Dons Trust Chair Mark Davis offers a few thoughts about serving on the Dons Trust Board (DTB)
If you are a Trust member considering standing in the board election, you have just three days left to get your application in – the closing date for nominations is 30th October. You can find out here what you need to do. It isn’t too late even if you’re starting from scratch – but you’ll need to hurry.
So, what can you expect over the year ahead if you get elected?
First of all, you will be informed about the outcome of the election shortly after 5th December. You will be given an induction pack and invited to the DTB meeting on 16th December. You’ll be there as an observer because you won’t formally be a board member until the close of the Trust’s AGM the following day.
From then on, as a fully-fledged DTB member, you will be into a monthly cycle of board meetings. Generally, DTB meetings happen on a set day each month (currently the third Wednesday of each month). The meeting is in two parts, with representatives of the Football Club Board present for the first part, where we go through reports from the football club.
As well as holding the FCB to account, we also have a role to play in bringing ideas and expertise to bear – and indeed reflecting the voice of the fanbase in decision-making. The second part of the meeting is just DTB members, where we talk about Trust matters and perhaps reflect further on what we discussed in the first part.
But attending (virtually, at the moment) monthly board meetings is the only part of what we do. Inevitably, in the fast-moving world of football, things crop up between meetings, which generates lots of emails and decisions to chew over. So be prepared to have a corner of your brain constantly whirring on whatever the issue of the day is.
Early in the year, the board typically considers its priorities for the year. No doubt you’ll press for the things you included in your manifesto, to add to an already long list of issues. My guess is that renewing AFC Wimbledon’s long-term strategy, updating our governance arrangements and planning for the refinancing of our stadium development loan will loom large in 2021.
There will also be other, more routine things that need to be accomplished. So, responsibilities will be assigned – some to individual DTB members and others to DTB-led committees and working groups.
Over the years, the DTB has developed a range of ways of interacting with members, besides general meetings, and you will be expected to play your part in this. We take it in turns to write articles in the matchday magazine and once crowds return, to be available to members on matchdays in the Dons Trust kiosk (located behind the south stand at Plough Lane). We have an online forum for members. And a new innovation in 2020, there are monthly opportunities to hear from DTB members online.
All in all, if elected, you will have a busy but fascinating time. You will gain insights into the workings of your football club, you’ll have the opportunity to help shape AFC Wimbledon’s future, alongside a similarly dedicated bunch of people. So, start writing your manifesto!