General Meeting, 14th March 2002Print This Post

Venue: Raith Suite, Stark’s Park, Pratt Street, Kirkcaldy

Present: R Budd, T Cunningham, E Doig, I Ferguson, K Fraser, D Hossack, G Howie, J Knight, N Langtree, J Mainland, G Mayes, C McFarlane, M Melville, D Morrison, G Peattie, M Penman, C Pilmer, J Proctor, A Proctor, G Quinn, R Robson, A Russell, B Smith, B White.

Apologies: J Clark, D Gourlay, B Henderson, G Meldrum, A Nicholson, T Phillips, A Thomson, C Thomson.

Introduction / Welcome

The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting and noted the apologies.

Update on Trusts in General

There were now an increasing number of Trusts operating throughout the UK. The Chairman noted that funding was now being put in place to assist with Trusts’ start up funds (see below)

Membership Update

The Secretary noted that membership now stood at 82.

18 members paid by annual subscription

64 paid by monthly standing order

This was good progress and it was hoped that continued growth could be sustained

Question from floor (QFF):
Had the board considered a reduced fee for younger members?

Society Board Response (SBR):
The Board had briefly considered it. Under the proposed I&P registration rules, members had to be over 16. If there was a suitable workable scheme then the Society Board (SB) would attempt to implement it.

Treasurer’s Statement

The Treasurer reported that:
a. The balance of the account stood at £5,749
b. The average monthly income was £747 (NB: the monthly income comprises of the standing orders plus an average of the annual fee payments)

The major item of expenditure since the last meeting was the investment in Youth Development (£3,000). The Trust was committed to investing a total of £4,200. Any continued investment would be discussed and agreed by the membership.

The Treasurer noted that over £11,500 had already been raised by the Trust.

The Chairman reminded the meeting that approximately £1,000 would be required from the funds to pay the one-off legal fees associated with the registration of the Trust as an Industrial and Provident Society.

Constitution / Registration update

The Chairman stated that a local firm of solicitors had agreed to its premises being used as the registered office. Full registration as an I&P Society had been put on hold as the Trust had become aware of plans to establish a Scottish equivalent of Supporters’ Direct. In England this organisation had helped with Trust start-up funds. It was hoped, but not certain, that the Trust might benefit from some money. If it was unlikely to be forthcoming then the Board would move to registration as soon as possible.

It was suggested that someone from Supporters’ Direct be invited to address the next Trust meeting.

Youth development

The Chairman expressed his disappointment that Jim Whyte had not turned up to provide an update on the Youth Development programme. He stated that JW had informed him that the money was making a difference eg, strips, tracksuits etc.

There was some concern from the members as to whether the money was going to Youth Development. The Chairman stated that the Society Board had had a meeting with Jim Whyte and had asked for monies spent (tracksuits, strips etc) to be receipted. The documentation would be reviewed by the board in order to satisfy themselves that the Trust’s investment had gone into Youth Development.

Support for Euro 2008 bid

The Chairman explained that the Trust had been asked for its views on the Euro 2008 bid. To a certain extent this was indicative that Trusts were gaining in stature and that their democratic nature would provide a reasonable barometer of active fans’ views.

The discussion in the main was positive with most members expressing support for the venture. However, there was concern that any profits from the tournament would not be re-invested at the grass-roots level.

Support for Supporters’ Direct in Scotland

Again, the Trust had been asked to give some indication of support for the creation of a Supporters’ Direct facility in Scotland. The Chairman briefly outlined the proposed Scottish set-up. One of the main benefits is that there would be some limited funding available to cover Trust start-up costs. The Raith Trust might be in a position to benefit from this money. The membership expressed support for the venture.

Any other business

A member raised the possibility of the Trust providing money to fund the production of the next classic strip. A brief discussion ensued on whether the Trust should use its funds for a purely commercial venture given that there would be some risk involved. The Chairman asked the member to provide a more detailed statement of projected costs and sales/profits.

The Secretary noted that he had received a query from a member asking whether the Trust had a long term investment plan. At the moment it doesn’t, but there may be the possibility of developing a plan if the Trust’s income continues to grow.

There was a general consensus that the Trust needed to attract more members. It was acknowledged that steady growth had been achieved. Various initiatives were suggested which could raise the profile of the Trust:

a. leaflets into pubs

b. another Trust newsletter

c. a Trust promotion board inside the south stand

d. produce enamel badges to be sold to members

e. the Trust to have a “Player of the Year”

The Chairman thanked everyone for their comments. He surmised that the best time for a concentrated recruitment drive might be at the start of next season.

Date of next meeting

No firm date set, but Chairman thought that June would be appropriate, in time for the new season.

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