November’s board meeting summary

The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its monthly meeting at The Cherry Red Records Stadium on Thursday, November 19. Ahead of publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarises the main points that were discussed.

The first decision taken by the meeting was to delay the scheduled Trust and PLC AGMs to Thursday, December 17 at a venue still to be confirmed. This decision was taken because the original date coincides with a regular monthly scheduled meeting of Merton Council’s planning committee – although by no means certain, this could be the meeting that considers our planning application for the new stadium. (The venue for the AGM has since been confirmed as Mansel Road – more details will be sent to members and shareholders soon.)

As usual, club chief executive Erik Samuelson was in attendance. As well as updating the DTB on the latest regarding the Chelsea contract, Erik ran through various updates regarding the stadium plans, including updated cost projections. His update also focused on a wide range of other issues, including routine updates on the latest from the youth development programme and commercial matters (including merchandise which has benefited from sales of the Dave Bassett and Wally Downes book).

Rather than submit her usual report, AFC Wimbledon Foundation executive director Kay Skelton had asked her individual team members to produce reports covering their own areas. Highlights included:

  • Female football development which has received funding from the Football League and Sport England and will be delivering sessions for specific target audiences, including older women in Kingston, Merton and Wandsworth
  • Sessions being run for severely disabled children at Orchard Hill College
  • Ongoing work with local schools to deliver curriculum and extra-curriculum coaching

Mark Davis gave a brief round-up of the successful Back in Two Ticks restricted action voting process. A ‘lessons learned’ paper will be produced over the next few weeks. The DTB formally gave its thanks to Mark for his work on the campaign; Mark in turn thanked the many other volunteers who had also given their time.

There was also some discussion about community shares, which may be needed to part-fund building the new stadium. Discussion centred on the best time to launch the scheme if it’s needed. The club is currently exploring some issues relating to the availability of tax incentives associated with community shares in light of the Finance Act 2015.

The DTB then spent a considerable amount of time focusing on budget and cash flow issues looking ahead as far as December 2016. Because the discussion was quite detailed and went on for some time, subsequent agenda items – including a discussion of customer-relationship management (CRM) and recommendations stemming from the Webjam trial (a tool designed to help engagement between the DTB and Trust members) – had to be deferred. It was agreed to hold a conference call to discuss some of these matters.

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

This entry was updated on December 18, 2015 to change an incorrect reference to ‘October’ to ‘November’.