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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 19th September 2005
at the Falkirk Stadium

Present:
S Jackson, W Sommerville, F Caldwell, P Jack, S Adam, M Fraser, S Wilson, E McIntyre, J Gardiner, M McIntyre, B Guthrie, M Allan, M Paterson, J Dick, S Monfries, W Toft, B Dundas, G Forster, J McFadden, J McFadden, D Robertson, P Moodie, G Young, J White, A Thomson & one other (illegible signature).

Apologies:
W. Anderson, K Adam, S Bird, G Neary, S Williamson, J Williamson, J Toft, R Smith, J Finch.

Chairman’s Opening Remarks

Steven Jackson welcomed everyone, including several new faces, to the meeting.

Minutes of Previous Meeting:

Had been published on the website and were adopted by Murray McIntyre seconded Jack Gardiner.

Matters Arising:

All matters arising related to specific agenda items on the night and were dealt with at the appropriate places within the agenda.

Secretary’s Report

  • To date we have 219 members (excluding Junior Bairns and our 2 corporate members, although 59 previous members had still not renewed) whose memberships had been processed and their membership cards had been posted out.
  • The membership drive would continue at Hearts home match on Oct 2 and the T-Shirts/Polo shirt offer had been extended to this date.
  • George Donaldson won the £100 shop voucher, which he received at the end of the Rangers match.
  • Correspondence:
    A letter had been received from the RNIB confirming the grant to pay towards the transmitting/receiving equipment. A reply thanking them and inviting them to come along to visit the stadium had been sent.
  • An email of thanks for the auction items was received from the group visiting all senior grounds for charity.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Since the last meeting approximately £1400 had been paid out for polo/T-shirts, £100 for the prize draw, £250 for flyers for forthcoming events, and £70 to secretarial expenses. Income had been received from membership (£945) with a further £65 in donations and £10 from T-shirt sales. Club shop handed over £36 for miscellaneous BT merchandise sales.
  • Only three members had expressed an interest in Sharesave since 01/06/05 and have been contacted to commence standing orders. Peter needs to be added as an authorised signatory for cheques and the financial year ends at the end of September so the first BairnsTrust social event would have to be included in the annual figures.

Social Committee Report

  • The First BairnsTrust Social Night (with Silly Connolly/Venus) will be held in the Castings Club this Friday. A hundred or so tickets had been sold at £9 including buffet. Games and a raffle would be included in the night to boost funds. Raffle prize donations would be appreciated. Tickets for the second social – a comedy night – would also be on sale that night. Bus service 13 stops close by the Castings Club.
  • Tickets are still available for other events as well as the Christmas Dance in Grangemouth Town Hall on December 30th. Details will appear on the website, in the media and at the BairnsTrust table at the stadium.
  • All voluntary help from the membership would be much appreciated.
    The Chairman again commended Brian Guthrie for all his efforts and organisation and looked forward to a successful first event bringing in much needed funds to the Trust.

Board Members Report

  • Fergus covered the points from the recent board meeting, details of which will be posted on the Trust website in due course.
  • The various loan deals and release of Alan Kernaghan had eased pressure on the wages budget.
  • Stirling University was now the training base for the first team squad as there is no prospect of a return to Little Kerse. Discussions with Innovene concerning the financial repercussions are ongoing.
  • Costs at Stirling are much the same as at LK, although gym facilities have been taken on a two month trial basis, and there are first rate indoor, physio and rehab facilities on the site. Jim Dawson will work at improving the outdoor pitch.
  • It is hoped in the longer term to establish a permanent training base in the Falkirk area.
  • Fatal Accident Inquiry – The Club appreciates this is a difficult time for the Gowans family and will be there for them whenever the family wishes to contact the club. The role of Alan Kernaghan and Eddie May in the counselling of the younger players was acknowledged and commended.
    Health & Safety risk assessment work is being carried out and employee training may be extended to cover volunteers who help out but who are not club employees.
  • FFC equipment is currently being stored at Grangemouth stadium.
  • Hospitality has been slow for the less attractive games but advertising space at the stadium and in the match programme was sold out.
  • There has been some progress regarding development of the stadium. Three notes of interest have been received and it is hoped that a preferred developer will be in place by the turn of the year, although it is not clear yet whether this covers development of a further one or two stands.
  • Internal advertising on main concourse, tunnel area and centre circle is being to be debated.
  • The Bar/Bistro has again been delayed and is now due to be open in time for the Dundee Utd game.
  • BairnsTrust will be invited to give a short presentation of the work of the Trust and outline future plans at the FFC Board meeting scheduled for 17th November.
  • The Trust proposals for a Testimonial for Andy Lawrie received a positive response, providing scheduling of events can be agreed to prevent any clashes of interest.
  • The role of Little Kerse Trust and its constitutional aims and objectives is still a valid concern.

