Minutes of the Bairns Trust
Monday 16th June 2005 at the Falkirk Stadium
W. Anderson, W Sommerville, F Caldwell, P Jack, J Dick, M Fraser,
M Cattanach, S Williamson, J Williamson, S Wilson, L Strathearn,
D Hill, E McIntyre, J Gardiner, M McIntyre, H Johnston, M Allan
& S Bird
S Jackson, B Guthrie, D Robertson, S Adam, K Adam, J Toft and
W Toft .
Chairman’s Opening Remarks
Vice Chairman, Bill Anderson welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Minutes of Previous Meeting:
Had been published on the website but no hard copies were available
on the night.
- Shirt Sponsorship – The Trust have sponsored Craig Ireland’s
shirt at a cost of £350 + VAT.
- Bar Bistro – Fit out work started today and staff interviews
have taken place. Brian Guthrie has been in discussion with
Jimmy Black looking at the possibilities of the Trust using
this area for social/fundraising functions. It is hoped to have
Jimmy Black at the next meeting to take this forward and find
out about match day membership arrangements etc.
- Memorial Trophy – The Special Needs Tournament in memory
of Tom Jamieson will go ahead on Thursday 23rd June at Westfield
in partnership with Tom Elliot. The trophy and goody bags will
be ready for Thursday morning.
- BT Membership – Forms are now with the club at Reception
and also for inclusion in the Season Ticket mailing. It was
agreed that the winner of the free prize draw for members registered
by 31st August would receive a £100 voucher for the Falkirk
- As an added incentive to members there will be a monthly draw
next season for a registered Trust member to accompany one of
the reps as a guest in the FFC Boardroom on a matchday.
- The suggestion of the provision of BairnsTrust T-shirts to
members to raise the profile of the Trust will be carried forward
after consultation with Brian.
- Reserve Games – Bill confirmed that Season Tickets are
valid for Reserve games next season.
- Outstanding Invoice – It was confirmed that £26
was paid to the club for a cartridge some time ago for printing
costs as agreed and the second invoice from the club was not
legitimate and will be returned. Bill Anderson also confirmed
that the invoice was returned first time it was presented as
- Blast Zone – while consultation is still required on
this topic, it was felt that there is some relaxation about
the issue with the Falkirk Gateway Development.
- JVC – The relationship between the JVC and club is reported
as very good at present and the club is represented on the board
of the JVC.
- Third Stand – The Gateway Development offers a glimmer
of hope if new businesses can be attracted in to the area. The
North stand remains the responsibility of the club and current
estimates are £1.6m.
- Temporary Seating – A letter has been sent from the
club to the SPL requesting the use of temporary seating to be
discussed at the first SPL meeting that Falkirk FC is invited
- Players in Schools – The response received from the
Club is that players do visit local schools on a regular basis.
The club are doing a lot to build close links with the community,
including arranging primary school festivals during school holidays.
The club has a partnership agreement in place with Stenhousemuir
which precludes them from undertaking activities with certain
schools, particularly in the Stenhousemuir area. It was suggested
that it might be a good idea to get Tom Elliot along to a future
trust meeting to discuss the club’s plans in this area
to see how BairnsTrust could be working closely with him on
- Betting Facilities – Is being investigated but holidays
and illness have made things difficult. A temporary staff member
has now been employed to cover and it is hoped that progress
will again be made.
- Additional Financial Burdens in the SPL – Policing and
stewarding will cost more than previously and the attendance
of an ambulance on matchdays is an extra financial burden as
a result of being in the SPL.
- BairnsTrust Sign – There would be no problem with a
sign to advertise BairnsTrust. However, before we commit ourselves
to paying for a sign it was felt that this permission should
be sought in written form to prevent any misunderstandings.
- Banners – The club would like some uniformity of any
banner to be displayed and for them to be of good quality with
acceptable wording. It is probably best for fans’ groups
to submit their designs directly to the club and to seek individual
permission for displaying them at the stadium.
BairnsTrust Website – Bill had already sent information
on some of these points for inclusion on the Trust website.
