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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 20th February 2006
at the Falkirk Stadium

Present:
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, J Dick, S Adam, S Wilson, B Stuart, D Robertson, J McFadden and J M McFadden.

Apologies:
K Adam, W Toft, J Toft, J Williamson.

Welcome

Steven Jackson welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Peter Eadie, Chief Executive of Falkirk Community Stadium Ltd as guest speaker.

Guest Speaker

Mr Eadie outlined the role of the JVC and relationship with the Football Club and answered questions from members. The main points:

  • Falkirk FC own 51% and Falkirk Council 49% of FCSL.
    There are 7 directors (3 from FFC, 3 from the Council and an independent chairman).
  • The 5 aside pitches and (soon) health & fitness area are run by FCSL.
  • Discussions with a preferred developer are ongoing and details will be announced in the near future.
  • A complete 4-stand stadium with 4 corner pods remains the objective but financial considerations mean that areas have to be financially viable. A corner pod that will generate income is most likely next step. The South and East stands will be of similar quality to the existing stands.
  • As well as u21 rugby internationals plans are being made for other sporting and non-sporting events to be brought to TFS including a funfair and concerts as part of the “community” aspect of FCSL.
  • Undersoil Heating – the installers have made modifications and the warranty period has been extended. The weather hasn’t been sufficiently cold to assess the system since the modifications were made.
  • Pitch – The pitch is sand-filled and has had more use this season than last with reserve games etc. The top couple of millimetres has suffered an organic problem manifesting as a black slime which has been treated. Aeriation is required and Jim Dawson has this in hand.
  • Snagging – The cracks and settlement in the building cannot be cosmetically treated until the contractors/designers decide who is to blame in case the dispute has to go to court. As is usual in such cases a proportion of payment has been withheld until the situation is resolved.
  • Signage – Signs have been ordered for various parts of the stadium including FFC logos to appear on the back of the West stand. As with so much else, the delay has been for financial reasons. There is also the potential for an electronic scoreboard on site.

    Steven Jackson thanked Mr Eadie for his full and frank contribution to our meeting and Mr Eadie has promised to return to a future meeting to report on progress.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

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

Matters Arising

  • Fergus Caldwell had written 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 he received was from an official of the stadium staff and frankly still does not address the questions asked and was unsatisfactory and the matter will be pursued further. Members present tonight were given highlights of the letter, but as it was addressed as private and confidential the Trust will not publish at this time. If the subsequent reply is unsatisfactory we will have no hesitation to make the matter known to a wider audience.
  • We have had no acknowledgement to our letter complimenting Hearts re their generous ticket prices, nor any thanks from Falkirk Council regarding our members help undertaking the recent traffic survey at the stadium.

Chairperson’s Report

All points were covered in other areas of the agenda.

Secretary’s Report

  • BairnsTrust AGM information had been sent out to 242 members (excluding Junior Bairns) on Wednesday/Thursday of last week.
  • The Secretary apologised to Murray McIntyre who was wrongly named in the letter.
  • The Warm Up Area has now been booked for the third Monday of each month up to December 2006. Steven Jackson signed the necessary documents.
  • An Email had been received from Stuart Adam about the Charter and had been passed to Steven Jackson to liaise with Stuart on this matter.
  • At this point discussion turned to the production of THREE strips in a season and how other clubs “get round” the guidelines. Noted that 70% of FFC’s Club Shop income comes from the sale of HOME strips.
  • An Email had been received from Supporters Direct in Scotland informing us that they have received funding until March 2008. Information about the 4th Scottish conference will be coming out soon, with any questions from our membership to be submitted in next few weeks.
  • Our new registered address and website has been emailed to SDIS.
  • Another Email from Stuart Adam suggested linking our 2006-07 membership drive to Season Ticket sales again and perhaps consider an Open Day along the lines of those previously held at Brockville. It was decided that serious consideration should be given to this suggestion.

