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Annual General Meeting 2011

Chesham United Supporters’ Trust AGM – Wednesday 14th September 2011

1. Welcome from Trust Chairman, Steve Turner.  Steve advised some changes to the Supporters’ Trust Committee: Keith Pittman has decided to step down due to work commitments and three new members had been voted onto the committee: Craig “Nobby” Knowles, Mike Elliott and Steve Turner, who will take on the role of Chairman.  Alan Calder and Giles Stevenson have also resigned from the Trust committee, as has Simon Robertson.

2. Steve outlined that the Trust and the Club should be seen as separate entities and outlined some of the Trust’s aims:

3. The position of the Trust with regards to shares in the club was also clarified.  The Trust would continue to support the club by buying shares up until 49.9% was reached and would then stop.  This provoked some discussion about the long-term objectives and ambitions of the Trust.  The current position is as follows: The Trust currently holds 43.25% of the shares, Charles Manchester and Mike Dickson hold 26.7% each and Mike Cant holds 3.3%. (Note: these figures were correct at the time of the AGM but have since changed slightly.  Updated figures can be found on the football club website).

4. The frequency of Trust meetings was discussed.  It was felt that a monthly meeting was too much and perhaps a quarterly meeting would be preferable.

5. Simon Newbury distributed the financial report and the following items were mentioned:

6. On the subject of the club shop, a suggestion was made to stock aerial photos of the stadium.
Action: Dave Jeffrey to investigate

7. The current Trust Committee were unanimously re-elected.  Brian Barnett proposed the re-election and this was seconded by Alan Hitchcock.

8. It was made clear that the Trust constitution allows for further members to join the board up to a maximum of 12 members.  No-one else put themselves forward but the Chairman stressed that all members of the board are open to both new ideas and new members.

9. Current membership stands at 79, which is already an increase on last year (+50%).  Membership cards are available and current members were urged to spread the word and to try to push Trust membership as much as possible.  Nigel Bunce suggested that an announcement could be made via the tannoy on matchdays.

10. Steve Turner advised that both the Club and Trust are in constant need of helpers to sell golden goal tickets, operate the turnstiles, etc.  It was proposed that a list of helpers be compiled to include the names and details of all those who would be prepared to do certain jobs on an occasional or one-off basis.  A specific appeal was made to those who don’t travel to 1st team away games to perhaps consider helping at reserve matches.  Steve was quick to point out that people who offer to volunteer every now and then would not be expected to take on jobs on a permanent basis; it is simply to help when possible and to ease the burden of others.

11. Fundraisers were mentioned, e.g. the Snowball, which, for those who are unaware, costs £5 per month per ball to enter and offers participants the opportunity to win up to £200 each month (actual amount depends on the number of entrants).  In addition to the monthly draw there are 2 big draws each year (including one at Christmas) which pays out between £450-£500.  It was also suggested that fundraisers such as the snowball could be advertised over the tannoy on matchdays.
The Trust table would be back out on 17th September to raise awareness of the Trust and to increase membership and Snowball participation.

There would also be leaflets available for the Push for Promotion campaign.  It was also made clear that any money raised via Push for Promotion was ring-fenced and guaranteed to go towards the budget for playing staff.

12. Coaches to away games were mentioned for the supporters.  Some Trust members advised that very often they did not wish to go on the team coach as they leave too late after the game and many would prefer to be home sooner.  It was also noted that coaches would be a good option for families who wanted to travel but there would need to be some rules regarding behaviour as previously the behaviour – and specifically, language – of some people on coaches was inappropriate for families.

13. Towards the end of the meeting the question of the Trust’s aims was revisited.  For some, it appeared that the decision to own no more than 49.9% of the club represented a fundamental change in objective and the ambition of the Trust was brought into question.  The position from the Trust was that the most important consideration was sustainability and to ensure that whichever decision the Trust makes, the club should be operating within its means.  This also means continuing to run the club properly and continuing to rebuild the club’s reputation in the town and local community.  The decision to buy shares up to the 49.9% level is, in certain respects, a safeguard so that no one party has an overall majority stake in the club.

14.Other sources of income were mentioned and the need to refurbish the toilets in the Chess Suite was raised.  It was felt that greater focus should be placed on the social side of the club and some commented that the facilities should be of a higher standard if the club wished to hire out the Chess Suite.

Provisional date for the next Trust Meeting – Wednesday 30th November, 7.30pm