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Monday 16th February 2009, 7.30 p.m.
Falkirk Community Stadium




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Minutes of the Bairns Trust Meeting
19th January 2009 at Falkirk Stadium

Present: (16).

Committee (9) - S Jackson, B Guthrie, P Jack, M McIntyre, S Monfries, T Paterson, S Wilson, B Anderson, F Caldwell.

Members (6) – J Dick, M Dickins, J Jamieson, D Marshall, D Robertson, I Sneddon.

Non-Members (1) – M Marshall.

1)   Chairperson’s Opening Remarks.

Meeting was hosted by Chairperson S Jackson who welcomed all attendees and wished all a belated Happy New Year and a speedy recovery from illness of fellow Committee Member and stalwart Trust supporter J Gardiner.
Minutes were taken by Treasurer P Jack in the absence of a Secretary. Seeking replacement.

2)   Apologies. – J Gardiner, W Robertson, R Stirling, Jnr., G Williamson.

3)   Matters Arising.

Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC) – Correspondence received from member re disabled section omitted from red card display once again. Vice Chairman has investigated. Some of section was covered. Part was not. Apologies from Trust.

Online Boardroom Experience Questionnaire – Trust IT team sent out to a recent winner on a trial basis. Worked. Member replied by paper copy however.

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.

Trust Annual Membership Draw – Winner of £100 FFC club shop vouchers was M Buchanan, Livingston. Prize since now collected.

MacRae Trust replica shirt – Treasurer still to discuss asking price with Senior Bairns rep.

Children In Need – Social Convenor/Vice Chairman has since delivered total sum to BBC Scotland, Glasgow. Photo and invoice to come.

Paper Newsletter – Committee decided to progress and resurrect free glossy newsletter Aiming for Aberdeen game if a sponsor to back printing costs found. Need articles for content.

Trust Positions at AGM – Treasurer has circulated to Committee those due to stand down and be eligible to restand.

R Latapy Day – R Latapy called to meet Trust Chairman to collect BairnsTrust kilt gifted and to pass on thanks to Trust and all Falkirk FC (FFC) fans for time spent at club. Offer if ever in Trinidad to get in touch!

MacRae Trust – BairnsTrust Member P Reid will travel to France on 01/07/09 as official FFC/BairnsTrust/Senior Bairns representative at annual memorial.

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 B Anderson. Seconded J Dick.

5)   Secretary's Report – (2 months 18/11/08 – 18/01/09).

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

Despite no Members meeting Committee still busy over past 2 months. 166 emails have been sent over past month to members of Committee. Highlights:

- Trust’s AGM timetable circulated. Procedure decided at last Monday’s Committee Meeting.
- Trust Committee due to stand down and be eligible for re-election at AGM names circulated to all Committee to ensure are aware.
- Members of Trust Committee have spoken with K Miller and representatives of the new body Brockville Spirit.
- Letter to Bainsford Bowling Club posted out re cancellation of Trust’s Games Night.
- T Jamieson Memorial 5-a-side tournament report compiled. Await photographs before publishing.
- Falkirk FC Board Report from fans representative now available electronically aiding, with thanks, Trust Monthly Meeting Minutes compilation.
- Supporters Direct (SD) election voting results made known and circulated to Committee.
- December SD electronic newsletter received and circulated amongst Committee. If any Member wishes to be added to email distribution list please contact BairnsTrust Committee
- SD questionnaire survey results completed. BairnsTrust’s specific feedback received and circulated to Committee. Some interesting and intriguing responses received. Committee to use this data in future planning.
- Numerous email correspondences from Members fielded and replied to on e.g. Sharesave and programmes.
- Boardroom experience winners contacted and after-event questionnaires sent out by Trust IT team. Responses circulated to Committee.
- Contact established with £100 FFC Vouchers for Trust’s Annual Prize draw. Member M Buchanan delighted to receive in run up to Christmas.
- Still attempting to speak with Member M White on a number of issues but to date paths have not crossed. Request for Member to visit stall.
- Trust raffle prize handed over to Lothian Larengectomy Charity. Gratefully received.
- Debate stimulated on Chancellor’s recent VAT reduction and whether FFC should implement.
- Recontacted FFC shop manager re Trust feedback on new selling of FFC merchandise from stall.
- Trust IT team assisted with and sent out electronic newsletter # 57 as well as the fantastic electronic Christmas card sent to Members.

