2005 AGM Report

December 3, 2005

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Thursday night saw the AGM of the Supporters Club held in the Bristol Room at the Memorial Stadium. Attendance was good, with much to discuss on the evening.

Since last year’s annual meeting, changes have been made to the structure of the committee and on the evening it was important to inform the members how these changes affected how the committee now performs.

First duty for the night was to appoint two tellers to oversee the voting for the Associate Director election, taking place between David Brain and Kenneth Masters. Steve Slade was appointed returning officer for the vote.

Supporters Club chairman John Malyckyj opened the meeting with matters arising from the minutes of the last AGM. Having discussed them, they were accepted and seconded by the floor.

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Next John gave his annual report, in which he gave an insight into the work that has gone in behind the scenes this season to ensure the smooth running of operations, along with revealing some of the many difficulties that have had to be overcome along the way. He paid credit to the new business sub committee chairs, chairing the four new sub committees, commercial, communications, social and match day. He also paid credit to the shop staff, both paid and voluntary at both 199 and Pirate Leisure and thanked them especially for the many occasions they were prepared to go that extra mile to help get the job done. Finally, John recorded his thanks to recently departed committee members Phil Draper, Sandra Jaques and Jim Staynings for their contributions over the years. The report was then opened to the floor for any questions and then accepted and adopted by the members.

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Next up was the financial report from treasurer Jane Browne.
Jane had produced a set of accounts, which had been previously posted on our web site in advance of the meeting for members to read and ask any questions on the night.
Jane read her report and discussed some of the contents as required by members from the floor and these were duly accepted and adopted.

The four business committee chairs spoke next, with Robin-Mark Schols from the communications committee speaking first. He spoke of the many ways his committee have used in attempting to raise the profile of both the supporters club and the football club this year. He spoke of the website and the regular increase in user numbers, and also announced advertisers are being sought for it. Additionally, he spoke of the news posters that go up around the stadium and the local pubs as an additional service to fans. He pointed out advertisers were also being sought for these and this process would start very soon. He also made members aware of the many other media being used for promoting business and raising profile. Finally he paid tribute to his colleagues from the communications committee, including Steve Hoyle, Ben Ede and Stuart Hicks for specific roles, along with all contributors to the website in addition to all others including shop staff who have helped with work in this area this year.

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David Hewett was next, delivering his report on activities of the Social committee.
He spoke of the work he has done this year and of the collaborations he has with both Robin-Mark Schols and Trish at the stadium. He is working closely with both to promote social events run by both the Supporters Club and the stadium company. It is important to recognise that whilst the main role is to work for our members, it is also our role to support the football club, so it is natural that the committee would help in the promotion of stadium events. He continued with announcing how much money had been raised through events run through his committee this year and announced plans for events in the pipeline. He ended by thanking everyone who has supported him.

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Fan’s Director Kim Stuckey was next to speak.
As Sandra Jaques had recently stepped down from the committee, he has stepped in to guide the Supporters club commercial role in the short term, so he started by giving an address on commercial activities. Having done so, he then discussed how he has worked to help represent the fans in the boardroom and how he has worked as a board member. This has ranged from his P.R. activities through to his input into the new management selection process. Along the way he has contributed to many other projects including the Share Scheme, stadium development process and the new C.R.M. system the Supporters Club commercial committee are looking to implement in the near future. Kim paid tribute to the help and support offered by Jane Browne, particularly while she was fan’s Director alongside him in the boardroom. After the report being put to the floor, the members accepted it.

Finally, Supporters Club Vice Chairman Jim Chappell delivered the Match day committee report. He reported in the absence of previous chair of this committee, Jim Staynings, who had recently stepped down. Mr Chappell spoke of the work that has to be put in on a match day and paid tribute to the army of volunteers who turn out every match day to sell programmes and draw tickets and generally help out to ensure the smooth running of a match day. He added his thanks for Jim Stayning’s work and expressed his hope that Jim Staynings would reconsider his position in the future.
Again, the members accepted this report.

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With all reports delivered, the next item on the agenda was the discussion of three proposals. These involved the membership fees for the Supporters Club that had remained unchanged for some 5 or 6 years. In view of rising administration costs, the committee put the proposal that membership should rise from £5 to £7 per year and 65+ fees, currently a free membership, should be raised to £3. There was a good deal of debate on these issues until a suggestion came from the floor that to make things simpler, the 65+ membership fee should just be 50% of the full membership (£3.50).
This amended proposal was duly accepted by the floor as one item.
The third proposal was to form a fully-fledged Share Scheme business committee. Up to now it had worked across all the business committees, but it had become apparent that it would work better as a self-supporting committee. This was voted on and accepted without much debate.

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David Brain then stood to deliver the progress report of the Share Scheme. He discussed this and what was in progress to both improve the benefits and membership numbers over the forthcoming year. He paid tribute to those who were responsible for setting up and maintaining the scheme before he had become chair and pledged to continue their work and appealed for more volunteers to help with this.

John Malyckyj then addressed the room to announce the Associate Director election results. The vote numbers were as follows;
David Brain 38 votes

Kenneth Masters 35 votes

There were 4 spoiled papers and David Brain was duly proposed as Associate Director, which will be ratified by the board in due course.

John Malyckyj asked if there was any other business. With none to discuss, before he closed the meeting he spoke of the criticisms of both the committee and the process this season. “There are those that criticise the workings of this club and it’s committee quite publicly”, he said. “Those people have had a number of chances to address those observations this season via a number of open forums and public meetings. It is disappointing that despite some quite fierce criticism at times, when offered these opportunities these people decline them time and time again. Our objective is to be open and accountable to our members, which we try to do to our best but to some it is still not enough.”
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He then discussed the Supporters Club man of the match award and recent problems concerning it. “ I have been in discussion with Paul Trollope to encourage him to ask players to come into the bars after matches to give fans the opportunity to meet them. Sadly, after one recent match a player had an overwhelming number of votes and it had become apparent a group had voted this way in an attempt to mock this player rather than congratulate him. It does us no credit whatsoever when this sort of thing is allowed to happen and as a consequence, the Supporters Club man of the match award has been suspended until further notice. While we try to create a bond with our team, these sorts of events do damage and hinder any progress being made. I hope we can make further progress and re-introduce this in the New Year.”
He ended by closing the meeting and thanking all those present for attending.

There was a fifteen-minute break and then an open forum took place with the board and Lennie Lawrence and Paul Trollope. A report on this is contained in another article on the site, which will appear later.

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