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Bairns Trust Meeting
21st February 2011 at Falkirk Stadium

1) Welcome/Opening Remarks & Apologies

Chairman T. Paterson welcomed everyone and took apologies from M. Dickins.

2) Minutes of Previous Meeting/Matters Arising

*VAT increase on tickets – handout produced and distributed by member Mr Campbell.  Communication from club is an issue as they did not state full facts.  Proposal made to take increase off kid’s price.  Chairman will follow up with FFC managing director.  T. Paterson has taken this up with G. Craig again; he passed on a copy of the document which I. Campbell had produced. The answer given is that the club will not rescind the increase in ticket pricing. A meeting between I Campbell and G Craig can be arranged if needed.  Now done
*Search engine on FFC website not working T. Smith will look into this.
*Member I. Steele raised the issue that a child vandalised seat E166 and has still not been fixed after one month. A written complaint has been passed on to G Craig who assures it will be attended to. 
*Any further information on hosting a meeting on a match day? A meeting took place on the morning of Sat 5th Feb 2011.
*Is it possible to ask Steven Pressley to attend as guest speaker at a future meeting? Fans Forum in place for Thursday
*Yellow paint powdering/flaking from concrete in South Stand getting on to fans footwear and clothing. Type of paint used will be changed to stop this happening in future.
Boardroom experience draw will take place at the next committee meeting.
Proposed: M. McIntyre; Seconded: B. Guthrie.

3) Secretary’s Report
Various e-mail and letter correspondence received. Newsletter 79 sent out.  Few issues over e-mail addresses not working have been sorted.  E-mail from E. Geddes at STV received, passed on to chairman. Show Racism the Red Card event on Thu 20th Jan was attended and was an eye-opening experience.  It really hit home the problems Scotland has and how the high profile nature of football players can help to educate people.  As a result, R. Stirling and B. Guthrie have been invited to a follow up event on Thu 24th March at Hampden.  Supporters Direct new Scottish committee nominations have been received.  Details of candidates are on SD website, BT committee to decide who to vote for.  Received apology from John Keith of Dundee Trust for the disorganisation and delay of the recent half time challenge.  AGM nominations deadline has now passed.  There will still be places available for people with specific skills to be co-opted next month.

Q. Are we doing anything regarding the late cancellation of the Partick game?  This is unacceptable and has happened twice to Falkirk v Partick games.  Consensus of the meeting is that a letter be drafted to SD to address the problem football wide, not just Falkirk.
Q. Why is the newsletter only available by e-mail?  Cost prohibitive to send to all members via post but a few hard copies will be made available from the stall from now on.
Q.  SRTRC, is it really a problem in Falkirk?  This fulfils the Trust aim of promoting community initiatives and is important for education of young people through the high profile stage of football.  Suggestion made by member T. Smith that perhaps the FFC community foundation could be involved – to be looked into further.

4) Treasurer’s Report
Income: membership and share save money continuing well.  4 cheques banked in the account for disabled club until they obtain their own account.  Match day stalls and marquee tuck shop going brilliantly.  K. Drinkell book sold online. 
Expenses: costs paid for AGM mailout; first instalment of donations paid to FFC for Academy; fine for non-submission of annual return – fine has been rescinded; invoice paid for calendar printing; deposit for event paid
Independent examination has been completed and sent to auditor to check.  This has been difficult to compile and there will be a few changes including a more accurate share figure.  These changes will be explained at the AGM.

5) Social Convener’s Report
Difficulties in finding date for the general knowledge quiz night, but is now planned to be held 14th or 28th March.  Full details will be published when confirmed.  A fundraising event for the Academy has been confirmed –
 Lieutenant Stardust will play at Grangemouth town hall on Friday 1st April, 7pm till 1am
This includes a four course dinner and disco by DJM Entertainments.  Tickets priced £25 are available at the Falkirk Club Shop at the stadium, or from the BairnsTrust stall on the concourse on a Matchday, online or by e-mail.  Thanks to G. Burns for posting on facebook and T. Smith for posting on FFC website. 
The public launch of the SRTRC high school education event will take place at Falkirk stadium on April 27th.