Fergus’ feedback email to the committee had also been
suggested as worthy of posting for information to fans. Neither
appeared on the website. Was this was due to technical problems,
an oversight or other reason?
- Letter to Club - Following last meeting a letter was written
to the club asking permission to have Trust membership forms
included in the Season Ticket book mailing. Permission was granted
both verbally and then in writing. 5000 forms were then printed
and the bulk of them are with the club for the mailing and at
Reception. The rest will be used at home games to try to swell
- Communication from ArabTrust - An Email was received from
ArabTrust who wanted to feature BairnsTrust as the new boys
in the SPL in a newsletter article. As time was short I gave
them some general information and referred them to our website.
I have also asked for a copy of the newsletter when it is published.
- Former Players’ Federation – An email was received
from Stuart Adam asking the Trust to consider setting up a Former
Players’ Federation on the lines of what Everton have
. It was felt that Michael White and the Club have probably
got most of the contacts already and that we should invite former
players to join BairnsTrust.
- Fergus Caldwell reported that reserves stand at about £3,500
at present but that £2,500 of this is allocated for Sharesave
and £350 + VAT for the shirt sponsorship. We are not due
to pay any tax.
- A list of shareholders had been obtained. BairnsTrust should
have 25000 + 16383 (recorded wrongly on the list but will be
sorted out). This makes us the 10th largest shareholders in
the club with about 3% of the total (5% is needed to attend
Major Shareholder Group Meetings).
- A large number of shareholders have less than 400 shares and
some have only single figure holdings. This incurs administration
costs for the club and it has been suggested that we should
explore the possibility, in partnership with the club, to see
if holders of these shares would transfer them or their voting
rights to BairnsTrust.
- The official address of the Trust is in process of being changed
to that of Chairman, Steven Jackson. The second signatory for
financial matters is being transferred to Co-Treasurer Peter
Jack, who already holds the pay in book for paying in cash to
the Trust account.
Social Committee Report
Bar/Bistro discussions already underway through Brian. Jimmy
Black is to be invited to the July Trust meeting for further
discussion and question session. It was also hoped that this
would facilitate the fixing of dates for, and organising of,
the proposed Referee Night and Quiz Nights.
Board Members Report
- New jerseys had been generally well received.
- The club is in talks with 3 drinks sponsors at the minute.
- Bar/Bistro underway and aiming to be operational in time for
the Cardiff friendly. A membership system is expected to operate
- 33 Season Ticket holders had to be re-allocated because of
increased media requirements for the SPL. It is understood that
this difficult situation was resolved in a reasonably amicable
- The Heritage Trail/Learning Centre, under Michael White on
a voluntary basis, is progressing as evidenced by the computers
all around the meeting room.
- Budweiser Video sponsorship was raised and felt to be a matter
between the producers of the video and sponsors, and not to
be a FFC Board issue as there was no written evidence to substantiate
- John Hughes is still actively pursuing another 3 signing targets
for the SPL squad.
Because of holidays there has been no recent Saturday meeting
with the club. As soon as George Craig returns from holiday
a meeting will be arranged to cover many of the important issues
which have arisen since the last meeting.
Junior Bairns Trust Membership
Membership of Junior Bairns to the Trust costs only £1.00
and pursuing this sometimes costs more in administration costs.
We already have a concession price of £5 for under 16s
and should perhaps look at offering some incentives to junior
members who otherwise get nothing for their money and can’t
While the scheme is a good way for ordinary fans to obtain shares
it has been declining in membership since most members now have
shares bought for them. It has been administratively difficult
to run the scheme as the information passed by the banks does
not always make it easy to identify who the shares should be
bought for. There has also been an incident recently which makes
you question whether it is all worthwhile given that BairnsTrust
get very little from the operation of the scheme. The issue
raised was whether we should continue to operate the scheme
given the problems we have had to date. It was agreed that we
should continue the scheme through the current membership campaign
and review again after this.
The Treasurer will seek clarification on is whether those members
who are in the scheme at the end of May and who have previously
bought shares through the scheme can convert their savings at
that time into shares. This is important as these shares would
be purchased at the price of 61p rather than the generally available
price of £1.25.
