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Falkirk Community Stadium

 

 

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BairnsTrust Annual General Meeting

Minutes of the 9th BairnsTrust Annual General Meeting
Monday 21st March 2011 at Falkirk Stadium

1) Chairperson's opening remarks Apologies: L. Dunsmore, D. Dunsmore, A. Macfarlane

2) Ratification of previous (AGM) minutes Proposed: B. Guthrie        Seconded: M. McIntyre

3) Matters arising from previous (AGM) minutes All matters arising are covered later in agenda points.

4) Chairperson's annual report The current relationship with the Club and FFC board this year is very good and throughout the year they have been very supportive of BT.  I am pleased to say that our membership has grown since last season. July 2010 - Most of the committee attended the SD conference in Stirling, we met with Keith Ferguson of the Disabled Supporters Group who had produced a league table rating SPL grounds for disabled facilities.  Falkirk came 10th out of 16.  BT decided to start up a Falkirk Supporters Disabled Club.  On 8th July 2010 BT members attended Craig Gowans memorial service.  BT ran season ticket telesales campaign for the club during the evenings.  I attended the first meeting of a new marketing group which has been set up at the club.  August 2010 - S. Monfries and I attended a boardroom reps meeting between all the Scottish trusts in Glasgow, this allowed us to meet the other trusts and find out how they are doing.  BT have had to overcome some problems created by our previous treasurer.  This season the club allowed BT to run the new family marquee from which we have made a good income over the season.  BT instigated the Disabled supporters club, its inaugral meeting on 11th August 2010, Keith Ferguson of CAFÉ was the guest speaker.  Lots of issues were raised which were handled by Club, BT has created a website for their use.  I attended a SD chairman’s training session at Livingston meeting all of the other trust chairpersons.  September 2010 - At the Falkirk v Dundee match on Sat 30th Oct 2010 there were a number of fundraising initiatives offered by the trust and the club to help Dundee Trust while they struggled to survive.  A cheque for £1600 was handed over to the Dundee Supporters Trust.  October 2010 - M. Ritchie came along to the meeting and gave an insightful talk about the changes needed in Scottish football.  BT agreed to undertake fundraising activities to help the Falkirk academy e.g. all profits from this years calendar would go directly to the academy as part of our sponsorship agreement.  Unfortunately due to weather, games off, we didn’t do as well as was hoped.  We re-launched our popular Sharesave scheme and there was a hint given that the share price may change shortly.  November 2010 - SRTRC was not very helpful to our trust, they refused our application for funding and we should think again before we plan this type of event at the stadium.  We launched an appeal for donations to the Falkirk academy and it proved to be quite popular with many fans donating both online and on match days.  K. Drinkell signed up to the trust and we offered to sell his new book, our Brockville Bairns DVD for some unknown reason went on a run of sales and has sold out!  We have no copies left.  January 2011 - G. Dowson, FFC head of commercial affairs came along to a meeting and gave us an insight on what he was trying to achieve for our club.  S. Monfries and I attended a meeting of trusts organised by SD, here at the stadium, at which we discussed what should be done over league reconstruction as not all fans had been involved in discussions, only those who were currently in the SPL.  Talks are still ongoing.  February 2011 - After a letter from the HMRC was published in the press, a meeting was arranged and took place on the morning of Sat 5th Feb 2011 in the Amarillo bar at the stadium.  It must be said that there were not as many fans there as I had hoped, given the demand for the meeting on a Saturday which was asked for by fans on a popular forum.  Anyhow I hope the fans gained a little more knowledge of what actually happened, and do not accuse the trust of withholding information from the fans, as I said at that meeting, if at any time I thought that the club was in any danger, I would have let the fans know.  March 2011 - Throughout this season we have held fans forums with M. Ritchie, G. Craig, R. Fox, G. Dowson, G. Profit, R. Wilson & S. Pressley.  At these forums, all fans were asked to come along and ask any questions they wanted to.  My personal thanks go to: R. Stirling who in his first full year as secretary has done a great job, P. Jack for coming back after a short break and sorting out our accounts through another difficult time.  S. Monfries who has helped me in the boardroom, B. Guthrie for all his hard work, M. McIntyre for looking after the former players, M. Dickins our membership secretary and J. Gardiner & S. Jackson in the boardroom.  The sales team: I. Sneddon, Pat Jack, G. Burns and W. Anderson, and all those who helped run our match day stalls and gave their time to help at our events, without whose help we would have made match day tasks difficult.  D. McIntosh and S. Beattie for helping run our quiz nights.  Thanks also to all of our corporate sponsors, whose continued support is invaluable and of course to all members for coming along to meetings.  I am pleased to announce that Dennis Canavan has agreed to become a Patron of the trust.  Dennis retired from politics in 2007 but continues to support FFC.  BT see this as a first step to the future strategy and planning to take BT forward.

