2020 Annual General Meeting minutes
The meeting was held over Zoom on Saturday 8th August at 3pm, chaired by Chris Blackburn in the absence of chair Dave Tindall.
Apologies were received from Ian Hargreaves.
Twenty members attended, meaning that the meeting had a quorum.
The minutes from the last AGM were read and accepted, with no matters arising.
The chairman’s report was as follows:
Well thank you for the opportunity to put together a chairman’s report for what has been a very interesting year both on and off the pitch for both the football club and the Trust. It was Chorley’s first season in the conference/National League for 30 years and our first full season on the board of directors. On the pitch, competing against some of the clubs we did with some eye watering budgets was clearly a struggle although in so many games we were so close to gaining much needed points. I guess relegation (or being voted out) is so much harder to take when you have lost so many games by the odd goal and feel we deserved more both home and away.
I am hopeful that the football club will come back stronger in the National League North and should have learnt a lot from being part of the National League.
A big part of this season has been having two directors on the Chorley FC board helping with the running and the direction of the football club. It was extremely tough without doubt but key achievements include:
- Building relationships with other supporters’ trusts
- Launching the club’s online ticket system
- Being the fans’ voice on the board
- Representing the club at away games
- Answering fans’ questions
- Organising away travel and hotels for the team
- Working for the club on match days
- Helping with content for the Magpies Review
- Attending the Magpies Business Club
- Season ticket and match ticket pricing
Obviously as you will know, we have had two vacancies for these positions that will be filled from the Trust Board from the trust board. Unfortunately I had to stand down early in 2020 as with work commitments, I couldn’t commit the necessary time to the club and I have also had to take a step back at that point in time from the Trust. Chris Blackburn also stood down in March, partly for the same reason, but also due to continual abuse from a section of so called Magpies supporters. It is a great honour to serve both the club and the Trust but we need to be mindful of the profile and pressure that this brings and the demands it places on our representatives. The Trust is here to represent supporters and be your voice on the club board – if this turns into personal abuse aimed at those that are representing the supporters on the Victory Park terraces it is massively disappointing as we all work hard to do the best for the Trust and the football club. It isn’t done for status, ego or personal financial gain.
On Membership we had our highest membership for a number of years, mainly down to trust membership being included as part of being a season ticket holder. Our logic was that this would lead to more members attending meetings and events although on the whole, this hasn’t been the case. The flip side of this obviously is that membership income overall was down which meant we had to work harder in other areas to raise funds. I would say lesson learnt on this but hopefully being a trust member in 2019/20 has raised our profile with more parts of the fan base who traditionally wouldn’t have been involved.
As ever, we have held our traditional events including the Christmas Quiz and Race Night, both of which were well attended. We will look to continue these in the future. The race night was especially poignant as the aim was to raise funds for the Football Club to purchase a new stretcher. This has been procured and soon you will see pictures of the new stretcher and treatment bed we have been able to provide to the club, meeting the current required standards. We also held our first ever Zoom quiz in July which was won by Graham Watkinson. A huge thank you to Andy Hardman for organising, Neil Hailwood for hosting, Jamie Vermiglio for coming along and sharing his thoughts for the season and Paul Jarvis for sharing tales of his time with the club.
One area we have enjoyed in recent seasons has been the sponsored walks. Obviously the national element of the National League meant this was nearly impossible, a walk to Wrexham on Boxing Day would have taken two days. We had made all of the arrangements for a walk to Borehamwood for the last game from London Euston station, although this was not to be. We will be back I am sure next year with more National League North local options available.
We have continued to hold the monthly members meetings which were only stopped due to COVID-19 restrictions. It was always good to see familiar and newfaces and have some interesting debates about the club. Perhaps the most memorable session was when we had Graham Watkinson (Secretary), Ken Wright (Chairman), Terry Robinson (CEO) and Andy Walsh (Football Supporters Federation) where for over an hour we were able to discuss plans for the future, new ground and how the club can best operate.
As so often the end of a year and the AGM sees some departures but this year is especially poignant. Firstly, Grenville Hartley has opted to finally step down from his role as secretary. Grenville has been an integral part of the trust and before that the supporters club and his advice and expertise has always been invaluable. I know he will always be there for a chat and advice but i know the board will miss his sense of humour and expertise.
Next is Martin Ramsbotham who has opted to stand down to work commitments. Martin is a passionate supporter and is a familiar face home and away. Martin has been full of ideas and always brought a useful perspective from the terraces which was really appreciated by the board.
Next is Chris Blackburn. Chris has now served four years in this stint on the board and has opted to stand down as he is now running a firm in Bradford. Chris helped with the purchase of club shares and was on the club board before finally standing down in March 2020. Thanks again to Chris for his work and efforts in getting the trust to this point.
Finally, myself [Dave Tindall]. As you may know I have opted to stand down from the trust board. I have a demanding role with BAE Systems and given the current economic climate, I can no longer commit the time necessary to chair the trust and move things forward. I have loved the variety of things I have been involved in, not least the sponsored walks and serving on the club board and hopefully we have laid the foundations for good things going forward. Yes we have made mistakes but I believe that at all times we have acted in line with our core principles of doing things for the supporters of Chorley FC. Now more than ever with the economic crisis precipitated by the pandemic is an opportunity for supporters to come on board with the Trust and strike a new path for Chorley FC – more accountable, more democratic, more sustainable, more open and more inclusive with fans at the heart of what the club does. Unfortunately this hasn’t always been the case over the past 18 months and we need strong voices on the Trust and football club board to press the case for change and look to the a new future for Chorley FC. So that’s all from me. Thank you to Mark, Pete, Hayden, and JP who are staying on and I wish all the best to those new members joining the trust board. I think the trust has a bright future and has evolved over the past few years yet we have so much more we want to do to achieve to get to our end goal of full club ownership and I look forward to playing my part going forward in whatever way I can.
Lawson Dauer noted that there is no call for personal abuse among Chorley supporters in relation to the abuse directed at Chris which led to his resignation.
Ryan Modlin proposed a vote of thanks to Dave and Chris for their service to the Club and Trust as board members of both organisations.
Tim Charlson asked how many members we have: 324
There were no matters arising.
Moore and Smalley have indicated their willingness to continue as auditors.
Lawson Dauer and Andy Hardman stood for election to the Trust board. With Dave Tindall, Chris Blackburn and Grenville Hartley stepping down, and Chris Charnley and Martin Ramsbotham (both co-opted during the season) electing not to stand, both were elected unopposed. This leaves the Trust with a board of Andy Hardman, Hayden Rose, John-Paul Lynch, Lawson Dauer, Mark Rees and Pete Thompson. The board will meet to choose a chair, vice-chair, secretary and to choose two candidates to serve as Chorley FC directors.
The Trust board put the following motion, which was passed:
To remove the stipulation that the Trust board can only spend up to £200 without consulting the membership. This stipulation was adopted by a resolution several years ago. In recent years the rule has been ignored on a few occasions in the interests of efficient working practices. The Trust can only spend money in accordance with its aims, and this is enforced by an independent audit each year. We propose that members can have full confidence in this regulatory framework without the need to approve individual spending decisions.
Finally, Ryan Modlin backed the decision that membership is no longer included in the price of a season ticket.
The AGM was closed shortly after 4pm.