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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
17th November 2008 at Falkirk Stadium

Present: (17).

Committee (11) - S Jackson, B Guthrie, P Jack, J Gardiner, M McIntyre, S Monfries, T Paterson, R Stirling, Jnr., S Wilson, B Anderson, F Caldwell.

Members (6) – J Bennie, J Dick, B Robertson, D Robertson, I Sneddon, L Wilson.

Non-Members (0).

1)   Chairperson’s Opening Remarks.

Meeting was hosted by Chairperson S Jackson who welcomed all attendees including our latest Corporate Sponsor; Jim Bennie of William Bennie Electrical Ltd.
Minutes were taken by Treasurer P Jack in the absence of a Secretary. Seeking replacement.

2)   Apologies. – J Jamieson, G Williamson, M Dickins.

3)   Matters Arising.

Dundee Utd Letter – Chairman S Jackson had sent a letter of condolence to S Thompson re passing of E Thompson. Matter now closed.

A Joyce Letter – Treasurer had compiled letter of thanks and was hand delivered by Vice Chairman on Sat 15/11/08. Matter now closed.

Secretary Position Email – Trust IT team included vacancy advertisement in latest electronic newsletter. No replies received to date.

Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC) – Correspondence received from member re disabled section omitted from red card display once again. Apologies from Trust. Vice Chairman has since investigated. Some of section was covered. Formal reply to be sent to member.

Other Matters – Covered later in agenda points.

4)   Minutes of Previous Meeting –

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

5)   Secretary's Report.

In the absence of a Secretary, Treasurer covered electronic correspondence:

Due to holidays only 34 emails have been sent over past month to members of Committee. Highlights:
Falkirk FC (FFC) Board Report from fans representative now available electronically aiding with thanks Trust Monthly Meeting Minutes compilation.
- Supporters Direct (SD) Secretaries Development Day Training. SD enquired about our attendance. Trust unable to send a delegate to either of three sessions due to currently not having a Secretary. SD fully aware of this. Re-iterated need to have one in place urgently.
- November SD electronic newsletter received and circulated amongst Committee.
- SD Annual Conference after event survey completed. BairnsTrust recommend hosting in Edinburgh/Glasgow as normally in England.
- Recontacted FFC shop manager re Trust willingness to sell FFC merchandise from stall.
- Correspondence received via our message board re upcoming “Latapy Day” and how Trust can assist. Chairman has progressed.
- Programme sales correspondence dealt with.
- Trust IT team assisted with and sent out electronic newsletter #56.
- Trust IT has compiled an online Boardroom Experience Questionnaire. To be sent out to latest winner on a trial basis.
- Treasurer compiled October Minutes late due to holidays and tonight’s Agenda. Both circulated tonight.

Mention made of Vice Chairman’s excellent FFC programme articles. Future recommendations discussed.

In the absence of Secretary, Chairperson covered paper correspondence:

- SD Membership Certificate received. Covers next 12 months. Benefits of membership read to meeting.
- Received annual Notice to deliver a Company Tax Return from HM Revenue & Customs for period 01/10/07 – 30/09/08. Treasurer to complete and return when Independent Examination completed and passed at Trust April 2009 Annual General Meeting.
- A Joyce letter. Acting Secretary had compiled letter of thanks and was hand delivered by Vice Chairman on Sat 15/11/08.

Question received from membership for discussion – Small rain jacket not ordered at FFC shop despite guaranteed sale? Not economical to order low volumes. Minimum order per size/product required.
Question received from membership for discussion – Why half price sale on children’s replica tops so soon into season? Normal business practice. Admit usually into New Year and is earlier this season.

6)   Treasurer's Report.


4 members in fourth month of subscription period. New season subscriptions now slowing.
3rd and 4th corporate sponsor renewals of season – J Bennie Electrical Ltd and Beijing Villa.
16 Sharesave members, generating circa £200/month.
Grateful donations with new season subscriptions now slowing.
Old programme sales still selling well.
Sport Quiz Night last of monies received.
A Quest Night made small loss. Debated further.
Children In Need Quiz Night produced over £200 for the charity.


No significant costs to mention in past month.

Annual Trust Membership £100 prize draw FFC vouchers still to be collected. Recommended public address announcement to be made at next home game for winner to uplift.

£250 for 1 lot of 200 FFC shares still 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 and newsletters seeking member. Recommended Treasurer to send final letter via recorded delivery.

Profit in period as a result of above. Balance at present mentioned. Reserves released so can now meet long-term liabilities.

