Statement from the board of Trust In Yellow
Friday May 06, 2011
Relegation has naturally brought a great reaction amongst supporters of the club both members and non-members of the Trust.
The board of the Trust will meet next week and there is a members’ meeting on the 2nd June where there will be opportunity for all members to discuss all issues in full. By that time any possible reprieve for us in the Conference Premier may be clearer.
Whatever, league we play in next season there are obviously some fundamental issues to be addressed as to the running of the club.
The Trust wrote a very detailed paper last year giving ideas as to how the running of the club could be improved. Unfortunately there was no response to our ideas from the club.
Nevertheless the Trust showed it was still prepared to cooperate and work with the club on issues where the Trust members think there is a long term guaranteed benefit to club and supporters. This is why members agreed to support the new floodlights scheme. At our last meeting with the club before the Darlington match, progress with this scheme was discussed and a full report will be given at the June meeting.
A couple of points should be mentioned at this stage.
Firstly, despite our relegation, funding for Conference North clubs from the Football foundation would still be sufficient to give us 50% of the cost of the floodlights
Although the issue of whether relegation would put a stop to the scheme was mentioned it was NOT said that it definitely would not happen. The Trust board members believe it is essential this scheme goes through.
The club’s share of the cost would be not much more that £20,000 and the club board would have to remember that the similar amount of money from the Trust as their share of the scheme would not be available to the club for simple running costs if a decision was made not to go ahead with the floodlights.
There are those who argue that the Trust should not use the money we raise to help fund such projects, as the club should have money to fund it completely itself.
The Trust members have raised money to improve facilities at the club and we believe on this issue it is vital to put pressure on the club to take action now. If we did not contribute would the scheme proceed? If it did would this produce a corresponding reduction in other moneys made available to the manager, etc? We also believe that improving facilities at Haig Avenue, such as floodlights, does make the club a more attractive proposition to any outsiders considering investing in the club.
There are many issues to ask the club especially in financial terms at the AGM and as a significant shareholder the Trust will put forward those questions (whether we get all the answers of course is another matter!).
There is a range of opinions amongst supporters about the Chairman’s running of the club over the years. Those who were supporting the club through the 80s (and there weren’t many!) will firmly believe that the club is in a better position now than then. The real point though is that we should be in a much better position than we actually are now. We are grateful to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman for their work and money over the years that has helped give us a club to support but a club with our potential should be a strong member of the Blue Square Bet Premier ... (indeed, why should we be smaller than clubs like Macclesfield, Burton, Morecambe, Rochdale, etc;)
We can agree and disagree with a number of issues as to how the club is run but one thing is certain about any football club (or other organisation). Unless you communicate properly with the supporters and let them know your plans and reasons for your decisions you will eventually alienate them and severely reduce the chances of success for the club. You may get away with a lack of communication when you are winning Championships but not the rest of the time.
Open meeting for all members of Trust In Yellow.
Thursday, 2nd June, 7-30pm. Grandstand Bar
Minutes of Members' Meeting on Thursday, 24th March
Wednesday March 30, 2011
Apologies: Paul I, Bill S
1.Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising
The Trust is still hopeful of publishing a brochure in memory of Sally Devine. A number of her photos have been sent to the Trust and more can hopefully be obtained.
Martyn O’Hara was thanked for his efforts in organising the successful weekend trip to Eastbourne Borough on 5 March. The Trust also thanked Steve Wignall, who paid for wine on every table for the evening meal on the Friday.
2. Treasurer’s Report
The Trust’s balance is now £10,371. £294 relating to coach travel is currently being held, with net funds available at £10,064. Steve Wignall has paid £300 in sponsorship for the goals scored by Karl Ledsham. The Trust is on course to meet its target of breaking even on coach travel, with a current £9 profit.
The membership has remained consistent, with the majority of renewals not due until the start of next season.
4. Quiz night
Tickets are now being sold for the Trust’s fifth anniversary celebration on 26 April. Liam Watson has confirmed he will captain a team to take on a group of four supporters.
