22nd March 2021 (Online Session)
Attending: Dave Eyles (Chair), Bruce Walker (Minutes), Luke Harris, Ian Devoy, Rachael Brown, Lionel Bird, Andy Fletcher
Apologies: Frank Smith, Geoffery Gulzar, Jamie Gordon, Nigel Lawrence and Grace McKenna
Matters Arising from Previous Meeting
Current Matters Arising from Items on the March Agenda:
Item 6: Finance and Membership: A Zoom meeting with our external advisor, Dave, Rachael and Bruce on the 2019/20 Accounts to be arranged to finalise outstanding issues.
Item 9 and 13: Football Supporters' Association and City Back in the City: Bruce agreed to liaise with Grace on the Trust's possible contribution to the City of Culture which would seek, among other things, to link in with the FSA's Diversity Initiative and its funding
Item 10: It was agreed that the new logo would be rolled out to all our communications
Item 11: Update and Progress on Website Provisions: Jamie had requested help in updating the Club's ownership and history summaries on the current website.
Item 11: A request for more access to be arranged for Board members to have access to the new website's content system to help with its expansion and development
Item 13: City Back in the City: Luke agreed to draft a 'Partnership Opportunities' leaflet for Board's consideration
A part of the discussions on Items 9 and 11 Lionel explained that City had, in 1954, been one of the earliest British clubs to field a black player, Steve Mokone. He believed that a Dutch film had been made about him. During the ensuing discussion Luke found the title of the film - The Black Meteor - on-line which many Board members were keen to view.
Update from the Chair
The big news, of course, was the return of the club to the Ricoh for next season, which was enthusiastically welcomed by Board. Dave also opened the discussion on the current and potential ticketing situation at the Ricoh (see Item 5). He also shared the rumour that a potential new sponsorship deal for the naming and other rights in the Ricoh may have been an important push and pull factor in the ground sharing agreement with Wasps.
The Minutes of the last Forum meeting are available on the Trust's website.
As part of his summary of the meeting, Dave confirmed that the maximum capacity of the Ricoh would set at 8k which would have major implications for seat allocations and arrangements for season ticket holders and non-season ticket holders alike. There was the related matter of the provision of I Follow coverage in a situation where no away fans were to be allowed in the forseeable future and where a significant number of home fans were unable to attend home matches.
The Forum had also agreed that the regular items on their agenda relating to the EU Complaint and the Warwick University stadium agreement, as there was nothing to report at present, should be dropped and replaced by ad hoc reporting back on these matters. There was some disquiet at Board on this, as both matters are potentially critical to the stability and development of the Club. The appearance on the Agenda of these items reflects that fact, even if 'Nothing to report' was to be the usual and only response.
On a positive note, Board welcomed indications that the sharing and planned expansion of facilities at the Ricoh and elsewhere was going well. Finally:
It was agreed at the Forum that Frank Smith and Colin Henderson (Forum Chair) would stand for the position of representative of the club's supporters on the Safety Advisory Group (SAG). This would be subject to confirmation nearer the time of any election to the SAG.
Finance, Membership and Accounts
Rachael reported no change in theTrust's Fighting Fund (£4,555.84) and Membership numbers (2,785).
Dave agreed to arrange a Zoom meeting with Rachael and Bruce to finally resolve the irritating anomaly in last year's accounts.
Football Supporters' Association
In anticipation of her absence, Grace had alerted Board to the FSA's new initiative relating to football supporters and mental health issues and recommended that the following link to Terrace Talk be incorporated in these Minutes and in an appropriate place on the Trust's website, Newsletter and social media.
It was agreed that the new logo would appear where appropriate on all the Trust's communications, including Twitter and Facebook, and emails.
Once the new Trust website and Newsletter was fully up and running, we would also 'advertise' these not only to members but to key contacts (e.g., local media and the Former Players Association).
Update and Progress on Website Revisions
In Jamie's absence, Luke led on this item. He re-iterated Jamie's earlier call for assistance in 'maxing up' the website and asked for Board's help in updating and improving the pages on club history and ownership. Further, there was a need for greater access for Board members to the 'content system', i.e. making it easier for those other than Jamie, Luke and Dave to suggest, post and amend items for the website.
It was agreed that Dave and Luke, perhaps in conjunction with Grace and Geoffery, would look at facilitating access to the new website, thus enabling others to assist with its development.
It was agreed that at the next meeting Luke, Jamie and colleagues would present a draft of the Newsletter for comment and discussion with a view to it being ready for distribution at the end of April.
City Back in the City: What Next
There was a wide ranging discussion of a variety of possible initiatives that could be introduced and promoted now that City are back in Coventry. In addition to a contribution(s) to the City of Culture, these included:
(a) Stronger links with the Coventry community particularly local to the Ricoh. One suggestion was the re-establishment of the Foleshill Supporters Club, based at Parkestone WMC.
(b) Actively forging links with other supporters' clubs and other organisations - particularly Sky Blues in the Community - that link the club and its City
(c) Participating in/sponsoring one-off events, e.g., a Family Zone Fun Day
(d) Planning the introduction of tangible benfits for members, and perhaps for others, such as membership cards, t-shirts, badges and beer mats.
(e) Encouraging partnerships between the Trust and local businesses/facilities which could perhaps offer some discounts to Trust members in return for advertising the Trust/CCFC support on the website and on other Trust materials.
Luke agreed to draft a 'Partnership Opportunities' leaflet for Board's consideration
All the above are contingent on the completion of the website transformation and, to a degree, a successful Newsletter launch. Both would raise the Trust's profile and credibility in the eyes of potential members and partners.
Any Other Business
Dave asked the Board to think about future Board positions and roles, and the possible occupants of those positions and roles, in plenty of time for the AGM in June.
Date of Next Meeting
Monday 19th April at 7.00 p.m. by Zoom