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




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Minutes of the Bairns Trust Meeting
Monday 17th October 2005
at the Falkirk Stadium

S Jackson, W Sommerville, W Anderson, P Jack, S Adam, M Fraser, S Wilson, E McIntyre, J Gardiner, M McIntyre, B Guthrie, M Allan, M Paterson, J Dick, S Monfries, B Robertson, I Smith, M Cattanach, S Williamson.

F Caldwell, K Adam, D Robertson, J Williamson, J Toft, W Toft.


Steven Jackson welcomed everyone, especially Bill Anderson, returning after his spell in hospital, to the meeting. Bill took the opportunity to thank everyone for his or her kind concern during his absence.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

Had been published on the website and were adopted by Stewart Wilson, seconded by Brian Guthrie.

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

  • A letter has now been sent to Motherwell FC about the cost of entry and admission gate concerns raised after last month’s SPL match at Fir Park. A copy can be viewed here and any answer we receive will appear on the Trust website.
  • Correspondence:
    An invitation was received for BairnsTrust representatives to attend the November meeting of the Board of Falkirk FC to outline the aims and work of the Trust. This has been accepted.
  • An invitation to the Supporters Direct AGM, to be held in London on 31st October was also received. Agreed that the Scottish version would be more relevant, with attendance at the UK version a long term aim of the Trust. A BairnsTrust Committee member has attended the London event on a couple of occasions and was able to supply feedback.
  • An email from invited the Trust to comment on the Police, Public Order & Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill and can be viewed here for interested parties.
  • Fergus, who is on holiday at present, informed us that various commitments would prevent him introducing a member to The Boardroom Experience until the Aberdeen game on 26th November.
  • Membership is now over the 230 mark, with the last few still to be issued with a welcome pack.

    Treasurer’s Report
  • Since the last meeting £130 had been received from memberships (12 Full and 2 Concessions) with a further £55 in contingency fund donations and £84 from white T-shirt sales. Club shop handed over £22 for miscellaneous BT merchandise sales. £565 profit was made overall from the first BairnsTrust Social event with Silly Connolly & Venus. Expenses had been paid to the Secretary and Social Convenor.
  • The financial year ended in September with a healthy balance of £2665, but approximately £1500 of that was earmarked for immediate maturing Sharesave members and most of the rest for remaining Sharesave applicants. A query was raised concerning whether member Robert Smith was included in the current batch of maturing sharesavers, as he hasn’t received a share certificate to date, but in the absence of Fergus no answer could be given at the meeting.
  • The half-year tax instalment was “due” 30/09/05. The Trust forwarded the tax return to the Inland Revenue in good time and the Trust has since been notified that we have no tax to pay.
  • As reported last month Peter still needs to be added as an authorised signatory for cheques. There are outstanding invoices for T-shirts and printing costs.
  • There is also a question over whether the website registration cheque has been received and cashed or gone missing between posting and delivery. The next bank statement should answer the question.

Social Committee Report

  • 124 people attended the First BairnsTrust Social Night (with Silly Connolly/Venus) and this brought in over £1100 in ticket sales. Expenses were £825 and the raffle/bingo etc brought profits to £565.
  • The Second BairnsTrust Social is a Comedy Night on November 11th in the Castings and tickets for all events including the Christmas Dance in Grangemouth Town Hall on December 30th will be on sale at the BairnsTrust table at the stadium.
    All voluntary help and donations of raffle prizes, from the membership would be much appreciated
  • .The Social Convenor expressed his disappointment that the BairnsAid function on Friday, featuring the Legendary Fingal McCool Band, has so far not been so well supported as the BairnsTrust event. Discussion followed covering such diverse topics as the variety of social events on offer and what people really want, to whether BairnsTrust had actually formally agreed to be linked with BairnsAid at any point.
  • BairnsTrust is continuing to seek space in the Matchday Magazine, but we will continue with other media, e.g. The Falkirk Herald, Fanzine and email communication.

Board Members Report

There has been no FFC Board meeting since the last BairnsTrust meeting. The next one is Thursday 20th October. Fergus will miss this by being on holiday, but Bill is hoping to attend and will report back at the next Trust meeting.

Saturday Meetings

There had been no Saturday meeting with the club since the last Trust meeting. The 2 o’clock kick off for the Hearts game didn’t allow enough time before the game and the meeting was cancelled. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday morning before the Dundee United match.