5. Players’ reunion, 2011
The reunion will take place on Sunday 9 October at the Prince of Wales, with arrangements currently being finalised. The Trust has been given free access to the room with a buffet menu. Admission prices will be confirmed. Geoff Wilde has already contacted a good number of former Football League players.
6.Other fundraising activities
There is interest in holding a players v supporters cricket match during pre-season and this will be looked into. Mark Parr has provided the Trust with sample key rings to tie in with the floodlights project.
The Trust has asked Charlie Clapham for an update on the present position in choosing its preferred company to complete the work and the grant from the Football Foundation. Another meeting with the club will hopefully take place before the end of the season.
8. Coach Travel
Seats are still available on the coach to Altrincham next Tuesday. Members will be able to travel to the final two away matches of the season, against Tamworth and Kettering, for the combined special offer price of £23.
9 Supporters’ Direct
The Supporters’ Direct annual conference will be held in Chester on the weekend of 15 / 16 July and some of the Trust’s board members will be looking to attend.
11. Dates of next meetings
12 May (board), 2 June (members)
Minutes of Board Meeting. 24th February
Sunday February 27, 2011
Minutes of Trust in Yellow Board Meeting - Thursday 24 February
Apologies: Paul I
1.Minutes of previous meeting
The Trust has looked into the possibility of publishing a brochure in memory of Sally Devine with a collection of her photographs. The likely cost of printing 200 brochures is £660 if laminated, £360 non-laminated. There are many photos which the Trust does not currently have and further enquiries about obtaining these will be made before deciding whether to publish a brochure.
2. Players’ reunion, 2011
Geoff Wilde was invited to the meeting to discuss the possibility of arranging this event, Geoff having previously organised three reunions. After considering the work likely to be involved, it was decided the Trust will take over the running of the next reunion.
The reunion will take place in 2011, marking the club’s 130th year. A date in the autumn is found usually to be most convenient in allowing as many people as possible to attend. The Trust has already been in contact with the Floral Hall and will now see if a Sunday in October is available.
Once a date is agreed, the Trust will look to form a sub-committee to make arrangements and begin the process of contacting former players. Geoff went through the likely work involved and kindly agreed to start making contact with the club’s former Football League players.
Former Non-League players and supporters have been invited to previous reunions and will again be welcome.
3. Treasurer’s Report
The Trust’s current balance stands at £10,759, with £863 in respect of future coach travel, including the weekend trip to Eastbourne. The Trust has run ten coach trips to date at a loss of £14. The net funds available to the Trust now total £9,851, having been boosted by a pledge scheme payment of £200 received from Steve Wignall.
The current membership is 202.
5. Progress of floodlight project with the club
Since the last members’ meeting, the Trust has been in contact with the club regarding the issuing of shares in return for funds raised towards this project .The club has now agreed to this. The Trust has sought advice from Supporters’ Direct and discussions with the club are continuing.
The club is now understood to be in the process of choosing its preferred company to complete the work, obtaining planning permission and making enquiries with the Football Foundation. The Trust will write to Charlie Clapham for an update on the club’s progress,
A quiz evening will be held on 26 April to mark the Trust’s fifth anniversary. Supporters can bid for their place in a team of four to take on a team captained by Liam Watson. A number of possible events will be looked into, including a supporters’ match, golf day, the “One Man Football Show” with Grahame Lloyd and key rings to tie in with the floodlights project. The Trust will look to gauge the interest in running a coach to the Conference play-off final at the City of Manchester Stadium in May.
7. Coach Travel
The weekend trip to Eastbourne on 5 March is fully booked but no coach will run to Bath City on Saturday due to insufficient demand.
The Trust has looked at the way prices for coach trips are published. The Trust’s aim is to break even on coach travel, with most matches priced on the basis that 25 people will travel and the fare reduced accordingly should more bookings be taken.
