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NEXT MEETING
Monday 16th March 2009, 7.30 p.m.
Falkirk Community Stadium

 

 

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Minutes of the Bairns Trust Meeting
16th February 2009 at Falkirk Stadium

Present: (16).

Committee (8) - S Jackson, B Guthrie, P Jack, M McIntyre, T Paterson, R Stirling, Jnr., S Wilson, B Anderson.

Members (7) – J Dick, M Dickins, D Marshall, R Paterson, W Robertson, I Sneddon, G Williamson.

Non-Members (1) – M Marshall.

1)   Chairperson’s Opening Remarks.

Meeting was hosted by Chairperson S Jackson who thanked all Members for attending.
Minutes were taken by Treasurer P Jack in the absence of a Secretary. Seeking replacement.

Before commencement of formal meeting, applicants for Trust Committee vacancies were announced on behalf of Scrutineer based on all forms received by deadline of 7pm tonight:

Trust Fans Representative on the Board of Falkirk Football Club (FFC)

  1. F Caldwell. Proposer – M McIntyre. Seconder – B Anderson.
  2. S Monfries. Proposer – S Jackson. Seconder – B Guthrie.
  3. T Paterson. Proposer – J Rae. Seconder – P Jack.

 

There will now be a formal interview, vetting process, Hustings evening and Members ballot.

Chairperson – S Jackson. Proposer – B Guthrie. Seconder – S Wilson.
Vice-Chairperson – B Guthrie. Proposer – S Wilson. Seconder – S Jackson.
Secretary – None.
Treasurer – None.

Committee

  1. F Caldwell. Proposer – M McIntyre. Seconder – B Anderson.
  2. S Monfries. Proposer – S Jackson. Seconder – B Guthrie.
  3. T Paterson. Proposer – J Rae. Seconder – P Jack.
  4. D Robertson. Proposer – S Wilson. Seconder – B Guthrie.
  5. R Stirling, Jnr. Proposer – T Paterson. Seconder – J Dick.
  6. S Wilson. Proposer – B Guthrie. Seconder – S Jackson.
  7. None.
  8. None.

 

2)   Apologies. – F Caldwell, J Gardiner, S Monfries, D Robertson.

3)   Matters Arising.

R Latapy Day – Copy of “London Mission – Republic of Trinidad & Tobago” magazine issued to High Commissioners received. Contains article and photographs of BairnsTrust Committee Members. Will be used for Trust publicity. IT team to progress.
As per Trust Boardroom Experience 4th Round Draw the R Latapy Day draw winners will attend versus Hamilton 21/02/09 – A Brown and guest as M McIntyre and B Guthrie guests.

Paper Newsletter – Aimed for Aberdeen game if a sponsor to back printing costs was found. Not found. Need articles for content.

MacRae Trust replica shirt – Treasurer has now discussed with Senior Bairns rep. Shirt was bought by Trust Chairman for personal collection. Another replica may be forthcoming. Maximum to be paid £30. To be used for Trust fundraising. Option to combine with Senior Bairns top in a special frame not sanctioned.

Former Players Association (FPA) – Letters not sent out. There then followed a heated debate on why not and why FPAs continue to accept hospitality for no return to Trust. Reiterated that Trust run FPA on behalf of FFC.

Mention made of new FPA initiative “Mindbox.” This provides training for FPAs on coping with age related problems such as dementia. SPL clubs Aberdeen, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian already involved. BairnsTrust, FPAs and Senior Bairns willing to send representation to a future course at Aberdeen.

Outstanding Trust Corporate Sponsors – Last chance to renew or advertisements will be removed from all Trust media.

Meeting with The Brockville Spirit (TBS) – Trust Vice-Chairman met with TBS representative at Motherwell Social Club. Happy with dialogue.

Children In Need – Social Convenor/Vice Chairman has since delivered total sum to BBC Scotland, Glasgow. Photo and invoice to come. Still not received.

Member D Marshall email address – Not working again. Trust had tested by sending Trust correspondence to Member. Member to now send test message to bairnstrust@hotmail.co.uk

Complaint received from EBay buyer – No further comments received. Trust rating remains intact at 100%. Matter ended.

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.

Concern raised regarding a section contained in Minutes of 19/01/09 meeting. “FFC season tickets 2009/10.” To be removed from the Minutes as this was a personal conversation and not a statement from FFC. Duly removed.

Revised Minutes - Proposed T Paterson. Seconded M Dickins.

5)   Secretary's Report.

