29th January Boardroom Report
By Murray McIntyre
Report on the procedure before the start of the meeting.
Football Report – BairnsTrust’s questions on behalf of fans groups were put to the team manager J Hughes.
Question 1 - Regarding the position of the team at present and the form of the players. J Hughes replied that he was not worried at the moment about our position and that the management and the players were confident that our position in the league would improve. The team had been hit with injuries at crucial times and we had lost goals due to individual errors and he has to carry on.
Question 2 - Asked how J Hughes was going to resolve this, he replied that we had to keep positive and “dig it out.” He also said that thought that we had over achieved in past seasons and that with his budget we had done rather well.
Question 3 - How did J Hughes feel regarding the seasons signings and have they fulfilled his expectations. His answer to that was yes, apart from injuries, he thought that they had performed well.
Question 4 - Enquiry about J Hughes’ leadership and could he keep us in the Premier League. Inclined to blame other sources, mainly the lack of budget to get better players and “raise us to a higher level" and again repeated that he thought that we had been punching above our weight in previous seasons. He said that we just had to have faith in him and that the players were confident and still positive.
Question 5 - Regarding players that J Hughes had signed and had not yet featured in his plans, e.g. S Lynch and D McCaffrey, but that had been answered earlier.
Director R Crosswaite felt that the team were not playing well. J Hughes replied that we had to give our opposition some respect and that in only one game, he did not say which one, he thought the team had let him down.
Director L Millar asked about the rumours of his move to Blackpool. J Hughes replied that this was pure speculation and he could not control what the press printed. He said that he was ambitious and that he will sometime in the future want to move down south, but this could be next year or five years, until then he was dedicated to FFC and our future.
Forum – Based on the concerns raised the best way to resolve would be to press on with the proposed BairnsTrust/FFC Fans Forum on Tue 24/02/09. Since postponed.
Finance Report – J Stronach produced more facts and figures regarding the Club's position. These will have to remain confidential at the present but will be produced at the FFC Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 19/02/09.
Sales and Marketing – D White produced more facts and figures, some again have to be confidential, but what can be reported was FFC’s average match attendance for the year to date is 5,604 and FFC are one of only five clubs whose gates have increased this season. On the matter of season tickets, the board recognises that there is a “credit crunch” on and this will be taken into consideration when prices are set.
Sponsorship – This remains a major challenge in the current climate but D White is working hard to bring in new sponsorship.
Lottery – There could be a development in online system but in the meantime FFC have brought this in house and revamped the prize structure prior to relaunching in February. The forms are already out for those who wish to participate. D White announced that all player sponsorships have now been sold. This includes all first team, reserve and U19 players, generating a fair amount to the club.
Fans Rep M McIntyre would again wish to reiterate that D White has been a revelation since being appointed.
Operations Report – The South Stand was progressing and was slightly ahead of schedule even though contractors had to put in more and deeper piling.
Managing Director’s Report – Most of this report had been covered earlier in the meeting and thus was short. An announcement regarding seating in the South Stand will be made by the club soon but rumours circulating regarding prime seating were just that, rumours, and were to be treated as such by the fans. The shop in the town centre had closed and it would be moved to the Stadium. FFC could still have town centre presence through another arrangement and match tickets will still be able to be purchased in the town centre, these arrangements are ongoing and may be in place for our next home match. The graphic designer has left the club.
FCSL – There is a council meeting in early March with the demerger at the end of March. Discussions on various aspects e.g. catering are ongoing, but everything is moving very quickly.
Date of Next Meeting: 26th February 2009
** Report amended on 26th March 2009
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