Summary of January’s Dons Trust Board Meeting

The Dons Trust Board (DTB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday 15 January. This article summarises the main points discussed including the Plough Lane Bond, electing the Dons Trust Chair and Vice-Chair for 2020 and the upcoming AGM. 

Present from the DTB were Mark Davis, Tim Hillyer, Anna Kingsley, Hannah Kitcher, Edward Leek, Jane Lonsdale, Luke Mackenzie, Graham Stacey and Anne Williams.  

In attendance from the football club were Joe Palmer (Chief Executive) and Tom Rawcliffe (Financial Controller). 

Attending from the secretariat were David Growns (Secretary). 

The meeting included discussion around the Football Club Board’s monthly report, which was circulated to the DTB beforehand and an update on the stadium and financing from Mark Davis.  

Mark thanked Edward Leek and Luke Mackenzie for work in coordinating with the group of Dons Trust members who have set up the Plough Lane Bond. Edward then reminded the board that the Bond is part of the effort towards meeting the current £11 million shortfall on funding the stadium. The members who set up the Bond shared a survey to gauge appetite, following which approximately 1,000 people have pledged £3.85m. The organisers believe that this is a reliable commitment and, if we were able to secure an £8m loan alongside it, it would be possible to build the stadium without seeking outside investment.  

The Dons Trust Board would like to extend special thanks to Charlie Talbot, Marc Jones, Graeme Price, Damian Woodward and Xavier Wigginsfor the work they have put into making the Plough Lane Bond possible. More information about the Bond is available at and you can send any questions you may have to ploughlanebond@thedonstrust.orgThe Bond will be launched ahead of Saturday’s home game against Peterborough United.  

Information about the Bond will be given to fans on their way into the stadium. Dons Trust Board members Hannah Kitcher and Tim Hillyer will be in the Dons Trust Kiosk ahead of the match to answer any of your questions and there will be a Q&A about the Bond in the Main Bar following the Man of the Match presentation after the game.  This bond is going to be absolutely crucial to our chances of completing the stadium construction on time, so please come along to hear more about it and ask the team who have set it up any questions. 

The meeting also appointed Mark Davis to the role of the Dons Trust Chair and Jane Lonsdale to the Vice-Chair role for 2020. Although the roles were uncontested, all other member of the Dons Trust Board discussed their appointment without Mark and Jane present before formally ratifying their appointment. The Board expressed some concern about the workload required from the Chair and Vice-Chair and agreed to discuss this, and how we could work more smartly as a board in an upcoming strategy meeting to be scheduled.  

Board members had previously, via email, been asked to nominate themselves to be the Dons Trust representation on the subsidiary boards. Board members formally ratified the appointment of Jane Lonsdale to be a Director on the AFCW PLC and Luke Mackenzie as a Director oThe Wider Interests of Football Limited (the subsidiary which is developing the stadium) 

The Board then discussed the 2019 election report provided by the Election Steering Group (ESG) Chair, John Dolan. The Board noted their thanks to the 9yrs podcast and the ESG for their support with this year’s election.  

The Board approved, subject to some agreed amends, the revised October and November Board meeting minutes.  

The Board had previously been informed that minute-taker, Terry Langford, has decided to stand down from the role. The Board would like to thank Terry for all her work. The Board had a discussion around replacing Terry and the agreed approach to minutes. 

The Board discussed the upcoming AGM on Jan 29th at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Papers and agenda are available here. Tim Hillyer said that it might be better for another person to Chair the stadium discussion and Q&A as it is a lot to ask for Mark to answer at the same time. The Board agreed that Jane Lonsdale, as the newly appointed Vice-Chair, would act as the Chair for the stadium discussion and Q&A section of the AGM.  

Jane provided an update around Diversity & Inclusion and highlighted that the next home match (Saturday 18th Jan) is AFC Wimbledon’s designated Day of Action for the Kick It Out campaign which aims to stamp out discriminiatory abuse of all forms. Players will be wearing Kick It Out T-shirts on Saturday and supporters from both clubs will be encouraged to raise banners on the referee’s whistle before the game. Footballers from the club’s Education and Football programme will also be holding up banners when the players walk out onto the pitch.  

We would like to take this opportunity to remind fans to familiarise themselves with the Ground Regulations. If on a match day anyone has any concerns over a matter of safety or hears any racist or homophobic language or obscene chanting, or discriminatory or abusive language targeting specific members of the community, they should notify a steward immediatelyor text or call the matchday control room on 07704 649119. By reporting an incident immediately, it can be dealt with straight away. 

Under any other business, Mark agreed to investigate a suitable date for a Dons Trust Board strategy meeting.   

The meeting finished at about 11:00 pm.