By | June 2, 2017

Minutes of Aldershot Town Supporters Trust AGM

EBB Lounge, ESS Stadium, Aldershot

Wednesday 17 May 2017

 

PRESENT : Tommy Anderson (TA), Robin Carder (RC), Sean Chambers (SC), Bob Green (BG), Mick Lee (ML), Janet Guess (JG) and a quorum of members (20).

 

Tommy Anderson welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the top table.  He also welcomed Mike Pusey (MP), Hon President of the Shots’ Trust.

  1. Apologies : Apologies for absence were received from two members.

 

  1. To approve the minutes of the 2016 AGM : Norman Gray proposed and John Hannah 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 47 members had voted on the minutes.  47 were in favour, 0 against and 0 abstentions.  There were two postal votes which were in favour.  The minutes were therefore approved.

 

  1. Chairman’s Report : TA reported on Trust activities throughout the year:

 

It had been a challenging but overall a very successful year for the Shots’ Trust.  On Monday 1st August 2016, the Shots’ Trust made history by accepting an invitation from the Football Club to join the Board of Directors of the Football Club. We saw this invitation as a huge step in the right direction as we sought to create an improved relationship with the Club.

 

After being appointed as the Shots’ Trust Chairman at last year’s AGM, it was important for me to get the right personnel behind me to make this transition work. After a few changes to the Trust Board, 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 had 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. Thankfully, this year, despite having a smaller team, which of course with the increased workload we now face continues to be a huge challenge, we have become a more stabilised and close-knit group all pulling in the same direction.  This is crucial if we are going continue and 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.

 

We have achieved some great things this year and I firmly believe we will have an even better 12 months ahead.

 

Our main highlight has undoubtedly been the launch of the Boost the Budget Scheme back in September, which made a huge difference to the team with the signings of Kundai Benyu and Jonny Giles with funds from the Scheme.  It also provided additional funds to renew the contracts of several key First Team players, extending their contracts from 44 to 52 weeks. We are continuing to work hard and look at ways of improving this venture next season.

 

Another highlight for us was once again the Trust Cafe which has been a tremendous success, not only financially, but also in terms of providing a service to supporters. We are of course losing Nick Cave who informed us in February of his intention to stand down and pass the baton over! We would like to put on record our sincere thanks and appreciation to Nick and his wife Ewa for making this such a great success with their top dedication and professionalism.

 

Our thanks are also due to Dave Donovan who has run the Lucky 7s competition on behalf of the Trust for the last few seasons, and to Ian Barnett who continued to run EasyFundRaising.

 

Mick Lee took over the Treasurer’s role and his input is much appreciated, as is Ian Goodwright’s who has continued to give financial support and get the accounts ready for this meeting.

 

One of our main focuses this year was to increase and become more proactive in fundraising as this was an area where we had become a bit slack in previous years.  We wanted to put that right and get our name out there a bit more! We held a very successful Race Night back in September which recorded a healthy profit. Furthermore, we also introduced our new scratch card back in August and I’m pleased to say they have sold very well this season around the ground and in particular the local pubs such as the Crimea. We also held an enjoyable and successful Quiz Night back in November, which saw a good turnout and another profit made. As we entered the festive season, we ran our very own Christmas Raffle, with superb prizes on offer. Sales were incredibly encouraging and a large profit was made.

 

The running of the 50/50 draw and Cash for Shots was taken over by the Shots’ Trust this season. Both the Football Club Board and Trust felt it was important that everything was brought in house, where we are fully in control of all money and records to determine where we are and where we perhaps we need to grow and improve in the future.

 

The Trust Board recognise that the Club needs to attract more younger supporters and supported the Junior Shots Club run by the Club and organised by JG and Steve Gibbs.

 

We also announced our third Honorary President in Mike Pusey, a role that was previously held by the late Frank Burt. Mike is highly respected and well known to Shots’ fans. His support for the Trust and Club over the years has been fantastic and we were thrilled when Mike agreed to be our new President. We wanted an active president and supporter of the Club and Mike ticked those boxes and rest assured Mike’s presence will be larger next season.

 

Furthermore we also supported Mark Butler and the Commercial Team this season with various sponsorship packages and deals that benefited members. We were match ball sponsors for the Solihull Moors game, and as part of that day invited 10 members to enjoy a different EBB experience. I’m pleased to report back they all had a great time.  In fact, three immediately signed up as new Patrons’ Lounge members due to the great experience they had – which is absolutely fantastic!

 

We also had a table at the Sportsman’s Dinner back in November which saw 10 Trust members hosted for the evening and we held an auction for the chance for supporters to take part in the ATFC Annual Golf Day held in April. We also have discounted tickets available for the Summer Ball Finally, we sponsored the full kit of Charlie Walker for the 2016-2017 season.

 

Membership was still decreasing and the Trust Board recognised that this was something that needed to be worked on.  However, several new members had joined in the last few weeks.

 

  Current 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Adult 53 59 73 243 95 177 168
5 Year Adult 125 130 161 147 87 75 62
Senior 36 54 36 63 43 72 71
5 Year Senior 130 138 186 181 128 103 93
Lifetime 41 44 44 43 24 19 15
Young Supporters 7 10 22 73 52 162 140
Total 392 435 522 750 429 608 549

 

Social Media activity continues increase and our presence is ever growing.

