Author: Charlotte Walker
Summary of Minutes of Official CFU Board Meeting held on Saturday 16th December 2023 in the Board Room at Chester Deva Stadium
Present: Kieron Shiel (Chair), Mike Vickers, Nick Phillipson, Oliver Hill, Jeff Banks, Matt Dickenson, Jim Green, Mike Day, Steve Jones, William Lamb and Charlotte Walker.
In attendance – Christine Robson
Minutes of Meeting held on 21st October 2023 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.
Directors Interests –Chris Robson reminded everyone to complete and return their completed Directors of Interest forms which were a mandatory requirement of being on the board.
Portfolio Review – KS stated that historically there had been one director for each portfolio. In some of the portfolios more than one director is needed. Where this is the case, there should always be one director who takes ownership of it. We need to align with recent staff changes and use new staff more. The portfolios had been split into three groups for approval.
Group 3 – requires a director on his/her own.
Group 2 – requires a director to own and one other to formally support.
Group 1 – requires a director to own and having a working group which could include directors and other volunteers. Priority does not reflect importance, as all the portfolios are important.
KS had already met several directors but there were still gaps for opportunities. A discussion was had and directors were asked to commit to those areas and portfolios that they could work on. KS was happy for Group 3 to stay with one director.
All directors and their roles would be put on the CFU website by CW, once KS and CRR had checked them all.
General Manager Recruitment – KS stated that the club had four options. One – Recruit a direct replacement. Two – Share tasks with staff and recognise by improved remuneration. Three – Recruit part time to cover the gaps. Four – We do nothing. Discussions were had and it was decided that KS would set up a small group of directors to discuss the way forward with the GM role.
Football – JG stated that Calum was happy with where the players were at. There are a few loans out. Some contracts are up for renewal.
Talks with CWAC – The council had previously given the club money to enhance the stadium. For some reason, the contract which was coming to an end in 2020 was not renewed and subsequently, the club has being trying for the last four years to getting it renewed. The money is thee to be used, but the club cannot touch it until the contract has been signed by CWAC. Talks have taken place with members of the council, but nothing seems to be happening. The club will continue to try and meet someone from CWAC to get it sorted.
Budget Process – Mike Vickers asked whether the board intended starting the budget process in January? One of the main concerns is sponsors. KS stated that a small group would be looking at this early in January 2024.
Governance – Mike Vickers stated that a gentleman who he had met through Fair Game expressed an interest in being on the Board. KS stated that he would speak to the gentleman and see what he thought he could give to the club.
GWG refurbishments – Nick Phillipson had asked GWG to set out the invoices more clearly as to the expenditure of some items within the bar. The board were waiting for new invoices.
Date of next meeting – Next formal board meeting would be Saturday 6th January 2024 at Leap76 stadium.
Present: Oliver Hill (Chair), Jim Green, Adam Langan, Mike Day, Nick Phillipson, Charlotte Walker (by video), Jeff Banks (by video), Ian Swettenham, Matt Dickenson, Mike Vickers (by video) and Kate Mylchreest.
In attendance – Christine Robson and Georgina Slawinski.
Apologies: Kieron Shiel
Minutes of Meeting held on 9th September 2023 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.
Conflicts of Interest – None.
Portfolios – All reports had been submitted and read by members of the board.
Finance Update – The September accounts were not ready yet. August accounts had been done at a previous informal meeting. Matchday income was down, but once we have had a few bigger games throughout the year, this may equal out on the budget. We are being handicapped by the capacity of fans restriction. Budget may have to be changed at December’s re-forecast. There may be some funds available for increasing the budget in January.
Football – JG had circulated a paper regarding several players on loan with us. Question regarding income from the FA Cup would be available to strengthen team. Decision would be made post AGM. The Board wanted to acknowledge the effort of the fans in funding Kole Hall’s operation with a donation.
Commercial – Matt D had circulated a paper regarding the budget. Corporate Sponsorship is a pot that the club attains to keep at £10,000. A charity game organised through Leap 76 is to take place on 24th May 2024. A Christmas event will be organised for 2023. Georgina had a meeting with a couple of companies who were happy to take on Health and Safety for the club. Was also hopeful of bringing in more ground board sponsors. A film crew had been present at the grounds last week, which had added further funds to the budget.
