Minutes of the Bairns Trust Meeting
Monday 16th May 2005
S Jackson, W Sommerville, B Guthrie, G Donaldson, P Jack, J Dick,
W Anderson, T Martin Fraser, M Cattanach, J Jamieson, S Williamson,
S Wilson, S Adam, K Adam, D Hill, F Caldwell & A Kidd
S Bird, D Robertson, J Toft and W Toft .
Chairman’s Opening Remarks
The new Chairman, Steven Jackson welcomed everyone and outlined
his ideas for streamlining meetings .
Minutes of Previous Meeting:
The adoption of the minutes was moved by S Wilson and seconded
by J Jamieson
A few matters from the March meeting were outlined by the Chairman
as ongoing matters which will be brought back to a future meeting.
- It was confirmed that W Sommerville had now agreed to take
on the post of Secretary.
- Fergus collected the Andy Thomson home strip which BairnsTrust
sponsored last season and a decision will be made whether to raffle
or auction it.
- It was agreed to sponsor a player’s shirt for the coming
season with the proviso that the cost did not go above £500.
- Fergus Caldwell reported that the T-Shirts and ties had been
paid for and we now were in a position to settle the outstanding
debt on the video/dvd.
- The meeting agreed to use the current auditors for the coming
- Decisions would have to be made about continuing to buy shares
at £1.25 or building up a reserve or contingency fund for
the future bulk purchase of shares in the Trust’s name.
- It was agreed to investigate the possibility of having small
share holders donate their shares, or proxy voting rights, to
BairnsTrust and see what the club’s view on this would be.
Social Committee Report
- Championship T-shirts had been a great success and only 122
were left with the sale of 538 bringing in £4349.52.
- DVD and video were still selling steadily and another bill for
royalties for £220 had been received from the SFA/SFL.
- Brian was now in negotiations with the club for the production
of a new championship dvd for next year for an August/September
launch on a profit-sharing basis. (The club also has a plan to
produce another dvd in time for Christmas). A suggestion was made
that the BairnsTrust logo should appear and also to investigate
the possibility of having membership forms included in the packaging.
(At this point the Chairman thanked Brian for all his hard work
to date on the project).
- Care Home – 15 elderly residents attended a recent home
match as guests of the club. It was the third time the Social
Committee had organised this during the 2004-05 season.
- The 2005 Christmas Dance is booked for Friday Dec 30th in Grangemouth
Town Hall and the entertainment will consist of a quality band
and also Robert T. Leonard, a musical comedian. There will also
be a vegetarian choice on the menu this time rather than being
a “special request.” It is planned to have tickets
on sale by the start of next season and Brian will come back to
the next meeting with finalised costings.
- Brian again outlined the possibilities of having fundraising/entertainment
in the bistro/bar area when it is opened and suggested we invite
Jimmy Black along to the next BairnsTrust Meeting. In the meantime
a Quiz Night along the lines of the recent successful ShireTrust
event and an Ask The Referee discussion night were suggested for
sometime in July or August.
- Brian confirmed that the council had backed the BairnsAid initiative
which came about as a result of the Tsunami Appeal. The first
three housing units would be shipping to Sri Lanka in the next
few weeks. Brian intimated that he might soon be asking for volunteers
to help with BairnsAid. The meeting agreed that BairnsAid was
worthwhile supporting as it represented our stated aim to benefit
the wider community. Brian was asked to provide photographs for
the Trust website to help publicise the initiative.
- The disabled tournament will probably now go ahead at the start
of the new season, as we are waiting for the school to find a
suitable date and Tom Elliot is on holiday just now. The Trophy
has been ordered and also “goody bags” from the club
shop – the Treasurer would organise cheques for the payment
of these from the £250 set aside for the purpose when the
project was first suggested.
Board Members Report
- Fans Reps Bill Anderson and Fergus Caldwell had attended a
long (4½ hours) FFC Board meeting mainly concerned with
life in the SPL. This had included discussions with the manager
over signing targets and player budgets which had to remain confidential
for obvious reasons.
- The next Board meeting is this Thursday and the reps will raise
some issues on behalf of the Trust which are still ongoing and
hadn’t been raised at the last one due to lack of time.
