Ipswich Town First AGM minutes

Ipswich Town 1st Annual General Meeting

Saturday, 24th August, 2013

Drum & Monkey, Princes Street, Ipswich

 

The meeting was opened by Acting Chairman, Alasdair Ross, who welcomed all those attending.

Alasdair apologised to members for the fact that no annual general meeting had been held in recent years and that the Trust had been somewhat dormant notwithstanding the active campaign of a year earlier when we had collected over 5,000 signatures on a petition to support the Football Club making an application for category 1 status. One year after submitting the petition the Football Club decided to make an application to move from Category 2 status to category 1 status using many of the same arguments that we had made a year earlier and referencing the Supporters desire for such a move.

A complaint about the administration of the Trust had been received from a member, who unfortunately was not present at the meeting. It was reported that although no meeting had been held regular annual returns had been submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority, previously the Financial Services Authority. In addition annual independent examinations of the books of record including the financial records had been conducted by Kirby Rookyard, a firm of Chartered Accountants, and copies of these reports were submitted to the meeting.

The chairman continued by explaining that the Trust continued to be needed, maybe more so than ever. Eve\n though the club had a wealthy owner the club’s debt continued to mount and there did not appear to be a long term plan for repayment. Other clubs had suffered when a wealthy owner had pulled out and while it was to be emphasised that that was not necessarily on the horizon at Ipswich it remained a possibility. Alasdair opened up the meeting for discussion.

There were a number of issues that the Trust should be campaigning on not least the cost of going to Portman Road which has some of the most expensive tickets in the Championship. Several members were also concerned about the rationale for closing the ticket office when many supporters did not have online access to be able to purchase tickets. It was agreed that further research would be conducted on the relative cost of tickets at Portman Road to other Championship clubs and also answers sought on the feasibility of having a physical ticket office.

Recently the Trust has submitted an application to Ipswich Borough Council, the owners of Portman Road, for Portman Road to be declared an Asset of Community Value.  This was new legislation that the Government had introduced where they wanted to introduce some degree of safeguards into the system that what were perceived as community assets could not be sold without the community being involved.

Such an application should it be successful would give the Trust first refusal on raising funds to buy it to protect its use and hopefully stop any movement to an out of town stadium. An answer is outstanding although there are indications that Portman Road will be declared an Asset of Community Value.

Alasdair also raised the issue of a Supporter Liaison Officer, a new role which we believe had been introduced by UEFA. It is understood that the position has to be filled by a club employee and that currently Sally Webb. The club secretary, performed the role. This was something that the Trust was interested in as a conduit to the Club.

 

The Acting Chairman then introduced the resolutions before the meeting as follows;

  1. 1.              Approval of Annual Report & Accounts for 2012 and previous years.

The Annual Report & Accounts for the years ending December 31st 2012, December 31st 2011, and December 31st 2010 were unanimously approved by all members present at the meeting. In addition proxies in favour had been received from 13 members with one member not indication approval or disapproval.

  1. 2.              Re-Appointment of Independent Examiner, Kirby Rookyard & Co, Chartered Accountants

Kirby & Rookyard were unanimously re-elected as Independent Examiners by all members present at the meeting. In addition proxies in favour had been received from 14 members with none voting against.

  1. 3.              Report on the future of the Trust and to decide whether to continue. And a Vote to either continue with the Trust or to dissolve the Trust.

It was unanimously agreed by all members present at the meeting to continue with the Trust in its present format. In addition proxies in favour had been received from 12 members with two voting against.

  1. 4.              To confirm that the voting policy of the election should be “first past the post”

There was some discussion on the voting methodology employed by the Trust. In the pas the transferable voting system had been utilised but this had been found to be unnecessarily complicated.

It was unanimously agreed by all members present at the meeting that the “first past the post” voting system should be used for future elections. In addition proxies in favour had been received from 14 members with none voting against.

  1. 5.              Constitution of the Committee

In the absence of elections having been held in recent years because no candidates over and above the maximum number allowed on the committee had come forward it was felt appropriate that confirmation should be obtained from the members that the following committee should continue in situ until elections had been held within a three month timeframe. All the following committee members have indicated their desire to be elected once such elections are held.

Committee;

  • Alasdair Ross
  • Carl Day
  • Colin Kreidewolf
  • Jane Summerfield
  • Graham Steel
  • Rob Freeman
  • Gavin Barber
  • Joe Fairs
  • Susan Gardiner
  • Grant Bage

Under any other business there was discussion about the possibility of paying someone to perform certain functions for the Trust such as website design and marketing. Concern was raised about any employment implications but further research was requested.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 6.40pm

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