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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 16th January 2006
at the Falkirk Stadium

S Jackson, W Sommerville, W Anderson, B Guthrie, P Jack, F Caldwell, M McIntyre, J Gardiner, S Monfries, S Williamson, J Black, M Fraser, G Forster and J Dick

S Adam, S Bird, S Wilson, J Williamson.


Steven Jackson welcomed everyone to the meeting and wished all members a Happy New Year..

Minutes of Previous Meeting

Had been published on the website and were circulated. Adoption of the minutes was proposed by J Gardiner and seconded by M McIntyre.

Matters Arising

  • Fergus Caldwell, being unconvinced by the arguments of Motherwell FC that away fans are treated equally by charging them the same as the main stand rather than the Davie Cooper stand behind the other goal has prepared another letter to pursue the matter. Motherwell fans in the Davie Cooper stand are charged £16 compared to the visiting fans £20. Also the Trades Description Act may have been breached re the price advertised above the “Family Gate” being not the price paid through the turnstile.
  • As previously intimated, a sample of shareholders will be contacted this week to gauge reaction to possible donation to/purchase by the Trust of their holdings or proxy vote.
  • Contact still has to be made with Supporters Direct to inform them of our new registered address.
  • Fergus Caldwell is writing to David Murray of Rangers FC for further clarification of concerns about the flag parade held at Ibrox during halftime in our early December fixture. The reply to Falkirk FC’s original contact was unsatisfactory and the Trust write seeking guidance on 4 points:
    1) Why Falkirk match was selected ahead of e.g. Celtic.
    2) Were banners shown to officials of RFC beforehand for review?
    3) Why the Stewards/Police were removed from the forefront of the Falkirk support for the duration of the pageant.
    4) Why RFC told the Stewards/Police one thing about the proposed parade then changed procedure.
  • The Supporters Liaison Reps made themselves known to stewards and police at both Tynecastle and Tannadice and met a very positive reception in both cases. Police and stewards agreed that any initiative which defused potential problems was worthwhile, especially if it saved them having to act in their official capacity arresting or ejecting fans and subsequent paperwork.
  • The club had explained the reasons in the “£15 for name on seat plaques” but this had now started in batches of 50, and has now been resolved

Chairperson’s Report

  • A collection was held among Falkirk Supporters at Tannadice and raised £230 for the Heather Hird Appeal. 15 year old Dundee United supporter Heather was left paralysed following a car crash on the way home from the Kilmarnock v Dundee Utd match on Boxing Day. Steven Jackson and Stewart Wilson handed over the cash to Heather’s father at half-time when ArabTrust also handed over a cheque for £6000. Heather’s father was visibly moved, and asked BairnsTrust to thank all Falkirk supporters for their contributions and good wishes. A tannoy announcement reiterated this
  • Dee4Life, the Dundee Trust had invited BairnsTrust members to join them socially pre-match on Sunday at Dens Park. Due to unforseen circumstances there was a late switch of venue to the Dundee Social Club, but those who attended enjoyed the hospitality of the largest Scottish football trust (3000+ members). Hopefully we can forge similar valuable links with other trusts as the season progresses. BairnsTrust ties were regarded enviously!
  • Following dialogue with the Dundee Trust, the idea of a centre circle flag was again raised as a means of raising money by sponsorship. Falkirk Football Club had been considering this and it was felt that the Club should be consulted about it. If they have abandoned the idea then the Trust could look into the viability of following it up as a BairnsTrust project.

Secretary’s Report

  • Following the Boxing Day encounter at Tynecastle, a letter was sent to Heart of Midlothian FC to congratulate them on their pricing policy.
  • All members should have received their AGM notification and election nomination forms in Late December or early January. Deadline for resolutions and nomination forms is 4pm on Friday 20th January.

Treasurer’s Report

  • 1 new adult member had joined since last month.
  • Only income from sales was £12 at the Brechin cup-tie.
  • Late call-offs for the Christmas Dance had cost us for meals already booked and reduced the profit to £120. £2050 had been banked but hire of hall and meals had yet to be paid for (estimated at £250 and £1680 respectively).
  • £121 was received from Sharesave payments in the two weeks since last meeting until the end of December’s bank statement.
  • The Boardroom Experience winner for the ICT game has confirmed he will be able to attend.
  • We need to consider treating the concession members differently as the 65+ and under 16s are at present lumped together, but have different requirements.
  • A proposal to cease the Junior Bairns Membership may be voted upon at the forthcoming AGM.
  • Sharesave will be discussed at Thursdays Board meeting. Unless there is flexibility over the number of shares required to be purchased we may have to ask for a financial top-up or offer existing Sharesavers a refund. One member has recently been refunded £99. Of the current 23 Sharesavers paying Standing Orders 5 are not current members and may be asked to join or withdraw as the scheme was set up to cater for Trust members only.
  • At 30th December the balance in the bank was £3,424.11 and £2,250 has been added in January but will be needed for paying the 2 outstanding bills mentioned above. Sharesave requirement could be £5,000.
  • Dee4Life had been consulted on what they do about membership certificates. Like BairnsTrust they had issued them initially and had lapsed, creating gaps and now issue a laminated membership card instead.
  • £70 had been paid out as Secretary’s expenses, mainly incurred by the AGM notification as postages and envelopes.
  • Draft annual accounts had been pulled together and were now ready to pass on to the auditor for reconciliation. Figures look worse this year mainly because DVD/Video expenses fell into this financial year although some of the income from these was included in the previous year’s figures.
  • Expenditure on the numerous community activities undertaken by the Trust in the financial period will be clearly highlighted on the face of the Final accounts.
  • The FSA return also needs to be made with the approach of the AGM.