Other issues Treasurer involved in:
- Senior Bairns approached with wartime replica top for Trust auction purposes. Treasurer to seek asking price.
- Online auction items monitored on behalf of Trust. No bids made. Now closed.
- Compiled financial breakdown of latest Trust events - Sport Quiz Night, A Quest Night and Children In Need Quiz Night.
- Online programme stock list updated.
- Ebbsfleet quarterly accounts received and reviewed.
- Financial Services Authority (FSA) annual fee invoice settled late due to wrong Trust address held. Potential fine to be disputed if arises.

Raffle prizes compiled from Trust surplus stock for upcoming Games Night and similar to be done to support other community initiatives.

Question from floor – List of reserves held? Treasurer quoted key items and amounts. Question from floor – A Quest ticket v sales breakdown? Treasurer quoted amounts.
Question from floor – List of target Trust Corporate Sponsors from September Meeting to be repeated? Treasurer to circulate to Committee. Since done.
Question from floor – Sharesave account status details of a member requested. Treasurer to determine and reply to member. Since done.

7)   Social Convenor's Report.

Children In Need – Quiz night raised £204.10 and collection in hospitality at Motherwell match a further £368.81. Social Convenor/Vice Chairman to deliver total sum to BBC Scotland, Glasgow for publicity photographs.

TOA Taxis Race Night – Sat 01/11/08. £180 raised during their auction for one of our Trust Boardroom Experience places. Social Convenor/Vice Chairman attended event as part of our community involvement. All funds to Strathcarron Hospice.

HMV Staff Auction – BairnsTrust Boardroom Experience auction prize raised £120. Social Convenor/Vice Chairman attended event as part of our community involvement. All funds to Clic Sergeant.

Merchandise – FFC not producing calendar this year. Happy for Trust to produce “Legends” calendar running July to July. Would have to be ready for last home game of season. Quotes received. Sell advertising space? FFC able to stock in club shop. Badge collections and limited edition framed prints mentioned.

Paper Newsletter – Perceived communication problems re Trust message with FFC fans and Trust members not online. Resurrect free glossy newsletter? Quote received £200/1,000. Committee meeting to decide whether to progress.

Central Scotland Racial Equality Committee (CSREC) – Delighted to assist with Trust events. Planned stadium event on 06/06/09. FFC and promoters to liaise further.

Red Card Scotland – Art and photographic competition to be launched. FFC delighted to continue workshops throughout year. No Government funding. £500 to be found. Trust have pledge £200. FFC Board members to cover shortfall? No grants received by Trust or CSREC from Red Card for recent SRTRC day.

Many Nations, One Bairn – St Mirren home game on Sat 06/12/08 will see 200+ local ethnic minorities attending including Poles, Lithuanians, Trinidadians, etc. Our volunteers at SRTRC also back to help. Polish community considering running an FFC minibus. Kenyan family considering season tickets for next season. Nigerian helper at SRTRC was racially abused.

Question from floor – Can local ethnic minorities become Trust members as well? Hopefully.

Care Home Visits – Three care homes have enjoyed FFC visits to date. One care home given stadium tour by Trust Fans Director.

A Quest Night – Friday 24/10/08. Throat infection curtailed A Quest appearing but alternative act T Morgan was superb. Disappointed Castings Club Members didn’t support event. Small loss made.

Quiz Nights – Trust’s Sporting and Children in Need general knowledge quizzes a success.

Games Night – Bainsford Bowling Club. Friday 21/11/08. Lieutenant Stardust just announced performing same night and some of our proposed teams may go to this instead. Due to lack of confirmed teams having bought advance tickets, decided to postpone Trust Games Night until early New Year. Trust IT team to advise Bowling Club. Announcement inserted into Herald. Trust IT team to mention on website and send email to membership. All since done.

Trust Chairman intimated concern at attendance at events. Cabaret Nights not supported. Quiz and Games Nights better attended. Is it because branded BairnsTrust? Trust getting little financial return for our top raffle and auction prizes at events. Race Night costs and figures discussed.

SPL Delegation – Former St Johnstone Manager J Connolly and former Stenhousemuir Manager T Christie were at last two FFC home games on behalf of SPL. Social Convenor had lengthy chats. Willing to tie in an SPL presentation with Trust proposed FFC Physio/Doctor and Referees Night.

Trust Boardroom Experience – A few Trust guests have taken additional FFC hospitality as a result of enjoyable treatment.

Trust Membership – Membership Secretary intimated has been chasing non-renewals. Variety of reasons received as to why not renewed. Trust had more members when was £25/season.

8)   Board Report - 30th October 2008.

