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NEXT MEETING
Monday 15th May 2006, 7.30 p.m.
Falkirk Community Stadium

 

 

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Minutes of the Bairns Trust Meeting
Monday 16th May 2005
Falkirk Stadium

 

Present:
S Jackson, W Sommerville, B Guthrie, G Donaldson, P Jack, J Dick, W Anderson, T Martin Fraser, M Cattanach, J Jamieson, S Williamson, S Wilson, S Adam, K Adam, D Hill, F Caldwell & A Kidd

Apologies:
S Bird, D Robertson, J Toft and W Toft .

Chairman’s Opening Remarks
The new Chairman, Steven Jackson welcomed everyone and outlined his ideas for streamlining meetings .

Minutes of Previous Meeting:
The adoption of the minutes was moved by S Wilson and seconded by J Jamieson

Matters Arising:
A few matters from the March meeting were outlined by the Chairman as ongoing matters which will be brought back to a future meeting.

Secretary’s Report

  • It was confirmed that W Sommerville had now agreed to take on the post of Secretary.
  • Fergus collected the Andy Thomson home strip which BairnsTrust sponsored last season and a decision will be made whether to raffle or auction it.
  • It was agreed to sponsor a player’s shirt for the coming season with the proviso that the cost did not go above £500.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Fergus Caldwell reported that the T-Shirts and ties had been paid for and we now were in a position to settle the outstanding debt on the video/dvd.
  • The meeting agreed to use the current auditors for the coming financial year.
  • Decisions would have to be made about continuing to buy shares at £1.25 or building up a reserve or contingency fund for the future bulk purchase of shares in the Trust’s name.
  • It was agreed to investigate the possibility of having small share holders donate their shares, or proxy voting rights, to BairnsTrust and see what the club’s view on this would be.

Social Committee Report

  • Championship T-shirts had been a great success and only 122 were left with the sale of 538 bringing in £4349.52.
  • DVD and video were still selling steadily and another bill for royalties for £220 had been received from the SFA/SFL.
  • Brian was now in negotiations with the club for the production of a new championship dvd for next year for an August/September launch on a profit-sharing basis. (The club also has a plan to produce another dvd in time for Christmas). A suggestion was made that the BairnsTrust logo should appear and also to investigate the possibility of having membership forms included in the packaging. (At this point the Chairman thanked Brian for all his hard work to date on the project).
  • Care Home – 15 elderly residents attended a recent home match as guests of the club. It was the third time the Social Committee had organised this during the 2004-05 season.
  • The 2005 Christmas Dance is booked for Friday Dec 30th in Grangemouth Town Hall and the entertainment will consist of a quality band and also Robert T. Leonard, a musical comedian. There will also be a vegetarian choice on the menu this time rather than being a “special request.” It is planned to have tickets on sale by the start of next season and Brian will come back to the next meeting with finalised costings.
  • Brian again outlined the possibilities of having fundraising/entertainment in the bistro/bar area when it is opened and suggested we invite Jimmy Black along to the next BairnsTrust Meeting. In the meantime a Quiz Night along the lines of the recent successful ShireTrust event and an Ask The Referee discussion night were suggested for sometime in July or August.
  • Brian confirmed that the council had backed the BairnsAid initiative which came about as a result of the Tsunami Appeal. The first three housing units would be shipping to Sri Lanka in the next few weeks. Brian intimated that he might soon be asking for volunteers to help with BairnsAid. The meeting agreed that BairnsAid was worthwhile supporting as it represented our stated aim to benefit the wider community. Brian was asked to provide photographs for the Trust website to help publicise the initiative.
  • The disabled tournament will probably now go ahead at the start of the new season, as we are waiting for the school to find a suitable date and Tom Elliot is on holiday just now. The Trophy has been ordered and also “goody bags” from the club shop – the Treasurer would organise cheques for the payment of these from the £250 set aside for the purpose when the project was first suggested.

Board Members Report

  • Fans Reps Bill Anderson and Fergus Caldwell had attended a long (4½ hours) FFC Board meeting mainly concerned with life in the SPL. This had included discussions with the manager over signing targets and player budgets which had to remain confidential for obvious reasons.
  • The next Board meeting is this Thursday and the reps will raise some issues on behalf of the Trust which are still ongoing and hadn’t been raised at the last one due to lack of time. A BT section to be requested as a fixed agenda point for future meetings.


