The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its regular board meeting at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Monday 9 April 2018. Ahead of publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarises the main points discussed.
The meeting was attended by DTB members, Matthew Breach, Mark Davis (Chair), Colin Dipple, Roger Evans, Nigel Higgs, Cormac van der Hoeven, Jane Lonsdale, Charles Williams, Sean McLaughlin, Tim Hillyer and DT secretariat members Andrew Williams and Hannah Kitcher. The DTB welcomed to the meeting new minute taker, Terry Langford.
The DTB were joined by the FCB including club chief executive Erik Samuelson, chief operating officer Joe Palmer, non-executive director Mick Buckley, operations director, David Charles and commercial director, Ivor Heller.
Erik Samuelson provided an update on the stadium. The DTB discussed with the FCB what updates there are to present on the stadium at the upcoming DT SGM.
Joe Palmer ran through the FCB’s proposals for changes to season ticketing arrangements and emerging ideas on greater alignment with membership. The revised season ticket arrangements are intended to maximise attendance at matches in the current stadium, while keeping places available for new fans, and to support the transition to the commercial success of the new stadium. Greater alignment between season tickets and membership would improve the offer to members, bring it more in line with other commercial membership programmes which provide discount benefits and make the offer more attractive to new fans. Joe will attend the April SGM to discuss the options proposed with members.
The FCB and DTB discussed football matters. Mark Davis provided a summary of the discussion on football matters at the FCB meeting. The FCB will be holding an open meeting with AFC Wimbledon fans on an evening in the week commencing 16 April [subsequently confirmed as Thursday 19 April]. The meeting will include an introduction from the FCB, DTB and an opportunity for Q&A. The meeting is intended to provide fans with the opportunity to voice their opinions and ask questions.
Erik ran through the proposal for the approach to the playing budget for 2018/19 season. The FCB will provide a full budget to the DTB in the coming weeks for approval from the DTB.
The DTB thanked the FCB for joining the meeting.
The DTB discussed the finalisation of papers for the upcoming SGM. They agreed that members will be asked to vote in the meeting, firstly on the principle of changing the Dons Trust logo, then secondly on the two options presented.
The DTB approved the minutes from the February and March DTB meetings.
The Oversight, Operations, and Engagement & Communications Committees had all provided update reports from their committees ahead of the meeting.
The Operations Committee explained their intention to create a sub-committee of skilled volunteers to support the development the Trust’s IT strategy and address the immediate backlog of IT related tasks. The DTB agreed to set up working group to be chaired by a DTB member.
Matthew Breach provided an update to the DTB from the Strategy Committee. They have been through the committee’s Terms of Reference in detail and outlined a plan, what they aim to achieve and how. Matt will recirculate a new version amongst the board. The committee will be seeking Joe Palmer’s input on strategy for the club and organisation. They are planning to distribute a survey to members to ask what their priorities are with the strategy. They are also setting up a constitution working group and have recruited a couple of potential volunteers to support.
The Stadium Committee met with Erik and discussed timelines. Once Scotts (the contractor) have amended their tender they will be able to produce a timeline. They discussed how to communicate the timeline to fans and agreed to provide regular updates to fans on progress. The stadium committee will be looking, with Erik, at the list of options for dressing the new stadium, and what it is possible to consult members on, once Scotts have submitted an amended tender. There will be an open meeting/consultation event in May for this. Tim Hillyer and Cormac van der Hoeven agreed to investigate a potential central Wimbledon venue.
The DTB discussed the approval of rule for trustees for the AFCW Foundation rules as there weren’t previously any in place. The rules put parameters around expectation of trustees and the number there should be. The DTB agreed that they were content for the Foundation to adopt the new rules.
On the DT accounts, there has been a resolution from DTB to authorise Sean McLaughlin to sign. The DTB noted the accounts and authorised Sean to sign them. The DTB aim to ensure prompt submission to Supporters Direct.
Under AOB Jane noted that the first Diversity and Inclusion working group meeting is scheduled for 21 April and asked for board members to let her know if they are interested in attending. Jane also raised the question as to when the DTB would be seeing plans for Club branding and Joe’s strategy. Mark Davis agreed to follow up on this.