Notes from May's Trust Board meeting
NEWPORT COUNTY AFC SUPPORTERS’ TRUST BOARD MEETING
MAY 21, 6.30pm
MEETING HELD VIA VIDEO CONFERENCE
REDACTED NOTES FOR PUBLICATION
ATTENDEES: Shaun Johnson (SJ, Chair), Gavin Foxall (GF), Colin Faulkner (CF), Bob Herrin (BH), Kevin Ward (KW), Ryan Courtney (RC), Peter Madigan (PM), Mike Everett (ME), Paul Marks (PMa), Kelly Anderson (KA), Mark Crook (MC), Nigel Stephenson (NS).
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM LAST MEETING
- The minutes of the full Trust Board meeting held on February 21, 2020, were approved as an accurate record.
- It was noted that the Club Group had met on multiple occasions (7) and GF had briefed the Community Group regularly via video & telephone since lockdown, with unanimous full Trust Board decisions made on issues such as furlough and the Club voting to curtail the 2019-20 season in an indicative vote of League Two clubs.
- MATTERS ARISING
- Outstanding debtors have been passed to debt recovery experts for enforcement action.
- Finance Officer interviews were postponed. Role is now under review.
- Bradford City incident investigation has been deferred because of the Covid-19 crisis.
- EFL LEAGUE TWO SEASON COMPLETION (GF)
- GF gave a recap on the indicative decision to end the regular League Two season with immediate effect.
- Correspondence has been received from the EFL Board meeting held on May 20. A formal vote to end the season, with league table decided by unweighted average points per game and promotion, relegation, and play-offs as usual, will need a simple majority (51% of clubs) to pass. All Trust Board members will be asked for their views ahead of the vote.
- GF talked the Board through the end of season activities and there was a discussion and unanimous agreement over the proposed communications strategy. It is imperative that the end of the season is handled and communicated appropriately when able to do so before any communication around next season commences.
- EMPLOYMENT UPDATE (GF, PM, MC)
- GF gave an overview of the current position.
- PM/MC/GF reported on the various engagements and advice received from the EFL and an employment lawyer. Not topping up furloughed players’ salaries to 100% would breach EFL rules.
- Furlough: It was agreed to extend the top-up of staff salaries to 100% of salary for June and then to review each month. KW suggested there may be some flexibility post-August around part-time furlough and potential benefits should be investigated when we know more details.
- Retain and release: It was agreed unanimously not to renew playing contracts that expired this summer given the current climate; namely financial position, uncertainty over the start date of next season, and under what basis players would be signed given the proposed change in the way football financial rules would work. June 23 is the revised EFL deadline for the retained and released list.
- Other savings: It was agreed unanimously to terminate the Head of Recruitment role.
- FINANCIAL UPDATE (NS, GF, PM)
- Policies: GF requested any observations to be relayed to Ben Lucey.
- Budget/cashflow: NS gave an update on the latest budget and cashflow assumptions.
- Offices: NS proposed we give notice on the serviced offices at Langstone and seek a cheaper alternative when it is safe to return staff to the office environment. This was agreed. In the meantime, KW suggested looking at a rent holiday as the government had said there would be three-month protection for commercial tenants facing cashflow issues during the pandemic restrictions. KW to forward information to NS.
- BAR AMBER (SJ & PMa)
- SJ reported that he had written to the landlord to say the Trust would not be renewing the lease on Bar Amber when it expires at the end of May. He was awaiting a reply.
- RC said he had engaged with a few people interested in being part of a community group to take over Bar Amber and would progress this.
- SJ and PMa to discuss process for paying any outstanding bills and then cancelling all outgoings for Bar Amber, including utilities and insurance.
- EQUALITY, DIVERSITY & SAFEGUARDING (CF)
- CF reported on a meeting he had held with Exiles Together. This will help the club forge links with the BAME community.
- CF reported the first meeting of the club’s Mental Health Group had taken place via video with attendance from local MSs, MPs and the council’s mental health champion. The Mental Health Charter would now be signed electronically by the club and our partners.
- CF reported the Barnardo’s audit had now been received. CF would report in full at the next Board meeting.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS
- GF reported the club had been approached to ‘adopt’ and forge links with HMS Severn, the Royal Navy’s recently refitted and recommissioned ship affiliated to Newport. This was agreed unanimously.
Meeting closed at 9.15pm.
Next meeting: Thursday, June 25, via video conference. Start time TBA.