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Monday 17th March 2008, 7.30 p.m.
Falkirk Community Stadium




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Minutes of the Bairns Trust Meeting
18th February 2008 at Falkirk Stadium

Present:(17). S Jackson, B Guthrie, P Jack, M McIntyre, F Caldwell, M Fraser, J Gardiner, M Paterson, R Stirling, Jnr., S Wilson. J Dick, M Dickins, G Forster, A Harris, I Mitchell, S Monfries, D Robertson

1. Chairpersons opening remarks.

Meeting was hosted by Chairperson S Jackson.
Minutes were taken by Treasurer P Jack in the absence of a Secretary.

2. Apologies-B Anderson, T Grieve, L Wilson.

 3. Matters arising.

Warm-Up Area Block Booking –

Advised tonight that Trust booking expired last month. Urgent. Chairman has now extended for rest of year inclusive.

Unpublished KOB and SRTRC articles –

As requested by T Smith re-submitted article, photo and logo to himself re Kick Out Bigotry Day and re-submitted article, photo and logo as well re Show Racism The Red Card for re-consideration. Emails rejected. New valid email address since received. Since re-sent.

"Shuttle" Bus Invite –

"Shuttle" Bus Convenor and Trust now agreed for Trust Chairman to travel on bus to Dundee Utd on 23/02/08 to explain Trust and recruit Members. Treasurer to possibly travel as well.

4. Minutes of previous meeting. 

Proposed – M McIntyre.
Seconded – B Guthrie.

5. Secretary's Report.

In the absence of a Secretary, Chairman covered paper correspondence and Treasurer covered electronic correspondence.

Paper correspondence. None.

Electronic correspondence received:

Trust Committee has sent out first of Trust AGM notification to all members.
Contacted first three of latest round of Boardroom Experience Winners to advise. All accepted.
Boardroom Experience after-event questionnaire sent out to first winner. Positive response received back.
T Smith emails resent re KOB and SRTRC. Rejected. New valid email address since received. Since re-sent.
Confidential contact from FFC re Dutch pre-season tour. Dates changed due to impending InterToto Cup announcement. Now made public.
Dee4Life contacted twice during month seeking Dens Park hospitality on Sat 23/02/08 v Dundee Utd for 3 buses. No response received by tonight. Since received. Unable to host.
Contacted Supporters’ Direct (SD) E Millar re Financial Services Authority (FSA) rejection of re-amendment of Trust constitutional rules. Re-drafted documents sent to SD for perusal. J Proctor telephoned back Thu 14/02/08 to discuss. J Forster at London office since called Tue 19/02/08 to further advise. Thanks to both. New documents signed by 4 of Trust Committee tonight. Treasurer to progress.
Falkirk FC (FFC) Burns Night Supper in aid of Youth Academy on Wed 06/02/08 at Leapark Hotel, Grangemouth. Invoice received and 5 tickets for Trust table. Excellent night.
Notes taken at FFC AGM on Thu 07/02/08 for summary use to Trust Members tonight.
Agenda and January Monthly Minutes compiled, circulated and printed by Treasurer.
Met with author of new book on St Mirren’s Love Street ground on Sat 16/02/08 after interview with FFC manager that day seeking further assistance from BairnsTrust. Falkirk Herald to be contacted for photographs. Since done.
Copy of FFC Annual Accounts sent to current Sharesave Member.
1 Member email change effected on database.
Trust Secretary position. M McIntyre still on a temporary basis up to Trust AGM.

Question from floor. Academy Burns Night a financial success? Yes. 150 attendees x £25 each with additional minimum £10 raffle tickets per person.

6. Treasurer's Report.


1 new Corporate Member. John Mitchell Haulage Ltd. Renewal. Still 2 outstanding.
0 new adult members.
15 Sharesave members, generating £187/month.
Contingency Fund at £546.87.
PayPal account cashed including DVD, video and old programme sales.
S Connolly CD to Northern Ireland non-member via Trust website online shop.
FFC SRTRC half share of costs cheque cashed.
M White books generating excellent commission income. Advised that BairnsTrust could become sole vendor of M White’s latest book currently being compiled.