Saturday Meetings

  • George Craig and committee members of the Trust have been having meetings on home matchday Saturdays. It is hoped that these will continue and become a fruitful source of bi-directional communication between the club and the supporters.
  • A recent meeting about Season Ticket prices had gone well, but there was disappointment that a promised communication to those involved never materialised before the final prices appeared on the club website.
  • There are several areas which have been identified as possible ways for the Trust and Club to become more closely involved in partnership. These will be raised at future meetings with club representatives, but in the meantime the Secretary should write to George Craig requesting that a Trust membership form be included when the Season Ticket books are being posted out. A squad of volunteers from the Trust could be raised to help with this task.

SPL Supporters Meeting

  • Steven Jackson had attended a meeting of fans representatives of SPL clubs called to discuss concerns over ticket prices, particularly at away matches. It was felt that overpricing was at least partly to blame, along with live televised matches, for the downward spiral in attendance figures.
  • A letter was sent to all SPL clubs and Falkirk outlining these concerns and proposals.
  • A letter was also sent to the SPL asking that one or two fans be allowed to attend relevant meetings.
  • Some clubs have reciprocal arrangements to allow visiting fans a discount on production of a Season Ticket book, but given the lack of seating at the Falkirk Stadium this is unlikely to happen in the near future. (Aberdeen allows under 12s in free).
  • It was noted that the Season Ticket letter does not mention reserve games being included and the Board reps were asked to get clarification of this on Thursday from the club. SPL reserve games are played on a Friday.

BairnsTrust Membership

  • The draft membership document circulated by the Secretary had been well received and was to be amended in the light of helpful comments received.
  • It was agreed an increased membership was desirable and that from next Season the rolling membership would change to an August to July membership.
  • It was also agreed that members who joined or renewed since January 1st 2005 would not have to pay again until 2006, unless they chose to do so. Subscriptions would remain at £10 for adults and £5 for under 16 (no voting rights) and over 65. Corporate membership would cost £100.
  • Members will receive a laminated membership card with their name and number, which it is hoped, will allow reduced entry to certain Trust activities.
  • It has also been agreed to have a free prize draw for all members who have joined by August 31st as an incentive (prize yet to be decided).
  • The club are being approached with a view to having membership forms included in the season ticket book posting and it is planned to have several members canvassing supporters in the concourse at the Trust table at the home games early in the season. The Trust website and OneF forum would also be used to disseminate information.
  • A suggestion was made that the reps might consider taking ordinary Trust members into the Boardroom on match days as their allotted guest, perhaps by prize draw.

AOCB

  • Championship Presentation
    The point was raised that the presentation of the championship trophy left many Falkirk supporters feeling very frustrated. The view of proceedings was obscured by the Press and the many children taking part crowding round instead of being kept at a suitable distance. It was noted that the coaches of the children’s teams were more interested in having photographs taken behind the board than controlling the children in their care. Furthermore, the lack of speeches disappointed supporters so that what should have been a memorable day was, in fact, an anti-climax.
    The Board reps have been asked to raise this with the club and ask that an official explanation and apology be posted on the official website.
  • General Information
    Amidst all the rumour and speculation which is rife at the moment it was hoped that the Board reps could get the club to shed some light on certain topics, including:
    1. The current situation concerning the Blast Zone,
    2. The current situation concerning relationships with the JVC,
    3. Future development at the stadium including building the next stand,
    4. The position concerning the provision of temporary seating for next season
    5. The frequency of visits by players to local schools
    6. The possible provision of betting facilities at the stadium
    7. Clarification of additional financial burdens placed on the club by SPL membership
    8. The possibility of allowing a BairnsTrust sign to be placed on the East side
    9. The possibility of placing flags and banners belonging to fans in the stadium on match days.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of BairnsTrust will be at 7.30pm on Monday June 20th at the Falkirk Stadium.
The Committee will meet before then (Date and time TBC) and we will also try to arrange a meeting between the Trust and the Club. The Board reps meet on Thursday 19th May and, hopefully, should be in a position to report back on the issues raised above.