ALDERSHOT TOWN SUPPORTERS SOCIETY LIMITED – The Shots Trust
Minutes of the meeting of Board of Directors
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Attendees: Tom Anderson (TA), Mick Lee (ML), Sean Chambers (SC), Michael Foster (MF), Laura Smart (LS), Nick Bond (NB).
- Apologies for Absence
Robin Carder (RC), Alan Hilliar (AH).
- Approval of minutes of last meeting
The minutes were approved.
- Review of previous actions
Of the 22 actions, 12 have been successfully completed; 1 has been abandoned following analysis of costs. The remaining 9 are carried forward to next meeting.
- Financial Report
ML presented his update on the Trust’s financial position, which was then discussed. Very little change since last month; the accounts have been shared with the FCA and funds transfers, reflecting the Poppy appeal funding, the BTB money and the alignment of CFS and main Trust accounts, are in hand.
- Chairman’s Update
BTB funds: TA reported that, after writing several times and emailing, he had managed to speak to Danny Searle and Bob Green at the Football Club. They had identified an option for our BTB money, i.e. funding the Club’s use of 3G pitches for additional training.
TA agreed that we would be happy to cover the cost. For our records and our own audit purposes, we proposed that the Club should pay the bill then invoice us directly. TA also confirmed that, as previously discussed with Mr Searle, we will want a photograph of us handing over the cheque for PR purposes. However, Mr Green, as Club Secretary, is once again dragging his heels on this. TA will email Mr Green again, giving a firm response date of 2nd March, after which the offer of funding will be rescinded.
Health and Safety: Following lengthy discussions between RC and the Club, action has now been taken to address the H&S issues that arose at the Club. The Club has now written to the individuals concerned, has apologised and has promised to change its practices to ensure that further accidents should not occur. We hope to consult with Brian Bloomfield, who is very knowledgeable in H&S at the ground, to see if anything else is needed.
The Board would like to record that we very much appreciate RC’s input, without which these issues may not have been resolved.
FSA Investigation of the Trust: The investigation has now concluded. The FSA stipulated several actions to be taken, following which the Trust’s suspension will be lifted. The main one was that we should now review all policies, procedures and guidance and upload them onto our website. In particular, we must produce diversity and social media guides.
We advised the FSA that, since they were not prepared to pursue the online bullying of TA and SC by Mark Lloyd, that we would be happy to let the past bullying drop. However, should the bullying resume, the Trust will report Mark Lloyd to the Police and to Facebook.
The FSA confirmed that the complainants have no avenue of appeal against FSA decisions.
- Ground Redevelopment
There was considerable discussion on this subject. We understand that the lease was to have been signed in week commencing 17th February, but nothing has been announced. We continue to be very concerned about the lack of transparency in the redevelopment plans and, despite the Trust’s success in achieving a change in the lease’s terms (so that it now clearly states that football MUST be played on the ground), we remain of the opinion that the current board may not be the best people to run the Club.
In advance of the Club AGM (now moved to 23rd March), and in the interests of absolute transparency, we intend to upload a statement for the website to set out our views on the current position; our reasons for getting involved; what we have achieved and what our next steps will be.
Fundraising: Cash for Shots and Lucky 7s.
An update was given on the Cash for Shots data. A couple of subscriptions have come to an end and unfortunately will not be renewed, so LS intends to write again to a number of lapsed subscribers to see if they would be interested in renewing. The Board agreed an immediate target of finding at least five new subscribers each.
TA updated the Board on Lucky 7s. This very successful fundraising scheme is run by Mr Dave Donovan, who has raised £13k over 7 years, including £3.1k in this year alone.
The Board would like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation and gratitude for Mr Donovan’s hard work and success.
- ATFC AGM
We discussed the forthcoming AGM, and in particular the accounts, which show significant losses and which, for reasons which have not been shared publicly, are unaudited. The Club has lost £608,474 in the last year, with a total loss of £1,376,458 since 2014. Following on the heels of its bankruptcy in 2013, we are extremely concerned that the financial future is not looking bright. Mr Azeem believes that the signing of the lease will be a panacea for all the Club’s financial ills; in our opinion, even if that were true in the immediate future, the financial incompetence displayed by the ATFC Board means that it could be short lived.
Summary of the accounts since 2014
|Profit / (Loss) For Year||3,023||-21,820||-276,080||-116,769||-356,338||-608,474|
From 2014, the Club has moved into a worsening downward spiral of loss: from a small profit of £3,023 to a position of significant losses, £608,474 in this last year alone.
Losses over the last two seasons: £964,812
Losses over the last three seasons: £1,081,581.
We anticipate that the accounts will attract a lot of attention at the AGM and are looking forward to hearing Mr Azeem’s views on them. We are particularly interested in hearing his explanation for their being unaudited.
Roles and responsibilities: The Board agreed that LS should take on the role of Board Secretary, retaining full voting rights. As such, LS will:
- Liaise with TA on scheduling meetings, arranging agendas;
- Maintaining records and minutes of all Trust activities;
- Supporting the organisation of fundraising activities;
- Assist in running and maintaining the website, liaising with RC.
PR Flyers: The new flyers were put to the Board for consideration. Some tweaks were requested; following the meeting, they have now been approved.
Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 18 March
Meeting closed at 21:15.