Football Report – J Hughes attended the meeting on his own and gave his report. He notified the Board that he was thinking about putting some of the younger players out on loan to gain more experience. Mitchell, Stewart, Moffat and Staunton thought would fall into this category. Berwick Rangers had shown some interest but nothing concrete had been arranged.
On the performance side, thought, if anything, the players were trying too hard and needed to relax a bit. The players were quite bullish and expected to finish well up the league. Some of the older players thought that pressing for a place in Europe was not out of the question and if finished in the bottom half of the league, then they should hide under the blankets.
On L Craig, J Hughes and G Craig did not think that the club had had a fair hearing as they went to the tribunal well prepared and expected to get more than the £25,000 but the hearing had been a bit rushed.
There are 14 players out of contract at the end of the season and is working on this at the moment by having talks with the players wish to tie up. Has some irons in the fire regarding new faces coming. Some may just sign pre-contract terms and join at end of the season.

Celtic Letter – The club had received a further letter from Celtic regarding FFC complaint, but it was in the same vein as the previous one. Board came to the conclusion that had made our point and that FFC were not going to achieve much more. Decided to drop the matter. G Craig was passing a copy of the second Celtic letter to Trust.

Ticket Sales – There was discussion on the sale of match tickets and on low turnout at CIS cup tie. The Trust was charged with trying to get more spectators on seats! This also was brought up at the end of the meeting with a long debate and Trust Fans Director said that were well aware of the problem but Trust alone could not pull fans in off the street. Had problems ourselves trying to get members, that we were working in the community, publicising FFC and in this way trying to get more people through the gates.

Trust Chairman at this point wished Trust Boardroom Reps to refute strongly. FFC to get more supporters in and re-invite FFC Directors to consider travelling and paying own way and all it entails into a future away game.

Finance Report – Due to the present financial crisis the club was affected just as other businesses were and were battening down the hatches and savings have been made. J Stronach, our new Finance and Admin Manager, has put in a new stock control programme whereby a manual stock at the year end will not now be necessary. Other figures were discussed but these have to remain confidential. Two share applicationswere put forwardand passed, Gean Developments Ltd - 10,000 shares and S Keiss- 200 shares.

Annual General Meeting (AGM) – It was accepted by the Board that the proposed date for the AGM in December was a bit tight to get all the facts and figures pulled together. Was now proposed to hold it later in January.

Sales and Marketing Report – D White gave a full and informative report but again the figures must remain confidential. Did say that a product inventory on sponsorships had been prepared and would be the focus of A Totten's efforts over the next two months and meetings will be arranged with major advertising agencies. A drive will also be made to increase the sales of advertising boards. A new range of hospitality packages has been arranged with Alchemy Inns. Announced other initiatives all with the aim of bringing in more finance. On the marketing side, announced a further range of activities. The roadside advertising hoarding which over 20,000 vehicles a day pass. A weekly advert in the Falkirk Herald, a better use of the web site to promote hospitality packages. Also planning to set up a desk in the concourse to sell a full range of products, e.g. lotteries, credit cards, 1876 club, Premier club etc. D White is a breath of fresh air to this side of FFC and certainly has his eyes on the ball.

Operations Report – This was given by K Hogg. Stated that the club had received a Safety Certificate for the year. Has had meetings regarding safety, particularly for the new stand during construction and also had meeting with the police which could result in the reduction of police and stewards.
Managing Director’s Report – G Craig gave a reporton where the club wasin the negotiations withA.B.L. (Lotto) and a long discussion was held as to how to handle this to theclub's advantage.

FCSL – FCSL and FFC have agreed in principle to the de-merger, completion of this should be by the end of January/beginning of February. There was then another long discussion regarding the risk to FFC regarding the maintenance and repairs to the North and South Stands, one Director particularly concerned that in the future these could be quite a liability to the club if did not tie up all the loose ends before de-merger. The West stand was still being discussed.

Date of Next FFC Board Meeting – 18/12/08.

Question from floor – Finances difficult for all. Monies will be less next season. Loyalty from FFC supporters not to be underappreciated.
Question from floor – Why do FFC not use FFC sponsors for repairs, etc? Contracts.

9)   Stand Update.

Stand Up For Falkirk was represented at tonight’s Trust meeting. No new information to divulge. Trust Chairman had nothing further. G Craig had met with local councillors that day. Third stand commences 01/12/08. Ogilvie will be on site that day. Stand will be ready for start of next season.

Question from floor – Kier Homes branding now down from second stand. Only banner advertising now in place is BairnsTrust. Second stand to be temporarily known as the BairnsTrust stand.

10)   Russell Latapy Day – 29/11/08.

