Author: Charlotte Walker

CFU Board Summary – July 2022

Present: Jim Green (Chair), Nick Phillipson, Adam Langan, Jeff Banks, Kate Mylchreest and Charlotte Walker (by video link). In attendance – Christine Robson (Secretary).

Apologies: Kieron Shiel, Matt Dickenson, Mike Vickers, Alex Owen (not notified) and Paul Bodman (not notified)

Minutes of Meeting held on 9th June 2022 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Action Log Review – Jim Green JG went through all the actions that were still pending and received updates from all the directors.

Football Update – JG stated that the team had a couple of injuries and had some new signings. We had an increased playing budget with the help of a donation from Ian Swettenham. The Manager had mentioned that he wanted to introduce a new travel arrangement for away games which would include a pre-match meeting and meal with the players.

Finance Update – As Matt Dickenson (MD) was absent from the meeting, the update would be deferred to the next official board meeting.

Conflicts of Interest – As MD was absent from the meeting, this would be deferred to the next official board meeting.

Job Description – Adam Langan (AL) had circulated a paper to the board regarding the job description for the Media and PR Officer’s role. AL had done some research into the job role and went through all the commercial work that Albert Davies had undertaken since March 2022. Albert had brought to the club significant revenue and AL felt that his salary should reflect the extra work that he has undertaken. He asked the Board to vote on the increase in salary, which was unanimous. AL also asked the Board to consider the change of name to Communications Manager & Football Administrator. The Board did not have an objection to this change.

Catering Contract – Nick Phillipson (NP) had circulated a paper to the Board regarding the Legends Lounge, Blues Bar, mobile vans, and the kiosks. Hopefully everything would be in place for the start of the season

AOB – AL mentioned the perimeter of the pitch needed some repair. A suggestion was made about putting down Astro Turf. AL would get some quotes.
AL had put forward two dates for a “Volunteers Day” at the club. Dates were Sunday 24th July 2022 and Sunday 7th August 2022. Asked that some directors be present at both days.

Georgina (GS) was looking at some match day events and asked whether it was possible to have a budget. JB thought that it would be a good idea to trial it for the first five home matches. This was agreed.

Charlotte (CW) asked whether we could have a gazebo and sell “Seals Lottery and CFU membership. It would be helpful if the duty director put in a couple of hours in the gazebo.

The next official Board meeting would be Saturday 13th August 2022 at the Chester Deva Stadium at 10.30am

A toast to our volunteers

City Fans United would like to recognise our team of volunteers who are working hard to keep the Chester FC first team squad fuelled up this season.
Pam Hipkiss, Kath Larkin, Richard Price, and Julie Deacon ensure the players and staff are provided with lunch following every training session, under the guidance of kit man Jimmy Soul.
As well as helping the players refuel after being put through their paces on the training pitch, it is also a chance for the squad to spend time together socialising.
The volunteers work together to purchase the ingredients, prepare and serve the lunches and keep the kitchen and community room at King George V Sports Hub clean and tidy.
Their tasty menu features endless options, so long as the players’ orders include one of beans, cheese or spaghetti on brown or white toast.

Ian Swettenham Joins CFU Board

City Fans United is delighted to announce that Ian Swettenham has been appointed as a Director.

Ian, who is well known to Chester FC fans for his long-standing support of the football club, joins the Board having been co-opted this week.

Swettenham Chemists, which Ian and his wife Dawn have run for more than 30 years, play an active role in their communities and have sponsored the Blues for a decade.

Their support includes sponsorship of the Swettenham Chemists’ Community Stand at the Deva Stadium and the club’s Academy, where they have been crucial to the achievements of our youth section, which has now seen 19 players graduate to the first team since the reformation.

Ian is also a chartered accountant and his skills, experience and success further strengthens the Board as we seek to continue progressing on and off the pitch.

Welcome aboard, Ian!

CFU Board Summary – June 2022

Present:  Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green, Mike Vickers (by video link) , Nick Phillipson, Matt Dickenson, Adam Langan, Jeff Banks (by video link) and Kate Mylchreest (by video link).  In attendance – Christine Robson (Secretary).

Apologies: Paul Bodman, Alex Owen and Charlotte Walker

Minutes of Meeting held on 2nd May 2022 –   Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Action Log Review – KS went through all the actions that were still pending and received updates from all the directors.

Football UpdateJG stated that the club had made some significant signings of which two thirds had been done.  Currently looking for a left back, defender midfield and an attacking player.  Looking for a loan goalkeeper and have been able to keep all the players from the squad that was wanted.  Pre-season games start 28th July 2022.  Steve McNulty has left the club.

Finance UpdateMD had circulated a paper to the Board before the meeting and went through all aspects of the figures.

Directors Vacancies – CRR explained to the Board that it was the time of year to consider how many directors are needed for the next year.  Two of our current director’s tenures expire in November.  A decision was made to advertise for four vacancies.

