January’s Board Meeting Summary

The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its regular board meeting at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Wednesday 10 January 2018. Ahead of the publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarizes the main points discussed.

The meeting was attended by DTB members Matthew Breach, Mark Davis, Tim Hillyer, Colin Dipple, Jane Lonsdale, Nigel Higgs,  Cormac van der Hoeven and Sean McLaughlin; DT Secretariat members Tom Brown, Hannah Kitcher and Andrew Howell.

The DTB were joined by club chief executive Erik Samuelson and (for one particular topic) former DTB member David Growns.

Apologies were received from Roger Evans.

Erik Samuelson talked through the FCB report and clarified that the PLC AGM will be held in February.

Erik provided a summary of the issues with the Wembley ticket scanning, noting that the club had received 46 emails (to date) related to this and all emails have received acknowledgements. Erik assured the DTB that the club are undertaking a thorough investigation to find the root causes of why a small number of supporters had difficulties in collecting tickets at Wembley and a rather larger number had difficulties gaining access to the stadium with their tickets because the barcodes were not recognised. All present agreed that whilst the vast majority of supporters had no such difficulties, it was clearly unsatisfactory for supporters to experience these aggravations (and for some to fail to get in at all), particularly in such a high profile game.  The DTB also agreed that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions at this stage as to the causes of the problems and look forward to the outcome of the club’s investigation.

Erik discussed the Milton Keynes charge and the proposed next steps following a meeting the previous day with Jim Sturman QC. The DTB voted unanimously in favour of the FCB’s recommended course of action.

Erik explained that the club are looking at bringing new players into the club and are currently working out who these will be and how they will fit into the rest of the team.

The DTB acknowledged that the FCB report shows that club shop sales have been doing well.

David Growns joined the meeting to talk through his paper, written whilst a board member, on data protection and on the new EU-wide directive on coming into place on 25th May 2018 (GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation). GDPR is being implemented via an update of the Data Protection Act. Key issues that the club should be aware of include exposure to fines of up to 4% of turnover, an individuals’ right to erasure, right to restrict processing of personal data and the right to data portability. Mike Berry is currently working for the club on the actions needed in order to be ready for the implementation of GDPR and ensure compliance. David explained that there is a meeting scheduled for Friday 12th January with himself, Mike Berry and David Charles, the club’s nominated data controller.

The DTB agreed that it will allocate a board or secretariat member to be the nominated Data Protection Officer (DPO); the person responsible for setting policy and answering queries. This person will be decided at the next DTB meeting scheduled for January 22 when we will be assigning the roles and responsibilities for all board members for the year. It was agreed that the nominated DPO should attend a GDPR training course.

David Growns left the meeting and Tom Brown talked through proposed amendments to the process for electing DTB officers(chair, vice-chair and treasurer). From 2019, DTB members will have to submit their interest in standing for an officer role three weeks before the meeting in which the board vote. If a role is contested then candidates will have up to two weeks to write and submit up to 400 words about why they want to/should be nominated into the role. The DTB agreed that they will turn this into policy and publish on the DT website. The DTB agreed that there should not be one single point of failure and therefore there should also be someone nominated to back-up the role of the treasurer.

The DTB agreed that any member of the DTB who wishes to stand for an officer role for 2018 should note their intent to Tom Brown by 14 January. If any of the positions are contested then each candidate will have until 17 January to submit up to 400 words on why they wish to stand for the role and these will be circulated amongst the board for their consideration ahead of the official vote at the next DTB meeting.

The DTB discussed the co-option of Charles Williams. Matt Breach explained that it is possible for the board to co-opt up to three additional people onto the board. The board still consider youth engagement, the role that Charles was co-opted onto the board for, as a priority requiring his support. The board voted unanimously in favour of co-opting Charles Williams onto the board and to lead on youth engagement, as well as to support with communications.

The meeting was adjourned at 22:30 with matters on the agenda not covered to be added the agenda for the February DTB meeting.