Monthly Meeting, The Supporters Bar, Ashton Gate, Bristol BS3 2EJ
Wednesday 1st November 2017, 7.30pm
Board – Stuart Rogers SR (chair), Miles Hendy MH (vice-chair), Mike Adams MA (minutes), Jon Darch JD, Marie Day MD, Terry Hamlin TH, James Nicholls JN, Katrina Watts KW, Jon Watts JW
Members – John Croker, Diane Rowland DR, Wendy Rowland WR, Sean Takle ST
Police Liaison – Julie Hayward JH A&S
Apologies – Adam Baker AB BCFC, Mark Kelly MK AGL, Dave Walker DW A&S Police
We welcomed our guests from Norway – Christian Svae and Bernt Jansrud and from FansBet – Alan Clarkson (UK rep) and Tom Lee (CEO).
Fansbet is an online betting company, which returns 50% of its profits to fans organisations, which support it by offering its services to their members. We had invited the representatives of FansBet to discuss the possibility of a partnership. Alan described the workings of FansBet and then answered a number of questions. Main points to emerge in the long discussion were:
- The expected profit is ~ £100 per annum per subscriber – £50 would go to BCSCT
- Any contract would be for two years with 30 days notice to leave
There were some misgivings about being involved at all with the world of betting. We would aim any offer at members who already used other betting services and would exclude as far as possible our juvenile members. There was some support, but not total agreement for FansBet and we would review the contract as a next stage. The opinion of members would also be sought at the AGM.
- Supporters Bar including official opening
Arrangements were made for the official opening on 20 December.
John Galley was scheduled to come to the Bar immediately after the Forest game on 16 December. Income for BCSCT had been around £560 for the first 10 home games up to the Crystal Palace game.
It was agreed to buy more tables and chairs and to acquire PA equipment, staging and two roving microphones, which we could make available for hire.
- Legal and Police updates
Recent home games
Several incidents had given rise to court cases. Damage to the concourse and dressing room had been caused by Leeds fans; the cost of around £6,000 has been paid by Leed Utd FC.
Smoke grenades had been let off within our supporters at several matches. As a result BCFC are very close to receiving a final warning and a possible point deduction.
We are reaching a position where we will have to ‘show our cards’ and take a decision to proceed to the next stage, with potential legal costs up to around £10-20,000. The feeling of the meeting was that we had a very good case, especially as we had the active support of our police liaison officers, and that we should proceed, though we could not commit funds that we do not possess.
- a) we would try to run on a no-win-no-fee basis
- b) any ‘at risk’ claimants would be removed from our list
- c) to seek support from ‘The Club’ to underwrite costs to BCSCT/claimants
[ACTION – SR]
- AGM on Saturday 20 December
The arrangement for distribution of emails and letters to paid-up members were in hand.
- Re-positioning the Ashton Gate 8 plaque
This matter had stalled and MH agreed to contact the company which manufactured the plaque.
- Q&A session with Steve Lansdown
The QPR game had been ruled out and a date would be sought in 2018.
- Other Trusts’ membership fees and conditions
Members had been issued with two Championship clubs each to research:
TH (Forest & Wednesday) – Fees were £14 and 310 per season. Forest hire a box, which they let out to members. Wednesday hire parking spaces and charge £125 per season or £5-6 per match to members.
[ACTION ALL] – continue research and produce concrete proposals for us to consider applying to BCSCT.
- Membership update
MA, membership secretary, reported his work, which was to welcome new members and send out certificates. In addition he fielded nearly all enquiries received through our firstname.lastname@example.org port and many others. He did not know the current membership status with any accuracy as the automatic Moonclerk system for payments does not automatically update the database. The paid-up membership list provided for AGM purposes from an analysis of the database contains 380 names. The latest membership number is around 960. A lot of members have therefore left or lapsed though a number would have died in our 12 years of existence.
Next meeting – Wednesday 3 January 2018