OxVox COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: Thursday 7th April 2016 (held at Oxford City and County Bowls Club)
Attendees: Michael North (MN), Matt Cavill (MC), Terry Winter (TW), Jeremy Faulkner (JF), Graham Butler (GB), Kate Longworth (KL), Colin Barson (CB), Simon Bradbury (SB), Trevor Lambert (TL)
Apologies: Maurice Earp (ME)
Start: 7.00pm. Finish. 9.45pm
1. Actions from the Minutes of the last meetings held on 28th January and 12th March
(a) The minutes from the last Committee meeting from the 28th January 2016 and the minutes from the AGM on 12th March 2016 were agreed with no outstanding items.
2. New Committee – New members and Decision on Officers & Other Roles
(a) Following the election results announced at the AGM on the 12th March, 4 new committee members were elected to the OxVox Committee. The members welcomed – Kate Longworth, Trevor Lambert, Simon Bradbury and Colin Barson. In addition, the committee were delighted with the re-elections of both Mathew Cavill and Michael North.
(b) The meeting discussed confidentiality and it was agreed that no information from committee meetings should be shared in any form until after formal minutes were issued to members. A revised and formal confidentiality document will be signed by all committee members at the next meeting.
(c) The meeting discussed the various officer and other specific roles on the committee and the following appointments were unanimously agreed by all those present:
Trust Chairman: Jem Faulkner
Trust Vice Chairman: Simon Bradbury
Trust Treasurer: Terry Winter
Trust Secretary: Jem Faulkner (supported by Trevor Lambert)
Trust Membership Secretary: Michael North
Trust Community Liaison: Kate Longworth
Trust Thames Valley Police Liaison: Graham Butler
Trust Member Data Base Management: Trevor Lambert
Trust Social Media Communications: Simon Bradbury (supported by Maurice Earp)
(d) It was agreed that sub committees could be formed to work on specific projects. Sub committees could involve members who are not on the committee and therefore enable the Trust to make good use of the wide skill set that exists within the membership.
3. Finance and Administration
(a) TW confirmed that cash within the 3 Trust bank accounts stands at £10,600 which is a very healthy position.
(b) TW made the meeting aware that a further £430 had been drawn down from the OxVox PayPal Account. This is money from members joining online.
(c) It was agreed by all to consider if we actually need 3 separate bank accounts. This will be discussed at the next meeting. TW to make a proposal after he has taken advice from John Gould as to the historic rationale for 3 accounts.
(d) TW discussed the need for new bank (cheque) signatories. It was agreed that TW, MN, GB and TL would be able to sign cheques. (2 signatures are required on a cheque). TW will liaise with these members to ensure the required bank mandates are completed ASAP.
(e) MN made the meeting aware that changes to the banking and signatories of The Yellow Army are in the process of being implemented. Once this is complete and YA bank statements are available, it is proposed that TW and JF will sit down with the YA to confirm that all monies are where they should be and that any loans ETC are correctly accounted for. This will be actioned by the end of April.
(f) The meeting discussed fund raising and the potential for corporate sponsors. The members present agreed that The Trust would not carry out ‘general’ fund raising events in the coming year but would look to fund raise for specific projects. Funds needed to run the Trust and deliver specific activities would be generated by membership growth, donations and from corporate sponsors.
(g) The meeting agreed that SB and KL would discuss and agree a corporate sponsor strategy and report back at the next meeting.
(h) MN confirmed that he would once again donate funds to The Trust derived from the programme sales activity he undertakes. The committee thanked MN for his financial support.
(i) Following a year in which Matt Derbyshire used his considerable experience and expertise to support The Trust, it was agreed that this support should now cease, albeit that it is hoped that MD would still help if required. JF will talk with MD and organise for the appropriate changes to emails and other admin related tasks to be actioned by the end of April.
(j) There are some monies owing to Matt Derbyshire and MN (payment of license fees and postage). TW to confirm the amounts owing and make the payments to MD and MN ASAP.
4. Trust Priorities, Projects and Targets
(a) It was agreed at the AGM that members would be fully consulted and involved in determining the specific projects and priorities that the Trust should undertake in the coming year.
(b) A separate communication will be sent to members by the end of April outlining what the committee feels are the priorities and asking for members to feedback their views and any other areas that they wish the committee to work on.
(c) The meeting discussed a number of areas that are currently being worked on.
(a) Work has continued at pace in assessing the issue of stadium ownership and establishing a factual base from which the committee can make a detailed and considered proposal to members.
