1. Apologies for absence
Katrina, Alan S, Colin
2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
All were covered elsewhere on the agenda.
3. Organisation of coach travel to away matches next season
Before the discussion got underway Martin placed on record the Trust's thanks to Alan Scarisbrick and Phil Carder for all their efforts in organising the coaches since the Trust's formation.
The first part of the discussion focussed on why people weren't travelling on the coaches. The main reasons given were:
• The availability of cheap train tickets and the increased freedom of travelling by rail and car.
• The cost of the coach fare.
• Departure times for midweek games being too early for some people who are working.
A number of suggestions were then given on how to increase the number of supporters travelling by coach:
• Vouchers for a set number of games eg 5 – Would allow those who intend to use the coaches regularly to save money and would generate income enabling the Trust to budget more in advance.
• More flexibility after games – Members present were split evenly with some wanting to leave immediately after the match and some wanting to stay for a drink.
• Prioritise popular destinations – Taking into consideration when running a special offer how popular the destination is and not just with the most local fixtures eg Kidderminster may be more popular than Gateshead.
• More pick up points – eg The Liverpool area (when travelling to Wrexham or Tranmere) and Manchester area.
• Ensuring the cheapest possible price – Requests for quotes will once again be sent to several local companies. Some companies are more eager for one off big games such as Derby.
• Pricing and Incentives - Ideas were put forward about the pricing structure for members in general and junior members in particular. Also some ideas for offering incentives for regular travellers.
All of these points and suggestions will be discussed at the next Board meeting along with any other suggestions received in the meantime which are always welcome.
4. Treasurer's Report
The Trust's current available funds stand at £28,707.66. This figure includes £500 which has been received for the 2005 Reunion and members were reminded that £25,000 of this figure is set aside for the floodlights project.
A quiet time of the year but a busy period is expected shortly with many renewals due in August. The Trust's target is to reach 250 members over the course of the season with membership currently standing at 210.
6. Future Trust Events
There are currently 12 players in the Trust team to face Churchtown CC on Sunday 26th July. The match will be 20 overs and there are still spaces left for substitutes and reserves.
Arrangements for the 2005 Reunion are progressing well with all places on the supporters' team sold out in a day. The response from the 04/05 squad has been excellent with 16 having confirmed their attendance to date. The training sessions held by Richard Brodie have been very popular and volunteers are being sought to help with the running of the event on the day.
There will be a Meet the Manager session on Saturday 1st August following the friendly against Bolton which will be held in the Grandstand Bar.
Noel outlined to members present the Trust's calendar of events for next season with one event taking place after the first home game of each month.
7. Relations with the club
Martin had e-mailed Haydn requesting a statement to be made by the club regarding the floodlights. (Since the meeting the club has issued a statement on its official website stating that the pylons will be erected in August.)
8. Any other business
Ben Highton will be running the Southport Half Marathon on Sunday 5th July to raise money for the Trust and all supporters are encouraged to donate. The Trust intends to hold one of its events next season as a tribute to Mark 'Batman' Heaton who sadly passed away recently. The Prediction League for 15/16 has been launched and this time there will be no random entries. Congratulations went out to Nicola Hudson on her new role with Supporters Direct.
9. Next meetings
Thursday 16th July - Board