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History of ArabTRUST
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 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.
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.