Saturday Meetings

  • A report from the Saturday meeting before the Rangers game can be found here and the next meeting is scheduled for Sunday Oct 2 before the Hearts game.
  • Following the Rangers match and the concern about away fans in the home areas Steven Jackson contacted the Club, who were already aware of the problem, and also attempted to contact the Match Commander only to be told to put his concerns in writing which we, as a Trust, will do.
  • Despite notices that away supporters would be removed, police did nothing when it was pointed out that some of them were even wearing their team colours in the home end. It was reported to the meeting that police removed one Falkirk supporter from the ground when he complained about this. The Club admitted that tickets should have had information printed on them that they were for the home fans only, but this had been omitted somehow. In future tickets will be clearly marked.
  • There was also a possibility that the police may wish both the North Stand and temporary stand to be given over to visiting OF fans for future matches, and BairnsTrust, on behalf of Falkirk supporters, will fight this as being wholly unacceptable.
  • A suggestion was made that ticket sales should be organised in such a way that the Open Sale falls on a Saturday when more Falkirk fans will be able to get to the ticket office than on a working day. This will be forwarded to the club.
  • Further discussion of ticket distribution followed, only serving to show how difficult it is to please everyone.
  • Letters had been sent to Celtic FC and Rock Steady expressing concerns about restricted view tickets, stewarding and policing at the recent league match at Celtic Park. To date BairnsTrust has not had the courtesy of a reply from either body.
  • The access time of FFC volunteers to purchase their tickets was debated. A potential review of “complimentary ticket” allocation.
  • Steven Jackson is still endeavouring to arrange a meeting with the Manager and the playing staff to recruit players to membership of the Trust, but the LK situation had made this difficult. It was felt that since the manager often praises the efforts of the supporters, then joining the Trust would be an opportunity for the players to reciprocate that support.
  • On the day of the Celtic home match (Sat 5th November) ALL SPL clubs had been asked to have a charity collection for Children First. The Trust is undertaking this and volunteers are sought to help on that day.
  • A Traffic Survey was to be carried out on the day of the Hearts game and the Trust was approached to help with this. Unfortunately the charity collection that day is for the Blind Club and several Trust members are committed to that. Others are involved with the polo/T-shirt handout, and there is a suggestion that there could be a bus strike scheduled for that weekend anyway. This item will be returned to the club with the suggestion that a different date is selected.
  • Bairns’ Bonanza, formerly Central Goldline is to be resurrected and agents will be required. Further details will be forthcoming.
  • Another issue was raised concerning the cost of entry to the Motherwell game. It appears that Motherwell FC was charging less to home fans and that the family option was not available at the away end. A letter will be sent to Motherwell FC and the Motherwell Trust (who are already aware of this anomaly) expressing our unhappiness with their arrangements.

Long and Short Term Priorities

This was something that has to be addressed as soon as possible. BairnsTrust is increasingly committing to help various projects and we are in danger of taking on too much unless we can mobilise some of the help that was promised from members on their application forms. As a voluntary organisation we suffer from the same problems others do in respect of work, family and other commitments. To achieve our aims we need a strong membership and as many willing volunteers as we can get. Existing members were urged to encourage other Falkirk supporters to join BairnsTrust and therefore increase our influence and ability to take on and complete worthwhile projects successfully.

Shares

It was generally felt that £1.25 is too high for purchase of shares from the club at present. The consensus was that we should try to accumulate some money in the bank for a contingency fund and in the meantime follow up on the earlier suggestion to contact existing shareholders to see if they would be willing to donate shares to the Trust, or sell them to us at a much reduced price, or bequeath them to us, or allocate them to us by proxy. SJ and PJ to instigate moving on this action
As stated before, some small shareholders actually cost the club money annually because of the legal requirements to send out information on the AGM etc.
The Trust owns about 3% of the shares at the moment. 5% is required for membership of the MSG.

Former Players Association

This is one of the projects we have agreed to and have not yet got off the ground. Stuart Adam, whose idea this was, has been in contact with the Secretary by email. The idea is to contact as many former players as possible and get them to join the Association and get them involved with Club and Trust activities as well as keeping in touch. The Club has promised co-operation by allowing access to their existing records of former players.
Due to shortage of time on the night it was agreed to defer this to the next meeting and for the committee, with input from Stuart Adam, to try to progress it in the meantime. Gratifyingly, at the end of the meeting, two members came forward to put their names down to help with this project.

Boardroom Experience Draw

Sadly, with Bill Anderson’s hospitalisation, there had been no member in the Boardroom at the Rangers game. However, Fergus will be taking a member in to the Boardroom for the Hearts game and the lucky winner was Gordon Dickson of Larbert. Reserves have been drawn should Gordon not be available or if he wishes to decline the prize. He has been contacted by email to tell him the good news.
Bill is reportedly back in hospital, and we all wish him well and a speedy recovery.

Andy Lawrie Testimonial

As mentioned in the Board report the Trust will be involved in the organisation of a Testimonial for long-serving Andy Lawrie. A committee will be formed and will meet with Andy and liaise with the club. Further details, with a preference for 3 events, as available.

AGM Arrangements

The date for the AGM was set for Monday March 20th 2006.
Bill Anderson’s first term as supporters rep on the FFC BoD expires so an election will have to take place. Bill is eligible to stand for a second term.
Although open to all Trust members, it is a condition of election to this position that the successful candidate agrees to become a member of the Trust committee. It was suggested that the existing or past reps might outline at the next meeting what is involved in the way of time, legal liabilities, any other responsibilities and commitments which tenure of this post requires so that prospective candidates can know what to expect if they are elected.
Elections to the committee will also have to be held as 7 members of the existing committee reach the end of their term. They too can stand for re-election.
Proposal forms will be made available to members as well as the necessary announcements

Signage

As reported previously, advertising space at TFS is sold out, but on the East Side there is some space above the double row of advertising boards. Stewart Wilson undertook to measure this and price up signage advertising the Trust.

AOCB

  • A request was made that members without computer access should be kept in touch by traditional methods. A form will be devised to allow individual members to request this. This may be sent out with election materials or be available at the Trust table or both. Currently 99 members receive electronic updates, which is proving to be a successful way for the Trust to inform members.
  • The lateness of FFC calendars in previous years was commented on and Euan was on hand to address this with the news that they are due in sometime in October.
  • The move from Glebe Street was also touched on. Various problems had delayed any move but had since been resolved and a final announcement would be made when everything was signed and sealed. Details would be unavailable until then because of commercial confidentiality.
  • Under-usage of BairnsTrust message board was highlighted.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of BairnsTrust will be at 7.30pm on Monday 17th October at the Falkirk Community Stadium when we hope to see the trend towards increasing attendance continuing.