The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its regular board meeting at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Thursday 9thNovember 2017. Ahead of publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarises the main points discussed.
The meeting was attended by DTB members Matthew Breach, Mark Davis, Tim Hillyer, Colin Dipple, Roger Evans, Jane Lonsdale, Nigel Higgs, David Growns, Charles Williams and Sean McLaughlin, supported by DT Secretariat members Tom Brown and Hannah Kitcher. The board were joined by club chief executive Erik Samuelson, newly elected Dons Trust Board member, Cormac van der Hoeven (who will begin formal responsibilities following the DT AGM scheduled for Thursday 14 December) and AFC Wimbledon Foundation Director, Philip Rudling.
Philip began the meeting with an update and overview on the work of the AFC Wimbledon Foundation. Philip joined as the director of the Foundation earlier this year having previously worked at Leyton Orient. Philip explained that the main focus for the Foundation is their work in schools, in particular their Primary Stars programme. He outlined how he aims to build and actively look for discretionary funding to support the Foundation and called for support from the DTB with ideas for fundraising. The DTB agreed Philip would be invited back to present at DTB meetings with updates on the Foundation annually. It was confirmed the Foundation will be taking up the relationship with local food banks and the club will announce dates for collections at the stadium soon.
Moving onto operational matters, Erik provided an update on the stadium and the status of the various supporting document agreements needed to finalise the S106 before responding to questions on the FCB report from the DTB. One key issue that has arisen is that the Club’s annual accounts are unlikely to be complete, audited and approved in time to meet the postal deadline implied by holding the AFCW plc on December 14. The DTB are now working with Erik to ensure that DT members receive these prior to the DT AGM and that the AFCW plc AGM can be held as soon as practicable after that.
The next agenda item was to discuss the results of the sponsorship survey (completed by 346 DT members) in order to provide clear guidance to the FCB on what sponsorship options were acceptable for the naming rights for the New Stadium or any future shirt sponsors. Completing a debate started on the DTB’s Webjam forum, based on the results of the survey the DTB concluded that in the search for a naming rights partner the FCB should exclude companies associated with arms manufacturing, tobacco products, pornography, payday loans or gambling together with any political or religious organisations. Also in line with the survey results, the DTB voted narrowly in favour of allowing the search to include companies that manufacture alcoholic drinks (four votes to two with four abstentions).
The DTB next ran through the DT AGM draft agenda and considered alternative ways of running the question and answer session. One agenda topic that was agreed was that an invitation has been extended to Philip to provide a presentation to DT members on the Foundation based on the content shown at this meeting.
The remainder of the meeting covered DTB business. Firstly Charles responded to questions on his report regarding the proposed next steps for taking forward the results of the membership survey and summary of the youth results. Jane then presented an update on Webjam, noting the thanks due to the Webjam project team, especially David Reeves. Finally, Roger informed the board that final interviews for the recruitment of the COO are to be held on 30 November.
The next DTB meeting is due to be held on 11 December.