July’s Dons Trust Board meeting summary

The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its monthly meeting at The Cherry Red Records Stadium on Wednesday, July 15. Ahead of publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarises the main points that were discussed.

Ivor Heller came to the start of the meeting to give the DTB an update on commercial matters, including an overview of this year’s financial figures and the budget for next year. Ivor mentioned that in the coming year he and his team will focus on increasing supporters’ responses to sponsors and to build relationships that support the sponsors in achieving this. A new stadium in Wimbledon would also open up other opportunities, including through the chance to offer blocks of seats as part of sponsorship packages – with pressure on space this isn’t possible in our current home.

Other highlights of Ivor’s report included:

  • a new sponsorship deal for the North Stand involving John Green
  • a very successful inaugural beer festival that had been held on the weekend of the Watford pre-season friendly
  • the launch of the new third-kit which had received an initial ‘interesting’ reaction but with sales going very nicely
  • Kingsmeadow Live functions to focus on three or four gigs per year that we’re confident will sell out rather than trying to develop a regular monthly ‘club night’.

Ivor praised the work done by all the commercial staff and volunteers, especially Jim Piddington and Pietro Palladino, and urged the DTB members to show support by attending events wherever possible so that they can get a flavour for the events put on.

Following Ivor’s update, club chief executive Erik Samuelson talked the board through his monthly report, including an update on the recruitment of a new centre-back and news on progress with the new stadium’s planning application (with additional information having now been submitted to Merton Council).

The board spent some time discussing the communications strategy surrounding the upcoming ‘restricted action’ votes, with Mark Davis presenting the latest state of play following a lot of work behind the scenes by a volunteer working group, and the associated issue of membership renewal (with all Trust memberships now due to renew on a common August 1 date). It was emphasised that the renewal process will need to go alongside a drive to ensure we have up-to-date contact details for members if the ‘restricted action’ votes are to be successful.

Finally the meeting rounded off with ‘any other business’ which included:

  • an update from Jane Lonsdale on the Webjam user group, whose members are now trialling the system and also coming up with other suggestions for member engagement – Jane also expressed her thanks to volunteer David Reeves, who has been doing a lot of work on the Webjam project
  • discussion about finalising the purchase of the new Dons Trust stall and branding it to help raise the Trust’s profile on matchdays
  • progress with recruitment of a new Dons Trust Secretary
  • an update on the We Are Wimbledon Fund.

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

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