Forever Bury (Bury Football Club Supporters’ Society Limited)
MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Saturday 5th October 2013
The twelfth Annual General Meeting of The Bury Football Club Supporters Society Limited, known as Forever Bury was reconvened at 5.10pm on Saturday 5th October 2013 in the Bury FC Social Club, Gigg Lane, Bury with 20 members being present, the original meeting on Wednesday 18th September 2013 had commenced at 7.30pm and adjourned at 8.00pm as only 15 members had been present. 2 members had appointed the chair as proxy.
Chair – Dave Giffard, Secretary – Susan Tunstall.
- Minutes of AGM 011 27th September 2012
The minutes of the meeting were unanimously accepted as a true reflection of that meeting.
- Announcement of Directors of the Board of Forever Bury
The Chair advised members that John Trippier of the Clarets Supporters Trust had offered his good services to act as independent scrutineer and to whom all nominations had been sent. He advised by e-mail only six nominations had been received for the eight vacant positions on the Forever Bury Board. The nominations were received from Chris O’Sullivan, Gill Mansley, Danny Bowerbank, Lorraine Fox, Jaime Hipwell and John Raftery. All six nominations were ratified unanimously by the members present were therefore elected to the board.
- Chairs Statement
Prior to the start of last season everyone was full of optimism and looking forward to yet another successful season in League One. How quickly the dreams were shattered as The Shakers lurched from one disaster to another, both on and off the field and the resulting drop in gates putting the club into an untenable financial state.
We are always aware that any minor drop can cause problems so with there being a significant drop we did ask The Board on a number of occasions how the finances were and were told they were “ok” or “manageable”. By December this had become “Cash flow problems”. Sadly during December Margaret Ladkin, our representative, was taken seriously ill and unable to carry on her role.
Following her resignation we went through the procedure to find a possible replacement but by the time we had a prospective candidate it was painfully obvious that the club was in serious trouble so we deliberately held back from putting our candidate forward as we didn’t want them tarnished with the unfolding disaster.
Once Chairman Brian Fenton had made his desperate plea for investment we knew that any funds we had to invest would be of little use and rather than throw the money into the enlarging black hole we’d be better keeping it as possible startup funding if the club went under and we needed to start again.
As the season finally fizzled out with its all too apparent conclusion, everyone was becoming more and more frustrated at the lack of information from the club. Jim Lomas was tackled by me on almost a daily basis as to the ongoing and exceedingly delicate negotiations and although several of our members were imploring us to call an EGM it was felt that we should give Jim and Nev Neville every chance of reaching a successful conclusion without rocking the boat.
I’d like to put on record Forever Bury’s appreciation to both Jim Lomas and Nev Neville for their efforts in steering the club through the mire.
I’d also like to thank my fellow Board members and other helpers for all their efforts with running the Trust and all the various events over the year.
- Secretary’s Statement
The secretary stated that there were a total of 647 members; voting membership was 321 comprising of 191 adults and 130 concessions, junior members was 326, at the end of the financial year. The current membership was 757; voting membership was 424 comprising of 280 adults and 144 concessions, junior members was 333.
- Financial Statement
The treasurer presented the Independent Examiner’s report and the analysis of Income and Expenditure for the financial period ended 31st March 2013. The Financial Statement for the Financial Year 2012/2013 was unanimously accepted
- Auditors/Independent Examination of Accounts
The proposal that the members of the Society shall not require an audit of accounts covering the current financial year ending on 31st March 2014 when they are presented to the next AGM held in 2014 and to have an Independent Examination of the Accounts instead, was unanimously accepted.
- Future Aims
Our biggest task for the coming year will be to try and develop a solid working relationship with the New Board. So far many fans are delighted with the unfolding events but we must be cautious. At an early Fan’s Forum Chairman Stewart Day did say that he was a firm believer in openness and honesty. Forever Bury need to meet with the entire board and seek answers to some pertinent questions before we can progress.
Significant sums, believed to be in the region of £2.2 million, have already been pumped into the club and we are led to believe that there is more to come. The shareholding hasn’t changed which means we still hold 14.3% but as they have not yet detailed their investment and the financial implications on the club we have to assume that the money is being treated as a loan. If so this will eventually show in the accounts at any future AGM but could be the end of 2014 before we see anything. We all know Bury FC has a hopeless record at handling any significant debt so we will be interested in what Stewart has to say on the matter.
All previous boards have had cash flow problems over a season and have had to loan the club money but they never usually let this appear in the accounts as they would convert the debt into shares. This was fine with us, they invested money and so did we with the aim of maintaining at least a 10% holding so that we could call an EGM if necessary. So we had parity with them.
But now there is also the matter of the Mortgage Debenture that is on the club which enables the New Board, via a company, to be repaid by the sale of the club thus possibly rendering our shares and more importantly, any future money we invest in shares, worthless. If we were to invest more funds into the club we would need to be doing it on the same basis – i.e. a loan and this may necessitate some legal advice.
As always the major task we have is not only to try and get more Shakers fans to join but for our members to become more proactive. For years now the major fundraising event has been the Beer Festival, although Derek and his helpers have had an incredible year with the Car Boot Sales smashing all previous records.
Both these events should really be knocked out of sight by the Sponsored Walk. The other week saw us take 2,400 fans on the short trip to Spotland and surely we should have had hundreds that could have walked the 6.5 miles, but no, just 10 walkers and 1 wheelchair!!! Just 500 walkers raising £30 each would net an incredible £15000.
Forever Bury would be looking to protect the ground by making it An Asset of Community Value.
- Forever Bury Club Board Candidate(s) Statement(s)
There had been no nominations. The nomination process to be reopened.
Nothing to Report
Meeting Closed at 5.30pm
Approved By Prepared By