Minutes of the Sky Blue Trust Annual General Meeting 1 July 2013 The Squirrel, Coventry CV5 6FH
Apologies: Roger Ellis, Kevin Heffernan, Mark Franklin
1. Welcome and opening comments by the Chair
The Chair welcomed members and reviewed events since the 2012 AGM. At the last AGM the Trust had around 50 members but a year on this number is over 2200. There has been the escalating dispute over rent, and the club has gone into Administration only to be sold back to the same owners. A proposal has been made to ground share, but who knows where, and there is a talk of a new ground.
Throughout all this the Trust has remained independent. The Trust has sought to work with all key stakeholders e.g. SISU, ACL etc. During the year a number of meetings were held with Tim Fisher (TF) and/or Mark Labovitch. When TF asked the Trust to help plan a ground share, Trust members were consulted and overwhelmingly rejected the idea. TF was informed and since then has not communicated directly with the Trust. However, contact with TF still takes place through the Trust’s reps on the Supporters Consultative Group. Joy Seppala was invited to meet the Trust but never replied.
The most recent development is the Trust has taken over the not one penny more campaign and refocused it as ‘Keep Coventry in Coventry – NOT ONE PENNY MORE!’ (Kcic-NOPM!). The Kcic-NOPM! campaign began with a hugely successful protest at the Ricoh on Saturday 29.6.13.
Last week the Trust met with the Football League (FL). A joint press release was to be issued but the FL has said their lawyers are looking at its content and their response is awaited. The FL did, however, say they would take account of the views of supporters in deciding whether to agree to any request for a ground share outside Coventry. The Trust therefore proposes doing a survey through its website about whether fans would go to a ground share so that information can be presented to the FL.
Question from the floor: what about people who do not have internet access – they won’t be able to do the survey if it is online. Answer: suggestions were made to have a stand in the City Centre and/or send a paper copy of the survey to members who do not have email.
2. Approval of the Trust’s accounts
Trust Treasurer, Rachael Brown, explained that the current financial year end for the Trust is 31 January 2013. Accounts have to be filed with the FSA and they will be filed on time. Income has come from membership fees, donations, an event at the Kasbah, and a poster produced by Lionel Bird. The membership fee of £1 buys a £1 share in the Trust and the Trust has to keep a sum equivalent to £1 for each member as a reserve otherwise it is trading insolvently.
Excess over Expenditure £805
Question from the floor: will there be an annual renewal of membership? Answer: the Board has decided to carry membership forward till July 2014. But next year the membership fee may need to be increased (it was noted that for each person who joins using Paypal, Paypal deduct a 10p fee).
Question from the floor: wouldn’t it be better to charge a higher membership fee so people feel they are getting a benefit from being a member of the Trust? Answer: member benefits have been considered but with Administration happening that has taken priority over all other issues.
The Trust’s accounts were approved.
3. Proposed adoption of new model rules
The Trust’s constitution has not changed since the Trust was first formed in 2003. Supporters Direct, the national organisation which supports Trusts, has produced a new set of model rules which runs to 20 pages and has been available on the Trust’s website for people to read. The new rules are recommended by Supporters Direct. The new rules allow the Trust to do things we cannot currently do e.g. issue capital shares. Other Trusts have needed to do this to take over their club when it has gone into Administration. The new model rules also simplify the Trust’s constitution.
John Fletcher formally proposed adoption of the new rules. There was a show of hands. No one voted against the proposal and the new rules were duly adopted.
The AGM was closed.