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Monday 20th October 2008, 7.30 p.m.
Falkirk Community Stadium




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Minutes of the Bairns Trust Meeting
15th September 2008 at Falkirk Stadium

Present: (14).

Committee (9) - S Jackson, B Guthrie, P Jack, J Gardiner, M McIntyre, S Monfries, T Paterson, R Stirling, Jnr., B Anderson.

Members (5) - J Dick, B Robertson, D Robertson, I Sneddon, M. Dickins.

Non-Members (0).


1)   Chairpersons Opening Remarks.

Meeting was hosted by Chairperson S Jackson who welcomed all attendees.
Minutes were taken by Treasurer P Jack in the absence of Secretary M Ferguson.

A letter of resignation from Secretary M Ferguson was read out and accepted. Seeking a replacement. Citizens Advice Bureau offer services of Secretary to local organisations. Advert to be placed in Falkirk Herald. Article in next Falkirk FC (FFC) programme for applicants.

BairnsTrust represented on park versus Inverness CT as 2 Sheffield Wednesday supporters were making presentation to L Bullen. Trust chairman took on tour of stadium and entertained with a meal the evening before and after game. Undertook our Boardroom Experience. Trust merchandise exchanged. Supporters did buy FFC products from club shop. Photos taken with Trust and SFA Chief Executive G Smith. Thoroughly enjoyed visit. Wish to reciprocate but don’t have such a good relationship with their own Board as Trust have with FFC Board. If any Trust member wishes to attend a Sheffield Wed game in future can contact them for tickets via BairnsTrust.

Trust Chairman invited to Job Centre Plus event at FFC Stadium recently. SFA Chief Executive G Smith again in attendance. Prompted quote that was BairnsTrust involved in running this event as well. Trust has 4 Committee in FFC Matchday Boardroom each game. Scotland Manager G Burley a regular at our games and interested in work of Trust. All think Trust is excellent, except our own support.


2)   Apologies. – F Caldwell, G Williamson, S Wilson.

3)   Matters Arising. – Covered later as agenda points.

4)   Minutes of Previous Meetings –

All Minutes can be viewed online prior to meetings, reducing need for future paper copies.
Proposed M McIntyre. Seconded J Gardiner.

5)   Secretary's Report.

In the absence of Secretary, Treasurer covered electronic correspondence:

67 emails have been sent over past months to members of Committee. Highlights:
- First electronic message of year from our friends at Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC) for forthcoming fortnight of action. Booklets and resource application form received. Trust heavily involved all year round. Our designated day of action is Sat 18/10/08 v Aberdeen.
- Supporters Direct (SD) Regional Conference administration handled. Trust sent 2 delegates to Hibernian’s Easter Road Stadium, Sun 06/09/08, 1pm-4pm.
- SD electronic newsletter survey questionnaire completed by Trust.
- FFC EGM paperwork received. Proxy form completed and returned.
- Boardroom Experience first reserve for Hamilton on Sat 27/09/08 contacted and accepted.
- Treasurer compiled August Minutes and tonight’s agenda. Both circulated tonight.

Matters arising not progressed:
- SD Model rules survey. Good ones adopted v bad ones. BairnsTrust have no examples.
- SD Training for Secretaries. Topics/ideas/concerns sought. BairnsTrust will not respond due not having Secretary in post.
- SD electronic newsletter articles sought. Trust busy compiling own electronic newsletter articles.

In the absence of Secretary, Chairperson covered paper correspondence:

- Letter of resignation from Secretary M Ferguson received.
- Financial Services Authority (FSA) finally ratifying Trust’s 2 constitutional amendments from April 2007 AGM after 3 attempts and 16 months. Sealed 09/07/08.
-  Parcel from FSA dated 09/06/08 rejecting Trust’s Independent Examination for year ended 30/09/07, produced by 30/04/08 deadline, as constitutional amendment to change from Annual Audit to Independent Examiner not received. Treasurer liaised with SD and FSA and resubmitted a barely amended document.

Matters arising progressed – SD Membership renewal application form for 2008/09 and subscription cheque completed and returned by Treasurer by 09/09/08 deadline.

6)   Treasurer's Report.


