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Bairns Trust Meeting
18th October 2010 at Falkirk Stadium

1)  Welcome & Apologies Chair T. Paterson welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Apologies from C. Chalmers

2) Minutes of previous meeting Proposed: B. Guthrie, Seconded: S. Jackson.  All matters arising are covered in agenda items.

3) Secretary’s Report The secretary commented that it was a breath of fresh air to see so many new faces at the meeting.  We all have one thing in common – We are Falkirk fans – and must all work together for the same goal.  For those who may not know, Supporters Direct are our umbrella organisation, who we have an excellent relationship with and provide training and support as well as networking between other trusts.  A renewal e-mail has been sent to all lapsed members from the past 5 years.  An excellent response has been received so far.  By the end of the month, postal renewal letters will be sent out to anyone who has still not renewed.  Membership cards are available for current members and will be posted out tonight.  E-mail correspondence was received from the author of ‘One Ginger Pele’ looking for funny football chants for his second book and from Lachlan Bruce looking for support in the campaign for safe standing areas in Scottish football grounds.

4) Guest Speaker – Martin Ritchie (Changes needed in Scottish football) Martin Ritchie gave an insightful talk about the changes needed in Scottish football.  Highlights include: Lessons must be learned from Dundee’s current position.  Regarding league reconstruction: There are 2 main points to be addressed – need for more promotion and to soften the blow of relegation between leagues.  A 14 team league seems to be the most likely solution.  The financial gap between SPL and 1st is too great.  At Falkirk, players’ costs remain manageable but stadium/training facility costs are fixed and are harder to cut.  We are ambitious but we have to be careful.
There then followed a question and answer session and the Trust Chairman thanked Mr Ritchie for his time.

5) Share Save Re-Launch A message to all Falkirk fans from the BairnsTrust Chairman:
We have all seen what is happening at Dundee in the last few months, we don’t want this to happen at our club…. And so, it’s clear that continued financing/fundraising for our club is required.  The reason BairnsTrust was set up 7 years ago was that we were in similar circumstances to Dundee, we nearly lost our club!  Recently, a large number of fans have put forward some great ideas on how we could raise funds and finance, but we have to make sure the funds are properly looked after so that they don’t just disappear.
BairnsTrust makes sure: 

  • That money collected is looked after by an elected group of representatives
  • That money collected is held by an organisation with a written constitution
  • That the organisation is regulated by the Financial Services Authority
  • That those looking after the money are accountable to everyone who has contributed, regardless of the amount
  • That money collected is not going directly into the club with nothing given back in return.

BairnsTrust are already the 9th biggest shareholders of the club, and there is an opportunity for the fans to have a far bigger say in the running of the club. A club is nothing without its fans. The community is the moral owner of a football club anyway and the model for fan ownership through supporters’ trusts is one which is endorsed by UEFA, the UK government and the Scottish government.  BairnsTrust is not “ours” – it’s yours!  It belongs to Falkirk fans and it’s as strong as you want it to be. It needs members to be active and participate, not just in fundraising/raising finance, but in the democratic process as well.  We’re trying to bring all fans groups under one umbrella, which is the Falkirk Supporters Society and would ask all fans who have an interest in the future of the club to participate as much as they can, as often as they can.  Any fan with a query about how they individually, or their group, can be involved should get in touch with us, either personally or via the contact us links on our website, or at any of our stalls on a match day and you will always receive a reply.  BairnsTrust have been operating a successful share save scheme to allow fans to save up for a period of time, (currently 24 months) Fans pay an agreed amount by Standing Order and when the funds are in place, shares are bought from the club and the saver is issued with his/her Share Certificate.  Fans have asked us to take a look our scheme to buy shares and we are re-launching the BairnsTrust Share Save scheme today.

Promotion of the scheme is to be in Falkirk Herald.  Could be a good news story following Dundee’s situation and persuading fans to invest in the Club to prevent this at Falkirk.  Revaluation of shares as £1.33 seems too high? – Martin Ritchie took this on board and this will be discussed further. Q – Could the money not be cashed sooner with all monies collected? Will look into it but initial reaction is it would be too difficult to administer.

6) Treasurer’s Report The financial year end report is in the process of being completed.  Current share savers are still contributing.  FSA fee of £55 has been paid.  Income of £300 in the last month from quiz night, matchday stalls, memberships and marquee stall.  Marquee tuck shop continues to make a profit.  Thanks to all the helpers who make it a success.  There are a few items currently being sold on ebay and easyfundraising continues to bring in money.

7) Social Conveners Report Marquee is now open from 10am on match days – spread the word!  A five-a-side tournament has been set up before the Dundee game in conjunction with the community department, with all proceeds going to Dee4life.  SRTRC campaign is to be held on the day of the Dundee game as well.  Q – Have you thought about selling raffle tickets to win a car? – Yes, but not enough man-power could be guaranteed. Will be looked at again.

8) A.O.B. *Irn Bru advertising – There is a central deal as to how much trackside boards is to be provided.  Application for donation of balls was declined.
*Next disabled supporters club meeting is on 8th November at the Falkirk Stadium.
*Fundraising by selling plaques under photos on heritage trail – Talks are on-going
*Supporters bar at Stadium – Application was rejected due to Police objection.  G. Craig then spoke of the plan to make match days a day out to be enjoyed and not just about the football. 
*Announcement will be made tomorrow that for every Dundee fan who comes to the next match, Falkirk will donate £2 to Dee4life.

9) Date of Next Meeting Monday 15th November 2010 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.


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