Small eBay hosting advert costs and p & p for sales.
SD cheque re Trust IT setup costs cashed
Stamps and envelopes purchased for first of Trust AGM notification to all members. £44.60.
Advised printing invoice for first of Trust AGM notification to all members will be combined with second of Trust AGM notification to all members.
600 shares x £1.25 BairnsTrust Sharesave claim made. Chairman then advised to cancel ahead of FFC AGM. Duly done. Cheque received back and banked.
Andy Laurie Testimonial Committee advised that their advertising invoice still to be received.


Healthy profit in period.
£5,677.08 balance at present, meets long-term liabilities with £851 spare.

92 emails have been sent over period to members of Committee. Highlights:
- Contact from FFC re change to Dutch tour plans. Dutch application form redone.
- Full stock list of old programmes updated monthly. Now listed electronically.
- FFC AGM Accounts sent to member who had requested.

3 in 1 Newsletter #46 sent out to members.
Treasurer compiled Jan Monthly Meeting Minutes and produced tonight's Agenda.
Supporter's Direct unallocated setup cost claim received. Cheque now cashed. Included Treasurer PC repair costs to be refunded?
Treasurer has compiled 2 draft sets of accounts for Independent Examination.
No responses to 5 Independent Examiner Letters of Engagement. Existing Auditor can do. Chairman to verify.
Treasurer to submit 2 standard Resolutions to Scrutineer for Trust AGM inclusion. Since done.
Treasurer to resend again last Trust Annual Accounts to FFC Finance Director for review. Since done.

7)     Social Convenor's Report.

Further anti-racism event took place on Wed 06/02/08 as R Latapy, a youth player, FFC staff and Trust Chairman and Vice-Chairman toured local schools.
Red Card magazine and Falkirk Herald both contained articles on the event.
More anti-racism events will be arranged during rest of year.
Along with Kick Out Bigotry campaign recognised as one of best Trusts to back such causes.
Care Home residents have attended 8 games so for. Visitations every Wednesday will commence with FFC players, Trust Vice Chairman and club historian and Member M White.
Mention made of another change of staffing at Amarillo.
Only a couple of Friday evenings available at Castings Club for Trust Social events. Social Convenor will progress if Trust Committee sanction.
FFC matchday programme editor considering article re Trust Boardroom Experience prize. 
Vice Chairman submits a weekly article in the Scotsman newspaper. Has been congratulated by FFC Manager and FFC Director on these articles.

Question from floor. Setanta have contacted BairnsTrust seeking views. Trust PR Officer will respond. Since done.

8)     Board Report.

Took place on Thu 31/01/08. Another tomorrow Tue 19/02/08.

Manager's Report –

Compulsory medical screening recommendations.
Injuries discussed. Higdon, Holden, Krul, Robertson and Riera.
Transfers Ins from Ipswich mentioned. Now completed.
Transfers Outs discussed. To be kept confidential.

Question from Trust floor. T Krul loan period. If recovers from injury before end of season will be back at FFC as still paying wages per loan deal.

InterToto Cup application to be submitted. Since done. Believed Inverness CT were only other club contemplating. Hearts now confirmed. Have to finish season between 4-8th and above other applicants.
Manager’s disciplinary issues discussed. Referees Supervisor Report read to Trust re FFC v Aberdeen match.

Question from Trust floor. Understand FFC Manager's frustrations and encourage standing up for rights to SFA. Dundee Utd manager would do so. Referees costing clubs 10-12points per season? Trust to write to SFA backing FFC Manager and Club. Trust Chairman volunteered to progress. Article in matchday programme to highlight this stance by Trust?

Arbitration Award summary document in case of Wigan Athletic v Heart of Midlothian v A Webster made available.

Matters Arising –

First floor of main stand is not FFC owned. SportScotland won contact for new office space. No complaints from FFC as excellent tenant to have.

Finance Report –

FFC Annual Accounts completed and will be submitted to FFC AGM for approval.

Stadium Report –

Congratulations to S Alexander for funding 3rd stand. April build start. Ready start of next season? Season ticket vs sit anywhere to be decided.
Disabled viewing to now be elevated similar to Dunfermline.
Inside stand to be debated. Museum? Money required to furnish.