  Followers/Likes

(June 2014)

Followers/Likes

(June 2015)

Followers/Likes

(May 2016)

Followers/Likes

(May 2017)

375 508 630 695
130 304 405 432

 

In addition, as Chairman, I sent out two updates to members throughout the season and this is something I intend to do more often.

 

We also announced our third Honorary President in Mike Pusey, a role that was previously held by the late Frank Burt. Mike is highly respected and well known to Shots’ fans. His support for the Trust and Club over the years has been fantastic and we were thrilled when Mike agreed to be our new President. We wanted an active president and supporter of the Club and Mike ticked those boxes and rest assured Mike’s presence will be larger next season.

 

TA introduced Mike who said that to be invited to be invited to be President of the Shots’ Trust was an honour and a privilege.  He needed to satisfy himself and others that the role would not conflict with his role as Club Chaplain.  He resolved to be an active President in every area he could be and saw his main focus to encourage and support Tommy in his role on the Club Board.  He would take every opportunity to encourage supporters to join the Trust, and contribute to Boost the Budget or Cash for Shots, buy scratchcards or attend the fundraising activities organised.

 

In over fifty years supporting the Shots, he had not seen anything like last season and said we should all thank Gary and James and their young team.  He was hopeful for the coming season but hoped that everyone would be realistic – this was still a work in progress but we were definitely heading in the right direction.

 

He signed off as Mr President, Mr Chaplain Mike – Up the Shots.

 

TA thanked Mike and then introduced Mick Lee, the Trust Treasurer.

 

  1. Treasurer’s Report – ML gave a brief personal history and explained how he had become involved with the Shots’ Trust. He said that IG had prepared the accounts for the first six months of the financial year and he prepared the final six months.  He explained that the profit on the Trust Café was not as much as hoped but this was due to having to pay £100 + VAT to the Club for each home game – so the Club and Trust did both benefit from this.  A decision had been made to close the Forever Shots Account and all contributors had been contacted to ask if they wished to have their contributions refunded or leave them with the Trust, and only £4,526 had been refunded.

 

ML asked for questions and John Pask asked the reason for purchasing shares in the Football Club.  TA said that a condition of having a place on the Football Club Board was that the Trust had £10,000 worth of shares.

 

Simon Stevens asked if the Boost the Budget money was held in a separate account.  ML said that the fund had initially been ringfenced but now a separate account had been set up.  The Cash for Shots fund was also in a separate account with the proceeds being used for Boost the Budget.

 

Ian Barnett asked if it would make more sense if the financial year ran from August to August for example and ML said that the Trust would consider a change of financial year.

 

ML said that the financial position was always available on the Trust website, included in the minutes of each meeting.

 

John Pask congratulated ML and Ian Goodwright on all that they had achieved, and Norman Gray said that ML had made the figures easy to understand.

 

  1. 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 IG expressed the Trust’s thanks for this. It was proposed by Ian Barnett that they continue to receive an independent check.  This was seconded by John Hannah and agreed by the meeting.

 

  1. Election of Directors – 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.
  2. Objectives for the forthcoming year – TA outlined the Trust Objectives for 2017/18, which were :

 

–     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

–     Find a way to keep Trust Café open

–     Increase sales of Scratchcards

–     Consider increased support of Junior Shots

–     Host at least 3 social & fundraising events

–     Attract more Board Member volunteers

 

  1. Any Other Business

 

John Pask thanked the Trust Board for the work they do on members’ behalf and this was echoed by those present.

 

Ian Barnett mentioned that the membership figures should not be considered too disappointing as membership usually increased when the Club was in trouble and this was not currently the case, especially with the entertainment and success on the pitch.  TA did say that they Trust would be discussing with the Football Club what benefits could be offered to Trust members.  He also wanted to increase the number of young supporter members.

 

Ian Barnett also said that communication was key and felt that RC’s involvement with Shotsweb was major plus, and that this should be used to link more with the Trust website.

 

John Ragan said that Nick Cave had been brilliant in the Trust Café and Nick received a round of applause.  John also paid tribute to the work Ian Goodwright has done for the Trust over the years and also in helping to prepare the financial report for tonight’s meeting.

 

Ian Barnett wondered if the Trust had considered a Cash for Shares scheme to increase the Trust’s share in the Football Club.

 

Richard Llanwarne asked if there had been any uptake in Boost the Budget since the end of the season, to which TA replied the Trust Board were content with the amount of money received but were on task to improve this as the season progresses.

 

It was suggested that the youngsters taking part in games on the pitch at half-time should receive some publicity, and TA agreed to follow this up.

 

TA concluded by saying the Trust Board still had plenty to do. We need to build on the foundations put in place this season and work even harder to help Gary and James with an added figure to their budget. As Chairman and an Aldershot Town fan I appreciate and have the utmost respect for the Management Team and First Team Squad for their superb achievements this season. The wave of optimism has returned to the EBB Stadium and the supporters are starting to believe once again and are making the place a fortress – long may that continue!

 

There being no further questions, the meeting closed at 8.30 pm.

Category: AGM

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