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

Trust Committee been very busy over past month. 115 emails have been sent over period to members of Committee. Highlights:

- Contacted by journalist seeking to pen an article on former player R Cadette for Co-op Cup Semi Final. Difficult to trace. Article missed deadline.
- Contacted by football fan seeking information and memorabilia on former player W Wigham. B Anderson has some memorabilia. Also passed to M White.
- Contacted by 4-4-2 magazine seeking whether Trust wish to set up a blog. Trust is keen to do so. IT team to progress. Social Convenor has been liaising with contact as well.
- Contacted by journalist seeking to start a new SPL magazine and whether BairnsTrust would be willing to contribute and help promote. Advertising fee for hosting reciprocal advertising on our website mentioned. Trust is keen to do so. IT team to progress.
- Statistics from Trust website hits compiled for two interested parties.
- Emergency Trust Committee Meeting held following events surrounding “Rangers Referee” and “Co-op Cup semi Final aftermath.” Formal letters compiled on behalf of fans. Former to be held back from publication at request of FFC. Latter taken to FFC Board Meeting. See Board Report below.
- Trust’s AGM documentation compiled for Committee positions and hosted onto website.
- T Jamieson Memorial 5-a-side tournament report compiled. Await photographs before publishing.
- January Supporters Direct electronic newsletter received and circulated amongst Committee. If any Member wishes to be added to email distribution list please contact BairnsTrust Committee.
- Numerous email correspondences from Members fielded and replied to on e.g. Sharesave.
- Recontacted FFC shop manager re Trust feedback on new selling of FFC merchandise from stall and potential second concourse Trust stall.
- Trust IT team assisted with and sent out electronic newsletter # 58.

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

In the absence of Secretary, Chairperson covered paper correspondence:

- January Supporters Direct magazine received and made available tonight.
- FFC AGM documentation received once again by Treasurer. Should be sent to Trust Chairman at registered address. IT team scanned resolutions sheet for posting on website.
- FPA questionnaires. New feature introduced by Trust. Questionnaires will be hosted onto Trust website. More questionnaires to follow.
- ShireTrust’s latest paper newsletter received and made available tonight.

Question received from floor – TBS fanzine on sale this Saturday 21/02/09 v Hamilton. Only 500 copies printed. Advance orders taken from Trust Members. Trust willing to help sell.

6)   Treasurer's Report.

Income:

1 Member in sixth month of subscription period. New season subscriptions predictably slowing.
6th corporate sponsor of season confirmed – Perfection (Ladies Beauty.) Thanks to Treasurer for securing.
16 Sharesave Members, generating circa £200/month.
1 request for lump sum contribution towards Sharesave. Accepted to gain Trust’s fee. Forms completed. Will be submitted along with number of other sharesaves maturing this month.
Grateful donations with new season subscriptions now slowing.
Only one home game in period for Trust merchandise sales.
Old programme sales still selling well along with new keyrings and magnets.
Raffle prize to local charity event distributed.

Expenditure:

No administration costs in period.

To remain on Minutes in case Member reviews. £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 Saturday 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. Fellow Members decreed 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.

Other issues Treasurer involved in:
- 3 x Sharesave enquiries received and responded to.
- Assisted IT team with setup of new Trust Corporate sponsor; Perfection’s website.
- Programme scans received from IT team to allow Treasurer to use for eBay sales.
- Liaised with Senior Bairns Member re MacRae shirt, book commissions and Scotland programmes at FFC.
- Easyfundraiser.co.uk statement received. More registered members required.
- BairnsTrust address amended at FSA finally.
- Form completed to allow J Dick to attend FFC AGM on 19/02/09 as BairnsTrust proxy. 1st Reserve now unable.
- FCBraes04 Falkirk Supporters Sunday Amateur Football Club Race Night on Saturday 04/04/09. Request made to sponsor a race at £10 and donate raffle prize of old FFC programmes and Trust merchandise. Duly sanctioned at Committee Meeting after tonight’s Member’s Meeting.
- Request made to fund trophies at upcoming Falkirk in the Community 5-a-side tournament on Sunday 08/03/09. Not sanctioned at Committee Meeting after tonight’s Member’s Meeting due to not being involved from outset and no BairnsTrust publicity to be obtained. B Anderson to advise FFC’s T Elliott accordingly.
- Tenders sent to 3 former Trust Annual Auditors in attempt to obtain cheaper fee for this year’s Independent Examination. Received no replies by deadline of Friday 13/02/09. Existing Independent Examiner still available. Final draft financial statement and associated documentation compiled by Treasurer handed to Chairman to give to existing Independent Examiner for completion and return in a maximum of six weeks time.
- Further to the receipt of the invoice for the BairnsTrust/R Latapy Kilt and accessories, it was noted the generous discount on the items procured and the subsequent VAT adjustment. Unanimous decision of Membership that due to this kind gesture, J.H. Kilt Hire Ltd is made a BairnsTrust Corporate Sponsor again for season 2008/09. Business logo and advertisements will be retained on all BairnsTrust media. Treasurer to send a letter to J.H. Kilt Hire informing.