Managing Director's Report –

C Gowans situation discussed. Scholarship proposals at University of Stirling re Football and job skills.
New club chaplain D Gunn appointed. Currently assists at Polmont YOI. Church of Scotland chaplain but not attached to any church.

Question from Trust floor. Recent racist abuse incident at stadium. Lots of debate followed.

9)     Falkirk FC AGM.

FFC AGM was held on Thu 07/02/08 in the Amarillo.
Resolution 2 did cause the most controversy as predicted.
Major Shareholders Group (MSG) had concerns in run up to FFC AGM:

  1. BairnsTrust not to be named in FFC Articles of Association as the fans body.
  2. BairnsTrust Alternate Director should not be there.
  3. BairnsTrust shareholding size not reflective of FFC shareholding.

Trust to have meeting with MSG before Trust AGM to discuss issues.
Roughly 70 FFC shareholders in hall. Majority supportive of Trust.
FFC Chairman supportive of Trust in Articles of Association.
Finance Director supportive of Trust in Articles of Association.
FFC Board supportive of Trust in Articles of Association.
3 of MSG spoke well and delivered points and concerns.
3 of Trust Committee spoke well and delivered points and concerns. Trust not a “Mickey Mouse” organisation. Fully governed by Financial Services Authority (FSA), Inland Revenue and Supporters Direct (SD).
Majority of hall backed BairnsTrust as an organisation and the Resolution proposed.
Trust Chairman then gave views to Trust meeting on MSGs possible motives.
1 of MSG said pre-AGM would go with majority of hall. Didn’t.
MSG militant organisation?
After FFC AGM 2 of MSG spoke at length with BairnsTrust. 3rd didn’t.
Falkirk Herald subsequent article not the best. 2 of Trust Committee spoke with Herald journalist at AGM. Article submitted was Herald journalists view.
3 of MSG were major campaigners against what happened during previous FFC administrations. 2 of MSG were on FFC Board when 2 Directors for BairnsTrust was instigated.
Ulterior motives?
FFC chose to include all 3 proposals as 1 agenda Resolution. Didn’t want e.g. 2 out of 3 passed.
Only 1 of MSG asked for poll vote. Other 2 were ambivalent.
Lots of other FFC shareholders did not attend therefore did not cast votes/proxies.
FFC Chairman asked for show of hands vote first although not required simply to highlight who objected.
FFC Manager remarked afterwards could not believe 3 of MSG could overturn a near unanimous hand vote.
BairnsTrust leaflet campaign? No. Work with MSG around the table.
FFC EGM to resolve? Back to next FFC Board meeting to decide. Possible meeting with MSG. Trust to demand FFC AGM?
Trust to contact small shareholders to garner vote. Mention pluses and minuses? No.
Trust to change minds of 2 of 3 MSG? Possible.

Trust Treasurer then read the results of the remaining 5 FFC AGM Resolutions. All passed.
FFC AGM moved onto Finance Director Report, Managing Director Report, Managers Report and a Question and Answer session. Not covered tonight.

10)     BairnsTrust AGM.

BairnsTrust AGM Mon 21/04/08 in the Warm-Up area of the Falkirk Stadium, 7.30pm.
Return of nomination forms for Committee positions by Mon 25/02/08, 7pm.
Resolutions for AGM also required by this date.
Scrutineer will deliver forms to BairnsTrust Committee meeting on Mon 25/02/08, 7.30pm.
Treasurer to submit 2 mandatory AGM Resolutions to Scrutineer by Mon 25/02/08, 7pm. Since done.

11)     BairnsTrust Dutch Tour.

Potential InterToto Cup ties will effect original Tour dates.
1st Round fixtures 03-05/07/08. Return leg 2 weeks later.
FFC move Dutch Tour to end of July.
If InterToto Cup application unsuccessful reverts to original Dutch Tour dates? Yes.
Club happy for Trust to offer Dutch tour package with disclaimer not liable to FFC.
No fixtures announced yet. Could be as late as one month before trip and subject to change.
Vice Chairman has done the required research on airlines and Hotels. High season prices.
Deadline for numbers by Trust March Monthly Meeting on Mon 17/03/08.
Trust website to state “Due to InterToto Cup Trust Dutch Tour package may be scrapped”. Trust IT to progress. Since done.
Decision on InterToto Cup participation beginning of April.