- Treasurer compiled November Minutes and tonight’s Agenda. Both circulated tonight.
- Secretary’s 4 matters arising dealt with above.

In the absence of Secretary, Chairperson covered paper correspondence:

- Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) Mutual Societies Annual return received. To be completed and returned by 30/04/09 by Treasurer once BairnsTrust’s Independent Examination passed at AGM.

Complaint received from membership – Bird mess in corner sections of main stand. This issue has occurred on a number of occasions. Member not present tonight for explanation. FFC reply to Member is similar to BairnsTrust’s previous responses. On investigation no progress can now be made until stadium demerger is complete.
Complaint received from EBay buyer – Boston Celtic’s “programme” not a “programme.” Full explanation sent back to buyer via EBay. Full refund offered. No further comments received. Trust rating remains intact at 100%.

Question received from floor – Member D Marshall email address rectified. Trust has tested by sending Trust correspondence to Member. Member satisfied and renewed membership tonight.

Mention made of Chairman and Treasurer spending 5 hours last Sunday clearing FFC away kit room. Number of old programmes obtained. Includes the infamous missing FFC v Ajax programmes that will be sold from the Trust stall.

6)   Treasurer's Report (2 months 18/11/08 – 18/01/09).


10 members in fifth month of subscription period. New season subscriptions now slowing.
5th corporate sponsor renewal of season confirmed – Thomas Johnston Quality Butchers Ltd Thanks to Committee Member B Anderson for securing.
16 Sharesave members, generating circa £200/month.
Grateful donations with new season subscriptions now slowing.
Contingency fund now eligible for Trust to purchase more FFC shares. Hold just now.
Old programme sales still selling well.
Raffle prizes to local charity events and to Trinidad & Tobago envoy distributed.


Two payments settled. SRTRC printing and Mrs T Jamieson tournament lunch as per previous years.

£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 Trust newsletters seeking member. Treasurer has also sent final chaser letter via recorded delivery. Royal Mail confirmed delivered and signed for on 02/12/08. Members decreed tonight that as Member still paying by standing order they must be aware. Claim to be left open for longer. Final claim deadline as per Trust constitution would now be 30/09/09.

Profit in period as a result of above. Balance at present no longer to be mentioned. Reserves released so can now meet long-term liabilities. Two new reserves set up however.

Other issues Treasurer involved in:
- Tenders to be sent to 3 former Trust Annual Auditors in attempt to obtain cheaper fee for this year’s Independent Examination. Existing Independent Examiner still available. First draft financial statement compiled by Treasurer over Christmas. Tenders since sent.
- Another Acting Secretary required to sign Independent Examination on behalf of Trust as Treasurer and current Acting Secretary (same) not permitted to also do. F Caldwell volunteered. Duly accepted.
- nearly reached first milestone figure. Appreciate more Members to join.
- Draft letters compiled to give to Former Players Association participants, current FFC playing squad, potential Trust Corporate sponsors and receipt for sponsors who require. Now finalised. Letters to be issued.
- 40 bargain bundles of old programmes compiled. Aim to distribute to temporary stand u-16s at game before season end
- Membership Secretary working on database statistics required by Treasurer for FSA, SD Inland Revenue Annual Returns.
- Member sought from meeting tonight to attend FFC AGM on 19/02/09 as BairnsTrust proxy. J Dick volunteered. 1st Reserve - M Dickins.
- Treasurer to possibly begin work on ShireTrust’s Independent Examination.

Question from membership – Status of Quiz Night Trophy engraving. Vice Chairman stated is complete.
Question from floor – FFC and T Jamieson Memorial. FFC have kindly supplied medals and trophy in past. This year FFC’s T Elliott hoped Trust would financially assist. Jamieson family and Members decreed that a donation be made to the Falkirk in the Community Fund. Figure decided was £75.00. Treasurer to progress cheque and seek a receipt for Trust records. Since done. Copy of covering letter to Jamieson family since handed over.

7)   Social Convenor's Report (2 months 18/11/08 – 18/01/09).