Treasurer’s Report

  • No new members had joined since last month, but a couple of people had intimated their intention to join and also one possible corporate member.
  • ShareSave had brought in £297 but one member was refunded £99 that had been overpaid.
  • The contingency fund remained at £252. The Christmas Dance meal invoice was £1692 and we still await the invoice for the hire of the hall. The Meet the Manager Forum night expenditure cost £23 for what was a “free night” to all attendees and the 60’s night printing and advertising was to be £150 (half to be paid by Drew Norloch). Income from the auction at the Christmas Dance of £180 now received and the payment of the large catering bill for the night of £1,692 has now been settled.
  • The newly launched Spot the Team cards has so far raised funds to the Trust of £130 with prizes of £70 and the Trust made £140.60 from the first Amarillo cabaret night through sharing profit on ticket sales, raffle etc.
  • Jimmy Black offered 2 of the Drew Norloch sponsored strips at the end of the season for fundraising purposes and we thank him for all of his support.
  • Various prizes had been received from the Bank of Scotland through the Treasurer’s contacts, gratefully acknowledged. To open up items to other club’s/trust’s supporters the potential to auction products via our website was discussed.
  • To reciprocate the kind hospitality shown by the Dundee Trust, brief discussions to host other visiting trust members when playing at the stadium has been made with a local hostelry.
  • £4100 was in the bank but we need £5000 for ShareSave commitments.
  • Secretary’s out-of-pocket expenses claim (mainly AGM materials/postage costs) was received at the meeting for £107.90.
  • One outstanding invoice remains re the hire of Grangemouth Town Hall for Xmas Dance.
  • The Treasurer sent out electronic newsletter #10 during the past month.
  • The Club had made a nice gesture by allowing existing ShareSave members to buy their shares in multiples of 100 at the old price instead of the usual minimum block of 400. Based on this new development, the Treasurer will write to inform the members involved, with a view to wrap up all claims by April/May deadline by projecting forward calculations.
  • Year-end accounts are with auditor.
  • Corporate Logos/Website links still to be collated for posting on the BairnsTrust website to thank our corporate members for their support. One request for details is outstanding with another contact method since been established with this Corporate Member.

Social Committee Report

  • The first Brockville Lounge Cabaret Night had taken place on Friday 10th February and had been a successful enjoyable night according to those present. One act was so successful they have already been asked back! BairnsTrust received the sum of £140.60 profits from tickets, raffle etc. Thanks were offered to the Social Committee and the Amarillo Bistro staff for the smooth running.
  • The next three Cabaret Nights are scheduled for Fri 10th March, Fri 14th April and Friday 5th May and further dates and details for the rest of the year will soon be announced. Costs are £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.
  • Special Christmas Cabaret Events are being planned with 2 separate rooms hosting entertainment with 4 quality acts performing on the same night. Customers would be free to move between the rooms to enjoy all the entertainment. BairnsTrust will receive a donation from each event.
  • BairnsTrust’s themed 60’s-a-Gogo social takes place this Friday in the Castings Club from 7.30 to 1am. A Beatles tribute band and Robert T Leonard are to be the entertainment. A few tickets are still available at £10 including buffet. Raffle prizes would be gratefully received.
  • The long awaited Quiz Night is now planned for the first week in April, probably in the warm-up area of TFS with a bar supplied by Drew Norloch. We would contact other Trusts and Bus convenors to see if they would like to enter teams. Full details will be confirmed as soon as possible.
  • The Referees Night is still awaiting a suitable confirmed date. The Social Committee willing to progress this. Again full details will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Board Members Report

A report will appear on the website (NB www.bairnstrust.com). Much of the last meeting involved Eddie May and Ross enthusiastically outlining the youth policy that appears to be on track to produce some breakthroughs into the first team squad in the near future.
Fergus intimated that our guest speaker also covered the JV topics discussed tonight.

Falkirk FC AGM

As most BairnsTrust committee members were attending as shareholders in their own right, Jack Gardiner will attend as the Trust representative.

Saturday Meetings

There will be a meeting on Saturday before the QuarterFinal tie with Hibs. Steven Jackson asked for topics or concerns to be raised.
Thanking the Club for financing the travel to Dingwall, size of segregation gap in North Stand, Kier Homes ticket allocation of Hospitality, the large number of Hibs fans in the temporary stand at the last league match, and the Earlsgates Supporters bus crash were all put forward to be brought up.