(b) Meetings continue to be being held with the key stakeholders. The latest meeting was with the Leader of Oxford City Council and over the 2 hour session a number of key facts and potential opportunities were established. Some of the information provided was of a sensitive and confidential nature. The Trust is also looking to meet with Firoz Kassam by the end of April.
(c) The Trust has been meeting with Populous, a world leading stadium design company, to try to better understand – stadium costs, funding streams, and also what might be possible to significantly improve the current stadium, including options for further development. This information will be included in the Trusts final report. This work is important given that requests for information from other parties regarding stadium projects had not been forthcoming.
(d) The committee feels good progress is being made, but due to the level of analysis and detail required, a coherent proposal for members to consider is unlikely before mid May.
(e) The Trust has also carried out significant research on club finances in Leagues 1, 2 and the Championship. This is to fully understand relative financial performances and enable current and strategic forecasts and comparisons to be made versus OUFC.
(f) Much is said about Brighton and Hove Albion’s (BHA) Amex Stadium and although splendid in its construction, financial investigations and discussions with the BHA Supporters Trust, reveal that BHA are currently £60m negative on shareholder funds. Their last set of audited accounts also show that the club lost £8m on a turnover of £24m! This is causing a degree of nervousness to the BHA Supporters Trust! For info, the reported total cost for the Amex was £90m.
6. Fan Representation on the Board of OUFC
(a) Further progress has being made with regard to the opportunity to establish formal fan representation on the board of OUFC.
(b) Terry Winter and Simon Bradbury met with Daryl Eales, Cheryl Cooper and James Mathie & Nicola Hudson from Supporters Direct on the 22nd March for exploratory talks about opportunities to make the relationship between fans and the club more formal. (c) 3 models were discussed, one is fan ownership (Portsmouth as an example), one is a Supporter Director and the other is Structured dialogue. OxVox already have the third option. A Supporter Director is an option but will require careful consideration by all parties. (d) DE is keen to push boundaries and is fully in favour of fan representation and the opportunity to work with a small group of ‘can-do’ supporters whilst also seeking out skills within the fan base to help the club develop and prosper.
(e) It is felt very good progress has been made and a further meeting between OxVox, Darryl Eales and with Supporters Direct facilitating, will be held in May.
7. Membership Growth
(a) TL reported that membership growth has continued and that the Trusts membership is likely to exceed 600 members within the next week or so!
(b) The meeting discussed a membership target for the coming year and it was agreed that we will look to grow membership to at least 750 by the time of the next AGM in March 2017.
(c) JF highlighted a note of caution in that 120+ members will come to the end of their 3 year memberships by the end of September this year. It was agreed by all that we would work on getting these members to renew well ahead of September.
8. Other Business
(a) OxVox had been briefed by Darryl Eales on the financial results of the club that would be released later in the week. Members were asked to keep the information confidential. DE had pointed out that the accounts were obviously now historic and had included a lot of restructuring and one off costs that had been essential to sort out the club going forward.
(b) The meeting discussed the gifting of 2 executive/hospitality tickets for the JPT final at Wembley. The tickets had been given to OxVox by Supporters Direct and it was decided to give them to Helen and Douglas House resident Jonathan Driscoll. SB reported that Jonathan and his father had a fantastic day.
(b) The meeting discussed the re-occurrence of smoke bombs at matches (Cambridge). It is noted that the FA are monitoring the situation and a heavy fine is a very real possibility. It was agreed to make a statement highlighting the problems that these actions might bring on the club.
(c) The meeting discussed the opportunity for OUFC logo’s alongside OxVox on the concrete walls (2) at the bottom of the North Stand. The ideas will be discussed with The Yellow Army and the club ASAP. The graphics look really good and would significantly brighten up those areas.
(d) KL made the meeting aware of artwork that Oxford school children have been doing and that much of it is football (OUFC) related. It was discussed that these artworks might be really good in the stadium concourses. JF to follow up with KL, the club and the YA.
(e) Sponsorship of players for next season was discussed and it was agreed that OxVox would again sponsor 2 players. The focus would be on local (Oxon born) players.
(f) The meeting discussed the upcoming OUFC Awards Dinner on 8th May. OxVox has been invited to be a sponsor. The meeting discussed the potential to sponsor a special award for the guys in the ticket office who’ve done an amazing job this season. JF will follow up this proposal with the club ASAP.
(g) It was noted that an OxVox idea – a fixture board at the stadium – has finally been put in place. It looks great! Now to get fixture boards all over the County!
The meeting closed at 9.45pm