As part of our commitment to transparency, wherever possible, we are now publishing reports of the Board meetings. These should give everyone a good understanding of the key priorities, projects and discussions, without breaching commercial and personal confidentiality.
Report on the Bath City FC Board Meeting
21 June 2021
*NB Most attended in person for the first time since the pandemic, a few were still virtual (V)
Attendees: Jon Bickley (Chair in the room), Nick Blofeld (V), Cheryl Bradley (V), Sally Harris (V), Shane Morgan (V), Andrew Pierce, John Reynolds (V), Joy Saunders, Paul Williams
Observers: Chris Coles, Carole Banwell, Jerry Gill (for item 1), William Heath (for first item in 2)
Apologies: Bob Chester, Matt Falk
- Football Update
JG updated on a great week one of pre-season training, with the players returning fit and having completed their individual programmes. The bad news is that Ryan Clarke has suffered an injury – JG is lining up potential replacements.
Meanwhile he continues to build the rest of the team, still viewing triallists and in discussions with other clubs on loanees. Hoping to sign another 3-6 players to give a total squad of around 18.
Joe Raynes’ recovery is steady though likely he’ll need to go to another club for a period to gain football fitness before being able to re-join the first team here. The backroom team is also taking shape well with new Sports Therapists from UWE, a new Sports Scientist and a new goalkeeping coach. Playing budget being discussed, some other teams are spending heavily.
ACTION: Jerry to continue building squad.
To be changed from Sunday 1 August to Saturday 31 July.
Andrew confirmed it’s coming along fine and he’s happy with its progress. Planning to start marking it in the coming week.
- Re-Development Update
We discussed the current options for the redevelopment process, including investigating possible alternative contingency paths while continuing to pursue our existing partnership and trying to maximise receipts to the Club to clear debt and build for the future. All activity in this are to be conducted under the auspices of the Redevelopment Working Group.
Tim Ball/Sarah Moore Meeting & McLaren Update Meeting
Paul and Carole met recently with the local ward councillors. The full note of this meeting was circulated, but in summary the clear indication is that the outcome of the consultation will be a redesignation of our redevelopment site as C3 housing – although some PBSA may still be permissible within that, and the majority can include co-living units.
Chris and Carole met via Zoom with McLaren on 15 June to relay this information. McLaren will now return to the planning officers and start to run some sensitivities on the new mix and share them with us so that we can understand as early as possible what this might mean.
ACTION: Carole to follow up to arrange site visit.
- Finance Update
Paul spoke to the finance report circulated prior to the meeting. He’s added certain items since the last report, including the CIL award (not confirmed but expected), the Bath Ales investment and the orally-agreed tenancies with Roman Boxing and Forget Me Not Day Care which have all improved the position, but the FA fine of £1300 and the need for a temporary replacement for Ryan Clarke will all have to be set against those gains.
Bath Kia can replace Jerry’s car and clear finance.
There was a discussion about whether or when to make applications to the Football Foundation for improvements money. The amounts are limited to £250k and the intention had always been to apply upon the new build, but with that now further away should we consider an application – eg LED floodlights?
There was discussion around the playing budget. It was agreed that Paul should bring his experience to bear in the final discussions with Jerry and he was delegated authority to agree the final figure as he saw fit.
ACTION: Paul to agree final budget with Jerry, and to consider any steps with regard to Football Foundation funding.
Debtors‘ Repayment Comms Plan
Discussions continue with the principal debtors on an amended repayment plan proposal. All 15 debtors would need to accept new terms, and the Board should update them on the redevelopment. All lenders are to be treated the same with regard to repayment terms.
ACTION: Rest of Board to consider the latest proposal. Jon/Nick to set up quick call.
- SAG Actions & Update
Following a zoom meeting between SAG, SGSA and Accolade, in which barriers strength testing was clarified, we now have written confirmation from B&NES that we can play our three friendlies with a cap of 830. Some additional work must be carried out by Accolade before the August League fixtures can be held. This will be done towards end July. Shane confirmed this meant we can start selling friendlies and season tickets.
