OxVox COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: Thursday 9th June 2016 (held at Oxford City and County Bowls Club).
Attendees: Michael North (MN), Terry Winter (TW), Jem Faulkner (JF), Graham Butler (GB), Kate Longworth (KL), Colin Barson (CB), Simon Bradbury (SB), Trevor Lambert (TL), Maurice Earp, Matt Cavill.
Start: 7.00pm. Finish. 10.00pm.
1. Actions from the Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes from the last Committee meeting held on the 5th May 2016 were reviewed and agreed as an accurate record of the meeting. Actions from the last meeting are dealt with within this evening’s meeting.
2. Finance and Administration
(a) TW confirmed that cash within the 3 Trust Bank Accounts now stands at £11,600 and that the Trusts finances remain in a very healthy position.
(b) Bank signatory mandates have been completed and are ready to go to Barclays.
(c) We now need to set up a meeting with The Yellow Army re historic funds. TW will speak to Joe Nicholls to agree a date. TW and MN will attend.
(e) MN made a donation of £1000 to the Trust and was thanked by all present. MN requested that part of the money was used for sponsorships of the OUFC Ladies team and the OUFC Youth set up. This was agreed by all at the meeting.
(F) SB confirmed that 2 potential corporate sponsors for the Trust have been approached and commitments totalling £400 have been received. SB outlines a potential sponsorship opportunity later in these minutes.
(g) TW confirmed that monies owing to Matt Derbyshire had now been paid. MN requested finance for programme boxes and postage (£100 in total). TW will agree the amounts with MN and pay over the required amounts.
3. Recent and Upcoming Events
(a) JF thanked the committee for their contribution in establishing the Trust’s position with the club on season ticket pricing and the negotiations that followed. It was felt a satisfactory solution had been found. The committee are now pressing for match day and various ‘lounge’ pricing to be made public ASAP.
(b) With regard to season ticket pricing, the club have acknowledged that conversations could have started earlier. In general the committee are pleased with the Trust’s contribution and feel that an important role was played in the communication of pricing to fans.
(c) Good reaction to statement re. shareholding changes (DE/IL). JF to query the status of Woodstock Partners’ debt in the club.
(d) North Stand seating / block allocations are to be taken up with the club in light of the club’s decision to move the family area to the North Stand. It is understood that the centre blocks of the NS are dependent on a temporary stand being erected at the open end. It is understood that the temporary stand (if built) would be for away fans and therefore free up further North Stand areas for home fans. The end block of the NS would still be for away fans.
(e) The meeting discussed the announcements of pre-season friendlies and the Spain pre-season tour. MC stated that he felt the club were missing out in not having the Leicester tickets on sale already and a degree of positive momentum might be being missed. JF to write to GBT on this.
(f). It was noted that no matches/opponents had been confirmed for the Spain tour. This might be putting people off travelling? JF to write to GBT.
(g) TW made the meeting aware that he is assisting the club with the arrangements for the Spanish tour.
4. Membership Updates
(a) TL confirmed that membership numbers have now reached 617 and that our target by the next AGM in March is to grow membership to 750+.
(b) The meeting discussed the issue of members whose memberships will lapse in Sept/Oct this year. JF/TL will write to all members to encourage them to re-join ASAP.
(c) It was agreed to send members the Supporters Direct monthly bulletins. TL will facilitate this through the data base.
(d) It was agreed to hold a members ‘open’ meeting in July this year. Date TBC. It is thought a Friday evening would be well received. The Masons Arms in Quarry was suggested as a potential venue and that Geron Swan would be invited as a guest speaker. Darryl Eales will also be invited to give members an update on all things OUFC. Given the work on stadium options by the Trust, this meeting will give the Trust the opportunity to brief members in person and take any questions.
(e) ME has agreed to take on the role of sending out new members’ welcome packs from MN: this will become effective immediately.
(f) A communication will be sent to all members at the end of June outlining what the committee feels are the priorities for the year ahead and inviting members to feedback their views on any other areas that they wish the committee to work on. JF and TL will action this ASAP.
(g) KL will look into direct debit opportunities for members joining and renewing.
(h) The Trust is still in discussion with the club about members having the guarantee of a ticket for ‘sell out’ games. This would be seen as a good membership benefit. No decision has been communicated as yet. JF to follow up.
(a) KL reported on a positive meeting with Caroline Robbins which looked at ways that OxVox can support the club’s community effort.
(b KL confirmed that the Oxford Mail have agreed to run a ‘fans column’ on a weekly basis. The column would focus on ‘what it’s like to be a fan’ and the experiences of fans, rather than ‘on the field’ things which are already well reported.
6. Fan representation on the Board of OUFC
(a) Further discussions have taken place with Darryl Eales and a meeting is planned for July with Supporters Direct to flesh out the mechanics and the ideal structure of fan representation. Darryl Eales will attend this meeting along with JF/SB/TW.
The next formal OxVox meeting with the OUFC Board is due to be confirmed ASAP. The meeting is likely to take place in mid July.
(a) The meeting discussed the stadium issue and reviewed the findings of the most recent meetings with key stakeholders.
(b) Since the last Committee meeting, further meetings and communications have taken place with Darryl Eales, Bob Price (Leader of Oxford City Council), Firoz Kassam, Adrian Coldwell (the Chief Planning Officer for Cherwell Valley Council) and with Populous (Stadium architects).
(c) The meeting agreed that the Trust now has the various ‘pieces of the jigsaw’ in place & the issues and opportunities clearly understood and are now in a position to publish coherent and factual findings and recommendations to members. JF will write up the initial draft and circulate to committee members for review and comment. The final report will then be sent out to members on Sunday 24th July.
(d) Given the higher degree of sensitivity and the confidential nature of some of the information, Committee members were asked not share any of the details ahead of the report’s issue.
(e) A further Committee meeting will be scheduled specifically on the stadium issue for the first week of July.
9. Other Business
(a) CB and JF will attend the United in Business meeting at Shillingford Bridge next week.
(b) Discussions continue with Farrs Catering re catering at the stadium.
(c) OxVox will enter a team for the Chairman’s quiz night on the 24th June.
(d) Following members’ comments on the quality of some of the OUFC retail merchandise, it was agreed to take a broader sounding from members and then discuss with the Club.
(e) SB outlined a proposal for the Committee to consider, namely, providing match tickets for young disadvantaged people in Oxfordshire. The committee agreed it was an excellent and very worthwhile idea and unanimously supported the plan. SB and KL will take the project forward and report back ASAP. Corporate sponsors will be found to support the initiative as well as (hopefully) member donations.
(f) The Blue Plaque project for the Britannia Inn is still not resolved. JF will take this up with the Blue Plaque Society and get a resolution.
(e) Details/date of the next committee meeting TBC.
(f) The meeting closed at 10.00pm.