K Millar approached FFC as believed R Latapy may depart at end of season. FFC happy to proceed. Trust was originally only involved to help out at periphery. Has now blossomed into Trinidad & Tobago Foreign Secretary attending as guest of Trust/Falkirk Council. Trust Chairman will collect Foreign Secretary from Glasgow Airport in Council vehicle. Willing to visit local schools the day before game and be escorted to public engagements or even Scottish Parliament. K Millar invited as well. Await Commissioner’s decision on events to attend. 25 foot R Latapy number 10 shirt to be unveiled. Cost £600. Behind The Wall sponsored half costs. St Andrews Day the following day. Commissioner to also attend evening meal. BairnsTrust Corporate Sponsor Jim Healy Kilt Hire will produce a kilt and shirt gift for R Latapy at a special rate on behalf of Trust. Fee quoted. R Latapy to wear at game if not playing. Hibernian fans will show appreciation as well at game.

11)   Tom Jamieson Memorial Tournament – 04/12/08.

BairnsTrust will again be heavily involved. Carrongrange School competing as per previously. 10am-12. FFC willing to supply goody bags and medals again. Trust to provide lunch to Mrs Jamieson as per previous years.

12)   A.O.C.B.

MacRaes Trust – FFC were represented by only one attendee at Remembrance Day Memorial in Edinburgh on 11/11/08 for laying of wreath. MacRaes Trust remembers Hibernian, Hearts and Falkirk players that fought in Word War II and those that played in combined wartime team. For next year recommended that BairnsTrust fund £30 wreath. Unanimous decision from membership to do so.
One Senior Bairn travels to France each year to lay wreath at Memorial service. Self funded by attendee. Trust to assist financially?

A Joyce – Trust to mark event? Presentation in Boardroom to A Joyce on stepping down as FFC Director has already occurred. Trust Treasurer has also already sent letter of thanks on behalf of BairnsTrust. Matter now closed.

No Official Buses to Inverness – FFC should have been aware of anticipated difficulties. Official buses could have merged numbers. Unofficial “Shuttle” bus was only supporter’s bus to travel. Thanks to “Shuttle” from Trust Treasurer. Acknowledged that “Shuttle” do generate much needed atmosphere.

Ball Attendants – Not doing well. Job not being carried out properly. No enthusiasm.

Away Support Standing – Motherwell support stood at back of stand for full game with no steward action. Easier to allow than to evict all involved.

J Bennie – Latest Corporate Sponsor; J Bennie of William Bennie Electrical Ltd offered thanks to meeting. Impressed with BairnsTrust and the evening’s meeting.

J Dalziel – Thanks from J Dick representing Falkirk Supporters Association (FSA) bus to those that attended recent funeral of long time FSA member, 94 year old, J Dalziel. Former Japanese prisoner of war and BP employee. J Gardiner attended on behalf of BairnsTrust.  

Trust Annual Membership Draw – Winner of £100 FFC club shop vouchers was M Buchanan, Livingston. Prize still to be handed over. Member to be contacted by Treasurer.

Trust Boardroom Experience Draw – Winners of 3rd round draw for FFC fixtures up to January Trust Meeting, due to no December Trust Meeting, were:

Kilmarnock 03/01/09 – J McFadden, Grangemouth. M McIntyre’s guest.
Scottish Cup if Home tie 10/01/09 – A Brown, Laurieston. B Guthrie’s guest.

Reserves in order:

1st – A Brown, Laurieston if Scottish Cup is Away tie 10/01/09.
2nd – I Sneddon, Falkirk.
3rd – P Northway, Falkirk.

13)   Date of Next Meeting.

Monday 15th December 2008 – No meeting due to proximity to Christmas.
Monday 19th January 2009 at 7.30pm in the Warm-Up Area of Falkirk Stadium.

There then followed at Trust Committee Meeting to determine Trust AGM timetable –

  • Monday 19th January 2009 – Trust Meeting. BairnsTrust AGM documentation to be posted out.
    Monday 16th February 2009 – Trust Meeting. Nominations and 250 word election address by 7pm to Independent Adjudicator for BairnsTrust Fans Representative Associate Director.
    Monday 23rd February 2009 – No Trust Meeting. Hustings Night if more than one candidate for BairnsTrust Fans Representative Associate Director.
    Monday 16th March 2009 – Trust Meeting. Ballot papers to be sent out for all Trust Committee positions open along with any constitutional amendments received.
    Monday 20th April 2009 – Trust Annual General Meeting including Independent Examination.

Treasurer to circulate to Committee those due to stand down and be eligible to restand.

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