By | July 7, 2014

EBB Lounge, ESS Stadium, Aldershot

Wednesday 25 June 2014

 

PRESENT : Tommy Anderson (TA), Ian Barnett (IB), Ian Goodwright (IG), Bob Green (BG), Peter O’Donnell (PO), John Orme (JO), Sefton Owens SO, Vanessa Storey (VS), Janet Guess (JG) and a quorum of members.

 

Ian Goodwright (IG) welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the top table.

 

1               Apologies : Apologies for absence had been received from Trust Board Member Stuart Griffiths, and Bill Toothill, Roger Humphries, Ray and Elaine Treadwell, Gordon Macey, Steve Morrison, John Hewett, Alison Hayyez and Chris Hayes. 

 

2               To approve the minutes of the 2013 AGM : John Hannah, Snr, proposed and Norman Gray seconded that the minutes be approved.  This was agreed by those present, with one abstention.  IG stated that members unable to attend the meeting had had the opportunity to vote on line and 107 members had voted on the minutes.  69 were in favour, 0 against and 38 abstentions.  The minutes were therefore approved.

 

3               Chairman’s Report : IG reported on Trust activities throughout the year.

 

i)               Escrow account – This had been established to raise funds with the intention of buying the Club last year with the money being held in a secure account.  The Trust had not been successful in purchasing the Club and contributors had therefore been given the opportunity to have their money returned, moved to the Trust general account or transferred to the ‘Forever Shots’ account where it would be ring-fenced in case it was needed to save the Club in the future.  The majority of contributors had asked for their funds to be returned to them.  However, £15,000 had been transferred to the Forever Shots account.  This account would soon be launched to enable all supporters to donate to the fund.

 

ii)              Phoenix Mascot – Prior to the Club going into administration, the Trust had agreement to replace the Phoenix Mascot but this had been placed on hold.  However, it had now been agreed to go forward with this and it was hoped that the new Phoenix would be ready for the start of the season.

 

iii)            Community Stand – This had been a highlight of the 2013/14 season.

 

iv)             Scoreboard – The intention had been to use this more for advertising but it had not been possible to move forward on this due to some technical issues and Nicky Banger not taking advantage of the possibilities available.

 

v)              New Rules – It had been intended to update the current rules but Supporters Direct had notified all Trusts that they were making some amendments to their model rules and it had therefore been agreed to wait for these amendments.  The new rules would therefore be presented to next year’s AGM.

 

vi)             Financial Statements – The Financial Statements had been made available to members and had shown an increase in turnover due to the increase in membership during the administration period.

 

  • Sportsman’s Dinner – A successful evening had been held where Steve Claridge was the guest of honour.  The number of attendees was disappointing, probably because of the Club being in administration at the time, but a small profit was made.

 

  • Wembley Trip – This had been a sell-out with 50 youngsters, mums and dads, and grandparents enjoying a tour of the ESS Stadium, lunch and then a tour of Wembley.  The day made a slight loss as it had been hoped that the lunch would have been sponsored.  However, it was hoped to repeat the trip this year.

 

  • Spend and Raise – This had not proved as successful as in previous years when Richard Llanwarne had promoted the scheme although £250 had been gained from sales.  It was acknowledged that the Trust needed to place more emphasis on this.

 

  • Away Travel – The profit for this was less this year, mainly because smaller coaches had been used.

 

  • Costs of Trust Bid in connection with Club Administration – This had been quite high but a lot of the costs were covered by donations made specifically for this purpose.

 

There were no questions on the accounts.

 

vii)           Membership Numbers – Membership was up and the intention was to maintain these numbers.   Many people had transferred to the 5 year renewal category.

 

 

2013

2012

2011

2010

Adult

244

95

177

168

5 Year Adult

 

151

87

75

62

Senior

59

43

72

71

5 Year Snr

186

128

103

93

Lifetime

43

24

19

15

Young Supporters

73

52

162

140

  TOTAL

756

429

608

549

 

Approximately 200 members had yet to renew and reminders would shortly be sent to these.  The new rates had been introduced from September and it was hoped that no increase would become necessary for several years.

 

viii)          Away Travel – It had become evident that long trips were not successful and the Trust had therefore concentrated on running coaches to closer games, often using a mini-bus and on several occasions using the Academy mini-bus where the only costs incurred were for diesel.

 

ix)             Community – It is vital to get out into the community to promote the Football Club and the Trust.