FFC currently in frugal overview of costs. Every department involved.
Revitalising of fundraising activities required. BairnsTrust heavily involved:

BairnsTrust U19 sponsorship – Similar to ArabTrust. BairnsTrust proposing a £100.00 bond. May entitle 10% discount off season ticket/merchandise to part recover bond outlay. Over 2 years could recover as much as £60.00 of bond. Good incentives to be decided. G Craig at club and new Brockville Spirit representatives happy with idea.  Would require backing of all fans groups. Trust branding on U19 shirts and media advertising if BairnsTrust to administer. Separate bank account with sub-committee to run and annual accounts? Add to Trust Constitution? Prospect of Trust going to FFC Board at AGM with proposal to raise e.g. £30,000 for club? Could be a bi-annual fundraiser.
There then followed debate on how this could be run successfully with representatives from other FFC fans organisations being on sub-committee and whether would bolster or weaken Trust Board position.

Question from floor – 10% discount available immediately if bond paid in installements? No.
Question from floor – Trust to be incentivised to administer? Yes. As Trust would effectively be promoting and marketing the idea, hope FFC Board would acknowledge Trust involvement.

His Excellency the Commissioner of India visiting Scotland and invites to Trust Chairman and Vice-Chairman to attend a civic reception in February.

Paper Newsletter – Resurrect free glossy newsletter. Committee meeting decided to progress. Seeking a sponsor to fund printing.

8)   Board Report (2 months 18/11/08 – 18/01/09).

There have been two Board meetings and an emergency Director only meeting since last report, a lot of what was discussed is now common knowledge but will try to fill in with some of the details.

Board Meeting 26/11/08

Football Report – There was no team report as both J Hughes and B Rice were away on club business but G Craig did report that loan deals had been arranged with D Robertson going to Berwick Rangers and S Gibb to Stirling Albion. An inquiry had come in from Ross County for J Stewart. No progress had been made so far with the contracts for D Barr or for other players but J Hughes was looking towards pre contract signings for next year.

SFA General Purposes Committee – G Craig gave an update on the situation on the requirement for J Hughes and M Higdon to appear before the committee. FFC Chairman wrote a letter to the committee and he gave his views on the subject to the Board. The outcome of this meeting was widely published in the press.

There was a discussion on figures on the player's end of season bonus scheme. Appreciate this will have to be kept confidential.

Discussion on the possibility, stress only a possibility, of going to Austria for pre-season. The Board agreed that the financial costs would be an important issue. Announcement after AGM.

There followed a long and detailed discussion on the club's financial position. Appreciate that this remains confidential.

The Board were informed of the current situation on the club's new proposed Stewarding Plan which would see a reduction in the total number of Stewards used during matches. This was still to be agreed with Central Scotland Police but all indications were that this would be possible.

FCSL – M Ritchie updated the Board and informed that the demerger was moving ahead positively. The board was informed that G Craig had been appointed to Board of the South Stand Development Committee and the construction would commence on 01/12/08, which did come to pass.

Board Meeting 19/12/08

Football Report – There was again no team report from the manager or his assistant as they said they had not been told of the meeting and had not prepared a report. The Chairman was not too pleased about this. K Hogg was instructed to give the management team a full list of dates of Board meetings for the year.

SFA General Purposes Committee – G Craig reported that J Hughes and M Higdon had been dealt with and common sense had been prevailed.

Finance Report – J Stronach gave Finance Report. This was fairly detailed and a long discussion ensued but again this must remain confidential. The final figures will be presented to the shareholders at the AGM in the Amarillo on 19/02/09.

Sales and Marketing Report – Given by D White. Must say has been a revelation since joining the staff, with his new ideas and approach; he has increased the numbers in the hospitality. Lots of increase in board advertising. He gave a report which had a wide range of new ventures which will increase the revenue of the club. On press and PR, we have introduced wireless internet access in the various media rooms and the feedback from this is most positive. He thought that this would help to get better press and keep the media happier. A new database has been built which will be used for marketing purposes.

Operations Report – Was given by K Hogg when informed the Board of the new requirements regarding stewarding which clubs are required to adhere to according to the new "Green Guide", the standards of training that stewards have to attain. FFC is well on the way to achieving those standards.

Two Directors are due to stand down at the AGM, L Miller and R Crosswaite. They gave their re-election speech then left the Boardroom. The remaining directors all agreed that their names should be proposed at the AGM for re-election by the shareholders

Share applications were received and approved for:-
L Miller                       8,000 shares
G Crawford              6,000 shares
E W Moffat              16,000 shares

Emergency Board Meeting 08/01/09

This meeting was for Directors only. BairnsTrust are entitled for both reps to attend. Contained in FFC Constitution that both Trust reps are Directors. There was a financial report from J Stronach this was finalising the figures for the AGM. D White gave a very short report where he compared Dundee United TV and Falkirk TV and thought that we could do better in this media. He also said that Marketing was in a better position now. Heads of Departments then left meeting. The rest of the meeting was mainly taken up with financial matters and these must again be confidential until they are revealed to the shareholders at the AGM.

