As part of our commitment to transparency, wherever possible, we are now publishing reports of the Board meetings, starting with December’s. 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
Monday 21 October 2019
Directors: Jon Bickley, Nick Blofeld, Andrew Pierce, Martin Powell, John Reynolds, Joy Saunders, Paul Williams
Financial Adviser: Chris Coles
Observers: Carole Banwell, Barry Pollen, Emma Sparks, Phil Tanner,
Apologies: Bob Chester, David James, Shane Morgan, Helen Donovan
Nick explained that the Council had now received all the documents requested.
Creatrix is holding back on media coverage until closer to the Planning Committee meeting, so supporters need to be kept in the loop via the website and newsletter.
Vicky is getting the letter of support signed by various local organisations.
Regarding the 3G pitch Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) disseminated their latest Rubber Crumb protocol to local FAs, as circulated prior to the meeting.
The Planning Committee site visit will happen, date to be confirmed.
It was agreed who will speak on behalf of the Club in support of the application at the Planning Committee.
The consultation session on design for supporters scheduled for 24th has been postponed – we would prefer to reschedule for a time when more Club experts are available to attend. Online comments have been more about planning rather than the design. There are some queries about capacity at the two ends, rooflines, floodlights, financing, recycling what we’ve already got and the height of the 3G pitch.
The consultation session will be re-arranged in the next few weeks.
Thanks were expressed to Phil Tanner for helping to answer online questions, the majority of which were not new. On the design, various ideas have been identified to improve certain elements, helped by trips to Dings Rugby Club, Aveley, Slough and Reading. The options spreadsheet will be revisited once these have happened and feedback from supporters received. Any feedback on what doesn’t work is also useful to have.
Barry & Phil left the meeting at this point.
- Football Update
Paul gave some background to his report circulated prior to the meeting. The issue of short-term accommodation for non-local players (one or two nights per week depending whether home/away matches) was again discussed, with suggestions of finding a hotel/accommodation partner.
Carole and Jerry had spoken at that day’s Bath Life Business Lunch, as invited by MediaClash. These are regular lunches, one subject each time, with sell out attendances of around 90. Feedback from attendees and offers of support were very positive.
Martin has organised and taken Jerry on four school visits within the last fortnight. Feedback has been good and they are getting more requests. Martin has been working with Geoff Stevens at the Foundation and finding it much easier to organise now Jerry is working with the organisation.
- Finance Update
Paul went through the current projections and there was discussion on the implications depending on the success of the planning application and on the need for a Commerical Director to replace David James (see next item).
- New Board Director
The Society will advertise and appoint an interim director to replace David James in the short term, with the post subject to election at a later date. Ultimately, we agreed we need more property development, project management and commercial skills on the Board but the immediate focus for the current recruitment should be on commercial.
Kartini Sutotu, a sponsor last season, club supporter and previously business development manager at the Casino, is to be offered a position working alongside Bob Chester.
- Actions from last Board, Previous Board Meeting Minutes
The issue of a Code of Conduct for supporters was again raised and it was agreed this needs to be resolved in light of incidents at matches in the past two seasons. The documents circulated were seen merely as Ground Regulations and we need something more complete than that.
- Society Update
Michael explained that an email has been sent to members to let them know about plans to bring in a new membership system which will enable simpler payment and options. There will then be a push on membership on match days and on social media. The objective is to engage better with supporters and increase the membership.
- Supporter Update
Martin outlined some of the reasons for a drop in the number of supporters travelling to away fixtures – some destinations are not attractive, there are some very long trips which are repetitive and expensive. The Supporters Club are looking for sponsorship of the coach travel.
In light of the passing of several former players in recent months there was some discussion on how these events should be marked by the club and when a minute’s silence or applause before matches is appropriate. It was agreed that Martin would draw up some proposals for Board approval.
The intermittent performance of the stadium’s PA system was acknowledged and it will be replaced with the Re-development.
Most supporters are very understanding of the team’s up and downs what with injuries and young players and appreciate new initiatives by the Club. The one to provide tickets for refugees has been well received, with it having been picked up by the League and newspapers.
- Sales & Marketing Update
The school visits have reached about 900 pupils, with vouchers provided for a designated match day, adults paying £6, children free. We assume a 10% take up. The team is rolling out a programme of competitions tied in with local businesses eg win dinner at a restaurant, as a tool to build the mailing list.
- Any Other Business
Shane advised by email that because of his responsibility regarding safety he is the Club’s Respect Director which is a League initiative. It was agreed that issues from supporters should go to Martin in the first instance and the Board will take them up with Shane if necessary.
The Club has been nominated in the Leisure & Tourism category of the Bath Business Awards.
- Date of Next Meeting
Monday 25th November