CUOSC Members Meeting
Held Brunton Park Football Club
8 December 2022
Present: D MacLennan, K Bulman, W Atkinson, N Davidson, C Wilson, M Nugent – 6 members in the room and 18 online including C Armstrong and D Noble (CUOSC board members)
Apologies: M Spooner
Minutes taken by: C Wilson
DM introduced himself as Vice Chair and opened the meeting, he then thanked everyone for attending. DM then introduced all the board present and the two members online.
DM then asked WA to speak about the Holdings board – WA informed everyone that there had been no meeting recently of the board, but there was a meeting the next day with the 1921 board to approve the accounts. He commented nothing had changed from previous meetings, but the club in a good place.
DM then asked ND to speak about the 1921 Board – ND said the 1921 board informed everyone that the club had received a successful Health and Safety audit. ND and the club were working through the EDI code of Practice with the EFL.
ND did say that the 1921 board now meet on a regular basis discussing operational issues.
DM then continued with the questions previously sent in by members – answers below:-
Q – MARTIN CRELLIN – Update on status of CUOSC recognising their financial responsibility as per share ownership.
WA answered the question saying Shareholders do have responsibilities. CUOSC could be asked to put money in if needed. If investment comes into the club CUOSC should be able to participate and not worry about the loans. He went on to say we should look to the future especially if investors come to the club.
Q – RICHARD MULLEN – Has Billy seen the EWM/Purepay loan agreement in holdings meetings? If so why hasn’t this been shared with other board members and if not how can decisions be made if the full picture isn’t known? Did Billy have any say whatsoever in the taking out of the loan? What say would Billy have, or holdings representative, if the other owners wished to take out a new loan?
WA said the loan agreement is not with Holdings, but guaranteed by personal guarantees. Loans are subject to increased rates of interest and are on demand. Purepay have not asked for any repayments or about the debenture on the ground. WA continued to say that anything discussed during holding board meetings is taken back to CUOSC board for consultation.
Q – LIZ APPLEBY – What are your main aims for 2023? What would success look like? Is there a view on long-term aims for CUOSC – e.g. five years from now?
DM talked about the new board members and commented that Unita Fortior is now “Dead and Buried” and they all have been welcomed by the old board.
DM told the meeting that the membership system was old fashioned and they have been able to put in a new system. Everyone on the board is looking to arrange more events, meeting and give the fans a democratic voice.
WA commented that in 5 years CUOSC hope to be more relevant, waiting for new investment coming in and (money in the bank).
It is hoped that there will be a four-figure membership and re-branding.
ND talked about first finding out what CUOSC is, but also what the membership expects of the board.
Q – BRENDAN ROGERS – Why was a Supporters Club, supposedly for the fans, so quick to side with the club against its members over the still unsubstantiated reports of unruly behaviour in the Paddock?
ND said that we cannot allow the problems with supporters at matches to continue as it impacts on the budget and safety in the ground.
Q – MARTIN CRELLIN – Is it the intention for all supporter Groups to come under the CUSG Umbrella – long term? Any update on making away ticket allocation distribution fairer to ALL supporters? Can a priority system be introduced for CUSG members similar to that set up with the London Branch?
Response to the question asked by Martin is that CUSG are not a supporter’s group but made up of other groups under CUSG banner. All groups work independent.
ND said he was talking to the club about priority for CUOSC at away games.
DM said there would be a data plunge for our new Mojo system in the new year.
Q – TRACY STURGESS – Are you having a food bank donation drop off on this Saturday? On match days (Saturday’s only) have you thought about having a drop off donation point in the study centre for the food bank? My work pattern would allow me to collect the donations on the Monday and drop them off to Carlisle food bank on the same day.
We would welcome offers of help with the food bank, one was planned for 10th December, but after speaking with the food bank it has been agreed to wait until the New Year, so a collection will be organised in January
(FLOOR) – A question was asked about fund raising and the board replied they would be discussing this when they talked about “What is CUOSC”
WA mentioned the £1500.00 for the underfelt for the pitch covers that CUOSC contributed too, with other small amounts over the years. CUOSC should also look at business funding in the future, but not step on the “clubs’ toes”.
Someone also asked about raising funds to up grade some toilets. CUOSC also said they would have a targeted approach to fundraising.
DAVE BROWN (ZOOM) – Commented that during the boards next round of discussions we should be looking at a target base of 10,000 members and identify pledges.
WA commented have we got time to do that?
JOHN KUKUC (FLOOR) – The board were asked the age of the youngest board member – MS. We were asked to encourage the younger members of CUFC to our board meetings to use them with other social groups to encourage them to join CUOSC.
We agreed to move the stand to the Warwick Road End so that we could engage with the younger fans.
ND commented that we do know what other trusts are doing and we have connections with Exeter as an example, but some are very unique.
The meeting closed at 20:16pm