  • Step by Step – Three members of the Trust Board had taken part in the Big Sleep Out and had raised £400 for the local charity.
  • The Phoenix Mascot had taken part in the Mascot Grand National.
  • Player of the Month – Young supporters presented the Player of the Month trophy to the selected player and were now presented with a signed photo of the occasion as a memento.   In addition, it had not been possible to present Mark Phillips with his trophy but the Trust had sent this to him and Mark had promoted his appreciation of this on Twitter.
  • Community Stand – this had provided many links to local football clubs and other organisations and it was intended to increase this next season.  A large database of contacts had been built up and many clubs were keen to attend again.  IG and JO had presented the Stand at the North East Hants Youth League AGM and would do so again this year.  The Trust allocation had been increased for the coming season and it was hoped to dedicate certain matches to the military, scouts and guides, etc.  It was acknowledged that the Stand was not always full but this was not necessarily down to the Trust but also to the other debenture holders who share responsibility for filling the stand.

 

x)              Projects – The main project for the year had been to increase the Trust’s visibility and it was hoped that had been achieved through the wearing of Trust polo shirts and the Trust Gazebo at the front of the ground on matchdays.  The Trust were very grateful to Dave Cutler of Yateley MOT who was a great supporter of the Trust and who had sponsored the Gazebo.

 

xi)             Media – It had been realised that social media was a crucial and very powerful tool for the Trust and TA had taken this on.  He stated that there were now 375 followers on the Trust Twitter and 130 likes on Facebook and these figures ere continually increasing.  He emphasised that the Trust welcomed constructive criticism but some of the personal abuse received was not justified or deserved.  TA had also conducted radio interviews with Trust directors and players and officials of the Club which had been well received.  It was hoped that the website would be better utilised in the coming season.  SO was responsible for the Trust website which was now looking very good and it was the intention to drive people towards this.

 

xii)           Frank Burt’s Birthday – Frank is a great supporter of the Trust and JO had represented the Trust at his 100th birthday celebrations where JO presented him with a specially commissioned blanket on behalf of the Trust.

 

xiii)          Fans’ Survey – This had come about from the joint meetings between the Trust and Football Club Boards where it had been acknowledged that it was important to gauge the views of the supporters.  A fantastic response had been received and the Trust were now working with the Club to take things forward where possible.  One thing that had been pleasing was the number of supporters willing to volunteer their time or expertise to help the Club.  IB was now working through all the individual comments which would be shared with the Football Club Board.

 

4               To approve that the Financial Statements continue to receive an independent check

The Trust accounts had been independently checked at no cost by Mike Greenwood, a qualified accountant, as the turnover had not exceeded £25,000 per annum and it was proposed by Richard Llanwarne that they continue to receive an independent check.  This was seconded by Roger Sanders and agreed by the meeting.

 

5.              Election of Directors – As outlined in the Trust rules a third of the Directors resigned each year.  This year JO and VS had resigned and were not seeking re-election.  BG had also resigned and had put himself forward for re-election. One new Director nomination had been received – Jason Berney.  Jason’s election statement had been included with the AGM papers although he was unfortunately unable to attend the AGM due to recent surgery.  BG and Jason Berney were elected to the Board.

 

6.              Objectives for the forthcoming year – IG outlined objectives for the forthcoming year.

 

Meetings with the Football Club Board.  These positive and constructive meetings would continue and the Trust were delighted that Brian Bloomfield was now the Football Club director with responsibility for liaison with the Trust and supporters.  It was still the Trust’s intention to secure a place on the Football Club Board.

 

Fundraising – This was an area that the Trust wanted to develop moving forward and hoped to put on a darts evening with James Wade during the next season.

 

Community Stand – it was important to drive this forward.

 

Army Show – The Trust would have a stand at the coming Army Show where people would be able to order the new Club shirt as well take part in various competitions, including ‘number of balloons in the car’ in a car provided by Yateley MOT.

 

New Rules – The Trust would be working on these for adoption at next year’s AGM.

The

There was some discussion on whether the Trust should seek a place on the Football Club Board, where there could be issues of confidentiality, or act as a critical friend which would be easier from outside.   The Trust had a good relationship with the Football Club Board currently and were in a position to work with the Club in the Community.

 

Scoreboard – The Trust intended to work to maximise the use of this.

 

7.              Any Other Business

 

IG said that the Trust Board had a wide spectrum of skills but he wanted to highlight three members.  Firstly, Tommy Anderson who was a youngster but who, through his work with the Trust and the Football Club, showed a maturity beyond his years.  He has gained a great deal of respect through his youthful input.  Secondly, Janet Guess who had taken on the role of secretary after last year’s AGM and whose dedication was much appreciated.   Finally, IG paid tribute to John Orme who was standing down from the Board and whose support and input had been invaluable.  However, JO would remain involved with the Community Stand.

 

IG was standing down as Chairman but remain as a Director.  He said that the previous year had been an enjoyable challenge.

 

The meeting showed their appreciation of IG and the Directors.

 

9               Q&A with Brian Bloomfield

 

IG said that Shahid had hoped to be able to attend the meeting but had been unable to do so and sent his apologies.  However, IG was delighted to welcome Brian Bloomfield (BB) in his place.

