The following article appeared in the club’s official matchday programme for the game against Southend United (played on March 3, 2015).
Trust news round-up
Dons Trust Board Secretary David Hall and Board member Jane Lonsdale have updates on Restricted Actions, the next Dons Trust Board election and Webjam.
Following Kris Stewart’s article in the Accrington programme, Dons Trust members will be keen to know the latest position on the potential disposal of our interest in The Cherry Red Records Stadium. As Kris explained, this disposal would be classed as a Restricted Action – essentially, something that under the Dons Trust Constitution would need to be approved by a large majority of members, and we will need to hold two Special General Meetings for members to confirm the resolution. We have been putting together a supporting document which helps to explain the background to the proposal to dispose of the stadium, and I am particularly grateful to Mark Davis, who has put a lot of hard work into preparing it.
As I’m sure you will appreciate, there is a lot of commercial sensitivity surrounding the exact figures involved in the sale of our current home and the cost of moving into a new stadium in Plough Lane. The Dons Trust Board is working hard with Erik and our professional advisers to make sure it has a good grasp of those figures and also of the timing of the transactions. We will seek to provide what information we can in the supporting document.
The exact timing of the Restricted Actions notice is still under discussion but when we do issue the document we will also set out the proposed timetable for consulting with members on this important decision, and the ways in which members can engage and vote on the proposals, both before and at the two SGMs. In the meantime, if you have any queries on this please do contact me (David Hall) at email@example.com
The 2015 election
The 2014 Dons Trust Board election went off fairly smoothly, and Nigel Higgs has now joined the Dons Trust Board alongside Matt Breach, Sean McLaughlin and Kris Stewart, all of whom were re-elected.
Our thanks go to John Dolan, who chaired the Election Steering Group (ESG) for the first time, and to Neil Springate, our independent observer from the Fulham Supporters Trust. Thanks also to Graham Stacey, who assisted with the Twitter debate, and to John Stembridge, our Membership Secretary, who helped with several member enquiries during the process.
The turnout in 2014 was slightly disappointing compared with previous years. In an attempt to rectify this, the ESG has been asked to start the election process a little earlier this year. John Dolan has been invited to chair the ESG again (and has accepted), and Neil has once more offered to be the independent observer. Others are also being approached to assist, but we are always on the lookout for new people – particularly to help with the process of on-line voting. If you are interested in helping the ESG this year, please contact John Dolan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Webjam is a social networking and online collaboration tool that will give the Dons Trust the ability to collaborate and engage with members in a much more timely and coherent way than we do at present.
Since the SGM last September, good progress has been made. A volunteer has been appointed, and an online network is being set up which was piloted by the Dons Trust Board for its January and February Board meetings. As with all things new, there have been some teething problems, and the Board is undergoing something of a cultural change in the way it works.
The next steps are to start rolling Webjam out to the Dons Trust working groups and their volunteers before wider release later this year to the Trust membership. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com