On Wednesday 16 February 2022, 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): Charlie Talbot, Freddy Flaxman, Graham Stacey, Hannah Kitcher, Kris Stewart, Luke Mackenzie, Michele Little, Niall Couper, Xavier Wiggins.
Also in attendance: Secretary – Martin Newton, Minute Taker – Rupert Jeffrey
From the Election Steering Group (ESG): Chair – Alex Folkes, David Hall and Independent scrutineer, Neil Springate (Fulham Supporters Trust)
Alex and David led the first item on the agenda which was to discuss the process of the 2021 elections with the DTB. The ESG was set up to ensure a fair, open and transparent process for the election of members to the Board. The ESG had prepared a document for the Board’s consideration detailing several proposals to build on the current process in place. Many issues were covered including the timetable, hustings, promotion and social media conduct of candidates. All the proposals were discussed, including some outstanding actions following the 2020 election, and the ESG will follow up and publish the report in due course.
The Board noted their thanks to Alex, David, Neil and the rest of the ESG, and acknowledged a commitment to work with the ESG to implement their recommendations.
The Board then approved minutes of the Dons Trust meeting held on 19 January 2022, before moving on to discuss key points to be raised at the upcoming PLC meeting in response to the latest business update report provided by the club, and conversation included preparing for 2022/23 season ticket sales.
Charlie and Michele presented an update on the Plough Lane Bond progress, which has just broken the £2m mark. The Bond will remain open and push to a new target above £3m – Charlie will draft a public update around the status of conversations regarding equity investment, and re-iterating the core message that if more can be brought in through the Bond it not only removes reliance on external lenders. It would also allow any agreed equity investment to be earmarked for operating budgets rather than debt payments.
Under AOB, the Board discussed engagement with members, including how to make sure members of the Board engage regularly with the membership forum – Proboards. The Board also discussed how the Trust is marketed and presented alongside the club, and when and how people are made aware of the ownership model. They agreed more should be done to drive this forward to present the benefits of the model and the appeal of being fan-owned.
Finally, it was also noted that the publication of the priorities and responsibilities of the Board for 2022 is overdue, and will make sure they are produced imminently.