12)     A.O.C.B.

Trust Membership –

Roughly 200 this season. Over 500 Trust £1 shareholders since inception.
Trust Chairman discussed briefly with FFC Finance Director option of adding e.g. £1 to season ticket price to cover Trust membership. Not averse. Need a tick box on season ticket form to opt in/out? Potential membership increase overnight of 3,500+.
Trust may have to amend own Articles of Association for such a change?
Check legalities before proceeding, e.g. 2 separate Limited Companies working together? Vice Chairman volunteered to progress queries with FSA and SD.
Trust AGM notification can be done by emails, Falkirk Herald and other Press announcement.
Still have to post ballot papers, nominations, resolutions and accounts to membership.
St Mirren matchday programme article on Trust by M White discussed.

Question from floor. Admin costs covered by £1 membership fee? Dundee’s Dee4Life Trust charge £1 and have largest membership in Scotland. Great if in crisis. If first time Trust member requires £1 for initial £1 share in Trust. £2 annual fee to cover?

Question from floor. How many members will renew thereafter. May well get money by adding to season ticket price but have to retain interest.

Pitch –

FFC Manager scathing of state of pitch left after rugby games held at stadium. Similar scenario in English Premiership. Is a Community stadium and Joint Venture have to raise income to.
Potential InterToto cup games earlier leaves little time for pitch to recover. FFC Groundsman already reseeding park now and will be ready for first game of next season.

Building cracks and leaks in hospitality –

Potential £1M held back to developer. £2M with interest? Dealing with legalities at moment.

A Laurie Testimonial update –

Gala night booked by family on Sat 03/05/08 in Gala Rugby Club with Ceilihd Band.
Bus to be run to event.
Not known who FFC will be playing that day as after SPL split.
Some monies outstanding. Trust still to be invoiced re sponsorship. £10 handed to A Laurie Testimonial Committee re additional matchday programmes sold. Future sale profits to now go to BairnsTrust.

Outstanding Federation cheque –

Federation Bankers the Bank of Scotland have been very helpful on the matter. They will write to last known listed address held seeking a reply. Will allow some more time preferably to be resolved by A Laurie Testimonial Gala Night on Sat 03/05/08. BairnsTrust to settle temporarily? Cheque to be ultimately signed and account closed. Balance to be redistributed to BairnsTrust if Federation members in agreement.

Late entry of away fans v St Mirren Sat 15/02/08 –

Anticipating contact from St Mirren on matter.
2.50pm and large queues for the 2 turnstiles available to St Mirren in North Stand.
North Stand split into FFC and St Mirren as by Fri 15/02/08, FFC advised only 129 tickets sold.
FFC attempted to fill FFC section by contacting local schools with free tickets. Schools have to letter parents and receive parental consent. No time to turnaround.
St Mirren advised their supporters that can by tickets at game.
600+ St Mirren supporters attempt to buy tickets on the day at FFC.

Stewards v St Mirren Sat 15/02/08 –

Anticipating contact from St Mirren on matter. St Mirren Directors were not happy with way their supporters were treated.
“Assault” of St Mirren fans at back of North stand. 2 arrested.
SIA accredited stewards can physically eject. Other stewards cannot.
22 SIA new stewards employed at this game for the first time.
Chief matchday steward T McGunnigle always recommends asking perpetrator to come down to ground level to talk.
Trust Chairman will raise further.

13)     Date of next Meeting.

Monday 17th March at 7.30pm in the Warm-Up Area of Falkirk Stadium.
“Hustings Night?”


Committee Meeting –

There then followed a brief Committee Meeting to discuss:

Trust AGM next stage.
Trust Boardroom rep unable to attend FFC Board meeting tomorrow Tue 19/02/08. Alternate Director debriefed.
Committee meeting Mon 25/02/08, 7.30pm to review Trust AGM nomination applications, Resolutions and proposals.
Committee meeting with SD’s J Proctor either Thu 28/02/08 or Mon 03/03/08. Vice Chairman to confirm. Since done. Thu 28/02/08, 7.30pm

Everyone is welcome and can participate in discussion, but only members are allowed to vote on any issue.