Q. What is the breakeven point for the event? 100 people.  The venue capacity is 204.
Q. Do you have sponsors for the event (eg Taxi sponsor)? This will be looked at.  The caterers are providing a full service for an excellent price.  Noted that we need to encourage a full house and advertise that Craig McPherson is attending.
Q.  Could there be a joint event held with BT and Brockville Spirit? This has been discussed and could be a possibility in the future.  There has been communication between the two organisations which is positive.

6) Board Report
Board meeting 17/02/11 –
Steven Pressley: S Murdoch, M Andrews, out of contract at end of season.  Steven wants the fans to help the team out by supporting them at home games, as they did last Tuesday at Dunfermline; he said it made a great difference to the team.  Any extension to the Perry contract will depend on how the team perform during the next few games.  Injuries: J. Compton – a doubt for the Partick game, Marc Miller has a two game suspension.

Ross Wilson: gave a presentation on the Strategy for the Falkirk Academy.  It was proposed that Academy players be introduced into the first team at an earlier age, but only if they were found to be good enough.  Ross will answer any questions about this on Thursday 24th February when Steven and his management team attend the Fans Forum in the Amarillo on Thursday night at 7 pm.  T. Paterson indicated that in his opinion if we do not get promoted this season, then a lot of players, who are in the first team just now, will be replaced by Academy players. 

Martin Ritchie: told us details of a meeting with Neil Doncaster and Stewart Gilmour at the SFA last week. There will be changes within the SFA, everyone had agreed with the Henry McLeish report that more people should be involved including Boards, Managers, Coaches, and fans.  The latest proposal was said to be designed to help teams like Falkirk in SPL / League 2. i.e.10 teams in the top league, 12 teams in the second league, 10 teams in the third league, and 10 teams in the fourth league, this is the league that the so called ‘Colt teams’ would play in.  There is only to be one organisation running the leagues.  All income including TV monies is to be split throughout the leagues.  This would mean a bigger income for clubs like ours than we get just now.  Clubs also preferred an earlier start to the season. 

HMRC: A notice rescinding the winding up order published by HMRC is to be published in the Scotsman and the Edinburgh Gazette this week; it will state that Falkirk FC is up to date with VAT and Tax payments. 

AGM:  The date for the football club’s AGM has been set as Monday 28th March 2011, which is a little later that had been stated before. 

George Craig: said at the board meeting that we need to have 1000 people ‘walking up’ to every home game to keep up the club’s finances, crowds have been poor as of late, especially away fans not turning up in the numbers expected. Walk ups have been around 1000 generally.  The first 500 season tickets are now on sale, T. Paterson urged fans to go out and buy these now if you can afford to but also said that if you are planning on buying a 10 year season ticket, don’t buy this one!  For those who can afford a 10 year season ticket, it will be a great deal and final details will be out soon.

There then followed a debate over league reconstruction. Members felt that not enough was being done by SD and fans voice is not being heard.
Q.  Will there be concession prices for Prime seats next season?  Unsure, but T. Paterson will find out.  Answer is to be in writing
Q. What checks are in place to ensure money from the 10 year season tickets will be ring fenced?   This will be evident in the FFC accounts but clarification will be sought.
Q. Will there be a free friendly for season ticket holders as promised?  Yes but the game is yet to be finalised.
Q.  Is it possible to hold a share issue scheme similar to last year?  This was offered to FFC board in November 2010 but declined as existing shareholders only were targeted. 
Q. Is it worth asking again, considering the success of the last one and the club’s current cash flow problems? This proposal will be taken to the board again.  A letter is to be drafted to ensure a proper response and reason received.
Q. Did the FFC board see the letter from HMRC confirming the payment plan which was ultimately rejected?  No but T. Paterson is to follow up and try to obtain a copy of this letter.  This should again be done in writing to ensure a legitimate response.

7) A.O.C.B.
*Member I. Campbell asked why there was 8 non-playing staff in the dug out every week when the Club is struggling for money?  This comes from the playing budget and is the manager’s decision how it is spent.  It was suggested that I. Campbell bring up the point at the FFC AGM.

8) Date of Next Meeting

*AGM* Monday 21st March 2011 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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