Governance – A report had been written and had been circulated to the Board. Mike Vickers stated that it was a good report. It needs to be taken forward to the new board, after the AGM and possibly recruit someone afterwards. This is a continuation of what the club used to do and we need to set up a working group. Mike Vickers would obtain some people for this. It is important that we get the correct working relationship between the governance group and the board of directors. It was mentioned that we already have some good policies in place which had been written by a former director of the board.
Former Players – JG stated that a suggestion had been put forward to bring former players to the club as a guest. The board were happy to approve this. A discussion had taken place previously regarding the Hall of Fame. The FPA had come back with suggestions on four previous players, stating that they would be inducted into the Hall of Fame over a twelve-month period.
AOB – Oliver Hill asked to talk about the Harry Mac Development and where it was currently at. The site would have access to the East Stand. On non-matchdays, it could be hired out. A request for some money to have drawings done by an architect was made. It also needs a great deal of money to extend the plans. It was noted that Flintshire County Council would have to sign off on the scheme. OH agreed to bring some figures to the Board at the next meeting detailing an estimated cost of the project.
NP had sent round a paper regarding the Bars and Kiosks. We have a much better bar, and it looks more attractive to fans. We are not selling alcohol at the kiosks. GWG are doing a good job. It was mentioned that some of the football memorabilia had been taken down. NP stated that this would go back up on matchdays.
Charlotte Walker had circulated a paper on the work she and her group had done regarding rebranding the CFU. The process had caused significant discussions amongst supporters. The club will look at inviting a couple of fans to join the working group to make sure that all viewpoints.
Jeff Banks mentioned that the sale of tickets for the York game would be online for ST holders on Monday, CFU members on Thursday and Saturday for general sales. Any fan who could not obtain a ticket online was able to buy one from the Ticket Office
Date of next meeting – The next official board meeting would be the AGM which was being held at the Leap76 stadium in the Cestrian on Thursday 23rd November 2023.
Following the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Leap76 Stadium on Thursday, November 23rd, City Fans United is pleased to announce our newly elected and re-elected board members.
We extend our congratulations to newly elected members, Steve Jones and William Lamb. We’re also delighted to announce the re-election of continuing board members, Mike Vickers and Jim Green.
City Fans United would also like to place on record our thanks to Adam Langan, who leaves the board following the end of his three-year term. Adam has served admirably on the board, contributing his time, expertise, and passion over the past three years. His work on the Fundraising and People portfolios has been outstanding, with the Boost the Budget campaigns being a key element of our success on the field in recent seasons.
In addition to the news of our newly elected and re-elected board members, we are pleased to confirm the re-election of key officer roles within City Fans United.
Kieron Shiel continues in his role as Chair, alongside Jim Green who continues as Vice Chair, Matt Dickenson as club Treasurer, and Christine Robson who will continue as Secretary.
The first formal meeting of the newly formed City Fans United board will be held on Saturday, December 16th.
The Annual General Meeting for Chester Football Club will take place on Thursday 23rd November 2023 at 7.30pm in the Cestrian Bar at the Leap76 Stadium. Doors will be open at 7pm.
To attend the meeting, you need to be a fully paid-up member of City Fans United on or before 13th August 2023, otherwise, you will not be eligible to attend the meeting or to vote on any of the resolutions.
Please note that the entry to the AGM will be via the side door to the Cestrian Bar and not through the main entrance, this is to ensure that all attendees are registered appropriately. To make this process as smooth as possible we recommend that you have your CFU membership number to hand on arrival.
For those who are unable to attend the AGM, the stream will be available in the CFU members’ section here.
Present: Kieron Shiel; (Chair), Jim Green, Adam Langan, Mike Day, Oliver Hill, Charlotte Walker (by video link), Jeff Banks, Ian Swettenham and Matt Dickenson. In attendance: Christine Robson and Georgina Slawinski
Apologies: Mike Vickers, Nick Phillipson and Kate Mylchreest.
Minutes of Meeting held on 12th August 2023 were accepted as a true record.
Conflicts of Interest – None.
