AGM online, Thursday, 20th May 2021, 7pm
The Zoom meeting was quorate with 31 members present, which included eleven board members. Jerry Tocknell (SLO) from BCFC and Charlie Lincoln (Supporter Services) from Bristol Sport also attended and there were no apologies.
- Chairman’s Report Stuart Rogers said that while we had missed the face-to-face contact on match days, activity had continued with board meetings held online as was this AGM. We had recently held the Player-of-the-Year presentations hosted by BCFC at the High Performance Centre. Five attended from the board plus four fans who were lucky winners of the ballot of new Season Card holders. We made donations to four local charities to support their work during the pandemic. This year we have opened up our membership to supporters of Bristol City Women’s FC and we co-opted two BCWFC supporters onto our Board—Shahan Miah and D-M Withers. We will continue to purchase 8 season tickets under our Fans Funding Fans for the Future scheme to encourage new, younger supporters to come to Ashton Gate.
- Treasurers Report James Thomas outlined our healthy financial position, which has allowed us to fund things such as the donations and tickets mentioned above. Income for the year ending 31st October 2019 (qv) was around £20,000, of which £1,500 was from our Supporters Bar at Ashton Gate. Legal fees around £5,000 have been refunded. The accounts for 2018/19 were approved nem con.
- Appointment of Independent Examiner of Accounts The incumbent Dick Maule of Bristol Community Accountants was proposed and accepted nem con.
- Appointment of Co-opted and vacant Board positions The proposal to make the two co-opted members—Shahan Miah and D-M Withers—full board members was accepted nem con.
- Appointment of Secretary The proposal that the incumbent Terry Hamlin be re-appointed as the Club & Trust Secretary was accepted nem con.
- Questions from the meeting Ian Gay revived the idea of having a fan member on the board of the Football Club. The Chair recalled that we did have such a situation in 2005 and again in 2009 when we assisted with the Ashton Vale project . The time is possibly ripe for a change [Action for our next board meeting].
Other matters which were discussed and referred to our next board meeting [Action] were:
● The Hall of Fame ● Q & A sessions ● Making a video around the Fans Survey
Lastly, disappointment was expressed from the floor about the Club’s continued intention to adapt current seating in the ‘singing section’ with barriers to facilitate safe standing rather than install purpose-made seating. BCST will make a last effort to review the proposed implementation with the Club [Action].
The Chair then closed the meeting and introduced Charlie Lincoln of Supporter Services to describe some outcomes from his work with the CRM for Bristol Sport.
Charlie Lincoln –City supporter demographics
The CRM is complicated in covering all supporters, the shop and website. Football Season Card holder numbers:
2019/20 – 15,316 2020/21 (pandemic) – 12,670 2021/22 – 11,646
For the coming season, 81% of the pre-pandemic number had renewed—the 19% were being individually contacted. It was felt that, if the manager situation were sorted, this would bring a wave or renewals. In November/December half-season cards will be on offer. Jerry Tocknell judged that two main reasons for supporter hesitancy were uncertainty about the Club’s covid-19 policy and issues over refunds for U12 shirts. The ‘singing section’ is sold out.
One idea was to place a totaliser on the website. There is a ceiling for the maximum number of SCs of around 17,000. The average ticket sales per game were 4,530 in 2019/20. Online sales have risen to 77%. The cheap D34 corner experiment has been deemed successful. There is a big reliance on away supporters and the Club will be working to increase their numbers.
Asked about the Women’s game, there was a question mark about the venue for home games 2021/22. A lot of players would be leaving following relegation. The Club is working on an away ticketing loyalty scheme. SC numbers for the Women’s FC have risen from 35 to 88.