New season subscriptions now arriving.
56 members in second month of subscription period. Total this season 130 plus 1 Corporate.
16 Sharesave members, generating circa £200/month.
Grateful donations with new season subscriptions now arriving.
Old programme sales and Dutch programme pack still selling well.
M White latest book selling well. Latest funds paid to author. Trust receiving generous fee.


Major cheques now cashed in previous month to suppliers:
- £1,250 for 1,000 FFC shares purchased in name of BairnsTrust.
- £1,250 for 5 lots of 200 FFC shares purchased in name of individual Sharesavers.
- £500 for another 2 lots of 200 FFC shares purchased in name of individual Sharesavers.
- £264 Trust sponsorship of B O’Brien boots.
- £200 Trust sponsorship of 2 youth team players shirts. E Eklund and S Murdoch.
- £123 printing of 3,500 Trust 2008/09 application forms.

£250 for 1 lot of 200 FFC shares to be purchased. Missing member not responding. If anyone knows whereabouts of R King from New Carron Village, please can they advise Trust. Announcement broadcast at game v Hearts on Sat 13/09/08 seeking member.
£235 for 5 murals commissioned still to be cashed. Trust to own 3 to be used at upcoming fundraisers. 2 others are private sales. Monies to be recovered. 1 since received. 1 outstanding.

Large loss in period as a result of above.
Balance at present mentioned. Meets long-term liabilities, but now little to spare.

Other issues Treasurer involved in:
- Sharesave enquiry from Bristol.
- Programme sales enquiries via online shop. Gretna programmes from Wolverhampton posted out. Dunfermline fan interested in Dunfermline and Inverness CT progs. Order since met. Regular Trust Member buyer purchased another large order with thanks. Dutch progs. Received parcel of surplus stock from friends at Buitenpost who hosted Heerenveen match. Scotland v N Ireland awaiting D Barr signed copies back. Lots of admin and restocking and tidy of online catalogue resulting. Subscription service in place for FFC away progs for Trust members. All mark-ups to Trust.
- Assisted IT team with posters and tickets for next 2 social events.
- Paypal member joined in period.
- Correspondence with FFC re selling FFC merchandising from Trust matchday stall. Is coming.
- account now operational and good commissions to date. Can do better.
- Recycling of printer cartridges now trickling in.
- Treasurer has workplace grant application submitted for charitable funds. Await response.
- FFC vouchers to be purchased for annual Trust Members prize draw. Since bought.
- Trust Independent Examination for year ended 30/09/08 now to be worked on by Treasurer.
- Request by Treasurer for all incomes to be collected and banked by 30/09/08.
- Request by Treasurer for all outstanding invoices to be submitted and settled by 30/09/08.

Individual has private old FFC programme stock available at negotiable rates.
Goody bags of FFC programmes at future Trust events/local schools.
Thu 18/09/08, 2pm at FFC Astroturf pitches. DHL tournament for Children of Chernobyl. Trust Chairman playing and has bought autographed ball and donated. Trust will have presence and banner on show for photo publicity. Trust has paid for pitch hire. Alternative for our annual T Jamieson Memorial Tournament that is proving difficult to arrange with local school.
ShireTrust auction prize-winner for BairnsTrust Boardroom Experience attended v Hearts on Sat 13/09/08. Bruce Tait Associates. Thoroughly enjoyed. Considering becoming Trust Corporate Sponsor and has expertise in corporate fundraising events promotion. Social Convenor has arranged meeting to discuss on Wed 24/09/08.
TOA taxis fundraising race night for Strathcarron Hospice in Grangemouth Tavern on Sat 01/11/08, 7.30pm. BairnsTrust sanctioned to sponsor a race at £30. In return teams of taxi drivers will attend our upcoming Quiz Night.
Spot the team cards to be taken by Committee and members to sell.

Question from floor – DVD of Dutch game v SC Leeuwarden to be marketed? Trust to take orders for copies. Copyright permitted. Falkirk TV still has unedited footage of all 3 games. Trust to acquire?
Question from floor – Falkirk TV. Trust to fund equipment purchase and resurrect filming games? Potential Trust Corporate sponsor to assist.
Question from floor – Trust Corporate Sponsors. Remove one from Trust media. Chaser to others electronically in the first instance. Since done.
Question from floor – FFC sponsors. Lost Kier Homes and JAD Homes due to current financial climate.

7)   Social Convenor's Report.