Finance Review – Matt D had circulated a paper to all board members showing the re-budgeted and re-forecast. The figures showed two months of activity at the quieter time of the season. Matt D went through all the expenditure and income covering in depth the matchday income and season tickets. The matchday income was 3% higher than this time last year. KS asked whether the board could be given figures earlier, as there is at present a lag of 6-8 weeks. Matt D stated he would try to rectify this. Commercial figures would also be given out at all informal meetings as well as forma meetings. In summary, there was a positive impact of Season Ticket sales. A decision was made to revisit the figures after the Scunthorpe game (21st October 2023).
Matt D also mentioned about the “Rent Pool” which had provisionally been given the green light in January, but had not heard anything since. He does not want the Club to spend money that we do not have. He is looking at the De-carbonisation Fund and will apply for a grant.
Football Update – JG had circulated a paper to the Board regarding the latest news on players. The FA Cup against Tadcaster would be televised which would bring in some income to the club. Calum and staff have been reviewing players’ performances and trying to simplify things. Was on the lookout for a centre forward.
Commercial – GS stated that the Man Utd fixture had been good and that we had an unbudgeted match sponsor. Numbers for hospitality are hit and miss, but were starting to increase. We are averaging 36 on matchday. We have no matchday sponsors for Peterborough, Tamworth, Buxton and Boston, but have sold everything else for the rest of the season.
JG requested that informal meetings have a commercial update. GS asked if she could have some guidance from the Board as to which direction she needs to be concentrating on for the near future. Matt D offered to help her.
It was decided that a commercial budget would be given at the next informal meeting
GS stated that UNITE had expressed an interest in some commercial work at the club. After discussion, it was decided that GS would ask UNITE what would be involved and bring back to the board. The board were unanimous in the vote for UNITE to be with the club if it was to sponsor a produce that is available from our brochure.
GS also announced that Precision had increased their sponsorship. Tomahawk/RIO had offered more money on top of the matchday sponsor and ground board. GS mentioned that Chris (Leap76 sponsor) was keen to meet some of the directors and to raise some more money. KS and AL agreed to meet him.
Safeguarding – KS reminded all directors that it is mandatory for everyone to complete the safeguarding certificate as part of being a director.
AOB – AL stated that we had no little pickers and it was only being done when John Needham was at the club working. A communication needs to be sent out to all volunteers.
Date of next meeting – The next informal meeting would be on Thursday 21st September 2023 and Wednesday 4th October 2023 on Teams. The next official board meeting would be Saturday 21st October 2023 at Leap76 stadium in the boardroom.
Meeting closed at 12 noon.
City Fans United will be holding their next informal members’ meeting on Thursday 7th September. This meeting will be held online via MS Teams, current CFU members will receive a link to join the meeting via email.
Chester FC Academy head coach, Mike Allcock be attending the meeting to provide members with an update on the academy programme.
If you need to renew your membership or sign up for the first time, head to Members Section – City Fans United
Present: Kieron Shiel (Chair), Mike Vickers (via video link), Nick Phillipson, Matt Dickenson, Adam Langan, Mike Day, Oliver Hill, Kate Mylchreest.
In attendance – Christine Robson and Georgina Slawinski.
Apologies: Jeff Banks, Ian Swettenham, Charlotte Walker and Jim Green
Minutes of Meeting held on 24th June 2023 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.
Conflicts of Interest –None.
Action Log Review – Education Room has been vacated but equipment still there. Needs to be stored elsewhere. Contracts for staff – AL stated that all but one had been done.
Portfolio Reports – New website hopefully to be introduced on 21st July 2023. GS suggested getting an intern in to help with commercial website. Asked Mike D for some training.
All reports had been read.
CFU Rebrand Update – OH checked that all board members had read his report. Mike D had sorted out CFU and CFC to be under one umbrella on the site. AL believed that members do not use their membership cards and are they necessary? Matt D thought there should still be some form of ID for those fans who like to have a card.
OH, had come up with several names for the rebranding of the club. After discussion the three most popular names to be put to members would be: –
MyChester FC, Chester FC Owners and Chester FC Owners Club
An explanation needs to be given to the members as to why the name needs to be changed. The new name would be announced at the AGM in November. OH, and CW to put together something for the website.
Does the club need a new logo. OH, CW and Albert to have a look at a new logo design.
Review of CFU Benefits – All benefits that are on the website are now defunct. The list needs to be cleared.
