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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 21st November 2005
at the Falkirk Stadium

Present:
S Jackson, W Sommerville, F Caldwell, W Anderson, P Jack, S Adam, S Wilson, M McIntyre, B Guthrie, M Allan, S Monfries, S Williamson, J Williamson, G Foster, G Craig..

Apologies:
K Adam, D Robertson, M Cattenach, J Dick, S Bird, J Gardiner, T Paterson, J Toft, W Toft, D Barclay


Welcome


Steven Jackson welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Guest Speaker – George Craig

  • George outlined a few of the problems experienced recently, especially at the Celtic league game when 240 people were in hospitality that day, at a cost of £165 + VAT. This included a number of visiting Celtic supporters who were in the West stand as hospitality guests. The scoring of two quick goals by the visitors just before halftime created a safety issue in the eyes of the Match Commander and a dozen or so of these corporate guests had to watch the second half on a television screen.
  • George pointed out that hospitality brings money into the club which ultimately helps with the quality of player the club can attract. If local businesses feel they cannot invite corporate guests who support the visiting team then the club will suffer financially as a result.
  • A question and answer session followed when an invitation was again extended to club Directors to travel to away games in a supporters’ bus and pay at the gate to experience the treatment received by ordinary Falkirk supporters at other grounds.
  • Having received no reply from Motherwell FC to our letter of complaint, George offered to write to them on our behalf to try to elicit a response.
  • In response to one final question George expressed his personal view that Westfield will have 4 stands and 4 corner pods as originally planned, but could not give any indication of timescale as this depends on so many factors, the greatest of which is the financial factor.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

Had been published on the website.

Matters Arising

The BairnsAid/BairnsTrust link was raised in an attempt to clarify the nature of the link and it was stated that this was resolved at a recent Committee Meeting.

Chairperson’s Report

Match Commander Alan Moffat’s letter was read out regarding the Rangers game and he is willing to attend a future BT meeting.
FFC AGM has been moved from December to end January. Possible move of BT AGM, especially as FFC wish to be in a position to formally announce the two BT Reps.

Secretary’s Report

No reply had been forthcoming from the letter to Motherwell FC and a follow-up email about the cost of entry and admission gate concerns raised after last month’s SPL match at Fir Park. George Craig will contact Motherwell FC on our behalf to try to get an answer to our concerns.

Correspondence

  • Member Margo Cattanach is at present working as a volunteer in Cambodia. She asks if anyone has any old football tops they don’t want and would be willing to donate to her for distribution in Phnom Penh to benefit orphan children. She also requests any Falkirk games on DVD, pointing out that although she could log on to the official website the cost is the equivalent of 2 days food in Cambodia.
  • Several members emailed their concerns over the disappearance of the BairnsTrust website. The messageboard was still working and the BairnsTrust Secretary posted the following to explain :
    We sent a cheque in August to renew our webspace for the current year and it has gone missing in the post with the result that the service provider has pulled the plug on us at the moment.
    Rather than make a panic move we have investigated all of the possibilities and think we have found a cheaper and better provider.
    The actual website is backed up and should reappear as it was and we should be up and running by the start of the week but the ".co.uk" part of the Trust web address may become ".org" or ".com" or even both.
    We'll advertise it by circulating an email and putting it on other sites etc. (hopefully) within minutes of it going live.
  • There are plans to bring out of date sections of the website up to date, but as usual, it is all done by volunteers and there are a great many demands on our time. Suggestions for improvements are always welcome.
  • Anyone willing to help out at Trust events by volunteering their services should feel free to contact me by email at BairnsTrustWS@aol.com - there are plenty of ways you can be utilised!
  • I am happy to announce that the site is up and running again at www.bairnstrust.com
  • Membership is approaching the 240 mark, and it is hoped to swell this with past and present players in the not too distant future.

    Treasurer’s Report
  • The Trust bank balance as at 01/11/05 was £3540, but outgoings of £332.40 for T-shirts, £314 for printing, £60 affiliation to the FSA, £976 on maturing Sharesavers and £200 float (since returned to the bank) reduce that to £1658.
  • There are 24 continuing Sharesavers and we will require approximately £5000 for this, some before April 06 when the deadline for purchase at the old price expires. Some of this will come from the ongoing monthly payments into Sharesave.
  • As announced at the AGM Fergus will be stepping down as Treasurer and has increasingly been handing over responsibility to Peter in recent weeks, although he will remain available for assisting if required.
  • Peter confirmed 4 new members since the last meeting, including former player Jamie McGowan.
  • £12 donations added to the contingency fund. Nearly £100 had come in from the sale of T-shirts and DVDs.
  • The second BairnsTrust Social had suffered from stormy weather and TV announcements that people should stay at home, but still cleared £72. £15 had been paid as Secretary’s expenses and £100 had been paid in outgoings.
  • A bill for stationery and one concerning the website were handed over at the meeting for payment. (Now settled)
  • Over 200 qualifying members had now collected their Polo/T-Shirts and it was agreed to post out to those living at a distance from Falkirk.
  • The electronic newsletter had been well received as a means of keeping members in touch, with a paper copy also available at the stall. An interesting fact was that our youngest member is 4yo and the oldest is 84yo and we have members at every age in between.

