Official Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2012

Held In ‘Arry’s Bar on 20 April 2012
The following attended the meeting Peter Garston (Fan Director), Bob Asprey (MSC Chairman), Paul Ted Robinson (MSC Vice Chairman) Ian Toal (MSC Treasurer), Graeme Smale (MSC Secretary), Dave Hart, Jason Roseman, George Lampey, Ayse Smith (all MSC Committee Members), Peter Brittain, Anne Lampey, Laura Romitelli, Harry Garston, James Groves and Richard Coates.

Apoligies For Absence
Apologies were received from MSC Committee member Jim Nash who pulled a hamstring running the London Marathon to raise money for a cancer charity.

Acceptance Of The Minutes Of The Last Annual General Meeting Held On 28th April 2010
This was proposed by David Hart and seconded by Ayse Smith.

Introduction And Welcome By MSC Chairman
Bob welcomed the committee members, the prospective committee members and other Millwall Supporter Club Members in Anne, Peter and Harry and thanked everyone of their attendance. He said that the Committee could not have done much wrong throughout the year, as the AGM turnout was low. Members were therefore not bursting with complaints.

He thanked the current committee for their work throughout the year. George, Ted and Graeme for continuing the Lions Live Radio Show.
Lions Live gives the MSC a broad route into communications with the fans. A special mention should also be made to Anne Lampey’s dedication to the show, as her work on the switchboard is vital to its continuance.

Bob thanked Ian Toal for his efforts as MSC Treasurer. He has been doing the job for 10/11 years. This season Ian has also managed to resurrect the MSC football team this season.

Bob thanked the Secretary for his tireless minute taking and Dave Hart and Ian for carrying out Man Of The Match duties and Lions Live Player of the Month presentations on match days.

Bob further appreciated the efforts of Paul Ted Robinson who as Vice Chairman had filled in for him by chairing a Fans Forum in his absence.
Thanks were also due to Chris Prete who has co-ordinated away coach travel with the club. He was helped out by Sam Masson for part of the year before she left the Committee.

Bob also thanked the remaining Committee members - Ayse Smith for her work on dealing with e-mails and editing the major Fanzine The Lion Roars, Jim Nash for his fanzine articles and Jason Roseman for his committee work. Praise should also be given to Chris Rudd who has now left the Committee but who started the informative away day guides for the fans, which are posted on the MSC Website. It is hoped that Chris will continue to write these next season.

Finally Jon Packman also deserves special mention. He elected not to join the Committee but has looked after the MSC website throughout the year and Bob thanked him for his work. Jon has stated he can no longer carry out his duties due to changes in his personal commitments and so the Committee is seeking a new webmaster. This will be dealt with later in the meeting. 

Summary Of The Committee Year And The Progress Made
Bob said that the Lions Live Radio Show has been a major success for the Committee despite the fact that the presenter had to be changed during the year from Joe Amphlett to Phil Saunders. Both guys have been good.

The monthly MSC / Club meetings have been maintained throughout the year and through these meetings the MSC has been able to persuade the club to name the East Stand the Dockers Stand. The Committee has also sanctioned a sum of money to assist the club in providing a sign for the Stand.
The MSC continues to pursue issues around the match day experience.

Since the introduction of the online ticketing system, fan complaints have dropped but catering continues to be an issue. Pressure by the MSC on the club, which involved giving evidence of actual examples of bad practice, has meant the club has more closely monitored the caterer’s performance and is more frequently returning to the caterers for explanation and improvement when poor practice is demonstrated.

Stewarding also causes problems and stewarding practice is frequently raised at Club meetings. The MSC is always keen to represent members who feel they have been unfairly treated by stewards at home matches.

A new smoking area behind the West Stand was largely initiated by MSC representations to the Club. Smoking in the toilets continues to be an issue however.

MSC pressure has encouraged the Club to produce a fans’ survey about the match day experience to be carried out at the Preston game.

The Policing of Millwall fans is of course a major concern of the supporters club and after the first game away at Bristol City, the MSC engaged in correspondence with Avon Police about the bad policing at the match. The Avon Constabulary gave the usual defensive response but the MSC who were not supported by the club, showed the Police actions were being watched.

Peter Garston won another spell as Fan on the Board. There was no election, as the other candidate who came forward did not the meet the required criteria.

The MSC tried to help the club with the 1885 celebrations and had some success in that a dinner was arranged. However, generally the club refused to listen to advice and the initiative has been poor. The celebration tins arrived late, there has to date been no retro shirts but on the plus side a celebration team shirt was produced on time.

Bob then turned to look at the objectives set out at the start of the year and gauge how the Committee had performed.

