Prior to last Saturday's game, membership stood at 191. Since then the trust have had a large number of subscriptions and membership has risen to 229, which is well above target. Phil provided an updated income and expenditure account. The bank balance stands at £2513.92 and includes the expenditure on the world cup sweepstake and the commission from the buy at webshop, plus new membership. The paypal is operational, but without Dan, we are struggling to access this account. The bank has asked for further identity verification and now requires Rob and Jon's share certificate. In addition Phil advised that he is still trying to claim the grant from Supporters Direct for setting up costs.
The estimated figure is around £300. Coach travel has now been resolved. Quotes were sought of 12 companies in the area and Elite Coaches provided us with the best quote and is now the coach provider for the season. Jon advised that 25% of the seats had been filled for the first three away games, although there are options to provide more coaches if necessary there is the potential to explore opportunities to show some of last seasons footage. Plenty of publicity has been generated already. Features have been placed on various websites and Dune FM and Southport community radio have also covered the story. The Southport Visiter were due to publicise in Friday's edition and it was hoped that the Champion would follow suit. Mitchell and Wright have provided 250 flyers for the coach travel of which we are extremely grateful and will be distributing at the next home game. The buy at webshop has now started to take off. The first commission cheque has now been banked for £21.04 and the number of recent commissions has been very impressive in recent days with over £136 to be authorised and received. The online shop is now up and running and we have received several transactions. The site has been well promoted and the trust needs some careful organisation to ensure that orders are received and implemented correctly. Matchdays operations continue to be done via the club shop and a table in the Jack Carr End. However the club have agreed to the use of the old supporters club room at some stage during the season.
For those who can recall, the Shelbourne Hotel used to advertise Southport games. The trust has written to the Shelbourne Hotel and they have agreed to allow the games to be advertised again. Barry Hedley has taken responsibility for arranging the sign and it was muted that we try and target the Plough and the Richmond. The trust also wrote to Tesco in light of the Carnforth store doing a similar thing for Morecambe, but Tesco have written back saying they wished us luck, but advised that they cannot help us.
Alan continued with his project about promoting the town by trying to attract away supporters by providing suitable accommodation, taxis, eateries, pubs etc and has provided a template to go on the new website. It was suggested that we promote through the Visiter and write to various businesses to see if there is any interest. It was also suggested that we ask for recommendations through the discussion board, Portchat.
Jon advised that the club are still looking for sponsorship of players in the programme at £150. It was agreed that it was a good idea for the trust to sponsor a player and suggestions were recommended. So far we are aware that Steve Dickinson and Michael Powell have been purchased. The general consensus was that Carl Baker would be a suitable candidate as he promised to donate boots and was rumoured to be thinking of joining the trust, but being a democratic organisation we will put a poll on Portchat/Trust website and ask for recommendations at the Woking game.
Steve Dickinson is in his testimonial year and the trust would like to do something to reward a very loyal and popular player. We are aware that Steve enjoys his cricket and it was suggested that a testimonial cricket day is arranged. There may also be the possibility of sharing the proposed trust golf day, but we are not sure if 'Dicko'; is a golfer. Further discussion is needed with Steve Dickinson.
The trust has now received its first corporate membership from Rewardaward. Ideas on how to bring in more corporate members were suggested included promoting on the trust website with links, generating extra business via discounts for trust members and linking them in with the promoting of the town for away supporters
The floodlight proposal has now been given the green light by the club to proceed if we wish with the aim to fund half the money through corporate sponsorship and the rest through football foundation grants. It was recognised that this would be a huge task for the trust and the trust were slightly hesitant about going ahead, but decided to start putting things in motion. The trust cannot do it without outside help and the plan is to approach Universities to provide the marketing expertise. It was also agreed that we would not accept any corporate money until we had the guaranteed funding to complete the project.
The next step is to contact Universities and set up a meeting between them, the trust and the club. This project is still very embryonic.
Dave has created a newly designed website which looks fantastic and just needs content adding to it. Various suggestions were made including adding pen pictures of various (provisional) committee members. The website is set up on a different url, www. trustinyellow.com and links from the old site will be set up when it goes live.
Matchday operations for the Woking game; any volunteers who wish to help out are asked to meet at the club shop at 2pm next Saturday. The trust, weather permitting, plan to have the big table in the Jack Carr Stand, a smaller table in the main stand, a location in the club shop as well as leaflets to hand out for coach travel. Coach bookings and new memberships will be available and merchandise will also be available.
Further questioning about how the trust could help replace the PA system and improve the disabled facilities were put forward, but it was deemed to look at one project at a time and the floodlights was already being worked on and a coherent rationale had been provided.
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday 17th August at 7.30pm at the Railwayman's Club