The Dons Trust AFC Wimbledon Club OwnersDons Trust Board meeting summary – 17 November

On Wednesday 17 November 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, Edward Leek.  

Also in attendance: Michele Little, Treasurer and Martin Newton, incoming Secretary. 

Apologies: David Growns, outgoing Secretary.  

The meeting opened by welcoming Martin Newton who is taking on the Dons Trust Secretary role, following the recent announcement that current Secretary, David Growns is stepping down on 1 December 2021.   

Martin’s experience and credentials include: 34 years in corporate governance and formal meetings management with extensive experience of reviewing, updating and streamlining decision-making processes and ensuring compliance with constitutional and legal requirements for local authorities, the City of London Corporation and (as a volunteer) AFCW PLC. 

It was noted that the September and October Board minutes were outstanding but would be published shortly.  

The meeting kicked off with a discussion around the latest CEO report, ahead of the PLC meeting on Thursday 18 November, and options for financing, in relation to the recent update that was circulated to members.  

The Board then discussed the agenda for the AGM scheduled for Thursday 16 December 2021, and how to run the AGM in hybrid format to ensure that voting would be secure while also ensuring that the experience is of good enough quality for those joining online. 

Tim then provided an update on the constitution review, and proposed that the work on this starts immediately with Tim contacting all members of the dormant Constitution Working Group to see if they’re interested in resuming this work. Tim explained this would need a minimum of six members, and an ongoing member of the Board to be oversight. The aim is to complete the work within 12 months. Tim will arrange handover of this work with a current member of the DTB, who should act as oversight.  

Tim also noted that he had been successfully elected to the Football Supporters Association National Council for another three years, and it was agreed that Tim will be voting on behalf of the DTB at the upcoming FSA AGM.  

Jane noted that John Stembridge, current Dons Trust Membership Secretary has been in touch to explain that he will be looking to step down from the role within the next year. John has been in this role since formation of the Trust, and the Board noted its sincere thanks and appreciation for the work that John has done over the years.  

Hannah presented a paper on the integration of Dons Trust membership with the club’s ticketing system and it was agreed that this is a priority for Q1 of 2022, and which will need to be resolved ahead of season ticket renewals.  

Under AOB, Jane noted the plans for this year’s Rainbow Laces event on Saturday 27 November vs Fleetwood.  This year’s campaign – Lace Up and Speak Up – is focusing on being an ally, and visibly showing support for the LGBTQA+ community. Jane noted the work Dons for Diversity had done for the event including banners featuring the ally flag that will be put on every seat, along with a raffle with profits split between Stonewall and the AFC Wimbledon Foundation.   

It was noted that there has been a good response to the advert for Supporter Liaison Officer roles, and interviews will be starting soon. Jane noted that SD Europe, who had helped formulate the role profile, had visited the club last week.  

Xavier explained that following the advert for support with the post-implementation review of the club’s ticketing system, a core group has been set up, which will be announced in the coming days. The aim is to deliver the results by mid-January 2022, and it will be a matter for discussion at the upcoming AGM. 

Jane noted that she has started to hand over some of her current board responsibilities – including the Junior Dons Working Group to Hannah and the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group to Niall for the interim, until the new Board, post-election, meets in January to appoint new chairs to these roles.  

Finally, it was noted that following seeking approval from the Election Steering Group, that there will be a Meet the DTB on Monday 22 November at 19:00 GMT with Xavier Wiggins, Dons Trust co-chair and Joe Palmer, AFC Wimbledon CEO. They hoped to be joined by Will Daniels (Football Board). This will be held on the Dons Trust YouTube channel [update: due to technical issues, this took place via the 9yrs podcast YouTube channel].