Quiz Night – Return of the successful Trust Quiz Night at Castings Club. Monday 29/09/08. Booking confirmed. Same format as before. Football quiz. £100 prize. Leaflets and posters done by Trust IT team. Can pay on the night. Lots of teams interested already. Raffle and auction prizes required.

Adam Quest – Return of the successful entertainer to Castings Club. Friday 24/10/08. 4 days after October Trust meeting. Booking confirmed. Poster and tickets prepared by Trust IT team. Tickets £8, including buffet. Minimal expenditure. Entertainer’s fee quoted. Will be act containing 40’s/50’s/60’s music and comedy presentation. Raffle prizes required.

Car Raffle Draw – Joint promotion and workload with Central Scotland Committee for Racial Equality (CSCRE). Vice Chairman to get final, written quote from local garage for car purchase. Quotes for large volume book of ticket printing obtained. FFC and Falkirk Town Centre Management contacted and are willing to support.

Flash Harry/Blues Brothers concerts at Falkirk Town Hall – Potential events. Joint promotion and workload with CSCRE.

Merchandising – D White now in position at FFC. Has strong marketing background. Allow couple of weeks to settle in. Willing to work with Trust. FFC unaware of talks between Trust and former Commercial Manager. Trust new merchandise lines mentioned.

Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) – Fortnight of action this year will be at Aberdeen home game on Sat 18/10/08. More involvement with local schools and CSCRE. FFC’s R Wilson and CSCRE’s L McCrumb assisting. FFC youth players and representatives from schools at game. School parade. 10-20 pupils from Victoria and Bowhouse primary schools. Painting of posters as part of educational campaign. Trust/FFC/CSCRE to assist financially. Social Convenor compiling grant application claim with SRTRC. Last year got a lot of promotional materials in good faith. Trust expenditure voted to be capped at £200. Not a one day event. All year round SRTRC promotion with schools.

Sponsorship – U19s no longer have shirt sponsor. Trust to sponsor? Quoted £5,000 for part season. Reduced from £10,000. Trust to sponsor back of shirt?

Question from floor – FFC Supporter’s Flag Day. Yes could be done. Display in empty stands when not in use.

8)   Board Report.

Football Report – J Hughes gave players report and stages of fitness/recovery.

Medical Report – FFC Club Doctor and Physiotherapist invited to Board meeting. Gave a very interesting presentation of how injuries are assessed. List of injuries read. Some players had injuries when signed. Most have now made first team appearances. One player did not receive good treatment at previous club. FFC one of few Scottish Club’s to produce a full player medical dossier should they join another club. Similar to top English teams provide. Invite to next Trust meeting or an open night?

Training facilities opening – C Gowans pavilion at Stirling University opened by Scotland Manager G Burley. Good publicity. Helped to heal. Press more interested in FFC Manager J Hughes recent statements on referees and not on the day’s event. Tape recorder to be present at all interviews as evidence of comments made.

Finance Report – Details were mentioned but not Minuted tonight due to confidentiality. FFC thanked BairnsTrust for £1,250 for 1,000 FFC shares purchased in name of BairnsTrust, £1,250 for 5 lots of 200 FFC shares purchased in name of individual BairnsTrust Sharesavers. £500 for another 2 lots of 200 FFC shares purchased in name of individual BairnsTrust Sharesavers. Total £3,000.

Staff Report – D White now appointed as new Commercial Manager. 6 applicants.

Stadium Report – Confidential ongoing discussions re 4th stand. 3rd stand now ready for build commence in October.

A.O.C.B. –
. BairnsTrust – To get a separate agenda point for future FFC Board meetings to give updates.
. Celtic match – Problems re buses, turnstile entrance and restricted view seating discussed. FFC not happy and have already written to Celtic. Letter read tonight. Copy to I Blair at SPL. Trust also sent letter and additionally added distance to supporter’s buses before and after game. FFC’s K Hogg had advised Celtic during game of all of the above and that FFC and BairnsTrust would be writing accordingly. No replies to date from Celtic.

