Dons Trust Board meeting summary – 15 September 2021

On Wednesday 15 September 2021, the Dons Trust Board (DTB) gathered via Microsoft Teams for its regular monthly meeting. This is a summary of matters discussed, pending publication of full minutes. 

Attendees were as follows: 

From the Dons Trust Board (DTB): Xavier Wiggins, Jane Lonsdale, Niall Couper, Luke Mackenzie, Graham Stacey, Tim Hillyer, Charlie Talbot, Hannah Kitcher 

Also in attendance: Treasurer – Michele Little, Conor Daly – Minute-taker, Communications Assistant – Matt Stockbridge 

Apologies: David Growns, Ed Leek 

The Dons Trust AFC Wimbledon Club OwnersThe first point of order was to review the 18 August 2021 minutes. It was noted the wrong file had been uploaded for review and these would now be reviewed and agreed out of committee.  

There was then a discussion on the main points on the agenda for the PLC meeting, which would be taking place the following evening. The agenda included the CEO report which would include ongoing ticketing issues. The DTB recognised the unprecedented level of demand and discussed concerns around reports of calls and emails not being responded to in a timely manner. The Board agreed that there is an urgent need to improve the customer experience as a priority and release accurate and timely attendance figures at Plough Lane.  

 The Board then discussed the issue of resourcing, noting the PLC board has agreed that additional budget is available to fund this. The CEO has provided some initial proposals on how this resource could be organised, and the DTB has requested further information on roles and timescales. This would be discussed further at the PLC meeting.  

 The Board then discussed the club’s position towards EFL Trophy games noting the current Board position states that profits generated from home games against “non-first teams” would be given to charity. It was agreed that profit on gate receipts from the upcoming game against Crystal Palace U23 would go to charity – split between the Foundation and DLAG. It was agreed a members’ vote on the club’s position regarding its stance in relation to the EFL Trophy would be the subject of a future member vote at the upcoming SGM.  

 The upcoming agenda for the SGM (14 October) was discussed, noting the inclusion of the resolution relating to the EFL Trophy discussed earlier in the meeting. 

 The DTB noted that a commercial agreement confirming the naming of the stadium had now been completed. The DTB endorsed the decision, which would be subject to a future announcement once all the details had been agreed. 

 The Greatest Story exhibit has now been launched and Tim acknowledged its success and encouraged all members of the DTB to visit in due course. 

 Verbal updates were provided on recent club and Trust meetings on various issues including from Graham Stacey on the setting up and the first meeting of the social media working group, and Jane Lonsdale on the creation of the Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) role profile, which would be advertised, which was being worked on by Supporters Direct Europe who have significant experience in this area.  

 The Board then noted that complaints and concerns covering a wide range of issues within the club and the DTB itself have been increasing. The Board shared some of these frustrations and reiterated its focus on representing the needs and views of the club owners. The Board noted that feedback from members was always welcome, and that the upcoming elections to the DTB gives opportunities to members who want to get more involved. In closing the meeting the DTB reiterated the desire of everyone, from volunteers to full-time staff and to fans, remains the same. Everyone doing their best to assist and find solutions to issues and concerns.