    Social Committee Report

  • Stadium Tour plans are well underway for Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th December. Each night there will be 3 tours at 6.00, 6.45 and 7.30pm with space for 40 people on each tour. Each tour will follow the Heritage Trail to the Away Dressing Room, where there will be a presentation by Referees; then the Warm Up Area for a filmshow; The Home Dressing Room where John Hughes and players will stage a mock matchday teamtalk. A photographer will be available to capture you with the club trophies; the BairnsTrust Stall and Club shop at the Stadium will be open for pre-Christmas shopping and the Bar/Bistro will offer a reasonably priced winter warmer meal with football on the TV screens. Each tour should last approximately 2¼ hours and tickets priced £3 are available from the club shop. Tea, coffee and other refreshments will be on sale.
    More information on the tours should appear in the Falkirk Herald; the radio football programme and, hopefully, in the matchday programme. Volunteers are required for moving chairs etc each evening (to be set up by 5.30pm) and returning them at the end.

  • The Queen Tribute night featuring “Flash Harry” on Thursday 1st December in the Best Western Park Hotel and there are still some tickets available at £15 (includes buffet). Tickets can be obtained from the Steeple or Trust table in the concourse on Saturday.

  • The Christmas Dance is on Friday 30th December in Grangemouth Town Hall and there are still some tickets available at £25 including meal and entertainment. This is a great opportunity for Bairns fans to get themselves into the party mood for the Hogmanay visit of the Pars next day!
    N.B. The Variety Night with Christian planned for 27th November in Grangemouth Town Hall has been postponed until some time in the new year due to Christian’s recording commitments in the USA.

    Board Members Report

  • A report can be read here

  • Our Chairman, Steven Jackson, addressed the Board outlining the work of the Trust and was well received by the Board, several of whom are already members of the Trust. Compared with many other football trusts we are extremely fortunate to have a good working relationship with out club.

    Saturday Meetings

  • The last meeting took place on Saturday morning before the Dundee United match and was mainly concerned with the problems of Rangers fans in the temporary stand.

  • Our letter to the Match Commander led to a lunchtime meeting between him and Steven Jackson. A very full reply to our concerns was also received, explaining the safety issue that would have been involved and the potential disruption to the game if the large number of visiting supporters had been ejected as pre-match publicity had stated they would be. As previously mentioned Match Commander Alan Moffat’s letter was read out regarding the Rangers game and he is willing to attend a future BT meeting.

  • The Police Intelligence Unit had also contacted the Trust seeking help and information about possible troublemakers. It was agreed that to combat the perceived negative publicity that Falkirk supporters seem to be unfairly attracting at away grounds, the Trust should be proactive in reporting any rumours of possible trouble (usually by groups who do not attend matches) to protect the interests of the majority of law-abiding fans who travel to watch the team.

  • The fatal accident enquiry at Little Kerse as documented produced a £4k fine to FFC, duly accepted, with the HSE investigation finished regarding FFC, but ongoing with Innovene.

  • FFC player contracts are high on the agenda for next Saturday meeting.

    Shareholders Contact

    As previously intimated the Trust is now actively contacting a sample of shareholders to see if they will donate their shares or proxy votes to the Trust.

    Boardroom Experience Draw

    The draw for the next 3 home games was made.
    The lucky winners, who will be contacted soon, are:

    Aberdeen – David Barclay.
    Motherwell – Andrew Thomson (Dollar Ave).
    Kilmarnock – Len Brown.

    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. Winners are urged to visit the stall a game in advance for a pre-event briefing.

    The Former Players Association

    The Former Players Association is now up and running and a number of former players have so far expressed an interest.

    AGM Arrangements

    The Chairman and Secretary will get together to organise the election materials for sending out in late December. FFC AGM has been moved from December to end January. Possible move of BT AGM, especially as FFC wish to be in a position to formally announce the two BT Reps.

    Andy Lawrie Testimonial

    The Andy Testimonial Committee is now up and running.

    Signage

    We are still awaiting prices for signage to fit the available space as previously minuted.

    AOCB

  • A reminder that the website address has changed to www.bairnstrust.com and plans are ongoing to bring information up to date. Suggestions welcome.

  • We need to update the new registered address with FSA, Inland Revenue, Supporters Direct etc.

  • New members will still receive Polo/T-shirts while current stocks last, but no new ones will be ordered.
  • Some time ago a Quiz Night was proposed and it was suggested that we follow up previous plans to see if we could hold it in the Bar/Bistro some time in the new year.
  • Another suggestion was that we should look into the feasibility of the Trust taking on responsibility for converting the room behind the Pie Shop into something more useful than a storage area.

    Next Meeting

    The next meeting of BairnsTrust will be at 7.30pm on Monday 19th December at the Falkirk Community Stadium. The Secretary will make the required booking.