24th May 2021 (Online Session)
Attending: Dave Eyles (Chair), Bruce Walker (Minutes), Luke Harris, Ian Devoy, Lionel Bird, Grace McKenna
Apologies: Frank Smith, Geoffery Gulzar, Jamie Gordon, Andy Fletcher, Nigel Lawrence, Rachael Brown
Matters Arising from Previous Meeting
There were no matters arising from the April Minutes which were not dealt with during the course of the meeting
Update from the Chair
Dave discussed the Forum Meeting held on 28th April and noted that the EFL's requirements, if any, regarding the new stadium proposal were unknown. He would raise that again in the future.
The remainder of Dave's updates were covered in Items 9, 10, 11 and 12 below.
Finance, Membership and Accounts
Rachael reported no change in theTrust's Fighting Fund and Membership numbers. The minor issue concerning the 2019/2020 Accounts and the review of these had finally been resolved.
Luke raised the matter of the invoices from Mail Chimp for the newsletter and comms distribution and was asked to submit them to Rachael for payment.
Football Supporters' Association
Grace reported that much of the work of the FSA was currently 'on the back burner' pending the completion of the Fan-Led Review.
Grace led further discussion of FSA matters under Item 11 below
Discussed under Item 10 below
Update and Progress on Website Revisions
In Jamie's continuing absence, concerns were raised about the status of the new, partially completed website.The site was receiving traction but Board Members other than Jamie had no access to its operation. It was argued that the site had never been formally launched as the new Trust site and in representing, primarily, Jamie's work the Trust had no effective ownership of it or of the business conducted through it. This was a serious matter with legal and financial implications.
It was agreed that Dave and Luke would urgently seek to approach Jamie, stressing the significance of these matters and would attempt to acheive a resolution
Luke explained that getting the first formal 'Newsletter' out, particularly in the absence of a new website, had been difficult and 'bumpy' with room for improvement in the links between the tasters sent to members and the full copies on the website. On the positive side, the opening and follow up rates had been very good.
It was agreed that the Newsletter itself should not be seen as a 'stand alone' item but viewed in the context of the increasing number of comms that the Trust was sending out to members. In that context, Luke suggested that a mail out containing a brief discussion of Safe Standing and a short members survey on this relating to the Ricoh (e.e.g, the North Stand in particular) might be interesting and valuable.
The FSA and the Trust Contribution to the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance
Grace agreed that she would draft and present the evidence to that Panel.
She further suggested that the most relevant areas on which a Trust concerned with Coventry City should focus would be (as drawn from the Review's ToR):
the effectiveness of fan engagement
‘fit and proper' tests of ownership
the importance of football clubs' indentities and their associated symbols
the need for independent regulation
the effectiveness of the EFL's scrutiny of clubs' finances
This was agreed by Board and Grace was thanked for her efforts in this respect.
It was suggested that a quick survey of members' views on points a. through e. above would be valuable
Luke agreed to organise such a survey of members.
City of Culture
Bruce and Grace led on this item.
Bruce had received a positive response from the City of Culture ('CoC') organisation who had outlined the assistance - e.g., ticketing, advertising and financial - they could give to independent groups such as the Trust who were developing initiatives relevant to CoC.
Grace had also approached the FSA about the funding possibilities for an initiative focusing on diversity issues among fans and had similarly received a positive response.
Bruce had drafted a letter to all members of the Supporters' Forum presenting the Trust's ideas on a fan-led CoC initiative and asking for indications on the part of those members of their willingness to assist with this. This was to be mailed out by Colin Henderson, Chair of the Forum, with whom Bruce was in discussion.
Bruce agreed to pursue the mail out to Forum members
Luke had distributed to members a short 'flyer' similarly outlining the Trust's ideas and asking for moral and/or practical support. He reported a postive response from individual members to which Grace, in turn, was responding. Dave said that he had received a positive response from a Forum member who had received the flyer.
Grace suggested that if there was a positive response from Forum members then a Zoom meeting could be organised at which options for the development and delvery of the initiative could be discussed and taken further. She had some ideas for those options.
Bruce outlined the constitutional steps that were necessary for conducting the AGM. In particular, members required 8 weeks notice of the AGM and had to be given the appropriate information for nominations to the Board. Nominations received had to be reviewed for accordance with constitutional dictates by an Election Management Group.
The date and time of the AGM 2021 was set by Board as 7.00 p.m. on 19th July, 2021 ( timing and venue tbc)
Bruce agreed to get the appropriate documentation to Luke for mailing out to members and for posting on the website
Any Other Business
Lionel raised the issue of the transfer embargo imposed on CCFC because of the non-submission of accounts and stressed the importance of the Arvo debt in financial matters affecting the Club.
Date of Next Meeting
Monday 21st June at 7.00 p.m. by Zoom