Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust
Annual General Meeting – Minutes
Held – Thursday 17th December 2020 online on the Zoom platform.
Attendees – Peter Leatham (chair), Peter Warburton, Ken Jefferson, Joshua Adcroft, Megan Parker, Vincent Booth, Dorothy Vernon, Debra (?) Jean Murphy, Keil Clitheroe, Jason Graham, Stephen Lowe, Andy Buckel, Mike Procter, Graham Olway, Joanne Butterworth, David Walker, Michael Davies, Magne Ertresvaag.
Peter Leatham (PL) welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the attendees for their efforts and understanding with the meeting being held online on Zoom during these unprecedented challenging times.
PW ran through the agenda and explained how the meeting would work, with attendees being muted, with the ability to have a raised hand icon shown on screen if anyone had any questions. This was also used when votes were needed to be cast. No issues arising from the previous AGM.
PL provided the meeting with an overview of the OASST’s operation over the past 12 months along with accomplishments and initiatives ran by the Trust.
- The OASST has now successfully converted to a community benefit society under the Co-Operative & Community Benefits Act 2014. We are now registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as Accrington Stanley Supporters Society Limited trading as the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust (OASST) We are governed by a set of rules as suggested by the Football Supporters Association.
- The previous board has formally been dissolved before the AGM, and a new board must be formally elected at this AGM. We have followed our set election policy, as per our rules. All rules and sub-set policies are available to be viewed online at www.onstanleyon.com for members inspection.
- 2020 has been a year like no other and for obvious reasons it has been a very difficult year for everyone, including the OASST. Key OASST events have unfortunately had to be cancelled or postponed including the Annual Presentation Evening Dinner and the Golf Day, both of which created a vital source of fundraising income.
- The Memorial Garden has been 99% completed and has been featured on the Sky Sports and ITV Granada coverage of Remembrance Day.
- The Virtual 50/50 draws generated over £12,000 of sales, enabling us to support local charities including the Hyndburn Hub and the Accrington branch of the Royal British Legion in these difficult times. The 50/50 in turn evolved into a new fundraiser, our Club1968 monthly draws.
- The OASST continued its long standing, excellent relationship with the football club and became one of only a handful of EFL Clubs to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, setting out the boundaries and aspirations of both parties.
- Our finances have been significantly impacted not only by the restrictions of holding fundraising events, but by a significant fall off of membership renewals and matchday activities, including match badge sales. We hope that once we are able to interact with fans within the stadium, this should help us recover to more sustainable levels.
- For the 2019/20 season, our memberships increased by a fantastic 60% taking us to 675 paid members throughout the UK and oversees. We were delighted to recognise the contributions of Ken Jefferson, Andy Holt, Murray Dawson and David Lloyd and awarded them honorary lifetime membership. Phil Kennedy was appointed as our honorary International Ambassador, recognising his work in forging links with our overseas fans groups.
- During the year we had two board resignations however we were pleased to welcome two new board members after asking the membership the chance to join. No formal election was necessary as we only had two applicants.
- The OASST were delighted to be able to assist the local Hyndburn Community in helping deliver ASFC shirts to local schools for the 4th Annual Shirt Giveaway promoted by the club. The OASST also helped deliver meals to those in need during the School Holidays following a national campaign by England footballer Marcus Rashford.
- The Market Hall Shop continues to be staffed by volunteer members. We unfortunately did have a prolonged closure due to government Covid-19 restrictions. We also developed a number of new Trust merchandise including face masks and mugs which were sold both in the shop and online. We are hopeful to continue to evolve our range in the future.
- We are hopeful of being able to resume a full calendar of activities in 2021, with a provisional date already set for the end of season Annual Awards Dinner.
PL thanked all the board members who have worked hard, in trying times, to ensure we continue to function, whilst embracing a whole new way of working under our new set of rules as a Community Benefit Society. There has been a lot of good work which will bear fruit as we continue to evolve.
Treasurers Report – provided by Joshua Adcroft
The transition between treasurers is never straightforward due to the various banking registrations and the challenges of unravelling them through the complexities of banking regulations. This unfortunately proved to be the case and it has taken 12 months to make some headway with, but there are still elements to be resolved. As a Trust, we are able to take advantage of a slightly different bank account, which setting up has unfortunately been hampered by Covid-19, with banks not accepting new account applications for businesses whilst they prioritise bounce-back loans. This is having a knock-on effect to setting up a new PayPal account to enable us to take advantage of lower processing fees.
Taking into consideration PayPal fees and postage costs, including stamps and envelopes, I expect we have lost money on some sales. We have currently absorbed the majority of fees on PayPal (20p per transaction plus 3.4% of the transaction value) which has understandably eroded our margins. So, whilst the headline “profit” looks attractive in reality it has been a smaller amount. Once again, we need to address the headline price to cover these fees if the PayPal vehicle continues to form part of our payment structure in the future.
Currently we fall beneath the £85,000 VAT registration threshold and are therefore disadvantaged when paying suppliers. We therefore need to ensure that our sales prices take into consideration the total purchase costs to allow for an acceptable overall margin. This has not always been the case in the past.
Bank Opening Balance – £30,526
Bank Closing Balance – £15,189
Vote to accept the Accounts Summary.
Proposed by PW, seconded by PL, all attendees voted in favour unanimously.
JA gave an overview of our main income and expenditure as follows;
Income – Travel (£17,102) Membership (£4,145) Retail Sales (£11,971) and badges (£5,182)
Expenditure – Travel (£17,090) Ground Improvements (£29,375 including Clayton End Canopies, Fans Images in Main Stand, Clayton End Flag, ASFC Timeline, Hall of Fame etc), Goods for resale (£8501)
Dorothy Vernon expressed a wish to place on record her sincere thanks to JA for his efforts in overseeing the accounts. JA expressed his thanks to both PL and PW for their assistance in helping to complete the accounts.
It was also advised that the Trust will utilise the Quickbooks package to assist with our accounting procedures ongoing.
Vote accept the prepared account summary was proposed by KJ and seconded by JG and passed unanimously.
PL explained that our rules allow for between 6 and 12 Board Directors. The OASST’s previous board had 10 members, all of whom are prepared to stand for re-election. We have invited applications and only one candidate, Jeffrey Cleary, completed the application process. This would allow us to re-elect the previous members, plus Jeffrey, and still be under the maximum of 12 directors. Under our rules, we may choose to co-opt members as and when necessary.
Vote to re-elect the 10 previous board members, plus the one new candidate, into a new 11-person board.
Proposed by PW, seconded by JA, all attendees voted in favour unanimously.
JA & PW explained it was the boards intention to absolve the requirement for the accounts to be formally audited, in line with rules 83.3 and 83.4 and an independent 3rd party examination is proposed.
Dorothy Vernon (DV) asked who will conduct the examination, and PL confirmed it will be David Wilson, managing partner of Hindle Son, Jepson & Jennings Charted Accountants.
Vote to absolve the requirement for the accounts to be formally audited, in line with rules 83.3 and 83.4 an independent 3rd party examination is proposed.
Proposed by PW, seconded by DV, all attendees voted in favour unanimously.
Any Other Business
There was no AOB.
PL thanked everyone for their time and attendance and for supporting the OASST. Wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.