Annual General Meeting 2023
Foxy’s, Sunday December 3, 2023
Results of resolutions
To receive the reports of the Society’s board and the audited financial statements for the period ending 31st July 2023
FOR: 468 AGAINST: 13
It is hereby resolved that subject to the provisions of section 84 of the 2014 Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act, the members of the Society shall not require an audit for the accounts covering the current financial year ending on 31 July, 2024 when they are presented to the next AGM held in 2024/25. NOTE: An independent financial examination shall be undertaken in its place.
FOR: 427 AGAINST: 54
To authorise the Society Board to fix the remuneration of the auditors
FOR: 459 AGAINST: 22
To elect to the board of the Society:
Nigel Davidson 202
Mike Denovellis 282
Gerard Gornall 123
Richard Mullen 94
Ross Parkinson 220
Martin Robson 235
Carol Wilson 196
Claire Winder 284
Mike Denovellis, Ross Parkinson, Martin Robson and Claire Winder elected.
Chair Matt Spooner paid tribute to retiring board member Malcolm Nugent who has stepped down after many years of service. He also thanked existing board members Carol and Nigel for their efforts over the years.
Simon Clarkson asked about the 1921 Board position in light of Nigel Davidson not being re-elected to the board. Matt said the position would remain filled by Nigel until such time as a new board rep could be appointed and that person was able to pass the Owners and Directors test for football club directors.
John Kukuc, a former chair of CUOSC said he was delighted to see more new people get involved at board level.
A question and answer session followed the formal business of the meeting. The three new board members who were present at the meeting, Mike, Ross and Martin joined the group at the top table and were invited to address the meeting.
Ross paid tribute to all those who have served the board down the years, reminding the meeting that they all do it for free.
Mike commented that he had been on the board for two years in the recent past, but that the greater turnout for this year’s AGM was a sign of the greater representation that CUOSC can now command. He said exciting times were ahead.
Martin said he was looking forward to continuing the good work done by the board.
Norman Steel asked if there was any plan to change the trading name of CUOSC and to revert to using the word ‘Trust’? Matt said a process of re-branding and re-structuring had begun over 12 months ago but had been paused due to the takeveor process, which the board of CUOSC was closely involved in. Now that the takeover had been completed, the process could re-start. Dan added that some very basic work had been done on this process before the takeover had taken precedence. He stated that any changes that do come need to be supported by fans. He stressed that the board are the representatives of all CUFC supporters.
Kate Rowley asked what the difference was between the Trust and CUOSC roles? Matt said he saw a chance for two separate ‘arms’ of the organisation to develop. He said he wanted a strong supporters’ club ‘element’, with defined roles for board members.
Norman asked what if any input had been receieved on this matter from the Piataks? Matt replied that the Piatak family were very keen from the start to have strong fan involvement. However, they had not made any recommendation for how CUOSC should operate.
Simon commented that the manifesto that had been worked on by CUOSC last year had not been mentioned today. He said it needs clearly defined. He made reference to the planned sale of Blackpool tickets which produced a backlash from supporters and was moved from Saturday evening after the Charlton match to Monday morning. He hoped that CUOSC could have a clear input on day to day operational matters such as these. Matt said that the relationship with the club has been improving all the time and that there was an impetus from within the club to have CUOSC involved earlier in the decision making process. He said CUOSC would do their best to help club staff with their jobs and to provide fan input where appropriate. He asked the question: “What is fan representation?” and said we don’t yet know exactly how much we can influence things at the club. Dan reiterated that there was an excellent working relationship with the club already in place and he hoped under new ownership it would go from strength to strength.
Ross encouraged fans to come forward with their ideas and let CUOSC know what they wanted. He said he would be happy to talk to fans on match days. Simon said CUOSC needed to be engaging ‘face to face’ on match days. Matt said there had been a step back from match day visibility recently due to the success of the expanding Fan Zone but that plans to re-introduce a match day presence were in place. He wanted to make CUOSC more recognisable and more visible. He accepted there was no one size fits all solution as each fan has a different match day routine and match day experience.
John Kukuc commented that there had been issues with match day visibility in general, in the recent past. He made reference to issues with the catering set-up and a lack of people to complain to. Matt said a lot of good ideas had been gathered in the ongoing ‘Quick Wins’ project, many of which were related to the match day experience. He talked about an improved system for reporting issues around the ground. More badges and signs had helped to address this.
Kate requested that CUOSC ask for a dedicated season ticket turnstile at the East Stand entrance.
Simon said a sensible fix was now in place for fans wanting to sit together at away games.
Matt said that CUOSC was improving the option for ticket priority for its members, by working closely with the club and ensuring members were giving us ‘opt in’ permission to share their personal data with the club.
A final question from the floor concerned the younger generation of supporters. The Piataks had talked about the need to attract younger fans. Would a campaign be launched to get younger fans to attend matches? Dan said that CUOSC’s social media had been ramped up recently and that it would be a good platform to run such a campaign. The detail of this would be worked on, he said.
The meeting was declared closed at that point.