Share Scheme Annual Report

November 24, 2005

[image1] The Share Scheme Chairman, David Brain has released this year’s annual Share scheme report. All aspects, including current membership numbers are contained within his report below. If you have any questions or details you may wish to discuss about it’s contents you will be able to do this at our AGM, next Thursday.

 Share Scheme Chairman’s Report 2004/2005

This is the first Share Scheme Chairman’s report to be written with our new constitution in operation and covers the period from July 2004 – June 2005 (the end of our financial year).

The Supporters Club constitution which was implemented following last years AGM has four business committees established. There is not currently a Share Scheme business committee with the original idea that the Share Scheme Chairman would operate across the other established business committees. This has proved difficult to operate and I have tabled proposals for a dedicated committee. These proposals to establish a Share Scheme Business committee, within the Supporters Club constitution, will be proposed at the forthcoming AGM.

In March I succeeded Roger Cooper as Share Scheme chairman following his resignation in February. I would like to give my sincere thanks to Roger for his outstanding efforts during and after its launch and most importantly for his continued support. This report therefore largely covers the period in which Roger was Chairman and the short period following his resignation up to June 2005. I would also like to record my thanks to Steve Martell who was a major driving force behind the Share Scheme until work took him away to live in Nottingham.

During Roger’s tenure as chairman the Share Scheme maintained steady progress with well over £400,000 paid into the football club at the time of writing. Roger was responsible for taking the share scheme to its members through a number of ‘fans forums’ some at the Memorial Stadium and others in public houses within the Rovers heartland. These meetings generated many ideas including commissioning the “Where’s The Money Gone?” report, which looked into the finances of the Football Club, and also various ideas on how the share Scheme could be developed and expanded to meet its original aim of raising £3.5M and securing the Supporters Club 28% of the shares in Bristol Rovers Football Club. It should not be underestimated how these two are linked as understanding how the club will survive without the historical income streams from transfer revenue is vital in planning for the future and reinforces the need for the continued success of the Share Scheme. These meetings also brought Kim Stuckey into the fold when he attended a forum and offered to get involved vowing to ‘Make a Difference’. Of that there is no doubt and Kim is playing a full role in representing the Supporters Club and all fans at board level. Roger has moved aside to more directly help the football club with ground redevelopment and allied to that ‘Club Rovers’ another idea generated to boost the Share Scheme.

Although the Share Scheme failed to break the 1000 member barrier it has held up pretty well considering another year of relative failure on the pitch. At the end of this accounting period membership was:-

Bronze 633
Silver 246
Gold 50
Platinum 21
Exile 5
Total 955

However the poor results this season and growing dissatisfaction with the style of football under Ian Atkins will undoubtedly test the most loyal of Gasheads and there is already evidence that some subscribers have left the scheme over the summer and in the early weeks of this season. At the time of writing the numbers have dropped although this does not appear to be too many. However the full effect takes time to evaluate from bank statements except where members inform us they are stopping. With Ian Atkins gone there is renewed optimism and hopefully the appointment of a new manager can have a positive effect on the Share Scheme.

Throughout last season the Football Club found itself under severe financial pressure and revenue from the Share Scheme has been invaluable, not the least of which has been to support bringing Robbie Ryan to the club a player who at the time of writing is beginning to return the kind of performances that will contribute to success on the pitch. No Gasheads should forget how the share scheme paid for Andy Rammell who saved us from the Conference and Junior Agogo a firm fans favourite and leading goal scorer.

The aims and objectives for 2005/6 are to:

· Establish a Share Scheme Business committee
· Produce a mission statement and vision for the Share Scheme
· Produce a marketing plan for the Share Scheme
· Produce a retail strategy for the Share Scheme
· Issue Share Scheme certificates to our members
· Continue holding fans forums
· Introduce a scheme to encourage subscribers to continue after 3 years
· Arrange a members party to celebrate 3 years of the scheme
· Promote the commercial Share Scheme option
· Continue to look at other ways revenue can be raised to purchase shares for the Supporters Club

I would like to thank volunteers Chris Watkins, Edd Gould, Dennis Payter, Ian Pugh. James Chapman, Ian Brain and other BRSC Committee members who continue to support the share scheme activity as well as (in no particular order) Paul Seaton, Bernie Clothier, Kay Monks, Teresa Kolman and , Clare McDonagh who administers the Share Scheme.

David Brain

Share Scheme Chairman

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