A BT section to be requested as a fixed agenda point for future
- George Craig and committee members of the Trust have been having
meetings on home matchday Saturdays. It is hoped that these will
continue and become a fruitful source of bi-directional communication
between the club and the supporters.
- A recent meeting about Season Ticket prices had gone well, but
there was disappointment that a promised communication to those
involved never materialised before the final prices appeared on
the club website.
- There are several areas which have been identified as possible
ways for the Trust and Club to become more closely involved in
partnership. These will be raised at future meetings with club
representatives, but in the meantime the Secretary should write
to George Craig requesting that a Trust membership form be included
when the Season Ticket books are being posted out. A squad of
volunteers from the Trust could be raised to help with this task.
SPL Supporters Meeting
- Steven Jackson had attended a meeting of fans representatives
of SPL clubs called to discuss concerns over ticket prices, particularly
at away matches. It was felt that overpricing was at least partly
to blame, along with live televised matches, for the downward
spiral in attendance figures.
- A letter was sent to all SPL clubs and Falkirk outlining these
concerns and proposals.
- A letter was also sent to the SPL asking that one or two fans
be allowed to attend relevant meetings.
- Some clubs have reciprocal arrangements to allow visiting fans
a discount on production of a Season Ticket book, but given the
lack of seating at the Falkirk Stadium this is unlikely to happen
in the near future. (Aberdeen allows under 12s in free).
- It was noted that the Season Ticket letter does not mention
reserve games being included and the Board reps were asked to
get clarification of this on Thursday from the club. SPL reserve
games are played on a Friday.
- The draft membership document circulated by the Secretary had
been well received and was to be amended in the light of helpful
- It was agreed an increased membership was desirable and that
from next Season the rolling membership would change to an August
to July membership.
- It was also agreed that members who joined or renewed since
January 1st 2005 would not have to pay again until 2006, unless
they chose to do so. Subscriptions would remain at £10 for
adults and £5 for under 16 (no voting rights) and over 65.
Corporate membership would cost £100.
- Members will receive a laminated membership card with their
name and number, which it is hoped, will allow reduced entry to
certain Trust activities.
- It has also been agreed to have a free prize draw for all members
who have joined by August 31st as an incentive (prize yet to be
- The club are being approached with a view to having membership
forms included in the season ticket book posting and it is planned
to have several members canvassing supporters in the concourse
at the Trust table at the home games early in the season. The
Trust website and OneF forum would also be used to disseminate
- A suggestion was made that the reps might consider taking ordinary
Trust members into the Boardroom on match days as their allotted
guest, perhaps by prize draw.
- Championship Presentation
The point was raised that the presentation of the championship
trophy left many Falkirk supporters feeling very frustrated. The
view of proceedings was obscured by the Press and the many children
taking part crowding round instead of being kept at a suitable
distance. It was noted that the coaches of the children’s
teams were more interested in having photographs taken behind
the board than controlling the children in their care. Furthermore,
the lack of speeches disappointed supporters so that what should
have been a memorable day was, in fact, an anti-climax.
The Board reps have been asked to raise this with the club and
ask that an official explanation and apology be posted on the
- General Information
Amidst all the rumour and speculation which is rife at the moment
it was hoped that the Board reps could get the club to shed some
light on certain topics, including:
1. The current situation concerning the Blast Zone,
2. The current situation concerning relationships with the JVC,
3. Future development at the stadium including building the next
4. The position concerning the provision of temporary seating
for next season
5. The frequency of visits by players to local schools
6. The possible provision of betting facilities at the stadium
7. Clarification of additional financial burdens placed on the
club by SPL membership
8. The possibility of allowing a BairnsTrust sign to be placed
on the East side
9. The possibility of placing flags and banners belonging to fans
in the stadium on match days.
The next meeting of BairnsTrust will be at 7.30pm on Monday June
20th at the Falkirk Stadium.
The Committee will meet before then (Date and time TBC) and we
will also try to arrange a meeting between the Trust and the Club.
The Board reps meet on Thursday 19th May and, hopefully, should
be in a position to report back on the issues raised above.