However, it has been suggested that the prices quoted can seem high and could deter fans from travelling. In the hope of encouraging more people to travel, the Trust will try publishing fares on the basis that more than 25 bookings will be taken. The coach to Rushden & Diamonds will be priced at £23 for members given that 30 people travel.
The board thanked Nick Catterall for his work with the Trust after his decision to step down from the board.
9. Dates of next meeting
Thursday, 24th March (members’ meeting)
Minutes of Trust Members' Meeting on Thursday, 3rd February
Monday February 07, 2011
Minutes Of Trust Members' Meeting -3rd February 2011
All committee present
Minutes of previous meeting – nothing arising that wasn’t covered elsewhere on the agenda.
Finances – account stands at £10,135 of which £459 is accounted for in advance payments. Insurance has been renewed, next match signs have cost £500 so far this season. Coach travel shows a £15 loss for the season with an average of 35 people per trip.
Membership – currently 197, upsurge after the FA Cup draw, a lot of memberships have been due for renewal recently and as we have a 75% renewal rate thus anticipate further membership uptake.
Meeting with the club:
Martin R outlined the detail in the meeting with the club with the following main points:
The club have received a 3 yr block funding of 12K per year to continue the schools & community project with the balance matched by the club. This will be mainly sourced by after schools clubs and soccer schools.
Money from the recent transfers of Duffy and Noone to Scunthorpe and Brighton has not been received yet and the latter may take some time to come through given Plymouth’s difficulties, but as a footballing creditor we will eventually receive this payment, unless the club goes bankrupt.
Floodlights – Trust representatives had been shown several quotes the club have received for 4 corner floodlights which will meet League 2 standards(350 Lux). Costs will be a maximum of around 80K before VAT (which is recoverable by the club). Grants from the Football Foundation currently are set at 20%, but at a meeting this month this is expected to rise to 50% and the club will be submitting an application on this basis.
Planning application approved previously, so not anticipated to be a problem this time. Floodlights to be installed pre-season this summer and the Trust will fund 50% of the outstanding cost (subject to grant levels and affordability). Our share will be a maximum of £20,000 with some payment up front on completion of the work and the balance over 12 months after completion. Discussions about receiving shares in respect of this are still ongoing.
The Club have had further preliminary plans produced to re-develop the ground including the covering of the popular side and the Blowick end and this partly may be funded through a further share issue, grants, etc;.
Events – players re-union – the original booking with the Floral Hall has been released as it was deemed insufficient time to organise. It was unclear what needed to be done in respect of organising an event like this and it was agreed to invite Geoff Wilde to the next board meeting to discuss this. Geoff has organised these events in the past.
Quiz and end of season party – provisionally scheduled for Tuesday 26th April. Liam has agreed to arrange a team of four (including himself and at least one player) who will compete against a team of four supporters. The supporters’ places will be auctioned off prior to the event. Rob is preparing the questions and there will also be auctions and raffles on the night which coincides with the trust’s 5th Anniversary.
Race night – provisionally planned for September.
Coach travel – 40 booked for trip to Altrincham. There is a potential deal on the Mansfield and Hayes trip of £40 for both trips. This is subject to the Mansfield fixture going ahead as the date is scheduled for a round of the FA Trophy in which they are still involved.
Eastbourne Weekender – Martyn advised we have had an excellent uptake on this. 34 people have placed deposits with a further four confirming they will pay at the next games. Martyn is currently looking into the possibility of arranging a discount with the hotel for those who wish to make their own way there as there has been substantial interest.
Income streams – the TIY webshop currently has over £60 worth of commissions.
Steve Wignall has switched his goal pledge from Danny Lloyd to Karl Ledsham.
Due to the unfortunate passing away of Sally Devine, Julia has been approached by the Champion newspaper to provide photographs for them. Julia has suggested that instead of payment to herself, the Champion would make a donation to the trust and discussions are ongoing.
AOB – As mentioned previously, the trust would like to pass on their condolences to the family of Sally Devine and are investigating the possibility of producing a brochure of Sally’s work, with profits donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Next board meeting – 24th Feb
Next Members meeting – 24th March