OPEN FORUM MINUTES

Introduction
Full Board present:  

            Richard Adamson (RA)
            Simon Cope (SCo)
            Ben Courtney (BC)
            Wendy Danby (WD)
            Stuart Keith (SK)
            Rob Palmer (RP)
            Chris Rooke (CR)
            Andy Troughton (AT)
            Sandra Troughton (ST)
      
Guest:  Peter Smurthwaite, Chairman Bridlington Town AFC (PS)
Approximately 200 fans present

SC addressed a number of issues before the Q+A session:
    * Welcomed all
    * Described the structure of Supporters Trusts (Industrial and Provident Societies) and the principle of one member, one vote
    * The Board was elected to run the Trust, not necessarily the football club and as a result the Board will stand down once the season starts and fresh elections will be held
    * Trust had been working on “Plan B” for several months in preparation for the worst-case scenario of liquidation.
    * Scarborough Athletic Football Club was formally admitted to the NCEL on Monday 25 June 2007.
    * The Board would have preferred a full forum on the name of the new club and should there be strong feelings as the season progresses, there can be a motion for name change at the end of the 2007-8 season
    * Shortlist of 6 for the team manager position
    * Players: Manager is likely to bring players he knows but also hold local trials
    * The club will ground share at Bridlington Town.  This is hopefully a short term measure until ground issues within the Borough can be resolved
    * Gate prices: £5 adult, £2 junior and concessions.  Adult season tickets £70.  Concession season tickets TBA
    * Club badge: From a time perspective it makes sense to use the existing badge for the time being.  Other options are to adapt it slightly or completely alter it for a new identity.  Point from the floor: Stuart Canvin stated that as this is a new club, it should have a new badge.  From those present, there was a clear split in opinion.   A compromise was to keep the badge for a year and then consider evolving a new one.

Questions

Where will finance come from?
Finance will come from gate receipts, fundraising, funds from any new Supporters Club formed, membership subscriptions to the Trust and match day sponsorships.  The “usual income streams” for football clubs.
 
What about businessmen – are they able to be involved?
The Trust is more than happy to accept money from businesses; there is nothing to stop this in the form of sponsorship, advertising or donation.  PS announced that SAFC would be able to utilise 40% of the advertising board space at Queensgate.
 
What will happen to the new shirts?
Ideally, the new club would utilise these shirts for the new season.  However, the Supporters Club own the shirts and need to clear any stock prior to the Supporters Club being wound up
 
What’s to stop the Trust selling the club to private investors?
In theory, nothing and that is what York City Supporters Trust did.  However, the club/Trust would like to set up the corporate structure of the club in such a way that the Trust never loses control of the club.  A way to do this is by the Community Interest Company (CIC) route.  Negotiations are ongoing with the FA as to the validity of this corporate structure for football clubs.
 
What if the Council do not buy the ground?
There is concern that if the Council do not buy the McCain Stadium then there is less chance of senior football in Scarborough.  However, since Scarborough still has a senior football team, the covenants on the McCain Stadium are still valid.  If senior football is not to be played there, a different site needs to be provided.  Appeal to all those present to canvass their local councillors.
 
What is the value of the McCain Stadium if the Council does put in an offer?
Unsure.  The likely scenario is that the Council would offer a price for the site, the liquidator would want more and it would go to arbitration for a decision.
 
The Council wish to dispose of the Filey Road site.  If the McCain Stadium went too could a ground not be built at Weaponness?
Unsure of the validity of this course, the subject has never been approached with the Council.
 
What difference would season ticket sales make to the club?
As a relatively new organisation, the Trust (although with a healthy bank balance) does not have as big a fund in the bank as it might wish for starting a football club.  Therefore any “up front” finance is essential for starting the new club.
 
Do we have to be a member of the Trust to get into matches?
No.
 
If we want to help, how to we get involved?
Speak to Chris Rooke, email the Trust at [email protected] or contact the Trust at the Registered Office.
 
What about those not on the Internet, how do they find out about the car pools for the matches at Bridlington etc.?
As with newsletter distributions, for important information such as this the Trust will always contact its non-online membership via post.   
 
Comments:

    * All should be done to have Derek Megginson involved in the new club:  The Trust will continue to do all it can to involve Derek in Scarborough’s football future
    * U19 players should now be asked to make the step up
    * Transport to Bridlington – car pool and coach
    * School of Excellence must continue.  Mitch Cook confirmed they had not had any funding for 5 years.  The School of Excellence has been stopped from playing and just arranges friendlies on other teams’ spare weekends.
    * General appreciation from the floor regarding the Trust’s efforts in establishing a Trust and reforming the football club.

Final announcements:

    * The manager will be announced within days
    * PS – the gate receipts from the Bridlington Town friendly 25 July 2007 will be split 50/50.  PS thanked for this kind and generous gesture
    * Everyone thanked

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