Notes from November 2020 Trust Board meeting
NEWPORT COUNTY AFC SUPPORTERS’ TRUST BOARD MEETING
NOVEMBER 26, 2020, 7pm
MEETING HELD VIA VIDEO CONFERENCE
REDACTED NOTES FOR PUBLICATION
ATTENDEES (Board members): Gavin Foxall (GF, Chair), Kelly Anderson (KA), Mike Everett (ME), Colin Faulkner (CF), Bob Herrin (BH), Peter Madigan (PM), Paul Marks (PMa), Kevin Ward (KW).
ATTENDEES (Club staff): Nigel Stephenson (NS).
APOLOGIES: Mark Crook (MC), Shaun Johnson (SJ).
NOT IN ATTENDANCE: Ryan Courtney (RC).
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM LAST MEETING (GF)
- The minutes of the Trust Board meeting held on October 29, 2020, were approved as an accurate record.
- MATTERS ARISING (GF)
- None that are not included in agenda items.
- EFL/CLUB UPDATE (GF/NS)
- Rescue Package: GF an agreement on financial support from the Premier League for clubs in League One and Two was expected within a week. NS confirmed the Club had submitted a return to the EFL detailing lost ticket sales in seasons 19/20 and 20/21. NS explained this was for league matches only.
- GAMBLING REVIEW: GF reported, for information, that a government review of advertising and sponsorship involving betting companies was under way.
- SGSA AUDITS: This took place at the Port Vale match. Feedback was positive. A visit to the training ground by SGSA is planned. The international break meant the first team’s Covid ‘bubble’ was broken. All players and staff were tested on their return to training. No positives recorded.
- RETURN OF FANS: The UK government has now confirmed the potential return of fans to sport following the conclusion of the English lockdown. The club has lobbied, with other clubs and sports, Welsh Government for clarification on their stance on the return of fans. We have carried out initial stadium configuration based on guidance given to date and have put in place a process for the distribution of season tickets. We will continue to plan behind the scenes until further guidance is provided.
- OPERATIONAL: The Kingsway club shop is now open five days a week. An advent calendar, with prizes each day for season ticket holders, launces on December 1st. The launch of Exiles Matchday Live on Facebook attracted 9.7k views. The youth team will play Brockenhurst in the FA Youth Cup second round, with the winners playing Tottenham away in the third round. Retail – a Black Friday promotion is running tomorrow. White goods are due to arrive in the first week of December. Retail revenue to date is above budget.
- FINANCIAL UPDATE (NS)
- Cash flow remains in line with forecast.
- HMRC Furlough Scheme now extended to March 31. While staff have returned to work on a flexible basis, the Club will continue to make claims where appropriate until the end of the scheme.
- Audited Accounts for 2018/19 now complete and ready for filing at Companies House. A press release will be issued in advance.
- Management accounts, cashflow and debtors list were all provided separately.
- All key creditors i.e. HMRC, pensions etc, are up to date in accordance with agreed arrangements.
- COMMERCIAL UPDATE (PM)
- PM gave an update on commercial activity to date. Income was running slightly below budget but plans already in place to tackle the shortfall.
- EQUALITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION (CF)
- Zero complaints received; 1 question received regarding women’s football.
- CF provided updates on: #OneClubOneCounty Diversity Exhibition; White Ribbon Day; FA Diversity Leadership Programme; Funding for BAME/Mental Health work (for County in the Community with application supported by the Club and some funding ringfenced for the Club); Kids shirts for Christmas; Disabled Fans Guide 21/22 (CF has been invited by Level Playing Field to be part of the working group).
- CF provided an update on the work being undertaken by the Club and the Trust around mental health issues. This includes calls to vulnerable supporters, a Wednesday night drop-in session via Zoom, and meetings with local politicians regarding Welsh Government policy.
- TRUST COMMUNITY GROUP MEETING (PMa)
- PMa provided an update from the most recent meeting of the Trust Community Group on November 5.
- PMa said engagement with the Stadium Focus Group continued to be positive.
- PMa said the survey of Trust members, produced with input from Stadium Focus Group member Joe Crocker (JC), CF and KW, was now almost complete and ready to send to members. This will be done using Survey Monkey.
- KW reported on the work he had been doing with JC on improving the Trust’s social media. KW shared analytics showing impressions on the Trust’s Twitter account were up 652% and Facebook views were up 149% since the work began.
- PMa said work was ongoing regarding contacting supporters whose Trust memberships had expired and not been renewed.
- PM suggested any new Club sponsors should be encouraged to also become Trust corporate members.
- PMa said a timetable for the elections had been planned on the basis of voting being a combination of online and postal. The AGM had to take place first.
- SAFEGUARDING (KA)
- KA provided a comprehensive summary of October safeguarding activity and focus points for December.
- This included meetings and training that had taken place, along with plans for the coming months, policy and procedure reviews, and risk assessments.
- BAR AMBER (PMa)
- PMa reported no progress had been made on issues that were ongoing or delayed.
- GF to pick up action points from the last meeting with SJ.
- KW to confirm again with Newport City Council that the Trust was no longer the licensee of the venue.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS
- AGMs: GF reported these would now take place as soon as possible in the new year. Accounts for both the Club and Trust had to be filed with Companies House first.
Meeting closed at 8.25pm.
Next meeting: Thursday, January 28, 7pm.