight.

The Trust now has nearly 300 paid-up members, many of whom are making monthly donations to the Trust. Fundraising ideas to date include a monthly lottery – with almost 100 members so far, sponsored walks, runs and a skyjump, a wrestling night, a race night. A Supporters Trust eBay shop has raised over £1000 in less than 6 months. Many more events and initiatives are planned.

Discussions continue between the Trust Board and the club’s owners and the Trust Board is hopeful that the Trust will be in a position to take control of the club in the near future. The Trust has been established on a democratic basis and the intention is to make Hendon Football Club a “fans’ club” with every member enjoying an equal stake in the club.

The Trust Board wants to strengthen links between the football club and the local community. Hendon Football Club can be strong again and can gain its position as a focal point in the community.

But an awful lot of hard work is going to be needed to make all of that happen. And that’s where we hope you might help.

The Hendon Mob is a Corporate Member of the Trust and we will be supporting the Trust and the club wherever and however we can. Hendon Football Club is important to us and to the local community and we would love it if you would support the Trust too. After all, anyone who watches their football team – at whatever level – knows how much their team means to them and how they would feel if the future of their club’s future was threatened.

It doesn’t need to cost you much to support the Trust. For just £10 a year, you can become a member of the Trust and help secure the future of what was once the most successful amateur football club in the country. Any offers of additional financial help would, of course, be greatly appreciated by the Trust Board.

If you would like to find out more about the club and its history, take a look at www.hendonfc.net.

For more information on the Supporters Trust and what it is trying to achieve, take a look at www.hfctrust.co.uk. You’ll find details of how to join the Trust here too.

If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, you can drop the Trust a line at info@hfctrust.co.uk.

Look out also for more features on Hendon Football Club on The Hendon Mob website and in our newsletter.

The Hendon Mob and Hendon Football Club can be a marriage made in Hendon. With your help, we can enjoy the club’s 100th anniversary and look forward to a more secure future.