New savers to the scheme would have to pay £1.25 per share,
with the minimum purchase being 200 shares (i.e £250).
The Treasuer can provide a view on whether he feels £1.25
is a fair price, but ultimately this can’t be seen as
advice to members to buy or not to buy shares in the club. While
the Treasurer is capable of providing an opinion on this, he
is not authorised to do so, and neither is the Trust. He will
provide information, and people can make their own minds up.
Access to Home Games for Non-Season Ticket Holders
At present there are only a very limited number of seats in
the West stand and the North Stand is reportedly to be given
over fully for visiting fans of certain teams. There are rumours
of a temporary stand which may alleviate the situation. The
overwhelming feeling of the meeting was that BairnsTrust should
write to the Club and Central Scotland Police for clarification
and to put the case for putting Falkirk supporters first.
Spreading the Cost of Season Tickets
- Apart from paying by credit card there is no way of spreading
the cost of the season ticket. Credit companies appear reluctant
to deal with football clubs, especially if they have been in
- A suggestion was made that the club or BairnsTrust could run
a TicketSave scheme for those who find it difficult to put money
away on a regular basis. An admin fee would probably be required
to cover bank charges etc. Should be discussed with the club
as a possible future option.
- An allegation that some people had been given an opportunity
to pay £70 followed by four payments of £50 was
brought to the Trust’s attention. This is to be investigated
with the club as a matter of urgency, since, if true, it impinges
on the rights of all fans to expect equal treatment.
Issues Relating to Third Stand
A suggestion had been made that fans could invest money in an
attempt to speed up the third stand being built and that this
could be run by BairnsTrust. While not dismissing the idea totally,
it is clear that the Trust as a voluntary organisation is not
a suitable vehicle for this idea. A debenture scheme of this
type, with all its legal implications, would have to be organised
through the JVC or FFC in partnership with a financial institution.
However, it is worth checking if the club has considered this
as a possibility.
While it was felt that charging for parking at the stadium was
almost inevitable, there was some debate about the sum of £50
coming as it does on top of the season ticket increase and an
unknown Bar/Bistro membership.
More importantly, the statement on the club website made no
reference to parking for disabled supporters, either home supporters
or visitors. Are disabled fans to be charged for using disabled
spaces? If over 300 apply and a lottery is drawn will disabled
fans be exempt from the draw and be charged £50? Will
arrangements be in place to allow dropping off at the stadium
for disabled fans from vehicles without permits? This has to
be addressed and clarified as soon as possible, along with the
issue of parking spaces being taken up by stewards, police and
Euan McIntyre confirmed that club employees have been contacted
to say they will not have preferential treatment for parking
on match days.
Unused Season Tickets
The club is actively taking this on board and we look forward
to details when available.
Concern was raised that if someone caused trouble while temporarily
in a season ticket holder’s seat that this would not count
against the usual occupant. Furthermore, in the event of a game
being postponed and tickets re-sold there was a query over who
would have a right to the seat on the date of the rearranged
The anomaly of why people buying tickets over the counter don’t
need to provide personal details when season ticket holders
do, apparently so the Police know who sits where, also needs
to be investigated.
- Communication – It is essential that good communication
is maintained between the club and the Trust. Holidays and illnesses
have made this difficult recently at a time when many matters
of concern to fans have arisen. As a result of past experience,
agreements and decisions between the club and Trust should be
in writing to prevent misunderstandings later.
- Blind Club – at least 5 people have expressed an interest
in using the proposed loop system. Estimates and information
were being coordinated and decisions would be made sometime
- Bar/Bistro – a concern was raised that the fine dining
experience sounds a long way from the cheap and cheerful system
wanted by fans.
- Sarah Scott – The Trust was asked for its viewpoint
on the Sarah Scott case. The Trust members present felt that
this was an internal club matter and as such not appropriate
for the Trust to comment on.
The next meeting of BairnsTrust will be at 7.30pm on Monday
July 18th (the evening before the friendly at Berwick Rangers)
at the Falkirk Community Stadium.