5) Secretary's annual report This was my 1st full year as secretary and it has been an eventful year.  Following former treasurer was difficult, still feeling the effects a year onbut most should now be resolved including SD membership.  Many of our committee attended the SD conference at Stirling Uni on 28th May.  I was unable to make it but we should continue to support these events in any way we can.  In May, we contacted the election candidates - positive reply from SNP & Conservatives but no response from eventual winner E. Joyce.  July - Leaflet produced, led to significant new members but no overall increase.  To be discussed if this is worthwhile.  Postal mailout to lapsed members in Sep.  Thanks to M. Dickins for his help as membership secretary.  After concerns raised by a member, a new system for publishing minutes was started.  They are now attached to newsletter and published on website, only after ratified at next meeting.  This gives members exclusive access and protects the Trust on controversial issues.  No negative feedback so will continue as is.   SRTRC funding application submitted, then refused.  Second letter sent to question the decision, answer being limited/no money available.  Attended SBTRC event at Easter Rd on 20th Jan then another at Hampden on 24th March.  Sep 10th - Announced by UEFA that from 2012/13 it will be a requirement for every club to have a supporter liaison officer.  BT is well placed already with this. Newsletters continue to be sent every month, hard copies available at meetings.  Membership card and welcome letter sent mid-Oct.  Admin of academy donations - database passed onto Club.  Although there was a delay, certificates were eventually sent.  In Nov, Ranger Trust contacted us asking for ideas and info on our current setup.  Greenock Morton Trust also praised us in their programme in Feb 2011.  SD Scottish committee - Kenny Butler of Celtic asked for our nomination - declined.  Voted for 5 candidates, awaiting results.  Following late postponement of Partick game a letter was sent to SD, disappointing response and nothing SD can do.  I’m happy to continue as secretary if wanted.

6) Treasurer's annual report Accounts Proposed: S. Jackson Seconded: B. Guthrie.  P. Jack took over in May after a year out - accounts in a mess!  £1500 in bank, 6 sharesavers, International volunteers not replaced on the stalls.  Tackled the accounts over the summer as well as doing the ShireTrust accounts.  Communication from Northwich Vic.. Got some good fundraising ideas - especially beer festival - to be looked at further.  Aug 2010 Stalls making great income including D. Canavan and K. Drinkell books.  Current share price £1.33, trying to get the best deal, future price decrease expected.  General knowledge quiz night made good profit.  Norwegian member visited.  Aug 2010 - £5,500 in bank.  Cheques from academy donations handed over to the Club - more to follow.  Attended SD treasurer training - one of 6 attendees.
Accounts - Thanks to examiner for harder work than usual.  Pg3 Not a clean bill of health, qualified report, not unusual, because of missing records.  Pg4 Income well up.  Pg5 Shares update £30393 x 50p 60600 shares.
Q) What percentage does BT have in FFC? 3.75% 9th largest - to be looked at furthering this share.
Q) Is there still money missing from Derek?  Tried our best but written off now.
Q) Is the FSA record of our FFC shares accurate?  Asked club secretary, they are looking into it.  Discrepancies, some people not on list.

7) Fans Director’s annual report I was made very welcome by the football club board when it became my turn to step up to my new role as full director last June.  I was glad that I had the chance to watch B. Guthrie the year previous so I had a good idea what was coming next.  After I was instilled as new director of FFC, I was given some jobs which I didn’t envisage, sitting in on appeals where somebody’s job is at stake isn’t much fun, but it comes with the territory I suppose.  Confidentiality is a big issue, there are lots of issues, wages and other financial matters, for example that I can’t pass on to the BT committee, I can discuss these things with the associate director in the boardroom.  One of the most difficult parts of the job is getting your head round the club’s finances, the figures can be frightening, every last detail is checked and questioned, I have had sleepless nights checking them at home.  It has been a busy year in the boardroom especially under the current financial climate.  This year I have seen more cuts than a butchers knife in the boardroom.  Boardroom rep, it sounds like a great job when I read about it on the fans forum, free season ticket, free drinks, free vol-au-vents, pity it doesn’t turn out like that.  I always seem to be too busy to take part in these festivities.  No good if you take the car and are on a diet, and just to let everybody know, everybody at BT buys a season ticket!  There are meetings to attend and lots of them, not just within the football club but with SD and other groups, still I wanted to be involved and I don’t regret it, I joined every group I could, the marketing group, another sub group on ‘the strategy on the future of the clubin terms of football development and performance’ are just two of them.  It gave me a great insight into the working practices of the club and I am allowed to put forward an opinion.  Somebody once wrote on the fans forum, who is this Tom Paterson?  Seems that everybody knows me know, you stick your head above the parapet and wait for the shots to come along, and they do, sometimes you feel like there is a target on your back and you just can’t please everybody.  Getting involved is what I have tried to do, BT takes the fans issues to the MD first of all, and if it can’t be resolved it may have to go further, thankfully this hasn’t happened so far and hopefully we have sorted out some fans problems. 

Highs of the season: Setting up the Disabled Supporters Club/Getting closer to the Club
Lows of the season: HMRC notice, and the accusations from some fans, that I was trying to cover up for the football club.