 

BB said that Shahid had asked him to thank everyone for their continued support.  He introduced himself, saying that he had been asked to become a Director and had been on the Football Club Board for three months.  He felt that now was the right time for him and he felt that the Club was in good hands.  The Club was currently sustainable but needed to be vigilant to ensure it continued to be so.  It was becoming a Community Club and community asset.  He was a great supporter of the Trust which he wanted to be a strong supporters’ body and especially commended the work done in the Community Stand.  He had recently been involved in the appointment of the new Commercial Manager and was pleased that Mark Butler had been appointed.  The Club’s intention was to work with people with close associations with the Club and, as such, felt that that the appointment of Terry Owens and Graham Brookland as club ambassadors was the right move.

 

IG had received some questions from members on-line and asked BB how the Club could balance having a viable financial structure with a competitive performance on the pitch.  BB acknowledged that this was difficult but the manager had a budget which he could not go outside.  BB commended Andy Scott for his professionalism and the intention currently was to have 14 squad players to be supplemented by loan players where necessary.  The profit and loss account was continually being monitored and it was hoped to have more money available for AS later in the season.   Any extra funds would only be forwarded to the manager if the money was raised by increased gate or cup money.   BB also acknowledged that it was important for the players, directors and management to interact more with supporters and this was in hand for the coming season.

 

Keith Baker had two questions – 1) would it be possible to have ballboys who were more interested than the current Academy team and 2) should the supporter in the North Stand who continually berated the officials be warned as he could cloud the officials’ judgement.  BB agreed to discuss these issues at the next Board meeting.

 

In response to a question from Alan Baker, BB said that the continuation of the relationship with Chelsea beyond the original two years was currently under discussion.  He said that the Club were very fortunate to have this relationship with Chelsea as it would have been very difficult otherwise.

 

IG had received a question regarding the cost of the independent examination of the accounts and explained that this cost nothing as Mike Greenwood did this free of charge for which the Trust were very grateful.

 

Simon Stevens asked if the Club were aware how many Conference club had 44 week player contracts and how many full-time.  BB said that this was not information that was disclosed but imagined that most clubs had a mixture of both.  At  ATFC most were on 44 week contracts.

 

In response to a question regarding the parachute payment, BB said that the Club would break even this financial year, which was a tremendous achievement and a credit to the Directors.  Unfortunately, the Club had not received the Conference payment due to being in administration.

 

Simon Newman had asked a question on-line regarding whether the Trust would be interested in producing their own merchandise to raise funds.  IG said that in theory this was an attractive idea but the Trust had to make sure they would not be in competition with the Football Club shop.  Any items produced would need to be complementary to anything sold by the Club.  The Trust had been selling Club merchandise at the Trust Gazebo on matchdays.  Accessibility to the Club Shop on matchdays was discussed and BB said that it was hoped that there would soon be a Community outlet in the town centre where merchandise and tickets could be purchased.

 

John Pask said that there was no facility for the sale of sweets in the ground and suggested this would be good idea.  BB agreed to discuss this at the next Board meeting.

 

Ray Treadwell had asked on-line that free shares be given to those fans who had held shares in the old Club to give them a feeling of involvement.  BB said that the constitution of the Club did not allow this but suggested that people join the Trust to give them the feeling of involvement.

 

Andy Duff had sent a question on-line regarding the Club’s Health & Safety certificate and asked if it was necessary to have stewards at each stand entrance.  Richard Petty responded by saying that it was because the stadium was a designated ground that it was necessary to have stewards at each individual exit.  However, risk assessments could be done to prove reduced capacity and the Club could then get dispensation.

 

In response to a question regarding the number of staff employed by the Club, BB said that this was 3 and a half.

 

Callum Barker asked if there would be any Kids for a Quid initiatives during the season to which BB replied that there would be various initiatives to encourage supporters to come.  IB emphasised that feedback from the Fans Survey demonstrated that season ticket holders were in favour of these initiatives.

 

Dawn Cameron mentioned that quite often the Golden Goal competition had sold out by the time she got to the ground and asked who was responsible for this.  BB said that it was run by Playershare and that Keith Able gauged how many books to include.

 

John Regan reiterated the thanks due to JG as secretary.  He said that there had been £70-80,000 in the Escrow account at one time and asked what had happened to this.  IG said that most had been returned to contributors, some to buy Club shares, but there was approximately £15,000 transferred to the Forever Shots Fund.  It was now a priority for the Trust to contact these contributors to confirm where their money was.   The Forever Shots fund would shortly be open for all to donate.

 

JO expressed the thanks of all the Trust Board for the hard work IG has done as Chairman and he received the appreciation of the meeting.

 

The meeting closed at 9.30 pm.

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