The Dons Trust board has confirmed its priorities for the remainder of the year. Following the election results in December 2021, the board hit the ground running – reviewing the skills of the newly elected board and identifying gaps, discussing any areas where co-option may be needed down the line.
While the priorities are usually shared earlier in the year, the board acknowledged that, following Joe Palmer’s resignation as CEO and Mick Buckley’s appointment as Interim Chair, that it would be sage to delay the publication of the priorities this time around.
With these changes in mind, it was decided that the immediate priorities of the board are to shore up the club’s operations, do everything possible to support our continuation in League 1, and agree a platform for the effective functioning of the club in the longer term, in support of the agreed aim and underpinning strategic objectives:
To successfully continue the greatest story in English football as a proudly fan-owned and ambitious club at the heart of its community
Five-Year Strategic Objectives
· Championship Football.
· Be widely recognised as pioneers in player development.
· Financially sustainable. Reinvesting profits.
· Become the UK’s number one community club.
· Expand Plough Lane and transform our training facility.
In June 2021 the DTb published a “governance update” https://thedonstrust.org/governance-update-june-2021/ explaining changes to the group structure and ways of working.
· The group moved to a two-board structure, with the intention that the Dons Trust board oversee the PLC Board and the PLC Board provide operational oversight.
· The Football Club Board was replaced by a Senior Leadership Team (SLT) with the intention that it report to the CEO.
· The CEO would report operationally to the PLC board on a monthly basis, with the DTB having sight of the monthly report.
· The CEO’s line manager(s) remained the chair(s) of the DTB.
As with all changes, some parts have been more successful than others, and a review would have been appropriate in the near future absent a change of executive leadership. In announcing the appointment of Mick as Interim Chair, we said:
“As well as helping to keep the club on course in the short term, Mick will be helping the boards shape our longer-term plans as we look to write the next chapter in our incredible story.”
With Mick now in position, the DTb has decided that now is a good time to restate / revisit the DTb’s priorities.
For the club:
– Achieve refinancing of the MSP loan in April
– Give full support to the Interim Chair in leading the club in the transition phase
– Work with the Interim Chair to determine and agree:
o The permanent leadership requirement for the club
o Any required changes to the football club organisation to maximise future success
o Any required changes to the group structure to support that
For the trust:
– Continue “One Club” planning and volunteer / staff hybrid proposal
– Respond to / implement ESG report from 2021 and continue planning for 2022 election
– Plan and announce SGMs and AGM for 2022. Consider options re: in-person / remote / hybrid to maximise participation and engagement.
– Consider what’s missing in terms of skills and in terms of representation and make recommendations to membership re: co-option
– Surveys of DT membership as appropriate – on membership and funds, on elections, on cultural issues for the club, on any changes to structure etc
Meanwhile, the Dons trust board members have agreed individual areas of responsibility for the remainder of the year. These can be found at https://thedonstrust.org/board/