ALDERSHOT TOWN SUPPORTERS SOCIETY LIMITED – The Shots Trust
Minutes of the meeting of Board of Directors
19th August 2020, 19:00
Attendees: Tom Anderson (TA), Michael Foster (MF), Laura Smart (LS), Alan Hillier (AH), Nick Bond (NB).
- Apologies for Absence
Sean Chambers (SC)
- Approval of minutes of last meeting
The minutes were approved.
- Review of previous actions
Of the 22 actions carried forward from July, 17 were completed, 1 is no longer relevant and 4 are carried forward. The main points of discussion were:
AH suggested that we should Zoom in to a Council meeting to raise questions around the delay on lease signing. The Board agreed that this would be more beneficial and, with an agreed set of questions, could move the discussions around the lease significantly forward. We will advise the Council of our intentions and, as required, submit questions.
It was also agreed that we should pursue the feasibility of a Community Interest Club bid.
In absentia, SC had reported on other Clubs’ shop merchandise, things that could be considered to improve the quality of the online shop’s offering. Several Clubs put their mascot / logo on a variety of items; they also offer 10% discount to Trust members on all items bar team kit. Merchandise included:
- Beer glasses;
- Phone covers and Season ticket holders;
- Women’s shirts, polo shirts;
- Pens, pencils and pencil cases for children;
- Key rings and badges;
- Hoodies and gilets.
We also discussed the Club’s recent pricing announcement. They announced that the scheme introduced a few years ago, allowing children under 11 to enter the ground free, was being abandoned. As it was introduced to encourage young supporters to attend games, thus helping to secure the future of the Club, the Trust feels that this decision is rather short-sighted. It could even deter parents from attending. The Trust intends to contact the Club and will share any response.
- Financial Report
LS reported that she was unable to access the bank account. Barclays were now in the fourth week of transferring account ownership from departing Treasurer Mick Lee to her; neither Mick nor LS could currently access the main Trust account. LS expected to access the account as from 20th August. LS also reported that a new account had been set up to manage the finances of the Sunday League Football Team.
Post meeting note: access restored!
- Relationship with the Club: TA said that we had spent the last year trying to improve the relationship with the Club and it was now time to consider how we should proceed from here. We could continue to follow our current approach (Keeping in regular contact, offering financial support) or we could simply keep quiet, not challenge, not try to represent fans’ interests. The Board unanimously agreed that we should continue to act as the Voice of the Fans; that we couldn’t simply remain quietly complicit in whatever the Club chose to do. However, we should ensure that we continue always to offer or suggest an alternative approach. Not engaging would allow the yawning gap between the Club and fans to persist. The Board agreed LS, MF proposals that we needed to start being more communicative, to ensure that what we’re doing and why is put into the public domain more quickly than is currently the case.
- Trust website: TA reported that LS, MF have both expressed concerns about the website which, in IT terms, is virtually obsolete. Much of the content is significantly out of date. It was also disconnected; the Shots Trust was separate from VTiger, and both were separate from Cash for Shots. We also now have the Sunday League Football Team (SLT) which needs its own web presence. The Board agreed that we should investigate and potentially commission a new database to encompass all our needs.
- Membership benefits: TA asked the Board to consider what benefits we should / could offer members. Ideas presented were:
- Discounted travel to away matches;
- Discounts at local shops and/or pubs, in return for PR at SLT matches;
- Discounted rates at future fundraising events;
- Access to ‘meet the fans’ events with ex-players, well-known personalities.
- Sunday League Team (SLT): TA reported that we have 21 signed players. We have been successful in attracting 2 sponsors and are looking for more. The first and main sponsor, Leon Alden of Corcillium Wealth Management, is attending a pre-match PR event on Sunday 23rd Local media cannot attend because of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, but have said they will use our photographs and PR piece. TA also reported that he will be conducting a pre recorded radio interview with BFBS Radio on Tuesday 25th August at 11:30. Once completed, he will request the audio clip and share on social media. TA has also been in touch with Hampshire TV and plans are underway for them to attend a game towards the end of September to do a feature on the team. a date is yet to be confirmed. AH suggested that we could include sponsors’ logos on all of our Trust emails and website. NB suggested that he might be able to attract another sponsor but will report back in due course.
LS proposed that the remaining Lucky7s funding (approx. £700) should be used to support SLT. The Board approved.
NB proposed a vote of thanks and appreciation for all of TA’s work on setting up the SLT and attracting sponsorship. It was roundly supported by all Board members.
- Fundraising: Cash for Shots, Trust membership.
- CFS: LS gave an update on the Cash for Shots Membership remains healthy, as does the bank balance! LS is considering the possibility of having special offers, e.g. join CFS and get entered into a special Christmas draw; free entrance to a game, or 50% discount off Trust membership.
- Shots Trust update: MF reported membership numbers have risen again. His concerns about the robustness and ongoing feasibility of the database were noted.
- Easy Fundraising: This is a very easy way to raise money for the Trust, through a % donation every time a user shops online with participating merchants. It is used by some Trust members already, but we would benefit from re-advertising it more widely. LS will investigate how exactly it operates, and will then publicise it online to our members.
- AGM: Having spoken to other Trusts about their experience of hosting AGMs via Zoom, we have decided to issue the accounts and annual review in document form, giving members an opportunity to review and ask questions. We will publicise this decision on the website as soon as possible.
- Leaving dinner for RC, ML: We were unable to hold a leaving dinner for our ex colleagues because of lockdown.
Meeting conclusion: 20.45
Date of Next Meeting: 16th September, Brewer’s Fayre