The Board expressed its appreciation to Shane for all his efforts in reaching this conclusion.
ACTION: Shane to ensure necessary works are booked and completed.
Shane confirmed he’d been in contact with the Police ref the Cardiff game and they do not require any special measures, eg segregation, though it will be all-ticket given the restrictions on numbers.
- 2000 BC, Commercial, Foundation & Community WG Updates
Bob has generated around £23k in shirt sponsor entries which all agreed was a magnificent achievement in the current climate. Thanks were formally recorded to him for his incredible work on this.
The issue of whether to instal an additional WC beyond the JR Lounge was discussed. It was decided to postpone a decision on this as social distancing restrictions may soon be lifted. If we find as the season progresses we are consistently having large hospitality groups in both lounges then it may be economic to think again.
Jon and Andrew have considered ticket packages for the friendlies and season ticket prices for the new season taking into account the need to distinguish between seated / standing tickets. There were no objections. The shop will operate at least for the first few restricted games from the hardstanding to the left of the Bath End gate. Cheryl is organising, and Andrew kindly offered an awning in case of rain.
There will also be an extra promotion activity for the first home league game not the friendlies, as agreed with Jerry, as many of our regular supporters do not attend friendlies and due to Covid, League and B&NES restrictions they would be more restricted affairs with smaller crowds.
ACTION: Jon to schedule marketing in due course.
As the last Foundation meeting was prior to the last club Board meeting, and reported on there, there is not much of an update. The good news is the Foundation has now started to operate and hold their team meetings at the club, and will re-decorate and move into the skittle alley for their official offices. This has already produced improved comms and great synergies, including with Cheryl and Martin with regard to supporter care, and the Club History project, and adds to the vibrancy and activity at the club during the week. It remains a flexible space, however, with matchday media centre and skittle alley among the room’s ongoing other identities.
A video competition to recognise Covid heroes has been launched, with the help of Ken Loach. Sally has done some excellent research around women’s football and she and Joy will share the resulting report in due course.
- Society & Supporter Update
Sally reported on the elections – all candidates were elected with a 45% turnout. It was asked what WH’s role will now be on the Soc Cttee., Sally pointed out all roles are tbc on the Cttee. but will be aligned with the club. The AGM follows on Thursday 24 June and motions will be voted on then. It was noted that one motion proposed by Michael Clayton is that Board members should in future be elected with specific role remits.
The Strategy / Business Plan document is still parked, but Sally will pick this up and get a small group together to progress it.
ACTION: Sally to arrange Strategy document mtg.
Cheryl circulated a report in advance of the meeting and relayed the unfortunate incident at the recent Meet the Manager (MTM) where the stream was interrupted by offensive content. A new date will now be rearranged, possibly in person or hybrid, but if digital, with precautions regarding hacking!
History of BCFC project
Not entirely clear what was in mind, so Cheryl will pick up and progress this.
ACTION: Cheryl to rearrange MTM date, and to progress the History project.
- Actions from Last Board, Previous Board Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the last meeting were agreed: proposed by Cheryl Bradley, seconded by John Reynolds.
Actions carried forward:
- Best solution for dugouts is to restore to previous position. Andrew and Jerry to conclude
- Chris to consider MoU with BCY then meet with Ed Tann.
- Thank yous to ground volunteers – Shane to arrange in due course
- Matt to talk to Monkton Combe school about students coming to matches
- Nick responded to Sally’s note on governance and swapped emails with Oliver.
Further discussions/work to be done
- Nick to help Matt with access to Chairman of Yeo Valley
Does TP need some extra TLC with regard to cleaning after so long in hibernation? No, Donna and Jan have been in working hard on this. The painting of the stairwell is in hand (Shane) and next on the list.
ACTION: Shane to follow up with painting.
- Date of Next Meeting
2 August 7pm – hybrid/in person tbc, but hybrid worked well for those struggling to attend.