NUST Board Meeting Minutes: October 25th 2020

Meeting Minutes / NUST News - 28-10-2020

Newcastle United Supporters Trust. Minutes of Board meeting held by Teams on October 25th 2020

Present.

Alex Hurst (Chair), Greg Tomlinson, Michael Mannion.

Newly elected Board members- Charlotte Robson, Marc Corby, Adam Beckett, Thomas Concannon.

Norman Watson- Secretary.

Chris Johnson- Membership Secretary.

Apologies– Linda Bush, Peter Maughan.

  1. Trust Relationship with Board.

Alex gave a summary of the last 2 years attempts by the Trust to establish a working relationship with the Club and Lee Marshall in particular as Supporters Liaison Officer. He felt that all our efforts had been ignored and we now needed to re-consider what future relationship, if any, we sought to have with the Club.

After a long discussion it was agreed that Alex would urgently write to Lee Marshall to set out our complaints and what changes we thought were needed in order to repair our dialogue with the Club. In the event of no satisfactory reply, we would then seek to register a formal complaint with the Premier League.

The Premier League could impose a 3- point deduction on the Club if our complaint was upheld. It was agreed that if this became a possibility, we would then consult with our members on that issue.

  1. PPV Charges.

It was agreed that the recent introduction of these charges was grossly unfair.

It was felt that there was likely to be an announcement on the future of PPV this coming week. We will therefore wait before taking any further action. 

  1. Relationships with other Trusts.

Michael felt that after recent national events and issues affecting all supporters that there was a need for us to develop closer working relationships with other Trusts. He agreed to look at some of the communication options that could be used as well as making personal contact with people in some of the other Trusts, and report back.

  1. Virtual Events.

Charlotte volunteered to set up some virtual events for members on various topics and issues. They would be informal events involving players, journalists etc. She will now prepare a schedule of proposed events together with some recommendations on the best platform to be used.

  1. Proposed NUST Council.

Alex reported that there had been an initial high level of interest in this idea, which was an attempt to capture some of the expertise and knowledge within the membership to help the Trust develop. The initial interest had now waned from some of those that have been providing social media help. We will now progress to complete evaluating all council applicants and to seek to establish an Advisory Board, including approaching recent unsuccessful election candidates. 

  1. Building Membership.

Marc thought that a good way of getting new members would be by getting existing members to contact friends and family to join the Trust. This was agreed, and it was felt that we need to develop member benefits generally so that we can give people a reason to join. Michael had begun to investigate this and was happy to liaise with Marc on this.

Alex also felt that as new members joined, there should be an easy link to say they had just joined the Trust.

  1. Website Development.

Chris reported that together with Damian he now had greater control of the website and was about to launch a new Survey Tool to help us contact members.

  1. Microsoft Teams.

Chris gave a quick introduction to the Teams platform that would allow the Board to communicate messages and documents to each other. Alex asked for volunteers to help answer member queries on the Ticket system. Marc agreed to help.

Adam would also contact a friend and put him in touch with Chris. They had experience in website development.

  1. Fans Pledge Scheme.

Alex reported that we had finished all the legal work on the Pledge Scheme. Norman had recently put a guide to the Scheme and its Rules on Teams. It was agreed that we now move forward by planning the way in which the Scheme would be operated and promoted. This would involve more expenditure, but it was agreed that we needed as a Trust to be in a position in the future get some form of ownership in the Club.

  1. Non – Member Email.

The Trust has an email list from people who had contacted the Trust. By contacting them we could further strengthen the Trust. Chris agreed to look into doing this.

  1. Social Media Policy.

Alex pointed out that we should be clear on social media when we are speaking in a personal capacity and when we are speaking on behalf of the Trust. The Board had already agreed a Social Media Policy which has been sent to Board members and was now on Teams.

  1. Working with local M.P.s

Alex reported that Ian Mearns who was Chair of the All Parliamentary Group on Football had indicated that he was keen to work more closely with the Trust. It was agreed that we needed to set up a group of North East M.P.s so that could better liaise with them. Greg agreed to set this up.

  1. Return of Season Ticket Money from the Club.

Thomas reported that there was still no word from the Club on how they were going to deal with this. He proposed that we should make an official complaint to the Premier League if there was no statement from the club this week. This was agreed in principle- Thomas to co-ordinate.

AOB.

Charlotte volunteered to produce a video of this meeting for the website. This was agreed, Marc and Adam volunteered to produce them next.

Date of next meeting.

Sunday Nov. 8th 7pm. By Teams.

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