Review of club membership process – Mike D stated that it worked out well over the year even though members were renewing at different times. OH, thought that the membership should be for 12 months., irrespective of when you join. OH, Mike D, NP and JB to have a look at how it can be better managed.
Cards – Should we be looking at finding a digital card to replace the membership card. KS would investigate this.
FA Safeguarding – KS would send the link round to all board members. This is compulsory and must be completed by everyone.
Structure of Safety Officer Role – JG had written the job description, but board decided that it needed to be expanded. The board thought that the job should be advertised. OH, asked about the training of the current stewards. GS stated that this was being done.
Update on Bars Contract – NP informed that Board that GWG had been awarded the contract. They had been working extremely hard cleaning out the bar and sorting out bookings. The contract would be finalised after the two friendly games. GWG had mentioned about changing the name of the Blues Bar to “The Cestrian”. All board members who were present at the meeting were happy with the new name.
AOB – OH mentioned to the board the update on the Harry Mac facilities. Was in the process of getting an architect to draw up some plans.
Special Games Occasions – OH was in discussion with GS regarding options for days at the club to have a theme.
Fair Game – MV stated that Fair Game would be launching their new scheme next week. They are very keen to get the finance flowing towards all teams. Clubs who score well will receive more money. They are hoping that there will be an Independent Regulator by 2025.
Commercial – GS mentioned that she had 70 people coming to the game. She had sent out 10 different stand/stadium proposals. Have a lot of new sponsors onboard. We have 16 new matchday sponsors. Is waiting for a few renewals of ground boards but is confident that they would be achieved.
Next official board meeting would be Saturday 12th August 2023 at the stadium in the Board Room.
Present: Kieron Shiel, Jim Green (by video link), Mike Vickers (by video link), Nick Phillipson, Matt Dickenson, Adam Langan, Mike Day, Charlotte Walker (by video link) Ian Swettenham and Oliver Hill. In attendance: Christine Robson and Georgina Slawinski.
Apologies: Jeff Banks and Kate Mylchreest
Minutes of the meeting held on 11th May 2023 were accepted as a true record.
Conflicts of Interest – AL mentioned that he had joined a committee for CWAC named Sport and Recreation. AL thought that there would be a conflict of interest if he were to attend a meeting with reference to the football club. If this were the case, he would leave the meeting. The CWAC committee did not see this as being a problem.
Action Log Review –. This item was moved to the end of the meeting. It was subsequently decided that CRR would chase individuals on their outstanding actions.
Bars Contract – NP informed the board that the incumbent for the Blues Bar had left suddenly and we would now have to look for a new partner. Two quotations had been received; one from Nick Stark and the other from GWG (who look after the kiosks). NP stated that if GWG were awarded the contract they would have to have two different contracts for the kiosk and the bar. A decision was made for NP, GS and Matt D to put a paper together and send the proposal to the full board for a vote.
CFU Rebrand – OH had sent a paper to the board regarding rebranding and had suggested five elements namely:-
Name and Branding of CFU, Cost/Structure Membership, Benefits to members, Renewal of timings and process, Social Media and Engagement.
After much discussion on each item, OH would prepare a paper with all suggestions given and bring to next official board meeting.
AOB – CRR mentioned to the board about the expiry of directors’ tenure at the AGM in November. There would be four vacancies on offer. Election letter would be going out by snail mail as well as electronically at the end of August/beginning of September.
The Board of City Fans United is looking for new board members to stand for election ahead of the annual general meeting on Thursday 23rd November 2023.
Being passionate about Chester FC goes without saying, but the Board requires a variety of different skills to operate effectively.
Examples of skills and experience that would be advantageous include:
- Project management
- Experience with community projects
- Business management
- Marketing, communications, and engagement
- Risk management
- Performance evaluation
- Networking and knowledge of local business
- Legal knowledge
At present, we are particularly encouraging applications from people who have experience in:
- Health and safety
- Organising events
- Business growth
If you would like to consider standing for election to the Board of Directors, you need to be a current CFU member as of 13th August 2023.
The election letter will be sent to all members over the coming days, accompanied by a ‘Duties of a Director’ information leaflet and a manifesto form.
If you are interested in having an informal chat about joining the board please email email@example.com