February’s board meeting summary

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

Given that the Football Club Board (FCB) report for February included substantial information regarding the revised stadium design, it was decided by the Chair that the FCB report would be discussed first as it would take up the majority of time allocated for the meeting.

The meeting began with stadium adviser Andrew Williams giving a presentation on the revised stadium designs. The aim of Andrew’s presentation was to seek approval for the revised stadium designs before moving ahead with the tender process.

Andrew began the presentation by stressing that the revised stadium design adheres to the five principles of:

  • keeping to the capital budget
  • protecting the long-term vision of the club that includes a 20,000 stadium capacity
  • ensuring income generation
  • focusing on the fan experience
  • complying with both football and construction legislation.

No red flags have arisen surrounding these principles when complying with the revised stadium design, Andrew noted.

Andrew ran through the revised stadium design by floors. The presentation covered areas including stand structures, operations, hospitality, events, concessions and capacity extension, among other areas. DTB members were then given the opportunity to direct questions to Andrew that ranged across congestion and parking, building regulations, costs, tender process, capacity, hospitality, stand structure and concessions. A significant portion of the questions to Andrew from DTB members centred on the average fan experience.

The DTB thanked Andrew for all of his efforts surrounding the stadium process before he departed the meeting. The DTB unanimously agreed for Erik Samuelson to communicate to Andrew to move ahead with the tender process subject to providing additional data and cost estimates for additional options raised by DTB members to ensure that the stadium maximises the five principles, particularly fan experience.

Erik provided the DTB with an update on the Chelsea and Kingstonian deals. He then moved on to discuss the current finances and budget for next year. A discussion confirmed that there are plans to re-launch the Dons Draw in an effort to make it more frequent and, ultimately, to grow it.

The DTB noted congratulations to the AFC Wimbledon U18 Academy team for its performances in the FA Youth Cup and the senior team’s performance in the Luton game.

Due to time constraints, agenda items including admission prices, Webjam, volunteers and Wimbledon Food Bank will be carried forward to the next meeting. The DTB will be holding an additional meeting during late February to address priorities for the year which will potentially allow for discussion of those agenda items, as well as explore the future use of teleconference calls for those items not covered in meetings.

In attendance from the Dons Trust Board were: Tom Adam, Matt Breach, Mark Davis, Colin Dipple, Roger Evans, David Growns, Nigel Higgs, Jane Lonsdale and Sean McLaughlin.