Minutes of Aldershot Town Supporters Trust AGM
EBB Lounge, EBB Stadium, Aldershot
Thursday, 27 September 2018
PRESENT : Tommy Anderson (TA), Sean Chambers (SC), Mick Lee (ML), Janet Guess (JG), and a quorum of members (14).
Tommy Anderson welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the top table. He also welcomed Mike Pusey (MP), Hon President of the Shots’ Trust and Gary Waddock (GW), Manager of Aldershot Town FC.
- Apologies : Apologies for absence were received from Vice Chairman, Robin Carder, and seven members.
- To approve the minutes of the 2017 AGM : John Hannah proposed and Kelly Chambers seconded that the minutes be approved. This was agreed by those present. Members unable to attend the meeting had had the opportunity to vote on line and 29 members had voted on the minutes. 28 were in favour, 0 against and 1 abstention. There were two postal votes which were in favour and one proxy vote given to the Chairman. The minutes were therefore approved.
- Chairman’s Report : TA reported on Trust activities throughout the year:
It’s been a challenging but overall another successful year for the Shots’ Trust. As an entity, we are now into our third year serving on the Football Club’s Board of Directors and that itself is a great achievement, and something to build on going forward.
As the Chairman of the Trust elected to the Club Board, it’s important for me to have the right personnel and team behind me to make this arrangement work and I’m pleased to say I work alongside a great team who 100% support me and the Trust’s direction going forward, representing your Club in the most dedicated fashion.
In previous years we have suffered from a relatively high turnover in personnel which put added pressure and strain on the remaining Board members to fulfil the aims and commitments at that specific time. Having a small team of course, with the increased workload we face, continues to be a huge challenge. However, we have become a more stabilised and close knit group, all pulling in the same direction which is crucial if we are going to continue to build on our relationship with the Football Club. We are fortunate to have a committed and diverse Shots’ Trust Board and I am very thankful for their input, contributions and the value they add to the team.
That leads me nicely to my next point. It is vital we don’t rest on our laurels of what we have already achieved with the Football Club and stand still. It is our aim to improve our relationship even further and with the introduction of Laura Smith as Chief Executive, that is something that is now in place for the forthcoming season. This can only benefit both the Trust and the Football Club. We have achieved some great things in the past two years and I firmly believe we will have an even better 12 months ahead with the new two-way arrangement that has been put in place by the Trust and the Football Club.
Boost the Budget has continued to go from strength and we are now getting supports coming to us and putting together some brilliant proposals on how to raise further funds for Boost the Budget this season and beyond. These are some of the things where supporters helped raised crucial funds for the scheme last year.
Mike Scott shirt collection £1,650
Shots’ fans’ shirt auction £1,161
Sponsor a Goal £3,052
Sponsored walk to Maidenhead £4,026
Snell family sponsored walk £260
Since the formation of Boost the Budget back in 2016, supporters have assisted the Football Club with a host of signings that have all made a difference to the first team squads that have made the play-offs two years running in what have been hugely competitive and strong divisions. I can assure everyone that the efforts of all are hugely appreciated by the Trust Board, Football Club and First Team Management.
Furthermore, we also run the Cash for Shots scheme in aid of Boost the Budget. Cash for Shots costs just £1 a week to enter, and you could win £100 as part of a weekly draw – not a bad return! Since taking over the scheme, we have increased numbers considerably and now have just shy of 200 members in the draw.
Last season saw the Trust run away travel to more games than we had in the previous season. We now review our away travel set up on a game by game basis. This is due to the fact that in years gone by, we have lost a considerable amount of money running coaches to matches where the take up has been poor. Our aim when running away travel now if to run financially at a minimum break even level.
I would also like to pay tribute to our Honorary President, Mike Pusey. When seeking a President, we wanted an active President and Mike certainly has ticked that box! We speak on a regular basis and Mike acts as a sounding board for me on a variety of matters. He also spends time at the Club and has a good relationship with the First Team but, more importantly Mike gets involved and works closely with the Trust Board so his work is valued highly and appreciated.
The season hasn’t perhaps started as well as we all would have liked but it is still early days and it is absolutely vital that we stick together as one to help Gary and his team pull through this with the hope of changing fortunes very soon and rising up that league table once again. The past two seasons have seen stability, success and plenty of encouragement for us all. The summer saw numerous changed in the first team squad and that sometimes takes time and patience to fully fall into place. However, the season is still young and there is plenty of time for that to change so who is to say that we can’t finish in those play-off places for a third season running? I certainly wouldn’t rule it out just yet!
Social Media activity continues to increase and our presence is ever growing.
- Treasurer’s Report – ML explained that, with the approval of the Financial Authority, the Trust had changed their financial year to be in line with the Football Club and reflect a season’s transactions. This would now run from 1 July to 30 June but this meeting would cover an 18 month period.
ML gave an informative and straightforward explanation of the accounts, explaining that there had been a loss of £690 over the 18 month period.
ML asked for questions and Bob Green suggested that the Trust could shortly be in a precarious financial position as the assets only amounted to £23970 and the Trust would be giving £20000 to the Club under the Boost the Budget arrangement. ML explained that the Trust had plans for further fundraising events to increase funds.
Bob Green asked if the subscriptions paid by members for 5 year membership were accrued over the period, to which ML replied that they were not but went into the year paid.
