July’s board meeting summary

The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its monthly meeting at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Wednesday 24 July. Ahead of publication of the redacted minutes, this article summarises the main points discussed.

Present from the DTB were Rob Crane, Mark Davis, Colin Dipple, Hannah Kitcher and Luke Mackenzie. Apologies were received from Roger Evans, Cormac van der Hoeven, Anna Kingsley, Edward Leek and Jane Lonsdale. The meeting was quorate.

Also in attendance were Trust secretary David Growns, minute takers Terry Langford and Roger Edmonds-Brown, and, for the first part of the meeting, club chief executive Joe Palmer and club financial controller Tom Rawcliffe.

The meeting started as usual by considering the football club board’s monthly report, which included a summary of the recent transfer activity. Also noted was positive feedback received after sending out season tickets slightly earlier than in previous years.

Luke Mackenzie asked about the club’s attendance at the EFL AGM. Joe explained that a lot of the votes are quite straightforward – this year there had been a lot of small rule changes – and that any bigger issues on the AGM’s agenda would be brought to the DTB ahead of time. However, sometimes the EFL hierarchy does introduce last-minute motions.

Alongside the football club board’s report were the management accounts to the end of June; The board noted that, notwithstanding the successful FA Cup run, the loss for 2018/19 had exceeded the budgeted loss for the year. Tom expanded on the financial details included and answered queries from DTB members. Of particular note were the merchandise figures, which had been extremely good over the previous few months. The DTB expressed its thanks to Mat Haylock and the merchandise team.

Next on the agenda was the new stadium, with updates given to the board on both the launch of the crowdfunding campaign and progress with securing a loan to finance the remaining sum required. Luke gave an update on consultation, which would now focus on the matchday experience, including consultation with the club’s Disabled Supporters Association. The board also agreed to use some of the Trust’s retained profits to subscribe to the crowdfunding share issue.

Next was a brief discussion about the possibility of introducing a secondary membership scheme which could give some benefits to those who sign up. It was agreed to discuss the idea with Trust members before going further. [Editor’s note: this should be on the agenda at the SGM scheduled for Monday 9 September.]

Next up, the board agreed some proposals to slightly alter the composition of the AFCW PLC board ahead of crowdfunding launching. The changes would restore the DTB’s majority on that board and also place Joe onto the PLC board, among other changes. It was agreed that further discussion about the future role of the PLC board should be deferred until a quieter period but would need to take into account the views of all stakeholders including Trust members.

Hannah Kitcher then presented some proposals that had been put forward by the membership working group to encourage people to join the Trust. The board expressed its thanks to the working group members and gave some feedback on some of the proposals. It was agreed that many of the proposals could dovetail with ideas discussed earlier in the meeting.

Finally, the board acknowledged that initiating discussions about representing our history in the new stadium was now urgent and that external resource might be needed to take a lead on this.

The meeting concluded by considering a few items of any other business. This included noting a paper that David Growns had prepared, in his capacity as AFC Wimbledon Ladies chairman, summarising recent changes within the organisation (subsequently also outlined in the matchday programme for the game against Rotherham).