Falkirk FC Shop – The Board decided that the shop was no longer profitable and came to an agreement that it should close for business on 31/01/09. Away kit room has been cleared to house stock. Temporary shop in stadium.

At this meeting, the Directors agreed to show solidarity with the fans at this time of financial restraints and pay the club £50.00 per head for hospitality and transport to the Semi-Final at Hampden. It was also proposed that every Director should purchase two season tickets for next season. In addition Directors who wish to take more than their allocated Boardroom guest for hospitality must now pay £35.00/guest extra.

Annual General Meeting (AGM) – Date now set for 19/02/09. Paperwork to be sent out. Since done.

Date of Next FFC Board Meeting – 29/01/09.

Question from floor – Trust welcome Directors new financial solidarity with fans. Proposal instead of second Trust Reps season tickets that Trust buy equivalent in shares. Accepted by FFC and Trust Membership.
Question from floor – FFC to make public this solidarity? For FFC to decide.

9)   Brockville Spirit.

A volunteer of The Brockville Spirit (TBS) who is also a keen supporter of the Trust gave some comments on the new initiative.
BairnsTrust interested and willing to assist with their intentions and plans.
No TBS Committee in place.
FFC’s G Craig has not sanctioned TBS to do all items they have planned.
TBS Mission Statement has been produced by one individual with similar undertones to the Trust movement. TBS Mission Statement was read out.
Trust could assist TBS t-shirt merchandise using our contacts for cheaper rates.
FFC constitution, after much haggling, contains BairnsTrust as the only recognised fans representatives that FFC will discuss matters with. Has taken Trust years to get to this stage.
Third stand will simply be a shell with no fittings and furnishings. Will TBS banners cover potential advertising space?
TBS 5-a-side tournament on 18/01/09 – Successful financially and competitively. Could have been run more smoothly. Agreed. Trust could have administered on TBS behalf but were not approached. TBS could have advertised better.

Question from floor – Invite TBS to future Trust meetings? Any TBS representative is more than welcome. Open invite to attend any Trust meeting or event.
Question from floor – TBS to meet with Trust Committee at mutual time/date? 24/01/09 v Motherwell at Motherwell Social Club or 31/01/09 v Aberdeen? To be progressed.

10)   Trust Boardroom Experience 4th Round Draw

A number of prize-winners from Trust sponsored events remain untaken. Decision taken to clean up outstanding winners in next couple of games before reverting to members draw.

Aberdeen 31/01/09 – Unnamed. TOA Taxis Race Night winner. B Guthrie’s guest, and
Aberdeen 31/01/09 – Unnamed. Unnamed Raffle winner. M McIntyre’s guest.
Hamilton 21/02/09 – A Brown and guest. R Latapy Day draw winner. M McIntyre and B Guthrie guests.
Inverness 04/03/09 – Midweek game. No winners. M McIntyre and B Guthrie’s own guests.

Outstanding winners – A Lawrie Gala Night Winner and Breast Cancer Care Raffle Winner.

If FFC progress to Co-op Cup Final, Trust will make a special Boardroom Experience Draw which may entail £50.00 hospitality. Similar to Semi Final FFC package. Trust to pay.

11)   A.O.C.B.

BairnsTrust AGM – 20/04/09. Nominations now sought for Committee positions and role of Fans Representative. Trust will be following SD guidelines for Fans Rep position. If more than two candidates an interview based on set criteria and scoring will take place to whittle down to determine two suitable candidates. Best scores win through to ballot. Unsuccessful candidates will be given full reasons and scoring and advised why. All candidates to receive same questions. Nominations for Fans Rep to be received by 7pm on 16/02/09 to the Scrutineer who will be at the Falkirk stadium at 7pm on 16/02/09 along with a 250-word election statement on one side of A4 paper. Forms can be uplifted from Trust matchday stall. Further details and nomination forms can be found on Trust website.

12)   Date of Next Meeting.

Monday 16th February 2009 at 7.30pm in the Warm-Up Area of Falkirk Stadium.


There then followed at Trust Committee Meeting to finalise Trust AGM paperwork, local advertisement of AGM and website hosting of AGM documentation.

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