Minutes Summary of Board Meeting on 27.03.19

The meeting was held in the Kidderminster Harriers Social & Supporters’ Club

Present: Ed Dursley (ED), Dave Williams (DW), Dave Pountney (DP) Haydn Bebb (HB) and Ian Nash (IKN).

Apologies were received from Martin Lewis, Stuart Walstrom and Dave Lewis.

Previous meeting: The minutes of the meeting on 13th February 2019 were agreed to be a true record and have been signed by IKN on behalf of the board.

Treasurer’s report and related discussions:

  • In the Treasurer’s absence, the Accounts for the period to 28th February, 2019 were circulated by IKN. The Trust’s finances remain in healthy condition.
  • New donations by standing order mandate have been received from generous members. The frequency of these will not be known until we receive further advice from the bank.
  • Write-off of investments – The KHFC Accounts for the Financial Year ending 31st May 2018 have now been filed and, as expected, the balance sheet shows a negative net worth of the club. The value of KHIST investments in KHFC is calculated on that net worth and, as such, we will now be obliged to write off the full remaining value shown in the Trust’s accounts. This has previously been considered as a strong possibility and investments have been written off at a rate of £1950 per month. That rate has now been increased to £1975 for February and March to complete the total write-off.
  • We have received notification that our ‘easyfundraising’ statement is ready. We now need to change the email address for future notifications.

Proposed Monthly Members’ Draw

As agreed at the previous board meeting, the membership is now to be approached via webposts/newsletters, to identify the potential level of support for this proposal from members attending the KHIST AGM in September. As requested, IKN has drafted a Proposal/Questionnaire, which has now been approved, subject to its compatibility with the website. IKN will refer to DL and, if appropriate, with Chris Wilson (Urbanfish), before proceeding.

Note a new email address is to be set up for responses as previously agreed.

See also the minutes of meetings on 16th January and 13th February 2019..

Secretarial

The Trust’s registration of the Aggborough Stadium and Car Park as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) expires on 26th August 2019. The Solicitor to the Council, has confirmed that the existing registration cannot be renewed and that a new application has to be made. A check of records has determined that we should allow 8 weeks for an application to be processed, so to give adequate time for preparation, it’s agreed we should commence the exercise at the end of April.

Membership matters:

  • Several new membership applications have been processed and, whilst the renewals campaign was concluded some time ago, we are getting requests for reinstatements. The total membership figure has yet to be confirmed.
  • ED confirmed that new membership applications have included several young adults, in response to our recent efforts to recruit young Harriers’ supporters.
  • Access to the Members’ Area of the website should by now have been withdrawn for those individuals whose membership lapsed from 1st September 2018. However, this is to be checked with Chris Wilson (Urbanfish).
  • Personal contact details of former members who did not renew for 2016/17 are to be discarded before 31st March, in compliance with our Privacy Policy and GDPR.
  • Website updates have yet to be completed for several corporate members.
  • The exercise to contact former corporate members has yet to be completed:
  • Kidderminster Museum of Carpets has recently applied for corporate membership.
  • Having now issued 13 Newsletters on home match days, these are proving to be particularly popular with members who do not have regular access to the KHIST website. It’s intended to continue this means of communication.
  • It’s agreed that the Trust will, once again, sponsor an end of season trophy for Harriers Trust FC – whose squad is made up entirely of KHIST members.

Information Technology

  • We are now in receipt of the signed GDPR Agreement from Chris Wilson (Urbanfish) which has now been retained in secretarial records.
  • Our cheque payable to Chris Wilson for next year’s web services has now been acknowledged – this includes for hosting services and for 2 years ownership of khist.org.uk.
  • Personal commitments have precluded attention to the intended overhaul of the KHIST website and, in particular to the section relating to the history of the Trust. This will not now be prioritised for the time being.
  • It’s again been agreed that IKN will confirm web-postings by text and receive confirmations of transfers to social media to/from DP/ED (facebook), DL (twitter), and HB (harriers online), HB has confirmed that KHIST posts to harriers online have had 11.000 hits since these were arranged.

KHFC matters

Finances –

  • The Trust has secured a privileged copy of the full KHFC Accounts, as is our right as shareholders, and this is currently undergoing further scrutiny. In the meantime, however, KHIST board members have discussed some financial concerns. We have been requested by the club “not to share the full accounts or publish them in the public domain” as our entitlement to have sight of these is privileged. We believe this to be a reasonable request, so have not included actual figures in this summary. As shareholders in KHIST however, our members each own part of the Trust’s shareholding in the club. It’s right therefore, that we should make members aware of our concerns, in general terms.

The club recorded substantial losses in the financial years 2015/16 and 2016/17 which, from the Trust’s perspective, were unsustainable. It’s been concerning therefore, to learn that the declared loss for 2017/18 was well in excess of the combined total for the 2 previous years.

Loans from Colin Gordon and G5 Sports Consulting had dramatically increased in 2017/18. The correct figures are not yet in the public domain, due to an error in the club’s return to Companies House (** see below).