Simon Stevens asked how much was going to the Club. TA explained that £20,000 went to the Club under Boost the Budget and it would be the same amount for this season.
- To approve that the Financial Statements continue to receive an independent check – The Trust accounts had been independently checked at no cost by Mike Greenwood, a qualified accountant, as the turnover had not exceeded £25,000 per annum and ML expressed the Trust’s thanks for this. It was proposed by John Hannah that they continue to receive an independent check and seconded by Bob Green Members unable to attend the meeting had had the opportunity to vote on line and 29 members had voted. 27 were in favour, 0 against and 2 abstentions. There were two postal votes and one proxy vote given to the Chairman which were in favour. It was therefore agreed by the meeting.
- President – TA welcomed Mike Pusey and invited him to say a few words. MP opened by thanking TA for inviting him along and paid tribute to the members of the Trust Board for the sterling work they undertook on behalf of supporters and the Football Club. He thanked Gary and James Rowe for welcoming him to the training ground on a Friday morning where he had a chance to talk to the players and management team. The players were always able to chat to him about any problems they had outside of football.
MP said that he had learnt that in life and in football you don’t always get what you deserve and that is certainly the case with the team at the moment. At the Christmas Carol service in 2016 he remembered saying that the team were a work in progress and they made the play-offs that season and the next. He thought that Gary and James were now back at square one and the team was again a work in progress. It would take time for the team to develop because of their youth and inexperience but he was confident we would get there.
He said that he was keen to do his bit in encouraging more members to join the Trust and that, with a larger membership, more funds would go to Boost the Budget. He paid tribute to the Trust Chairman and his Board for their commitment to the Football Club.
- Election of Directors – TA explained that Bob Green had resigned from the Trust Board due to his changing circumstances in that he was now working part time at the Football Club.
As outlined in the Trust rules a third of the Directors resigned each year. This year, Janet Guess and Sean Chambers had resigned but had indicated their intention to stand for re-election. No new Board Member nominations had been received and therefore Janet and Sean were automatically re-elected.
- Objectives for the forthcoming year – TA outlined the Trust Objectives for 2018/19, which were :
– Attract more Board Members and volunteers
– Turn around the decline in membership
– Continue a positive role on the Club Board
– Continue to increase Boost the Budget and Cash for Shots contributions
– Regular communication channel to the CEO
– Host at least 3 social & fundraising events
Dave Piper asked if there were any plans to reopen the Trust Café to which TA replied that the Football Club were looking into doing something there.
Simon Stevens asked if there were any initiatives where the Trust could work with the Marketing Manager. TA explained that Andrew was new in the post but there were definitely plans for the Club and Trust to work closer together such as roadshows.
Roger Sanders offered the services of his band to raise funds for the Trust or the Club and TA agreed to discuss this further with him at the close of the meeting.
Jean Sanders said that £20 for each child to join the Junior Shots Club was too expensive, especially for families with more than one child. TA agreed to take this comment back to the Football Club.
Simon Stevens said that Mark Butler had publicised the names of those contributing to the 500 Club and he wondered if doing the same for Cash for Shots would increase contributions. TA agreed to consider this.
Simon Stevens mentioned the Joint Statement by the Club and Trust regarding criminal and anti-social behaviour as he had only seen this once. TA explained that there had been several incidents over the last two seasons and these were building up. Several banning orders had been issued and other people were on their final warnings.
John Hannah asked GW how he saw the season progressing two months from now. GW said that he had no idea. He would love to have more attacking options. At the moment, once he got two players fit, another two got injured. Also, it was mainly a young and inexperienced squad and, although talented, they would take time to develop at this level.
Mike Pusey asked if GW would like a long throw expert in the squad. GW said this would be an extra weapon but unfortunately none of the current squad had this ability.
Simon Stevens asked GW what he would like to improve the squad. He replied that, although the current strikers had a record of scoring at this level, he would like a 20-25 goal a season striker but that these did not come cheap – beyond what the Club could afford. He reiterated that he had a talented squad and expected some of them to go on to play at a higher level as had been the case with players from the last two seasons.
Asked about Adam May, GW said that he was a very talented player and that supporters should enjoy him whilst he was at the Club. He would certainly go on to play at a higher level.
John Ragan asked if the league was harder now than it had been in GW’s previous tenure. GW agreed that it certainly was with teams such as Fylde and Ebbsfleet having financial backing and with more affluent clubs either being relegated from the higher divisions or promoted from below.
John also asked if GW would like to offer extended contracts to some of the younger players. He agreed it would be beneficial in some cases and he was hopeful that more youth players would come through with the improvement to the Academy system at the Club.
Simon Stevens asked if the players were still on 52 week contracts to which GW replied that they were not. Contracts would end either at the end of the normal league season or after the play-offs if appropriate.
Simon asked if GW knew before the end of last season which players would be leaving. GW confirmed that he did and that he would not stand in the way of players moving to a higher level. He was still in contact with those players.
Mike Pusey said that, despite recent results, the team were still playing entertaining football and he appreciated this.
Jeanette Sanders said how much she and her fellow supporters appreciated the players coming over at the end of away matches to thank the supporters for attending.
There being no further questions, TA thanked everyone for attending, especially GW giving up his spare time to come along, and to Barbara for her help with the raffle.
The meeting closed at 8.40 pm.