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Members Meeting 22nd November 2001

Meeting 'TrustSTFC' Members meeting
Venue Executive Lounge STFC
Date 22/11/2001
Time 8.00 - 10.00 pm
Present TrustSTFC members, Peter Rowe, Danny Donegan, STFC Staff


Action from previous meeting
WP to invite Mr D Donegan, and a member of the opposing consortium to address the meeting. Invitations were issued.

Welcome
Tony Norris welcomed everybody to the meeting and set out the agenda for the night

Financials/Membership

  • To date we have
  • 160 members
  • A Loan Fund of 10,000
  • Membership fees of 4,000
  • Donations of over 3,500
  • 4,809 STFC shares

What has the Trust been doing?
Leigh Collett gave details of Trust activity since the last meeting,

  • Office is open.
  • Extra members on the working party.
  • Leafleting at Wycombe, Blackpool and at the County Ground.
  • Full involvement with the Club during the Anti Racism day
  • Petition of support for Roy Evans and Neil Ruddock collected 1500 signatures

What has not been achieved?
Membership growth has been slow. An often-heard comment from fans is 'they have not got around to it yet'. This is in-line with other Trusts with no perceived crisis Although there has been a lot of support from small businesses, larger businesses still need to get involved. Fund raising activities have been slow.

Trust AGM
Tony Norris gave details of coming Trust AGM process.
It is a rule of the Trust that elections be held to the Trust Board. Board will consist of 12 people. 8 to be elected and 4 to be co-opted from interested parties. Elections will be to the board only. Positions on the board will be decided by those elected. Any member, wanting to stand for election will be nominated by members of the working party, if required.
Timetable for the TrustSTFC AGM is as follows

  • 03/12/2001 Letter requesting nominations
  • 20/12/2001 Close of nominations
  • 02/01/2002 Ballot papers sent out
  • 24/01/2002 Return of ballot papers
  • 07/02/2002 AGM and ballot result

Membership change
The Working Party considered the current membership system to be unfair and a change would be introduced. This will mean that Membership will run for a full year from the date membership was taken out. This change will be retrospective.
The members were asked if they had any objections to this. None were raised.

STFC EGM
Tony Norris explained that Cliff Puffett(as a Trust Member) and Danny Donegan had agreed to address the meeting at this point. Tony stated that 'It was not about the past' and urged members to concentrate on whether the club is in safe hands and how the club will progress?

Cliff Puffett spoke first.
He explained who the prospective interim board members were. When asked about the consortium's priorities, he stated that they did not know the state of the finances at present and these would need to be addressed first.
He spoke enthusiastically about the Trust When asked if he would be standing by his promise of having Trust representation on the STFC Board. He stated that he was not going to be a Board member and reminded the meeting that 'money is power'. He added that 'If the Trust can move forward then the Trust will have the power to have a say.
Several members raised concerns that Cliff Puffett was backing away from previous public pronouncements about a Trust representation at Board level. Following further questions from the floor, Cliff Puffet then went on to give his views on the clubs present position.
He stated that

  • Sir Seton Wills still has a majority shareholding
  • In the original deal with Terry Brady, 10m was promised and an agreement was signed.
  • 2m to pay off debt
  • 2m for players
  • 6m to pay off the Wills family
The deal was done with STPL the property company in which Terry Brady, Danny Donegan and Ian Blatchley were shareholders
Cliff Puffett expressed his full support for Roy Evans and his management team and hoped that they would stay at the club. When asked about the new stadium plans he pointed out that STPL had lost the Preferred Developer Status and that STPL would need to explain why. He added that the club cannot survive on it's own and it needs to be involved in a development that would bring in extra facilities. The club will need to go back to the council ASAP.
One member requested an update on the CVA. Cliff Puffett said he could not answer this and suggested it was a question for Peter Rowe.
Tony Norris thanked Cliff Puffett for giving his views and for taking questions from the members Cliff Puffett then left the room and Danny Donegan came in to give his views

Danny Donegan stated that
  • He is a property developer
  • He had planned to have no input in to the club as that was supposed to be Terry Brady's job
  • His role was to take the club forward and relocate on to the Front Garden
  • When he came in it took 6 months to sort the accounts out
  • There were no accounts for the period before administration
  • After a bad start to the season he could see Terry Brady was losing heart
  • After Terry Brady left, he and Ian Blatchly got involved with the club, as there was still a good prospect of the development going ahead.
  • He had meetings with the Council and progress was slow
  • He decided to force the Council's hand, as there was no point putting money it to something that was going nowhere.
  • He had tried to talk to members of the consortium several times. And had offered them the chance to take over the club for a nominal amount and offered them full access to the books. The consortium failed to get back to him. On one occasion he had driven down for a 2.00pm meeting only to find it cancelled at 1.50pm.
  • He felt the consortium had seen that there might be something in the development plans for them and had him removed on a legal technicality.
  • He stated that there would have been 3m available in December if he was still in control
  • He believed that the consortium had been spreading rumours, the Council had behaved spitefully and that a club employee had been giving the consortium information.
  • He assured everybody that Roy Evans and Neil Ruddock's contract were not linked to the Front Garden development. Although they would have been given a shareholding, if the development had been completed
On the subject of Bryant Homes and STPL/STFC. Danny Donegan confirmed that there is a debenture of 1.2m. This is has been agreed between STPL and Bryant Homes. STPL had passed this money to STFC and it will need to be repaid. It was also revealed that Bryant Homes would have had a 50/50 partnership in the development of the Front Garden
After questions from the floor, Danny Donegan promised that he would not be spiteful to the club or it's fans when it comes to recouping any monies he is owed
Danny Donegan added that the 1m the consortium was going to put in was nowhere near enough to keep the club going. He stated that the club is losing 120,000 per month.
When asked about why the creditors had not been paid, he said some had but many hadn't and added that this was the case when he first arrived. On the prospect of himself sitting down and negotiating with the consortium. He wondered if these negotiations 'would be with knives or Pistols.
Finally Danny Donegan gave credit to Sir Seton Wills for having put 6m in to the club and also remarked on Cliff Puffett's 'good intentions'
Tony Norris thanked Danny Donegan for giving his views and for taking questions from the members.

Peter Rowe was then invited to address the meeting.
He explained how the club was running at the moment and his legal requirement to be even handed with both sides. Anybody with a 20% shareholding has the right to attend matches and functions on an executive basis. This is why members of the consortium were in the Directors area at the QPR match.
On the accounts and AGM, he said that
  • 1998 has been signed off
  • 1999 were waiting to be signed of by the directors
  • He was unsure why an AGM had not been called and suggested that maybe the Administrators should have called one. He suggested that Terry Brady had ignored adv