Treasurer then highlighted the predicted difficult cashflow status over the coming months and that some of the funding for planned expenditure will no longer be available.

Question from floor – Falkirk TV. Trust to assist by supplying sponsorship by means of advertising? Yes, ongoing attempts to get equipment sponsored by local company.

7)   Social Convenor's Report.

BairnsTrust U19 sponsorship – Meeting between club’s G Craig, M Ritchie, Trust Vice-Chairman/Fans Rep, TBS and bus convenors to decide final proposal. BairnsTrust proposing a £100.00 bond. Surplus funds could aid BairnsTrust reach Major Shareholder Group status. FFC advise to delay launch for couple of months.

FFC Season Tickets 2009/10 – Discussions are ongoing. Meetings with Trust happening very soon. Trust has always been involved in season ticket price setting as BairnsTrust are the fans recognised representatives.

FFC Lottery – BairnsTrust will be backing the new FFC “4 number Irish Lottery” version. 15% commission and 10% of jackpot prize if winner supplied by Trust. Final proposals from club’s D White at next week’s FFC Board Meeting. Application forms are now available from matchday stall.

3rd Stand Reserved v Unreserved Seating – Debate on what information has been garnered from fans on this topic. Straw poll taken tonight from Members present. Poll on Trust/FFC website to resolve? IT team to determine logistics.

Question from floor – Assign half of new stand for reserved seating? Already been discussed at FFC Board level. Ask question at upcoming Trust’s Fans Forum.

National U21 fixture – Scotland v Albania at the Falkirk Stadium on Wednesday 01/04/09.

Rearranged FFC fixture – Celtic v Falkirk moved to Wednesday 08/04/09 after SPL split due to Old Firm Co-op Cup Final.

8)   Board Report.

Board Meeting Thursday 29/01/09 –

Report on the procedure before the start of the meeting.

Football Report – BairnsTrust’s questions on behalf of fans groups were put to the team manager J Hughes.

Question 1 - Regarding the position of the team at present and the form of the players. J Hughes replied that he was not worried at the moment about our position and that the management and the players were confident that our position in the league would improve. The team had been hit with injuries at crucial times and we had lost goals due to individual errors and he has to carry on.

Question 2 - Asked how J Hughes was going to resolve this, he replied that we had to keep positive and “dig it out.” He also said that thought that we had over achieved in past seasons and that with his budget we had done rather well.

Question 3 - How did J Hughes feel regarding the seasons signings and have they fulfilled his expectations. His answer to that was yes, apart from injuries, he thought that they had performed well.

Question 4 - Enquiry about J Hughes’ leadership and could he keep us in the Premier League. Inclined to blame other sources, mainly the lack of budget to get better players and “raise us to a higher level" and again repeated that he thought that we had been punching above our weight in previous seasons. He said that we just had to have faith in him and that the players were confident and still positive.

Question 5 - Regarding players that J Hughes had signed and had not yet featured in his plans, e.g. S Lynch and D McCaffrey, but that had been answered earlier.

Director R Crosswaite felt that the team were not playing well. J Hughes replied that we had to give our opposition some respect and that in only one game, he did not say which one, he thought the team had let him down.

Director L Millar asked about the rumours of his move to Blackpool. J Hughes replied that this was pure speculation and he could not control what the press printed. He said that he was ambitious and that he will sometime in the future want to move down south, but this could be next year or five years, until then he was dedicated to FFC and our future.

Forum – Based on the concerns raised the best way to resolve would be to press on with the proposed BairnsTrust/FFC Fans Forum on Tue 24/02/09. Since postponed.

Finance Report – J Stronach produced more facts and figures regarding the Club's position. These will have to remain confidential at the present but will be produced at the FFC Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 19/02/09.

