Notes from July 7 Trust Board meeting
MINUTES OF NEWPORT COUNTY AFC SUPPORTERS’ TRUST BOARD MEETING
JULY 7, 2022, 7pm
MEETING HELD VIA VIDEO LINK
REDACTED NOTES FOR PUBLICATION
ATTENDEES (Board members): Paul Marks (PMa, Chair), Joe Crocker (JC), Mike Everett (ME), Gavin Foxall (GF), Bob Herrin (BH), Kevin Ward (KW).
ATTENDEES (Club staff): Nigel Stephenson (NS).
APOLOGIES: Mark Crook (MC), Peter Madigan (PM), Shaun Johnson (SJ).
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM LAST MEETING (PMa)
- The minutes of the Trust Board meeting on May 26, 2022, were approved as an accurate record.
- MATTERS ARISING (PMa)
- None that are not included in agenda items.
- LEAGUE/CLUB/UPDATE (GF)
- First team: GF provided an update on all matters relating to first team. Everything is being implemented as per the plan put in place for the first team. JR content with progress and how things are settling.
- Ticketmaster: Implementation complete in 7 weeks. System working as planned. Some small teething problems, as you would expect for an system implementation. Overall view is it has gone well considering time of implementation.
- Rodney Parade: Relationship remains very good from an operational perspective. Good collaboration in a number of areas.
- All Club Event/Away Day: Good feedback from everyone who attended. Achieved objectives. Agreed five club values – honesty, family, resilience, respect & trust.
- EFL Conference: Attended by NS and GF. Midweek matches and World Cup weekends will be able to video stream on iFollow, as well as bank holidays and Papa Johns Trophy, and League Cup if not selected for TV – home club will keep all revenue. Fan behaviour, fan-led review, EFL Trust, EDI, safeguarding also included during conference. EFL also looking at owner debt, striking a balance between owners who donate and owners who loan money to clubs. ITV will have rights for EFL next season – 9pm on a Saturday on ITV4, weeknights on ITV1. Attendances up at all clubs – 3% up in L2.
- OPERATIONAL UPDATE (NS)
- Recruitment of Head of Education and Head of Coaching in progress for Academy.
- Academy scholars returned 22nd July. Full Academy including shadow squads will return early September.
- New Academy physio, Elliott Faulkner to commence employment 1st August.
- New ticketing system installed by Ticketmaster and operating from 13th June.
- Season ticket sales to date 1,711 which compares favourably with 2,194 in total for last season.
- Season tickets to be distributed W/c 11th July.
- Sale of Matchday tickets for new season to commence 18th July.
- New packages to be introduced for online sales of mascot packages and away tickets with coach travel option.
- Player recruitment process and associated documentation worked very satisfactorily
- Fixtures announced and as a result travel and hotel arrangements now being finalised for the season.
- Pitch renovation for new season progressing very satisfactorily.
- Events calendar being prepared for full season on a match by-match basis. This to be shared with Rodney Parade personnel to ensure all staffing is in place.
- Matchday Experience and Mascot packages to be in place for start of new season.
- Retail sales figures continue to exceed forecast across all areas.
- Launch of home kit has taken place and currently being sold on a pre-order basis.
- Plans being finalised for permanent retail set-up at Rodney Parade.
- Media team working to a close season plan to ensure appropriate content is shared across all social media channels. This has included return to training, player recruitment, Academy announcements and Commercial/sponsorship announcements.
- Campaign to recruit volunteers to strengthen media operation now underway.
- FINANCIAL UPDATE (NS)
- Overall positive position at the conclusion of the financial year. Revenue income in general in line with budget and assisted by additional Premier League support during year.
- No creditor pressure and all required statutory returns completed.
- COMMERCIAL UPDATE (GF in PM absence)
- New partners include Uber Eats, Halo Foods, Mousetech & FABRIX.
- We have sold all senior team playing kits this season with the exception of the back of third which is out to proposal.
- On Tuesday 19th July we will be hosting an event and allowing sponsors to bid for their favourite player.
- All available 22/23 inventory is either sold or proposed. Planning for 23/24 pricing and costs planned for October.
- EQUALITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION (GF)
- Pride Month: Interview with Adam Smith for club website. KA taking lead with County in Pride.
- EFL Conference: Good session on EDI with EFL’s new lead. ‘Diversity through thought’ –We have SLA with Exiles Together and County in Pride and engagement with other groups. Also session on Harm Bill – thousands of examples of harmful social media posts etc and will be providing as evidence to prevent Bill being watered down.
- No recorded issues during June.
- COMMUNITY GROUP (PMa)
- Active Trust membership levels remain consistent.
- Actions in place from last Community group meeting which remain under review.
- End of season newsletter sent out to all members.
- Member engagement work ongoing.
- SAFEGUARDING (GF)
- EFL Safeguarding review was submitted in June as a summary of the season’s concerns.
- Volunteer recruitment meeting 11th July. Recommending changes for new volunteers joining as a result of lessons learnt.
- Focus on the start of the season with reviewing Codes of Conducts for Players, Parents/Carers and staff.
- Inductions have now been delivered to the U15/U16 cohort of players along with their parents/carers. Feedback from the parents so far is that they felt very reassured around safeguarding and wellbeing for their children and the support that we are providing for them.
- U18 Inductions due to take place next week, with the remaining cohorts taking place as they return to the Academy.
- Scouts induction is due to take place over the next two weeks, with staff due to take place before their full return.
- All Directors have now been contacted by the EFL to request that we undertake the EFL Safeguarding training prior to 1st August 2022.
- Next focus will be to continue to review matchday safeguarding processes in line with a draft guidance that has been issued from the EFL, in advance of our first home game on 6th August 2022.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS
- AGM: PMa gave round-up of AGM. Elections process now under way with nominations closing at 7pm tomorrow.
- Open Meeting: GF gave round-up of meet the manager/open meeting. General view was turn-out and content was good. Feedback from those in attendance has been very positive.
Meeting closed at 8.26pm.
Next meeting: Thursday, August 4, at 7pm.