  • To give Committee members separate tasks. Bob said this had largely been achieved.
  • To produce Away Day guides for the fans - Again achieved and hopefully will be pushed on again next season.
  • Maintain and Improve the MSC website - The website has been just looked after over the last twelve months and the MSC is now looking to a new webmaster to overhaul the site. Peter Brittain said the site could be more user friendly with bullet points used to announce achievements or to direct to longer articles.
  • The canvassing of members views - This as always has proved more difficult and will have to be looked at next season. The MSC has issued newsletters throughout the season but due to data security they have been issued through the club. Canvassing views is very important and should be constantly improved.
    Promoting good news about the club - George has done this in The League Newspaper and Ian also promotes the club in the Wharf Paper.
  • Provide at least one coach for each away game - This has been achieved this season.
  • Improve the match day experience - As already stated the MSC constantly questions the club about stewarding, catering and Policing and the club is being forced to look at itself with surveys like the one to be issued at the Preston game. A bookmaker has been introduced to the ground this season but it has not worked well and will be replaced by another operator next year.
  • To get more activity on the bus on match days. The number of visits to the bus has increased this season and now the MSC badges are handed out at the bus only. George has provided lighting on match nights

Bob concluded and handed over to Ian for the MSC accounts.

The MSC Annual Report And Accounts
Ian explained that the MSC accounts where being brought into line with the football season and eventually will cover the period twelve months from May. These accounts are for an intermediate period and cover fifteen months from May 2010 to March 2011. In this period the MSC made a profit of £700.14. This profit is added to a profit in a previous period of £2524.79 to give a surplus in the bank of £3224.93

The MSC also receives an amount of £1 per adult season ticket holder and £1 per member and after much discussion with the club throughout the year. It has now been established that the club is holding a sum of £9,123.39 for the MSC. It should be stressed that the club holds this sum in its own accounts and is not under the control of the supporters club.

The MSC is not profit making and frequently consults and contributes to fan based issues at the club. This season for instance the MSC has contributed to the cost of the Dockers Stand sign and the flags above the stands.

Whilst speaking Ian said he would like to offer thanks once again to the Coach And Horses Pub in Bexley for continuing to sponsor the Man Of The Match trophy and presentation for another season.

Peter Brittain asked Ian about the accounts for last year. Ian said they should have been published and will be audited along with these accounts.

6/ Address By The Fan Director
Peter thanked the Committee and the fans for their supporter and said that he was very pleased to be given another spell of supporter representation on the Club’s Board. He said that he had attended between 70-80% of the MSC monthly meetings, writes monthly updates on the internet for the fans and also writes updates in the TLR. He is prepared to go on Lions Live when George asks and attends MSC Quiz nights, which he enjoys.

Peter continued that football wise things are going very well. When there is poor fans behaviour he somehow feels responsible. The latest issue of waving Turkish flags at Leeds fans has caused the club an amount of problems as another FA Inquiry is being carried out. Research by the club has shown that those caught handing the flags out were not regular attenders and were merely using the club for their own ends. But Peter is concerned that flag waving can get a ban at the Den and is investigating the situation.

Peter asked whether the MSC represents all fans or just its members. It was determined that the MSC represents all fans when issues concerning the entire fan base impacted on its members.

Going forward Peter suggested that the MSC should contact the Policing Authorities and invite them to a meeting with the club and other fans representatives before the start of the new season. This may improve fan / authorities relationships.

Another idea involves fan representation. Peter suggested that the MSC should offer a free season ticket for next season and ask fans on the messageboards and the MSC Website what they require from their supporters club.

A further suggestion was to ask the club at Board level whether the MSC with its financial surplus, can help the club in any way. Maybe a list could be produced.

Proposed Changes To The Constitution
Following stipulations in the MSC Constitution, the changes have been advertised on the MSC Website before this meeting. They involve the stipulation that in addition to electing main officers on the committee, a Vice Chairman should also be elected. Further, re-election of existing members to a new years committee will initially depend on their attendance at the previous year’s monthly meetings. These were passed virtually unanimously at the meeting.

The Introduction Of New Committee Members
Bob stated that in addition to the ten current committee members two further supporters have come forward for the new year. These are Laura Romitelli and James Groves. Laura said she had been supporting The Lions since the age of 6 and wants to do something for her fellow fans. James said he had been helped out by MSC in the past with the supporters club providing sponsorship for his marathon run. He has given up the Royal Navy Reserves and has some time on his hands to represent the supporters.

Any Other Business
Will the Club be represented at the various summer fetes-- the MSC ask the club about the fetes every year and have found it lukewarm about attendance. The Committee will continue to cajole.
The New Web Master - The MSC has been contacted by Jon Watts (Hereford/Corfu Lion) about an overhaul of the site following the departure of Jon Packman. Jon does not live in this country and George thought this maybe a drawback as George feared he will not be completely hands on. Laura tentatively offered to liaise with Jon provided she was given the correct software. This will be discussed at the first committee meeting of the new year.

There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.10 pm. Date of Next Committee meeting 16th May 2011.


Millwall Supporters Club, c/o The Den, Zampa Road, London SE16 3LN  -  phone: 07895 022 325  -  email: info@millwallsupportersclub.co.uk

 


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