History of ArabTRUST

ArabTrust Logo

ArabTRUST was originally launched off the back of a campaign called United for Change that called for an increase in supporter representation within the Dundee United Boardroom. ArabTRUST's evolution started long before 2003. Calls for fans to be able to own shares in The Dundee United Football Company Ltd. intensified in 1992, and that's where our genesis begins.




The Final Hurdle fanzine Arab Poll '92 February 1992



UNITED for CHANGE 1998. Pressure group UNITED for CHANGE gathered pace throughout the year.



February 2000 - Having a say?


The Final Hurdle fanzine (issue 45) February 1999. Bottom right: What are your views on ordinary fans owning shares?



23rd January 2000 – Scotland on Sunday



March 2000 – The Final Hurdle issue 46



The Final Hurdle fanzine (issue 46) March 2000



The Final Hurdle fanzine (issue 46) March 2000



4th June 2000 –Sunday Herald: Scots supporters disadvantaged by devolution, say fans coalition



2nd December 2000 – The Courier: Footballs fans set to lobby parliament


21st October 2001 – Sunday Herald: Scotland seeks direct support

The people who started ArabTRUST - The Dundee United Supporters’ Society - borrowed the basic idea from others.
Many Supporters’ Trusts had been established in England and only a handful in Scotland (Celtic, Aberdeen, Falkirk, Morton, Hibs & Partick Thistle). There was no government funding in Scotland until in April 2001, the then Sports Minister Mike Watson gave Supporters Direct in Scotland £250,000.

Supporters Direct set out to spread the idea of Supporters' Trusts and provide help to supporter groups. ArabTRUST was set up with their help. The Dundee United Business Club, Federation of Dundee United Supporters Clubs, United for Change and a few unaffiliated fans that were interested in the formation of ArabTRUST met to establish the formation of the Dundee United Supporters Society and a working party was formed to prepare the setting up of a Supporters Trust.


12th February 2002 – Funding for football supporters’ trusts



arabtrust.org.uk registered 25th September 2002



Shares for United supporters 24th October 2002

  Dundee United supporters acquired their first ever shareholding in the Club when the newly formed Dundee United Supporters’ Trust ‘ArabTRUST’ accepted a number of shares from United Chairman Eddie Thompson.


Dundee United Supporters’ Trust ‘ArabTRUST’ accepting a number of shares from United Chairman Eddie Thompson


Dundee United Supporters’ Trust ‘ArabTRUST’ accepting a number of shares from United Chairman Eddie Thompson

   The official launch of ArabTRUST is announced 8th January 2003



Formed to provide United supporters with a recognised say in the affairs of the club by means of collective share ownership and representation within the boardroom. The formal launch took place at the Tangerine Club (now known as Club 83) and amongst the packed crowd, the Lord Provost John Letford, Willie Pettigrew, Eddie Thompson, Danny Griffin and Jimmy Briggs attended. Whilst ArabTRUST was not launched until this time, United supporters were in the vanguard of the supporters’ trust movement, helping to establish Supporters Direct in Scotland in 2002. That afternoon, we played Motherwell at Tannadice in the SPL. We won 2-1 with goals from Andy Tod and Charlie Miller.  

ArabTRUST was launched on the 1st February 2003 at the Tangerine Club. In attendance were the late Eddie Thompson, the then United Chairman, Mike Watson MSP, James Proctor (Supporters Direct) and the former players Dave Bowman, Willie Pettigrew, Danny Griffin and the late Jimmy Briggs.

From here, ArabTRUST would go on to become the third largest shareholder in Dundee United behind the Thompson family and invest over £250,000 in the club's youth system during the first decade.

ArabTRUST's first ever Associate Director, Mike Barile, would be appointed in March 2004 representing over 600 members by 2005.