Shareholder Contact

Steven Jackson reported that, disappointingly, no replies had been received from the sample of shareholders that had been contacted in January.
There was a suggestion that Supporters’ Clubs had received an allocation of shares at some time in the past and that this should be investigated to see if they were willing to donate the shares or their proxy vote to the Trust. Steven Jackson currently has the list of shareholders and will check. A Supporter’s Club representative present stated they did have their certificate and would let the Trust view it for information.

The Former Players Association

The Secretary had contacted Motherwell and Everton, the only two senior clubs known to have former players groups. No reply had been received from Everton, but Davie Whiteford (himself a former Bairn) had emailed some helpful information about the Motherwell group and how it functions and intimated that he would be happy to be contacted again if required.
Stuart Adam, the originator of the idea, is also willing to help and had mentioned it to Simon Stainrod who seemed interested in the concept.

Our general feelings are
1. Membership should be free to former players, although we would enclose a Trust membership form with the introductory letter in the hope that many would join us.
2. Initial contact should be restricted to players who have retired from the playing side of the game as those who are still active may have loyalties to their present clubs. This would not prevent such players becoming members if they wished to do so nor preclude us contacting them at a later stage when the FPA is up and running.
3. Fundraising/Sponsorship of some kind is likely to be required.
(The Secretary was hoping to seek the meeting’s permission to contact Brooks Mileson of Gretna FC who is known to be generous to football trusts but it emerged that, unknown to the rest of the Committee, the Social Convenor had already sent a letter to Mr Mileson on behalf of the Trust). Suggestions for other suitable sponsors are being sought.
The Secretary will meet with the Club via George Craig this week to discuss what help and support is available and to obtain the contact details held by the club. A letter will then be drafted and sent out as soon as possible.

BairnsTrust AGM Arrangements

Fergus Caldwell had raised a constitutional issue concerning the resolutions included in the AGM information. This would be held over to a short committee meeting following closure of the monthly meeting. AGM still arranged for Mon 20/03/06, 7.30pm.

Andy Lawrie Testimonial

A Corporate Dinner had been arranged for November 5th in the Park Hotel and several well-known guest speakers had been approached. A meeting will be held in the next two weeks to finalise this event after which full details will be made available.

Boardroom Experience Draw

Names were drawn for the home games against Rangers, Hearts and Dundee United, tking us up to the League split. The Treasurer will contact the lucky winners in due course.
The winners are:
04/03/06 v Rangers – David Love, Stenhousemuir.
25/03/06 v Hearts – Keith Adam, Grangemouth.
08/04/06 v Dundee Utd – William Robertson, Polmont.
Reserves were drawn in case of unavailability.

AOCB

  • The possibility of the Trust running the Marquee Dance was suggested and discussed. However, it was felt that we had too much going on to take on such an event, and the earlier suggestion of an Open Day should be considered instead.
  • The next visit to Motherwell was to be a charity day with entry for adults £8 and children £2. We cannot be sure, but we hope that this match was chosen so Falkirk fans would benefit as a result of our complaints about overcharging and disorganisation at the turnstiles at the September fixture.
  • The topic of the Junior Bairns was raised and briefly discussed.
  • The last attempt arranged by the Chairman to meet with the manager and players to try to recruit them as members of the Trust had fallen through because staff members were busy with transfer window arrangements. As a result of the time that had passed since this was first mooted, it was suggested that we should hold back and try to achieve this before the start of the new season.
  • The charging of non-members to travel to Dingwall by certain buses was discussed. Various viewpoints were put forward by the bus convenors present. The number of fans involved had been small and none had objected to paying less than the normal fare to Dingwall. It was decided that the best thing was to accept that this had happened and draw a line under it, and should such a situation arise again seek clarification of the club’s intentions in advance. It was; after all, a great gesture by the club, which had been much appreciated by the thousand or so travelling fans that undoubtedly added to the atmosphere on the night.
  • A request from the floor for the club to offer the Earlsgates Supporters bus crash victims complimentary tickets for a forthcoming match be recommended.

Next Meeting
The next meeting of BairnsTrust will be the AGM at 7.30pm on Monday 20th March 2006 at the Falkirk Community Stadium. Everyone is welcome and can participate in discussion, but only members are allowed to vote on any issue.