Minutes of Meeting: 20th February 2003

Minutes of Society Board meeting held on 20th February 2003, Halfway House, Stirling
Secretary: Richard King (in Jim Thomson’s Absence

Present: Robert Cunningham, Linda Graham, Graham Hamilton, Dick King, Sandy Morton, Colin Ogilvie, and Nelson Robertson

Apologies: John Buchan, Neil Emslie, David Gardner, Murray MacLeod, Jim Thomson

Chairman’s Report
Dick reported that he had written to Peter McKenzie on 19 January 2003 along the lines agreed at the last Society Board meeting on 16 January 2003 but no response of any sort had been received. Thus, no objection had been received to the distribution of the newsletter outside the ground and the way was clear for us to proceed accordingly. It was AGREED that this be undertaken at the Elgin game on 1 March 2003.

Since no reply had been received, it was assumed that the Club would not be availing itself of the opportunity to attend the AGM on 6 March 2003.

A discussion ensued on the outstanding Council/Club issues awaiting resolution.
Treasurer’s Report
The Annual Accounts and Report for the period ended 31 December 2003 had received a satisfactory audit from a qualified auditor and would be available at the AGM.

Sandy reported on the current financial position of the Trust and it was noted that Jim Thomson was still owed in respect of the player sponsorship, the cost of which had been covered by his personal cheque to the Club which had been cashed, albeit the sponsorship not properly activated by the Club. It was AGREED that once the Club had unblocked sponsorship we could reasonably expect the Club to agree to provide a player sponsorship for the whole of season 2003/4 as well as for the remainder of the current season.

Sandy had established that because we were not a registered charity we had no entitlement to benefit from tax exemption under the Gift Aid concept.
Membership was believed to stand at 57.

Supporters’ Direct had issued an email encouraging Trusts to put in their claims now for matched funding notwithstanding that small amounts might be involved, rather than delay claims whilst larger amounts accumulated. It was AGREED that Sandy would submit the necessary claim after the AGM.
Supporters’ Direct Conference and Seminars – Tynecastle – 19 January 2003
Graham gave a comprehensive verbal report covering the proceedings of the event which he and Jim Thomson had attended. The day’s proceedings had been very worthwhile and he hoped that the event would become an annual one. Given that 4 seminars had been held simultaneously it would be important to try to send 4 delegates if permissible.

Amongst the key issues which emerged, Graham referred to:
fact that Trusts could get access to grants from a number of sources. Supporters’ Direct had been asked and agreed to circulate details in writing
Minister for Sport, Mike Watson, had agreed to write on behalf of the Scottish Executive to every senior Club in Scotland encouraging them to engage with supporters through Trusts
Registration of the Rules
Nelson and Dick reported upon their scrutiny of the Rules as presented for signature by Cobbetts (Solicitors). This has led to exchanged Email with Cobbetts copies of which had been circulated to Board members.

It was noted that Financial Services Authority diktat precluded our being registered as “Stirling Albion Supporters’ Trust” and Cobbetts had proposed that we be registered as “Stirling Albion Supporters’ Society Limited” and this would need to appear at the foot of official correspondence. This was AGREED.

Nelson and Dick drew attention to Rule 56 and the fact now apparent following drafting by Cobbetts that the Society Board would be restricted to 12 members which would necessarily have to include any co-opted persons to the Board (whereas we had believed that such co-optees would be additional to 12 elected members). After discussion, it was AGREED that we should seek to have Rule 56 amended to provide for a maximum of 15 members, giving the scope we desired.

The Rules, as amended, were then signed by Dick, Sandy and Graham, and it would now be necessary to secure Jim Thomson’s signatures on all 3 documents. Thereafter, the documents would be submitted to Cobbetts.
The Working Group set up to examine this matter and submit recommendations had had its first meeting. Considerations had ranged over a CD Fair (Dave Gardner was looking into costs); Highland Games competitions in the names of the Trust, Club and Council; car boot sales; fun run; charity walk; football tournament involving Trusts, Clubs and youth teams; ceilidh (hire hall, hire band, run own bar – would involve much planning); quiz sheet (DVD as prize); season ticket purchased – then raffled; prize bingo night; Associates Club to run own bar; football top to get raffled; T-shirts; and casino night (vice race night).

Graham reported on a concept whereby each child gaining entry to the ground would be issued with a voucher worth £1 for each game attended which could then be redeemed later through his/her school. It was thought to have been conceived at Chesterfield and warranted further investigation and consideration.

The Working Group would report further, probably to the AGM.

Neil had also Emailed information re badges and this would be considered further.

Annual General Meeting
AGREED that a recommendation be put to members at the AGM that membership taken out so far be valid to 31 December 2003, with membership renewal being sought thereafter. The point would also be made that donations were always welcome.
Consideration was given to the following for inclusion in the Website:

About the Trust (along the lines of the Aberdeen ST webpage(s))
News/Press Release
Contact us (see Raith Trust facility)
Trust FAQ’s
How to join
Constitution – either an abridged version, or the lot, but indexed section by section (see Hamilton Trust site)
Society Board – Who’s who
Accounts- annual/audited
Minutes – working groups, Society Board, General meetings, AGM
Discussion forum – at a later stage, once membership grown
Links – to Club Official Site
to unofficial sites
Supporters Direct
AGREED that Colin could make a start developing the website – with contribution of text from Board members.
Other Business
Sandy suggested that it might be worth considering sponsoring Forth Valley Broadcasting (Radio Royal) – the hospital radio service – for £50 per annum. AGREED this would receive future consideration.

It was noted with surprise and regret that Alastair Brookes had resigned his position as Commercial Manager at the Club – reasons unknown.