Name: Dave Dalton
Occupation: Business & IT Advisor
Current role: Chair. Elected Board Member to 31 July 2023
Why did you join the Trust Board: I put my name forward for election to the Trust Board in August 2017 and August 2018 and despite not being elected was subsequently invited on both occasions as a co-opted member from September 2017. After the 2019 elections I was invited to stand as an elected board member and in July 2020 was appointed as Vice Chair. I originally applied for a Trust Board position as I wanted to get actively involved in the many challenges that I could see lay ahead for the Supporters Trust, especially in how it translated itself to its members and Swansea City supporters both locally and further afield.
What attributes/skills are you able to bring to the Board: First and foremost I believe I have good organisational skills from the challenges of running my own business that I launched almost 20 years ago. I am methodical in my work and believe I am able to offer sound and balanced opinions and advice to the wide range of functions and duties that the Trust has a responsibility for. I have good communicative and interpersonal skills which I believe are hugely important in dealing with the huge variety of work that the Swans Trust is increasingly being asked to get involved with. I am also fortunate through managing my own business that I can offer more and more of my time and business knowledge to the Trust as and when it is required.
How do you feel the Trust can further develop its representation of members and the wider fan base: In the nigh on four years I have been involved on the Board I have always maintained it needs a strong and balanced representation to ensure it is best placed to deal with what continues to be difficult and turbulent time for the club and its supporters.
In my opinion the Supporters Trust has not been treated fairly over recent years, particularly by the past majority shareholders and as a result always seem to have an uphill battle in order to become stronger and more unified so we can properly represent Swansea City supporters again.
I do feel however that great strides have been made in the past 18 months or so where, despite Covid-19, a number of really positive new ideas and projects have been set up between the Trust and supporters with the help of the club’s regular management team. Some of these I have personally led are the Supporters Flags Initiative where over 50 flags were loaned to the club by supporters so that they could be placed on display at the Liberty and also travel with the team to key away games. Another one was the Messages from the Jack Army project that brought in a variety of messages that went up on the big screen and were viewed by the team prior to the Championship play-off games at the end of the 2020/21 season.
Also the “Global Swans” Supporters Groups Initiative which I launched in November 2019 is now fully integrated within the club’s fan engagement strategy and is soon to have a fully overhauled section devoted to it on the club’s website. It now has over 55 independently run Supporters Groups from all over the world who we are are in regular contact with and is overseen by a very active working group that is in regular discussions with the club and meets up at least once a month to ensure all the needs of its groups are properly addressed.
Trust Board Responsibilities: Towards the end of my first term as a co-opted Trust Board member I became far more involved in ways to improve the huge range of communication responsibilities within the Trust. I felt this was an area that had been neglected in recent times causing fans like myself to feel distant and apathetic. This needs to change as without the backing of supporters the Trust simply cannot function as intended.
In my second term as a co-opted Board member I was asked to focus on improving our Trust membership across the globe and as part of a sub-group we saw a 25% increase from the previous campaign. Although nowhere near the levels of membership that myself and others would like this was an encouraging sign that many, like me, still believe that the Trust has an important role to play in the future of the Swans.
During my third year on the Board I was given the responsibility of managing and maintaining the various intricacies of our database, website, email and social media platforms that both I and the Trust Board as a whole felt was more important than ever to try keep our members informed of our activities and our role within the club.
This continued into the 2020/21 season where we saw our membership levels increase by over 65% together during the season with a number of new initiatives designed to reward our members and make them feel more involved with the work that the Trust is aiming to do on their behalf. Part of this involves maintaining our website where again I have tried to ensure it contains up to date and useful information that is relevant to both our members and supporters. I also arranged our first ever online Q&A session for members late in 2020 where our Trust Chair Andy Godden answered members questions as well as our virtual AGM in January 2021 where again we provided a digital platform for over 100 Trust members from across the world to engage and follow the meeting online.
I am also part of our dedicated Communications & PR sub group who provided me with articles to prepare for our various platforms and/or email out to members as and when required.
And more recently I have been selected by my fellow Trust Board members to become the Trust representative on the soon to be announced Swansea City Former Players Association which I’m really looking forward to getting actively involved with. More details about the FPA will be announced by the club in the coming weeks.
Looking ahead: As we come to the end of what has been an extremely difficult year or so for everybody and head into our 2021/22 season, and our 20th year as a Trust, it will soon be time for a new Trust board was elected. In July 2020 I was delighted to get elected to the role as vice chair to the incoming chair Andy Godden and I hope I have been able to properly support him while we have been in office. I believe we have shared many of the fundamental aims of the Trust and how we can look at improving areas to best represent our supporters and hopefully we will be able to continue that into our 20th Anniversary Year.
Going forward still further and, despite the continued heavy focus on the ongoing shareholding issue, I remain of the opinion that the overall Board structure should continue to strive to have as broad and wide ranging set of skills and expertise available to call upon it as it possibly can. I feel I have some of these attributes and qualities that will allow the board to meet these requirements and will do my utmost to make them available at every given opportunity both in my role as vice chair and on the various sub groups I represent.
Despite my time on the board to date being arguably a time where the resolve of the Trust and its supporters has been tested to its limit I sincerely believe that we can one day soon begin to see a stronger, more proactive Swans Trust that is able to once again properly engage and represent our supporters as intended.
Last edited June 2021