Sales and Marketing – D White produced more facts and figures, some again have to be confidential, but what can be reported was FFC’s average match attendance for the year to date is 5,604 and FFC are one of only five clubs whose gates have increased this season. On the matter of season tickets, the board recognises that there is a “credit crunch” on and this will be taken into consideration when prices are set.

Sponsorship – This remains a major challenge in the current climate but D White is working hard to bring in new sponsorship.

Lottery – There could be a development in online system but in the meantime FFC have brought this in house and revamped the prize structure prior to relaunching in February. The forms are already out for those who wish to participate. D White announced that all player sponsorships have now been sold. This includes all first team, reserve and U19 players, generating a fair amount to the club.

Fans Rep M McIntyre would again wish to reiterate that D White has been a revelation since being appointed.

Operations Report – The South Stand was progressing and was slightly ahead of schedule even though contractors had to put in more and deeper piling.

Managing Director’s Report – Most of this report had been covered earlier in the meeting and thus was short. An announcement regarding seating in the South Stand will be made by the club soon but rumours circulating regarding prime seating were just that, rumours, and were to be treated as such by the fans. The shop in the town centre had closed and it would be moved to the Stadium. FFC could still have town centre presence through another arrangement and match tickets will still be able to be purchased in the town centre, these arrangements are ongoing and may be in place for our next home match. The graphic designer has left the club.

FCSL – There is a council meeting in early March with the demerger at the end of March. Discussions on various aspects e.g. catering are ongoing, but everything is moving very quickly.

Date of Next FFC Board Meeting – Thu 26/02/09.

Question from floor – What is going inside 3rd stand? Not decided yet.
Question from floor – When is 3rd stand due to be completed? Thursday 23/07/09.
Question from floor – New parking within confines of 3rd stand? No room for this.
Question from floor – Amarillo status? An example was given of a party of 3 who attempted to have a meal tonight. Amarillo not open on a Monday evening. Now only open during day time. Closes at 7.30pm at weekends. Strange opening hours. Alchemy Inns Ltd moves out at end of May when contract ends. Only really operating if a function is booked. Buffets and hospitality will be supplied by new contractor. FFC negotiating new contracts now.

9)   Falkirk FC AGM.

Thursday 19th February 2009, 7pm in the Amarillo at the Falkirk Stadium.
Eight FFC Resolutions were read out to Members tonight. Trust’s voting intention decided for benefit of all and proxy J Dick.

Question from floor – Question to be asked at AGM “What have Director’s done in last 3 years and plan for next few years?” This was since duly covered on the night.

10)   BairnsTrust AGM.

Monday 20/04/09, 7.30pm in the Warm-up Area at the Falkirk Stadium.
Committee have been working hard on pre-AGM formalities.

11)   BairnsTrust Fans Forum.

Tuesday 24/02/09, 7pm at the Park Hotel, Camelon Road, Falkirk.
Tickets required and are still available. Will be a high profile event with Falkirk TV, Falkirk Herald and Central FM all due to be in attendance. Questions can be submitted in advance on Trust messageboard or via email at bairnstrust@hotmail.co.uk
Trust Chairman and Vice-Chairman met with FFC’s G Craig tonight to discuss final arrangements. G Craig will be on annual leave. Director M Ritchie will attend instead.

Question from floor – Why Park Hotel was selected as quite expensive and not the Amarillo? Trust Social Committee had attempted a number of local school halls, Dobbie Hall and Falkirk Town Hall, etc. but already booked. Amarillo could not host the numbers anticipated. FFC will donate raffle prizes to help recover costs. Cash buckets available on night. FFC Directors may also contribute. No bar at Park Hotel at Trust/FFC request.
Question from floor – BairnsTrust application forms to be made available on the night? Yes.

12)   A.O.C.B.

Trust Boardroom Experience –

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

Hamilton 21/02/09 – A Brown and guest. R Latapy Day draw winners. M McIntyre and B Guthrie guests.
Dundee Utd 04/03/09 – Midweek game. No winners previously intimated at last month’s meeting. M McIntyre and B Guthrie’s own guests. Amended to now be J Jenkins, Tropix prize draw winner. M McIntyre’s guest.

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

13)   Date of Next Meeting.

Hustings Event and Member's Meeting – Monday 16th March 2009 at 7.30pm in the Warm-Up Area of Falkirk Stadium.

--------------------------------------------

There then followed at Trust Committee Meeting to finalise Trust Fans Rep vetting interview process, finance issues and sponsorship, FFC Board Meeting, chat with J Hughes, etc.

 


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

*** Minutes amended 26th March 2009

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