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FAN REPRESENTATIVE: November board meeting minutes

24 November 2015

Minutes from the November 2015 board meeting

This briefing is from the meeting of the Board of Directors of Carlisle United AFC (1921) Limited on 5 November 2015. The meeting lasted 3.5 hours.

I have been asked by fans to share the agenda for these meetings. It is a standard agenda which is the following:

1. Attendees / Apologies
2. Minutes of previous meeting
3. Financial Report
4. Sales and Marketing Report
5. Manager’s Report
6. External Update
7. Fans Representative Update
8. Any other business

The briefings will not include information about the first 2 agenda items. The information I shared before the meeting about what I would take to the meeting was shared with the other directors before the meeting. All aspects were covered during the meeting, some before I gave my update. 

If you have any feedback you can contact me directly by email fansrep@carlisleunited.co.uk, twitter @CarlisleFanRep, by leaving a message at the club or in person at matches. I will continue to look at other internet forums. 

Finance Report & Approval of Accounts for year ended 2014/2015

The Club Auditors were present to present the Annual Accounts for the year ended 30th June 2015 for approval by the Board of Directors. The auditors talked through the figures and drew attention to a number of points.

+ The value of shareholder funds on the balance sheet has increased from £2.081m to £3.564m. There were two reasons for this increase, being the write off of the Story Loan and the Stadium Revaluation as at 30 June 2015. 

+ On the profit and loss account there is an operating loss of £655,596, which is then turned into a profit for the year of £338,686 following the Story Loan write off and interest adjustments.
 
+ It was explained that income had dropped significantly following relegation from League 1 to League 2 with central distributions falling by £362,000. Coupled with a poor year for cup competition and minimal transfer income a loss had been expected from the end of the first quarter of the trading year. 

+ The auditors went on to discuss the potential implications of FRS102 which will potentially effect the balance sheet of the club in future years, they distributed some information on the areas to consider in regards to this.

SK covered current finances, highlighting income from player transfers and Liverpool fixture have been added to projections for year and that the management accounts for the first quarter can be finalised now the year-end balance sheet has been agreed.

Sales and Marketing Report

Hospitality has been going well especially for the Morecambe and Yeovil Town matches. The next 4 games sold out. 

There was a report produced for Virgin Trains as discussions continue for an extension to their sponsorship of the club. All directors signed this. 

The Business Club has a schedule of events has been published and coming soon to speak is Steve Cram, a representative from Cassius Camps and a visit to watch a first team training session. 

The Charites of the Season was discussed. There was a significant number who voted. Since the meeting the 3 partners have been announced – Carlisle United Football Club Community Sports Trust, Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland and Carlisle Key.

Relationships with the media were discussed and how the club propose to move forward. There was a successful interview with Radio Cumbria’s sports forum; there are plans to arrange something with the News and Star. There was also a meeting arranged between the owners and Radio Cumbria. There is a meeting planned with the Cumberland Newspapers Group. 

Rod Stewart Concert ticket sales have went well so far, with additional sales expected around Christmas period. There will be a separate meeting arranged to finalise plans around logistics, security, catering etc. There is a guaranteed amount of income for the Club for hosting the event.

Manager’s Report

A brief update was provided from the Manager and Coaching staff covering recruitment, fitness and an injury update. 

External Update

The Football League Trust have raised concerns that when clubs change ownership there was a growing concern that new owners did not protect Community Sport initiatives as they are a cost to the club.

Project Blue Yonder - There was a discussion and debate about the Non-disclosure and Lock Out Agreements which were proposed to be extended until October 2016. All attendees agreed for this to be passed. There will be a meeting arranged so the developers can provide an update to the 1921 Board of Directors as well as agreeing outcomes for the extension period. There is no cost to the club. The agreement is for 1 developer to continue work on a move away from Brunton Park in 1 location. This does not prevent the club from looking at other options including remaining at Brunton Park.

Fan Representative Update

Fan engagement & Loyalty - I have spent time since the last meeting developing a clearer role. Phil King and Suzanne Kidd have been very helpful, offering meetings as required, which have been approximately weekly. I thanked John Nixon for the time he spent with me about Blue Yonder and explained that without that I would have voted against the extension. The role will work closely with CUOSC. 

Carlisle United is further ahead than many clubs in terms of fan representation, having both this role and the CUOSC representative on the Board of Directors. There has been support from local media. There was a discussion around fans being the main focus of the football club. I asked what was expected from the role. It was said to bring problems to the directors for the club to look at and to bridge the gap between board and fans. It is essential that more fans understand how the club works.

Communication 

The board meeting briefing had been well received; it was agreed for the agenda to be published. The News and Star and interview on Radio Cumbria had been provided at my request. There is also space in the club programme. 

There was a discussion around how the Club will inform supporters going forward regarding current status with potential investment.

I asked for an update about the CUOSC and Holding Company talks and was advised that there was to be another meeting to be arranged soon. The position about shares has been discussed with accountants and plan is to move this forward.

The matchday programme will now have all club directors listed.

Carlisle United Supporters' Groups Activities

Disabled facilities are being upgraded. Short-term and longer-term projects underway. This will include all groups, club staff and Carlisle Ambassadors.

Matchday experience

More aware of the role Nigel Dickinson has as the Supporter Liaison Officer. He is working with CUOSC on the Meeters and Greeters role. This role has now been rolled out and more volunteers required. I will be available to assist occasionally.

The Family Zone was a brilliant idea with a good atmosphere.

Community Projects

I am looking to work with the Community Sports Trust on several projects. For example a joint project with the police to work on positive activities with young supporters (e.g. awareness around alcohol, antisocial behaviour etc.). A project for older people that still play football and to possibly link in with the walking football. Finally a project with Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust around raising awareness around mental health, reducing stigma and suicide prevention. 

Any Other Business

Sunset Suite and viewing gallery refurbishments were discussed. Drawings were shared for the sunset suite and the club are looking to split the Viewing Gallery into two boxes. There has also been more work into utilising the Legends Bar.

There are plans for the office space to be moved elsewhere in the ground. This would be for club staff and also the staff from the Community Sports Trust. There will also be a purpose built media suite, expanding on the space that is currently available. 

The date for AGM was confirmed for 17 December 2015.

A list of dates for future meetings was provided and agreed.

Claire Winder

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