June Dons Trust Board meeting summary

The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its monthly meeting at The Cherry Red Records Stadium on Tuesday, June 16. Ahead of publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarises the main points that were discussed.

The start of the meeting was joined by John Dolan, chair of the election steering group, to discuss the 2014 election and to plan ahead to this year’s. Turnout last year had dropped and John reported that this was a matter of concern. The board discussed possible ways of raising the profile of the election and further engaging Trust members in the process. Matchday hustings had proven unpopular and last year the WISA questionnaire wasn’t produced either, although the introduction of a Twitter-based Q&A session thanks to the efforts of Graham Stacey was welcomed.

DTB members including Jane Lonsdale and Zoe Linkson stressed the need to aim for consistent arrangements on a yearly basis so that all candidates are presented with equal opportunities for member engagement, rather than some election candidates facing comparatively less scrutiny. The DTB expressed its thanks to John for his hard work so far preparing for this year’s election.

The meeting was then joined by Roger Evans to discuss progress with the new stadium planning application and the communication strategy surrounding the Restricted Actions votes that Dons Trust members will have to approve. Unfortunately this topic remains commercially sensitive and so cannot be reported in more detail at the present time.

Next the board considered the football club board (FCB)’s monthly report and budget for 2015/16. With Erik Samuelson and Mick Buckley both unable to attend tonight’s meeting to represent the FCB, Matt Breach offered to collate questions. Those raised in the meeting included the sensitivity of the budget to variations in matchday attendances, and costs for both overnight stays before away matches and player meals. Overall, the budget aims to give Neal Ardley more money for the playing squad by using a proportion of the profits from last season’s cup run while keeping some in reserve to avoid compromising future seasons.

The meeting ended by discussing any other business which included:

  • whether it would be possible to hold another specific consultation meeting regarding the design of the new stadium (see the new-stadium design consultation news article for an update)
  • options for the Dons Trust presence on matchdays, focussing on whether to opt for a walk-in trailer that could be moved around or to opt for a more solid static structure
  • who to vote for in the Supporters Direct board elections

In attendance from the DTB were: Matt Breach, Mark Davis, David Growns, Zoe Linkson, Jane Lonsdale. Apologies were received from Moorad Choudhry, Nigel Higgs, Sean McLaughlin and Kris Stewart.