Question from floor – Forthcoming away matches. Trust has contacted Motherwell and Kilmarnock re having bus drop-off points nearer stadium. Motherwell have a fenced off area near main stand that would accommodate FFC busses easily. Kilmarnock Trust rep mentioned that room for 10 buses within Park Hotel complex that would be sufficient. Hibs have to walk further than Hearts. Different Match Commander for two Edinburgh sides. Trust Chairman and Social Committee Member S Wilson, since replaced by Treasurer, reinstated as away matchday liaison reps with home club stewarding/police in case of incident. Supplied with ticket and radio for real time updates. Celtic steward thanked Trust assisting with seating issues.

9)   Supporters Direct Regional Meeting –

Attended by Trust Chairman and Vice-Chairman on Sun 07/09/08, 1-4pm at Hibernian’s Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh. Supposed to be for Trusts connected to East of Scotland clubs and to cover membership issues. Trusts in attendance included Dundee, Gretna, Erin, Raith Rovers and BairnsTrust. Membership topic only lasted 10mins. 2 representatives from Edinburgh rugby were present. Supporters Direct’s (SD) J Proctor spoke. Gretna delegate spoke to advise now in East of Scotland League. Have lost Raydale Park. M Brookeson and all staff have gone. New Supporter’s Trust formed. SD funding from Scottish Government less than before at £200,000. Two-thirds of requirement. Trust advocacy discussed. SD Trust Boardroom training to be rolled out. BairnsTrust were involved in pilot workshops. To be certificated. BairnsTrust already have 2 Committee members with required certification. SD willing to fund one fulltime Trust employee. Recommendation for Trusts to appoint local councillors to Committees. SD to have quarterly meetings with SFA Chief Executive G Smith or SPL? Club Directors to attend SD conferences/Trust meetings. Charlton Athletic Trust quadrupled membership with youth uptake when introduced Bebo and MySpace facilities. Trust IT team to investigate. Opt in v opt out on season ticket form raised by BairnsTrust.

10)   Stadium Update – Stand Up For Falkirk.

BairnsTrust Chairman mentioned FFC and Council received part papers last Friday. Presentation to Councillors today. Paperwork will be finalised tomorrow for Mon 22/09/08 Council meeting where will be discussed and decided. Meeting in public requested. Not granted. This date will be a major event in both FFC and Falkirk Council history.

Spokesperson for Stand Up For Falkirk then was allowed to take over meeting to give update. Not much to report since last Trust meeting. Lots of meetings. Different stories. Keep amicable. Confidential financial issues discussed. Press attending next week’s meeting. Will still take 3-5years to complete stadium if allowed.

There then followed debate and predictions on what may happen at next Monday’s Council meeting.

BairnsTrust rep on FFC Board to abstain Trust vote at FFC Board Meeting on stadium after Tuesday’s FFC EGM due to not all facts being available. Would become a personal decision if Rep voted any one way.

11)   Falkirk FC EGM.

Takes place at Falkirk Stadium tomorrow, Tue 16/09/08.
Trust Vice-Chairman and FFC Alternate Director appointed as Trust Proxy.
Trust supports all 3 new resolutions.
Possibly lack of numbers from Major Shareholders Group (MSG).
Certain at least one of MSG will demand a poll vote.

12)   A.O.C.B.

Unclean seats in corner of main stand – Netting at roof could now be implemented as current attempts not working. Requires steam cleaning and health and safety equipment. Stadium company will not allow FFC to undertake due to potential water damage underneath. Mops and brushes over next few weeks. Were used at midday at Inverness CT game. FFC have tried to resolve but stadium company will not permit.

BairnsTrust Membership cards – Always wait until this time of year in order to know numbers to print. Dispense with plastic wallets. Card only. IT team to compile designs and circulate to Committee. Since done.

Purchase of laser printer – This would assist with all Trust printing over season, e.g. Application forms, letters, membership cards, social event posters and tickets. IT team to cost and bring price to next Trust meeting.

1876 club – No letter issued to prize winners. Unaware had won. Administration in disarray?
Trust Chairman will enquire.

Standing room at football – Discussion at English games to reintroduce. Could FFC consider if 4th stand not progressing? Taylor Report was only a recommendation to remove standing areas. SPL rules implemented all seated stadia. FFC adhere to this. UEFA compliant stadium. SFA completely satisfied with Falkirk Stadium hosting youth level Scotland games. More to come. Subsequently no intention for standing areas.

13)   Date Of Next Meeting.

Monday 20th October 2008 at 7.30pm in the Warm-Up Area of Falkirk Stadium.

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