I have tried, and will carry on trying until my tenure is over, to carry out the job to the best of my ability and I hope the people who elected me to the board think the same.  I have tried to report back to the committee with information of what has happened at board and other meetings.  The season isn’t finished yet and I hope there are more highs than lows before that final whistle.  Next season sees S. Monfries step up from associate director to Full Trust Director, I hope he enjoys it half as much as I have.

Q) Member S. Jackson highlighted on behalf of the membership that Tom has done an exceptional job and hopefully Sandy can continue this.

8) Social Convenor's annual report Calendar - saga getting it out and lack of games harming sales but sales are still decent and will lead to a generous donation to the academy.  Community dept & SRTRC school project - problem with funding but should be sorted.  SRTRC head man has resigned and been replaced.  FFC chosen for official launch of SBTRC on 27th April for 70 kids from local schools. Q) Will TV camers be ther?  Yes, hopefully STV & BBC have been approached as well as radio.  Scottish Government has allocated £70,000 to give to SBTRC, BT could apply for some of this.  BT is highly thought of in the wider audience helping numerous clubs including Airdrie, Dumbarton, Motherwell, Morton & Hamilton.
Q)Another FFC share issue - have FFC been approached?  Yes, but only after letter sent to existing shareholders, Club have missed an opportunity.
Q) When is the next GK Quiz? This has been moved back, busy schedule, new date to be announced.

9) Election of Office Bearers/Committee Members Chairman T Paterson announced the following valid nominations received duly proposed and seconded and based on all application forms received by Scrutineer by deadline of Mon 14/02/11, 7.30pm:

G. Burns
M. Dickins
S. Jackson
M. McIntyre
D. McIntosh
C. Chalmers (Nomination withdrawn)

Retained for second year – T. Paterson, S. Monfries, R. Stirling, C. Paterson, B. Guthrie

Nominations from floor: I. Sneddon; J. Gardiner, W. Anderson, P. Jack (Declined the nomination)

Thanks offered to all who had served in past year especially P. Jack for all his hard work as Treasurer and other duties.  Office bearer positions will be decided by the committee at the committee meeting following the AGM.

10) Election of fans representative to the board of Falkirk FC  Scrutineer T Kopszywa has confirmed that only one nomination was received for the position from D. McIntosh.  Therefore no vote was needed and D. McIntosh will be submitted by BairnsTrust to the Board of FFC for consideration.  The BairnsTrust committee wish him well in his new role and to S. Monfries who takes over as the full fans representative on the FFC board.

Thank you and well done to T. Paterson for his excellent work in the two years spent on the FFC board.
Thanks to Scrutineer for services. Hoped BairnsTrust could reciprocate for ShireTrust.

11) Constitutional amendments
Resolution #1 re Annual Audit to Independent Examination change – Now a requirement to be decided upon at each AGM. If not approved would mean a breach of Independent and Friendly Society status and reverting back to a financially costly Annual Audit.
Resolution must be passed by 80% of the Members voting in person and by proxy, and only comes into force if it is passed by that margin and the numbers voting against do not equal more than 10% of those Members eligible to vote.
Unanimous hand vote on the night in favour. Duly carried.

Resolution #2 re appointment of Independent Examiner – James Marshall Paterson to be proposed for re-election. Resolution must be passed by at least 66% of those Members voting in person and by proxy at the meeting.
Unanimous hand vote on the night in favour. Duly carried.

Resolution #3 re Change of Registered Address – To change the BairnsTrust Registered Office from 1 Kennard Road, Brightons, Falkirk FK2 0HH to 66 Bryce Avenue, Carron, Falkirk, FK2 8JB
Unanimous hand vote on the night in favour. Duly carried.

12) Open Forum Number of questions fielded about FFC share list, how FFC is being run, accounts going missing in transit?  Meeting has been arranged to discuss these issues with G. Craig & M. Ritchie on Saturday morning.  Will this be informal or formal?  Agreement with G. Craig is to be informal, BT first port of call is G. Craig next is M. Ritchie. Suggestion made that informal meetings should be reported and published.
Q) Was HMRC letter asked for?  Yes not seen yet, still awaiting.
Q) Why are BT using an accountant in Edinburgh rather than Falkirk?  Cheaper alternative.
Q) FFC players problem as they are not attending fans events?  This has been brought to attention and they will now be made to go.

13) Any other business Chairman thanked all Members for attending.

14) Date of next meeting.

AGM - Provisionally Mon 19th March 2012
Monthly Meeting - Monday 18th April 2011 at 7.30pm in the Warm-Up Area of Falkirk Stadium

 

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There then followed a BairnsTrust Committee Meeting to determine office bearer positions from within the committee:

Chairman: T. Paterson
Vice Chairman: S. Monfries
Secretary: R. Stirling
Treasurer: Unconfirmed ? Meeting to be held with P. Jack
Merchandising & PR: B. Guthrie

 

Contact methods:

a) Email to bairnstrust@hotmail.co.uk

b) Post your query on the message board at our website:

c) Visit the BairnsTrust stall located on the concourse in the Main Stand at home games.

d) Attendance at the monthly BairnsTrust meetings at the Falkirk Community Stadium on the third Monday of the month, KO 7.30pm.

 

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