Social Committee Report

  • The Dinner Dance had 110 confirmed tickets, but some had not been paid for and 18 people failed to show. This drastically reduced the £700-£800 funds hoped to be raised. 120 meals had been ordered to cover stewards, artistes etc and we have been left facing a bill for many meals ordered for people who had promised to attend. The Social Convenor feels let down by those who did not turn up after reserving tickets. It was suggested that the principle of money up front or no reserved places at functions should be adopted.
  • The Brockville Lounge Cabaret Nights mentioned last month will go ahead on Friday 10th Feb, Fri 10th Mar, Fri 14th April and Friday 5th May. Costs will be £25 per head and the format will be a 2 course meal with tea or coffee in the Amarillo Bar followed by a move to the Brockville Lounge for the entertainment from 10pm until 1am. Details of the high class acts are already being advertised in the Amarillo Bar Bistro and posters/leaflets will appear on the concourse at the ICT home game.
    BairnsTrust will receive half the ticket profit (after costs have been deducted) and the proceeds from the interval raffle (to be run by Trust members). Drew Norloch will donate a hospitality package as a prize and Jimmy Black has kindly offered to underwrite any losses suffered by BairnsTrust in the unlikely event that such circumstances somehow arise.
  • A 60’s Night & Beatles Tribute will be held in the Castings on Friday 24th February 2006. Cost £10 including buffet. Tickets available at the BairnsTrust table on Saturday before the ICT match. Tickets will be put on sale at the Steeple Box Office as a trial to gauge wider response.
  • Referees Night Due to unavailability of all the proposed referees, event still to be fixed with a date late Feb or early March, probably in the warm-up area at the stadium.
  • Quiz Night will hopefully be organised for the Brockville Lounge in Feb/March.
  • Meet the Manager Evening A suggestion had been received that the Trust could organise an open forum meeting where the Manager could answer questions put to him by the fans. This will be brought up at Saturday’s meeting with George Craig to see if it is feasible.
  • Spot-the-Team Cards It was suggested that if members who attended meetings could take away a spot-the-team card and sell one a month, a healthy income could be generated for the Trust.

Board Members Report

A short report appears on the website. Much of the last meeting involved discussion with the Manager about his signing targets and as such has to remain confidential. The next meeting is on Thursday 19th January.

Saturday Meetings

There had been no Saturday meeting since the Trust December meeting since the Dunfermline game was an early kick off and the Scottish Cup game v Brechin was unsuitable. Points were put forward for raising at the meeting on Saturday 21st January as follows:
Meet the Manager evening
Pricing for Scottish Cup matches
Dundee United prices (home flat rate £18 ? v £21 & £19 for visitors)
Dundee United pie shop overcharging – till registering different from the advertised wall price list. Trades Description Act issue?
Email from disgruntled member raising various points (members identity will be kept confidential).

Traffic Survey

Another traffic survey is due for this Saturday – volunteers required. Trust members on email have since been contacted for their help. This information is apparently required before any planning application can be sought for future expansion at the stadium.

The Former Players Association

M McIntyre and J Gardiner have agreed to take this forward. The Secretary will liaise with them and pass on information and links to other similar groups. It is hoped that we can come up with a format and remit by the February meeting which can be presented and approved, after which a letter can be drafted and sent to all former players, using the contact details held by the club.

Andy Lawrie Testimonial

More details will be issued after the next meeting. Proposed venue is holding two dates and agencies have been asked for prices and availability on some 20-30 speakers.

Boardroom Experience Draw

For the Ross County and Hibernian games members whose names were drawn previously but could not take up the offer will be given a second chance. They will be contacted by the Treasurer in due course.

AGM Arrangements

All members should have received the AGM notification etc in late December/early January.
The AGM is set for Mon 20/03/06. Nominations and Resolutions to be delivered to BT Electioneer Sandy Monfries by Fri 20/01/06. A 250-word (max) election statement should accompany completed Nomination forms for the post of Supporter/Director. Membership of BairnsTrust at 25/12/05 is a condition of eligibility for election.
A ballot will be organised if there are more candidates than places available and details will be posted on the Trust website.



Next Meeting

The next meeting of BairnsTrust will be at 7.30pm on Monday 20th February 2006 at the Falkirk Community Stadium. The Secretary will make the required booking, and look into block booking the room for the third Monday of the month for the whole year.