AOB – JG had spoken to Ian Swettenham who was keen to support the club over the next season and increase his support.  He was looking at helping fund support for the current football budget through a donation.  He was also looking at sponsoring a stand.  Ian was happy to continue sponsoring youth team kits with a donation that would replace the academy fund.

NP stated that the summer clean-up was underway.

JB stated that the pre-season ball would take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 30th July 2022.  Was liaising with Georgina to speak to hotel.  The players were keen to attend.

KS stated that over £8,000 of kit had been sold and had also sold some of the old stock.

The next official Board meeting would be Saturday 9th July 2022 at the Chester Deva Stadium at 10.30am

CFU Board Summary – May 2022

Present: Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green, Mike Vickers, Nick Phillipson, Matt Dickenson, Adam Langan, Jeff Banks and Kate Mylchreest. In attendance – Christine Robson (Secretary).

Apologies: Paul Bodman, Alex Owen, and Charlotte Walker

Minutes of Meeting held on 2nd April 2022 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.
Action Log Review – KS went through all the actions that were still pending and received updates from all the directors.

Football Update – JG had a conversation with Steve. Steve decided to see his contract through, even though he knew that all club members were aware that he would not be continuing as the Manager.
Job had not been advertised but we had received a great number of enquiries. Club was hoping to appoint someone by 9th May 2022. Interviews would be the middle of the week.

Talks with players are ongoing.

Congress Booking – The National League AGM was taking place at Celtic Manor on Friday 10th June to Sunday 12th June 2022. The AGM would be held on Friday. Mike Vickers offered to attend.
Staff Objectives – Adam Langan is in the process of writing up guidelines for all staff. Once the new General Manager (Georgina Slawinski) has started on 1st June 2022, would sit down with her and go through the processes.

Website and Social – A meeting was being held regarding the current website and social. Albert to organise a meeting with fans. Trying to establish whether we can include membership numbers on to the system.

Boost the Budget and Seals Lottery – Mail outs had gone out for Seals Lottery and had received over one hundred new signings. Hoping to get Boost the Budget out by the end of May, beginning of June.
Precision Façade – Precision Façade had come to the York game and had agreed to sponsor the back of the shirt for the “Home” and “Away” kit, plus a stand.

Risk Assessments – Nick Phillipson stated that the Legends Lunge had been done and was waiting for one for the Blues Bar.

The next official Board meeting would be Thursday 9th June 2022 at the Chester Deva Stadium at 7.30pm.

CFU Board Summary – April 2022

Summary of Minutes of Official CFU Board Meeting held on Saturday 2nd April 2022 at Chester Deva Stadium
Present: Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green, Mike Vickers, Nick Phillipson, Matt Dickenson, Adam Langan, Charlotte Walker, Jeff Banks. In attendance – Kate Mylchreest, and Christine Robson (Secretary).
Apologies: Paul Bodman and Alex Owen
Minutes of Meeting held on 5th March 2022 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record and all outstanding projects had been closed.

KS introduced a guest to the Board – Kate Mylchreest, who was a member of the Club and was considering applying to become a member of the Board at the next AGM.

Football Update – JG presented a paper to the Board. Manager was wishing to discuss plans and wanted to speak to the Board. JG outlined a proposal to retain a small group of young players who were considered to have potential. Questions over how it would be funded needed to be discussed.

Finance Update – MD stated that he was working on the 2022/23 budget and was hoping to have it signed off at an informal meeting in April to then take to the Board at the next official meeting.

Presentation of Papers – NP had circulated a paper regarding the ongoing risk assessments. Was concerned that Health and Safety needed to be paramount. The Club had a duty of care to members to make them feel safe. Current contract holders had been advised regarding re-tendering.
Safety Certificate – The Safety Certificate was in the process of being transferred from Andy Morris to Jim Green. A discussion was needed to discuss Safety Officer wages and Stewards wages. There is a plan to have a recruitment drive during the closed season for Stewards.
Season Tickets – JB had circulated a paper regarding Season Tickets/ School Ticketing. There will be two extra games next season. Plans are in place to set a reasonable ticketing structure, to actively look at driving for more discounted prepaid matchday tickets via the online platform, setting out clear communication channels. CW was looking at putting some marketing together for the season tickets online platform.

Stadium Backlog – NP went through the list of jobs that were scheduled to be done at the stadium, and in particular some projects that could be considered if funding was available.
Border Issue – AL stated that the border issue was still ongoing and was in talks with the FCC to amalgamate everything under CWAC. There were a few outstanding questions that needed to be answered legally. Once done, both councils will put something together in writing and send to the club.

Academy – MV stated that the welfare of our young players was paramount and the decision not to play against Fylde had been the right one. The NL need to be reasonable as the club cannot play 8 games in 24 days.

Volunteering, Organisation and Culture – The interviews for the General Manager role would take place on 24th April 2022. The interview would consist of a tour of the club, background of the club by Albert, followed by an hour’s interview with the panel. Start date for the candidate would hopefully be 1st June 2022.

