March’s board meeting summary

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

The meeting was joined by Erik Samuelson and Mick Buckley from the Football Club Board (FCB) and started by discussing the monthly FCB report. Jane Lonsdale asked what measures had been taken following a recently reported incident at a match. Erik responded that the layout of our current ground means that people attempting to gain access to the Chemflow End without a ticket for that area will always be a problematic issue, but stewards have been re-briefed about their ticket-checking responsibilities.

Nigel Higgs asked for an update regarding the London Living Wage, and Erik replied that some of our suppliers have replied to our request for information but not all. The club’s operations director, David Charles, is in the process of chasing up.

There was a briefer-than-usual stadium update as the application is now with the Greater London Authority for consideration. Erik also gave an update on the stadium’s financing, particularly in light of information received that community shares no longer qualify for tax relief – this would be followed up to confirm whether it is correct or not.

The FCB has also proposed that, if the club is successful and wins promotion to League One through the play-offs, ticket prices should be increased. There is no proposal to increase prices if the club remains in League Two. Mark Davis pointed out that the ticket pricing survey carried out at the end of 2015 had indicated that, broadly speaking, the respondents were prepared to pay for success. The DTB discussed the proposal and voted to recommend to members that they vote in favour of it at the forthcoming April SGM. Timings are tight because season-ticket renewals are due to go out soon.

The meeting briefly discussed the forthcoming relaunch of the Dons Draw, which will in future put all proceeds towards the club’s Academy.

The DTB also discussed and agreed the amount of funding that the Trust would put towards the successful ladies team next season.

Trust-only business

Moving on to Trust-only business, Matthew Breach reported that he is in the process of updating the club’s boardroom policy, which specifically addresses how visiting directors are entertained but is now being expanded to also encompass possible supporter representation in the boardroom.

Jane gave an update on Webjam, the Trust’s new online member-engagement portal. A project team is now in place to bring it to launch, which is currently due to happen in June or July.

A consultation on members’ views regarding aspects of the new stadium, including how desirable it is to have a standing terrace in light of the potential financial cost, is being taken forward by Matthew, with support from volunteer David Reeves.

The board also followed up on a meeting it held on Sunday, February 28 when it discussed priorities for the year. Some board members volunteered to take on responsibility for specific roles and Matthew will attempt to ‘fill the gaps’ before the next scheduled DTB meeting in April.

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