** It appears that figures for 2017 (2016) were declared for 2018 (2017), in error. We have drawn this to the attention of Geoff Coles (the club’s Company Secretary).

N.B. It’s accepted that the corrected figures will, in due course, relate to the period prior to the conversion of ‘loans’ into shares but that process did not result in any extra money being put into the club.

We intend to review the accounts, together with those available online for G5 Sports Consulting, but, in the meantime, our concerns do appear to be justified.

  • Other confidential matters are under review.

Proposed KHIST/KHFC meeting

Immediately following, the club’s refusal to allow the Trust to collect within the stadium, for the Nuneaton Supporters Co-operative, it was suggested by a KHFC Director that we should have a meeting, to review ongoing relations. Whilst it was made clear that the timing was inappropriate, we have requested confirmation of the club’s intentions. This has not been a diversionary tactic but an effort to ensure that any meeting will have positive objectives and not simply rake over old disagreements.

It’s been made clear, once again, that KHIST is INDEPENDENT and will continue to make our own decisions as to how we can best support the prospects and future security of our football club but, that we are always prepared to talk with interested parties when making these decisions. We are agreed that we should try to make further progress towards the improved relationship we all want but, it’s not seen as a short term project.

We have requested that CKG should confirm what he would want to achieve out of another meeting, so that we can be prepared and, hopefully avoid embarrassing disagreements, as experienced in our previous, well documented meeting. In particular, we would want to have “something on the table (for discussion) other than a renewed demand for money.” Terms for future financial donations from our limited funds have previously been made clear and KHIST members have been made aware of these. As yet, we have not received a response.

The ‘Vision’

Enquiries with the Council have revealed that KHFC did not attend the Planning Meeting on 26th March and that they were not invited to do so. A meeting had been requested but this was rejected as the club had “missed the boat”. There was nothing on the agenda about a new stadium and WFDC will not be making their land available. So far as “meeting the council’s deadlines” is concerned we are advised that “the Council haven’t set any deadlines” and that, so far as can be traced, “nothing solid” has been produced to the Council.

The Social Club

  • For the time being, board members’ personal commitments are precluding the arrangement of joint events.
  • A club representative has advised that the KHSSC direction sign, which was posted with the agreement of the football club, has been removed from the club’s perimeter fence in Stadium Close.
  • It’s been proposed that a KHIST/KHSSC charity event should be organised for October, in support of Dave Pountney’s JDRF Challenge. Dave has now agreed, so we’ll proceed with arrangements.

KHIST events

  • The KHIST Charity Collection for the homeless on Saturday, 16th February was a great success. We have no way of recording the amount of the donations but our thanks go to all those who made the project such a success.
  • The KHIST Appeal for the Supporters of Nuneaton Borough, to help them avoid the imminent administration and probable liquidation of their club, was also successful, despite the unexpected refusal of KHFC to allow the collection to take place within the Aggborogh Stadium. Our sincere thanks go to the Social club for allowing us to organise it from their car park, at short notice. We were able to raise in excess of £400, for which the Nuneaton Supporters Co-operative could not have been more grateful. Early signs from Nuneaton have been positive and we wish their supporters every success. A good relationship between our respective Trusts should result.
  • An arrangement to play the postponed football match between HUST and KHIST has yet to be confirmed.
  • DP is still awaiting agreement of a date for the suggested KHIST v Gloucester City Trust match.

Other business:

  • We will continue to post regular, online updates of Dave Pountney’s Charity Challenge and providing links to his just giving page.
  • Similarly, we will promote Dave Lewis’ Walking Challenge for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
  • Local Insurance Brokers have failed to provide a quotation for Public Liability Insurance and other ‘markets’ are now to be approached
  • A member has proposed that KHIST might arrange a Members Weekend, in June, to spruce up the Aggborough Stadium (particularly the North and South Stand external aspects). Before this can be considered, permission would be required from the club. However, previous projects of this nature have failed to attract support. We can message the members to see how many would be prepared to give their time but, it must be made clear that the Trust cannot act as gang-masters as we would not have insurance against potential legal liabilities arising from that activity. Everyone would, therefore, have to agree to work at their own risk. Also, any work at height would probably be considered inappropriate for volunteers? …….. Discussions continue.
  • Following the merger between Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation we have received confirmation that the combined body…. The Unified Football Supporters Organisation (TUFSO) is still in the process of finalising its membership process, which will be confirmed in due course. In the meantime, TUFSO membership is free, at least until the 2020 AGM.   We have been given new contact details for both SD and FSF matters.
  • The Trust has purchased a supply of quality, metal ‘KHIST’ pin badges , which will now be offered to members/collectors in return for an affordable donation – suggested minimum £3 (+p&p as necessary). These will be made available from the KHIST online shop, as soon as possible. In the meantime, they will be found at the KHIST membership tables in the stadium and, on match days, from KHIST board members in the Social Club.

The next board meeting has been arranged for 8.00pm on Wednesday 24th April 2019.

There being no other business, the meeting was closed at 10.00pm