Steering Group, 3rd March 2001Print This Post

Present: James Proctor, Mike Melville, Blair White, Garry Fyfe, George Howie, Neil Langtree, Tom Phillips and Eddie Doig (RRFCSC)
Apologies: None



FINANCE / MEMBERSHIP ISSUES

Membership fees / donations

The current position was that the initial meeting had indicated that membership fees were likely to be a minimum of £60 per annum, payable either by Standing Order or in a lump sum, but that this could not be formalised until a constitution was adopted. The position of individuals offering donations at this stage was discussed. Agreed that any such donations be accepted at this time and that these be counted towards that individual’s annual membership.

Attracting New Members

Agreed that, whilst members would be accepted in the interim period, any recruitment drive should be carried out after the Trust was formally constituted.



POSTAL ISSUES

P.O. Box

The desirability of obtaining a specific postal address for the Trust was discussed and Garry advised that it would cost £42 for a PO Box for 6 months or £52 for 12 months.

Agreed that:

  • Garry arrange a PO Box with a Kirkcaldy address for a period of 12 months
  • Garry, Tom and James be the individuals nominated to collect Trust mail from the PO Box

Registered Office

Mike raised the issue of a Registered Office which would be a legal requirement if the Trust was formally constituted as an I&PS. Noted that the Registered Office could be the offices of the Trust’s legal advisors and agreed that James seek informal advice on this matter from Charlie Cant.



TRUST WEBSITE

Mike explained that he was happy to host the site on his own web space for the short-term but that he would investigate obtaining web space at the same time as obtaining the domain name raithtrust.org.uk. He did not envisage the site taking up much time initially, although he would be quite happy if a member could be found to run it in due course.

Agreed that:

  • Mike register the domain name and investigate obtaining web space
  • James compile previous information produced for a FAQ section on the site



CONSTITUTION / LEGAL ISSUES

Charitable Status

Tom suggested that charitable status would allow the Trust to receive grants from organisations which only give grants to charitable organisations and could also generate extra revenue from tax breaks from the Inland Revenue. He felt that the purposes of the Trust could be acceptable to the Inland Revenue in terms of charitable status. The only costs would be lawyer’s fees. The only possible disadvantage was that the aims and objectives might have to be slightly restricted. James explained why the original group had cooled on the idea, e.g. in particular the Hibs Trust had not achieved charitable status. The possibility of adopting a constitution without waiting for charitable status to be obtained was considered but it was pointed out that, if charitable status required amendments to the constitution, the constitution would require to be submitted twice to the Registry of Friendly Societies. Agreed that James investigate with Supporters Direct if any of the English Trusts had looked into or obtained charitable status.

Constitution

The general consensus at the open meeting had been that the I&PS route was the best to follow, subject to costs being investigated. Mike suggested that it may be worth considering formally adopting an I&PS compatible constitution under a different form of association initially for 2 reasons:

  • It would allow the trust to be formally constituted more quickly
  • It may allow the Trust to benefit from any Supporters’ Direct type initiative in Scotland should the Scottish Executive choose to budget for some money for this purpose in 2001-02

The main drawback with this approach seemed to be that whilst I&PS’s were outwith the scope of the Financial Services Act any other form of organisation would be bound by that Act. Although it was noted that the open meeting had largely backed an I&PS approach it was noted that the Steering Group had to bring back proposals for ratification. James then outlined the costs of registering as an I&PS as he understood them. The Football Community Mutual model rules were registered in England but would require to be registered in Scotland. This was being done by Paul & Williamson with the Co-operative Party meeting the £900 costs. The fees for a Trust adopting these rules would depend on the extent to which they required to be changed.

The Registry of Friendly Societies charged:

  • £80 if no changes were made
  • £150 for 1-6 changes
  • £200 for 7-10 changes

Changes had to be substantive and would not, for example, include changing the numbers of a quorum contained within the model rules. Paul & Williamson had indicated that they would charge £650+VAT to carry out the legal work necessary to constitute the society and set it up as a company. This seemed more expensive than the English model in which Trusts had been charged approximately £500, up to 50% of which would likely be met by Supporters Direct. There was a consensus that the fees seemed high and that alternative quotes should be sought. It was felt that detailed scrutiny of the draft constitution was necessary.

Agreed that:

  • A sub-group of James, Tom and George meet on Thursday 8th March at 6p.m. in the Community Services Office, New Row, Dunfermline to produce a detailed rewrite of the Model Rules, the amended constitution to be brought back to the next meeting of the Steering Group
  • Any member of the Steering Group with comments on the draft constitution should forward these to the Sub-Group as soon as possible
  • James query with Paul & Williamson what was involved in the legal work to register as an I&PS
  • George and Tom investigate through their legal contacts if the legal work to register as an I&PS could be obtained for a better price than that offered by Paul & Williamson



DONATION TO CLUB

James advised that the club had received the cheque and that the intended use for the money, to ensure that the classic strips were purchased, had been made clear to the club.

Agreed that:

  • Clear procedures were necessary in future for dealing with the club
  • James contact Eric Drysdale on the 15th of March if the Share Certificate is not received
  • Members of the Steering Group who were on the Commercial Committee attempt to monitor the use of the funds



ISSUES ARISING FROM INITIAL MEETING

Tom indicated that the meeting held on15th February should not be described as an inaugural meeting as the Trust was still to be formally constituted. It had merely been an Open meeting of those who had made donations to date and a Steering Group had been formed to progress matters. The questionnaire forms returned by those attending the meeting were discussed in relation to the skills identified by members.

Agreed that:

  • Tom e-mail comments on the minute of the open meeting to Blair, and that Blair and Mike finalise the minute by Monday 5th, with Blair to distribute the minutes to members as far as possible by e-mail with the remainder to be mailed
  • Garry, Neil and Blair build a database of members’ skills and shareholdings



MARKETING / PUBLIC RELATIONS / FUND-RAISING

Mike indicated that he felt that some PR momentum had been lost since the open meeting. The ideas of the Trust marketing itself by either supporting the costs of the new officially sanctioned site or sponsoring a player until the end of the season were discussed. An fund-raising idea suggested by Trust member Gary McGrow regarding a boxing promotion was also discussed.

Agreed that:

  • Mike take the lead on PR at this stage
  • Mike circulate a draft press release for comment by all by a strict deadline and that the press release be issued to as wide a distribution amongst the Scottish media as possible
  • Mike contact the club to see if a sponsorship opportunity for Shaun Dennis was still available
  • James draft a leaflet promoting the Trust for inclusion with the classic strips
  • Mike contact Gary indicating that the Trust would not be able, at this stage, to organise a boxing event but that once it was formally constituted the idea would be examined as part of the Trust’s fund-raising schemes
  • It be noted that it was unlikely that there would not be another officially sanctioned site on the grounds of cost
  • Eddie check the Courier of 15th February and obtain a copy of any article relating to the Trust
  • Any other marketing ideas be submitted to Mike in the meantime



ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Venue for Future Meetings – agreed that Tom investigate alternative venues for future meetings.



DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Agreed that the next meeting of the Steering Group take place on Thursday 22nd March at 7.30 pm, venue to be confirmed. Any agenda items for the meeting should be forwarded to Blair.

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