Minutes April 2021

Board Meeting online using Zoom

Wednesday 7 April 2021, 7.00pm

Board present        Stuart Rogers SR (chair), Miles Hendy MH, Mike Adams MA (minutes), Jon Darch JD, Marie Day MD, Terry Hamlin TH, Shahan Miah SM, James Nicholls JN, James Thomas JTm, D-M Withers DW.     BCFC Jerry Tocknell SLO JTk.     Apologies  Jon Watts, Katrina Watts
1.  SLO
Season Cards 2021/22   There was a positive response to the Club’s plans notably SC holders who had not renewed for the current season are included in the priority group and accrued credit will be automatically taken into account in transactions.  Two points of concern:
a) normally the period for the priority group extends over two pay days; why not 4½ weeks?
b) the language used is cold and stark eg speaking about ‘losing your seat’ [Action JTk]
Pledgeball   This is an initiative for fans to make pledges and earn points for your Club.  We will look out for news.
2.  Meeting with Club officials
The majority of the discussion was about ‘basics’ and was informed by Steve Lansdown’s recent interview in which he expressed the hope that fans will work with the Club.  We were appreciative of the Club’s efforts in targeting youngsters as our future generations of supporters.  From our side we agreed to:
a) Make more use of surveys to ‘quantify’ support for our reasoned stance and policies.
b) Reaffirm Steve Lansdown’s work for BCFC and the wider community in Bristol.  Give credit where it is due for the Club’s actions eg the 2021/22 Season Card issue.
c) Reaffirm our work on behalf of the Club over the years including setting up the Supporters Bar, Atyeo Statue, Player-of-the-Year awards, Hall of Fame and helping with the planning application for the ill-fated Ashton Vale Stadium project around 2012. [Action SR]
A discussion around whether the Supporters Club & Trust is political concluded that in some aspects we are, in relation to the definition that we are a group of people taking an active interest in improving the situation for others within a group setting. The meeting took on board the SLO’s comments that we can sometimes come across as negative and not always reflective of the wider fan base. Arguably, nobody wants it to be that way, but sometimes it is necessary. 
3.  PoY proposals as circulated including Women’s team awards
The proposals had been circulated.  The suggested deadline of 14th April was considered too early and our trophy suppliers Blue Glass will be asked to give the latest date by which they could receive the award winners’ list.  The Club was scheduled to be contacted the following day about when they could record presentations to the winners.  The inclusion of Supporter-of-the-Year award will be dependent upon the initial response.  It was agreed to inaugurate Women’s PoY and Women’s YPoY awards this year. [Action MA]
4.  MOU and any other conversations with BCWFC
The MOU is expected to arise at the next board meeting in the second week of May.
5.  AGM preparation
a) Watchalongs – small beginnings so far but general satisfaction that they provided a much-needed way for fans to get together and enjoy an occasion together.
b) Notices – not yet done but can be produced quickly. [Action MA]
c) Format – to include PoY awards and hopefully a guest appearance by Jonathan Pearce.  We have expanded our membership to cover the Women’s team and he is the main BBC commentator on women’s football.
d) Board members responsibilities – the amended list as circulated was agreed (qv).
e) Accounts for 2018 and 2019 will be ready for presentation. Thanks were expressed to James Thomas for all the behind the scenes work in getting the accounts to this stage.

6. Safe Standing at Ashton Gate

The Club has unfortunately chosen to install barriers to the existing seating in Section 82, which means the first 12 rows would not reach the 0.2 sq metre requirement in the draft regulations for future safe standing.  We will monitor events, continue a professional dialogue with the Football Club about the risk of non-compliance, with the possibility of offering our funding to support a compliant scheme. [Action JD]

7. Next Meeting – dependent upon date set for AGM

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