Boardroom Experience Draw

Fergus intimated that he couldn’t be involved in the Boardroom Experience until the Aberdeen game, but Bill Anderson’s return allowed us to make the draw for the next 3 home games.
The lucky winners, who will be contacted soon, are:
Dundee United – Andrew Prentice. (Has been contacted and accepted).
Livingston – Stuart Knox. (Has been contacted and accepted).
Celtic – Stan Antzac.
Two substitutes were drawn out in case any of the above could not manage or wished to decline the opportunity. They will be contacted if required.

Long and Short Term Priorities

  • The proposed contact with FFC Shareholders will take place soon. A letter has been prepared and it will target those with less than 400 shares in the Club asking them to donate these to the Trust or sell them at a much-reduced price. This would save the club costs on AGM printed materials and postage etc. but the Board would have to ratify any share transfers. It is also hoped to contact larger shareholders thought to be sympathetic towards the aims of the Trust with a view to receiving their proxy votes.
    The Trust holds about 3% of shares at present, and many members are also shareholders in their own right. In the short term our aim should be to accumulate 5% and gain entry to the Major Shareholder Group, with a longer-term aim of 30-35%.
  • Hopefully, now that the team again has a settled training ground, a Trust representative can meet with the players as soon as possible to encourage as many of them as possible to join us as members. There is a general feeling that this would encourage more supporters to join the Trust.
  • The Former Players Association has attracted a couple of volunteer helpers, but it is important that a proper committee be formed as soon as possible to get it off the ground. Nadine should be approached to become a member of this committee (and the Trust) as her knowledge and help would be invaluable. Noted that the new Amarillo Bistro propose a former player to attend on Matchdays.
  • The request for funds by Tom Elliot for the provision of medals and juice at a community football festival in November was considered. The general feeling was that £250-300 was more than we could afford at this time as we need to be aware of financial requirements if we are to be in a position to purchase shares or underwrite possible losses in any of the events to which we have already committed ourselves. We are also committed to the continuation of the Tom Jamieson Memorial Trophy inaugurated earlier this year.
  • We require better cashflow projections for future Social Nights.
  • Communication has improved with around half our members receiving the electronic newsletter by email. Hard copies would be made available at the Trust table on Saturday. A form would go in with the election materials mailing allowing members without access to the Internet to request a hard copy on future occasions.

AGM Arrangements

The AGM will be on 20th March 2006 and elections will be on a first past the post basis. Last years returning officer was Ian Soutar, who has since moved house, and will be approached to see if he is willing to take on the job again this year.
Anyone wishing to stand for election, as a Falkirk FC Board Rep or committee member must be a BairnsTrust member by 1st January 2006 as must be his proposer and seconder.
We will aim to send out the election materials in December and include a seasonal newsletter.

Andy Lawrie Testimonial

Andy has been approached and several possibilities have been suggested for events to mark his testimonial. The exact date of signing his professional contract is being investigated.
Suggestions so far include:

  • A pre-season game against Manchester United, Leeds, or a team from the Czech Republic (perhaps with Budvar being involved).
  • A dinner with guest speakers.
  • A corporate dinner.
  • A youth disco for younger supporters (as Andy joined the club when he was very young).
  • An event in his hometown area (perhaps Galashiels) to include his friends and family.
  • Costs and sponsorship etc. would determine what would be possible.
    Consultations with the player to firm up some decisions would be required in the next couple of weeks.

  • A request was made that there should be no parking alongside the all weather pitches and that the rule preventing entry to the car park until 15 minutes after the final whistle on match days should be strictly implemented as both are severely impeding the departure of fans after a game and causing traffic chaos.
  • No new date was yet available for the traffic census, which had been originally scheduled for the Hearts game.
  • With the January transfer window coming soon there was a concern expressed that we could lose some of our players unless contracts were secured. Bill Anderson was asked to clarify the situation at Thursday’s Board meeting.
  • Euan confirmed that proofs of the FFC Calendar had been received and that stock is due in before the end of October.
  • An overhaul of the website, updating certain sections was suggested, as well as finding an alternative administrator for posting up new articles etc. at times when the current administrator is unavailable.
  • Those present were reminded of the Children First collection at the Celtic game on November 6th and a list of volunteers was started.
  • We were informed that the collection for the Blind Club at the Hearts game had raised £637.
  • Suggestions were sought for ways of continuing to increase the membership of the Trust.
  • Banner costings have been sought from KillieTrust.
  • Concern at attitude of JV staff towards BairnsTrust on “event days” was discussed and is to be clarified.
  • Potential Trust storage cabinet on concourse is an option being explored.
    Feedback from our first “Boardroom experience” winner is still being sought.

    Next Meeting

    The next meeting of BairnsTrust will be at 7.30pm on Monday 21st November at the Falkirk Community Stadium. The Secretary will make the required booking.