This article originally appeared in the Chesterfield matchday programme.
Dons Trust Board Chair Matthew Breach gives early notice of the first General Meeting of 2014, and outlines the topics that will be discussed by the membership.
Tuesday 20 May has been set as the date for the first Dons Trust Special General Meeting of the year, following on from December’s Annual General Meeting. General Meetings are a good opportunity for members to find out what is going on within the club and the trust and to ask questions of the members of both boards – the Dons Trust Board and the Football Club Board. Pretty much any topic can be raised: previous meetings have seen questions on subjects as diverse as ticket prices, youth football, creating a charity, volunteers, and where one might be able to catch a taxi driven by Simon Bassey.
May’s meeting will have little formal business to run through, and the main focus will be on informing members of the progress of the new stadium project and the Dons Trust’s organisation and strategy review. The stadium update promises to be interesting, with the prospect of the club and our development partner submitting a planning application for the site getting close to realisation. The initial plans recently presented to the two boards by our architects are certainly exciting, and we are close to taking the next step towards fulfilling the dream of playing a Football League game back home in Wimbledon.
At the meeting we will also be addressing some of the issues to do with the financing of the new stadium, with corporate naming rights, the redevelopment of the Kingsmeadow site and a Community Share issue all part of the picture. While financing is a key issue, we cannot ignore the parallel need to continue to raise funds to help increase our playing budget; we want to develop a strong squad to bring success as we look to move back home. One possible approach to raising additional funds is to encourage donations from wealthy individuals who wish to be more involved with the club. To be clear, we are not proposing to move away from the principle of one member, one vote in the Dons Trust or to dilute the trust’s ownership of the club, but there may be ways in which we can provide potential benefactors with a level of involvement within those constraints. For example, such individuals could be given a title such as “Associate Director” and invited to the monthly Football Club Board meeting. As such ideas would need to be taken into account in any reorganisation of the corporate structure of the trust and the club, we are keen to hear the views of members on the current structure, ideas for change, and what level of involvement of potential investors would be acceptable for our unique club. There will be a report from the trust on progress to date on organisation and strategy, to be followed by an open discussion on the issues raised above.
Please do come along to the meeting and make your views known!
Check your membership
Dons Trust members get to have a say in running our club, through attending and voting at General Meetings, electing their representatives onto the Dons Trust Board and by passing on their views to board members. The Dons Trust membership stands at the healthy figure of over 2,100, but we are aware that a lot of fans who believe they are Dons Trust members have actually let their membership lapse. If you aren’t sure whether you are currently a member, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to check. If necessary, we can swiftly bring you back into the Trust and make your vote count.