It would be helpful to give the volunteers more work as they were very keen to help. They needed to be given guidelines.

Strategy for Workshops – AL thought it would be a good idea to have more project-based ideas, which would enable a group to work on one specific topic.

Fan Forum and Exile Engagement – CW delivered a power point presentation on an online forum (like devachat). It would be used as a communications channel to air views, which would be constructive not negative. All members would have to sign up to use it. Asked the Board to consider it and if it is not the right time, to defer to a later date.
University Engagement Strategy – KS had spoken to several universities which would be looking at sending students to the club as part of their dissertations.

Any Other Business – MD enquired as to whether the club’s website would be getting changed. CW stated that an audit needed to be done on the website and then move forward with the findings.
KS stated that the commercial portfolio needed to be done by a smaller group. Volunteers to be on the group were KS, PB, JG, MD, CW, and AL.
JG had sent out a paper regarding Premier League Funding, which the club may be able to apply for. It would need several members to go through the document. MD, NP and MV were happy to do this.

CFU Board Summary – March 2022

Summary of Minutes of Official CFU Board Meeting held on Saturday 5th March 2022 at Chester Deva Stadium

Present: Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green, Mike Vickers, Nick Phillipson, Matt Dickenson, Adam Langan, Charlotte Walker, Paul Bodman, Alex Owen, and Christine Robson (Secretary).
Apologies: Jeff Banks
Minutes of Meeting held on 7th February 2022 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record and all outstanding projects had been closed.

Football Update

Work was ongoing to strengthen the squad. Manager’s priority is to find an experienced defender. Registration deadline is later in the month, so additions need to be made before this. The development of football model and budget for 2022/23 is making progress. Looking at training at KGV. Jim Green will circulate a paper outlining the proposed model and budget for the next formal meeting in April.

Finance Update

The playing budget for the year to date was discussed and the matchday income year to date is within budget. MD is looking at presenting a paper at the next informal meeting for it to be signed off at the next formal meeting. MD is also looking at reducing the tax bill for last season. Aspiration for the club for next season is to have a model where transactions with members are captured at source.

National League Guidance

Jim Green had received a letter from the National League regarding COVID 19. In line with the government, they have removed all protocols (wellbeing for crowds and players no longer in place). Local clubs can continue with their own policies. The Club is conscious of the wellbeing to supporters and players.

Presentation of Papers

Alex Owen had produced a power point regarding the structure and process for Commercial. Needed to include the scope of business facing sponsorship, create a comprehensive commercial document and go digital. AO went through a commercial structure which he had worked on with another company.

Nick Phillipson had circulated a paper on the Catering Contract for the club, to enable those members who had not been on the Board last year a chance to look at it.

GM Feasibility Study

Adam Langan had circulated a power point paper which went through the background of what had happened since George Delves had left. If the Board decided on a new GM, it needed to be more commercial, and facilities focussed. Recommendation that the GM attend all board meetings and report on the previous month, report to the Chairman with regular one- to- one meetings. Adam was also looking at changing the media and pr officer role to Communications Manager and First Team Secretary. Advert for the GM role would go out on the Monday, with the start date to be 1st June 2022.

The Easter Raffle had 16,000 tickets to sell. First prize £1,000. Mail to gout this week, along with Seals Lottery.

Any Other Business

Complaints had been made regarding the Ride Academy using the front of the car park near the entrance to the offices. Paul Bodman stated that they had been given permission to use the front, as they had lost their licence to use the original place at the side of the club. Email to go out to all staff and players letting them know this.

A concern had been raised regarding constant referral to other clubs/rivals on the terraces. All agreed as a Board we don’t have this issue and in the spirit of the club’s principles, we continue to look forward not backward.

A decision was made that it would be better to hold a sponsored walk as an early season event next season. Senior Blues had organised a race night to raise funds for the scholars and youth. It would take place in the Blues Bar on Friday 25th March 2022.

First Team Manager’s contract would be looked at back end of March 2022.


CFU Announcement: New Chair Appointed and Portfolios for Directors

Following a formal board meeting on Monday 7 February, the board of City Fans United is pleased to announce that Kieron Shiel has been elected as Chair. Jim Green will continue in his role as Vice-Chair.

Kieron has served on the board since 2019 and during that time has overseen improvements to the club’s retail provision, significantly increasing profits from merchandise sales. As well as being a qualified football coach and scout, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in leadership, project delivery management, people management and technology.

In addition to the appointment of our new chair, the board is also pleased to update members on the portfolio assignments of current directors. These can be viewed here.

Alongside our new Chairman, portfolio holders will be working to identify key objectives. Our intention is to share the club objectives in the coming weeks to provide fans with a clear view of board priorities and our vision for the future of the club.

The board wishes to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Morris for his hard work and dedication during his time as Chair. We wish him all the best for the future.