OxVox COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: Wednesday 12th April 2017 (held at Oxford and County Bowls Club, Oxford)
Attendees: Colin Barson (CB) Matt Cavill (MC), Graham Butler (GB), Jem Faulkner (JF), Simon Bradbury (SB), Trevor Lambert (TL), Maurice Earp (ME)
Apologies: Terry Winter (TW), Michael North (MN)
Start: 7.00pm. Finish. 9.30pm
1. Actions from the Minutes of the last meeting held on Friday 3rd March 2017 (a) The minutes of the last meeting were agreed with no outstanding items.
2. Finance Updates
(a) TW was not at the meeting due to work commitments
(b) Monies have been paid (£1,500) to the OUFC Community Trust for the successful OxVox sponsored coach trip to EFL Trophy Final at Wembley for the pupils of Rose Hill Primary School.
(c) The year end accounts are now complete and will be presented to members at the AGM in May.
2. Membership and Communication
(a) TL took those present through the key points from the last meeting and updated the group on current activity:
(b) Membership now stands at 891 and it is hoped that the 1000 mark will be reached by the time of the AGM!
(c) The OxVox web site has now had all the historic committee meeting minutes uploaded on to it.
(d) ME confirmed that we are up to date with membership packs being sent to new members. TL confirmed that the data base is also up to date, but that there had been a ‘crash’ last week which took the site off line for a couple of days.
(e) TL confirmed that he’ll be speaking with our web site support guys with a view to moving our current data base over to an integrated system. We hope to have this completed by the start of next season.
3. EFL Trophy
(a) JF re-confirmed that OxVox had responded to a request for consultation from the club regarding the format of the EFL trophy this season and had given views on the competition format for next season.
(b) The OxVox view is that there should not be Premiership or Championship club involvement in the competition next season. The competition should be for League 1 and 2 clubs only. This has been communicated to the club.
(c) At the time of writing, there had not been an update from the EFL meeting on the 11th April to discuss the EFL trophy. It is noted that supporters’ trusts across the country, like OxVox, have lobbied their clubs and made it clear that the 1 year trial should not be repeated.
(d) JF will follow up with the club regarding the EFL Trophy, but there is unlikely to be a final decision until after the EFL League AGM in May.
4. Stadium Updates
(a) The meeting was updated by JF and SB on recent communications with Firoz Kassam (FK) and those present discussed at length next steps regarding the proposed acquisition of the stadium.
(b) Following last month’s meeting with FK, which Stewart Donald also attended, JF briefed the meeting on various alternative options that had subsequently been discussed with FK. These options might include, under a new community ownership model, the club enjoying the benefits of a lease option (rather than the current license). This would provide a significantly more secure and advantageous situation for the club and also reduce the initial requirement for substantial capital investment, but would still see the stadium developed to meet the club’s aspirations.
(c) The meeting discussed the speculation around a potential takeover of the club. FK is fully aware of the situation and it was agreed that the Trust should look to see how things develop over the coming weeks. FK is in full agreement with this approach.
(d) The meeting discussed a number of confidential items regarding ‘interest’ in the club and how this could affect any stadium deal (purchase or new lease arrangement). It was resolved to make a statement to members before the AGM on the 25th May. The statement would include comments from FK. FK is happy to do this. As with all previous statements by the Trust, Darryl Eales will be informed in advance.
(e) JF is updating Bob Price (Oxford City Council) on all discussions/plans. Bob Price remains fully supportive of the Trust’s approach.
5. Season Tickets
(a) The meeting discussed next season’s ticket pricing.
(b) At the time of writing, the Trust is not engaged in discussing the clubs plans for next season’s ticket pricing. This is something which OxVox has been involved with for many years and it is hoped that the club will engage soon. JF will write to Darryl Eales and Steve Dolton.
(c) The meeting noted that it is of course the club’s absolute prerogative to price matches/season tickets as they see fit, and that, not being party to the club’s financial forecasts/budget for the year ahead, it would be difficult for OxVox to ‘recommend’ what pricing should be.
(d) It is hoped however, that whilst considering the viability and sustainability of the club and also endeavouring to create a competitive playing budget, the club recognise that fans have spent considerable sums over the last couple of years (record numbers of games played) and will take this into account should they deem any increases necessary.
(e) It was noted by those present, that of the clubs who have already declared their new season ticket prices, that most have either frozen prices, or taken a modest increase of 5% to 10% maximum.
(f) From research conducted by TL, OUFC ticket pricing appears to sit ‘mid table’ in League 1.
6. OxVox AGM
(a) It was confirmed that the OxVox AGM will take place on the evening of Thursday 25th May. The venue will be the Masons Arms in Headington Quarry and the start time will be 7.30pm.
(b) TL will email members ASAP with the full details, including the information relating to a potential election for membership of the committee.
(c) There are likely to be up to 3 spaces on the committee. Terry Winter (Treasurer) has indicated that due to work commitments he will be stepping down.
(d) Committee members were asked to look out for potential members and it is hoped that we will have a number of new people put their names forward.
7. General Updates and Questions from Members
(a) The meeting discussed the recent announcement that Greig Box Turnbull is to leave the club. This is disappointing news as Greig has been a good friend to the Trust and we have worked well and collaboratively with him on a number of projects over the last year.
(b) The following items have been carried forward from the last meeting as we have still not managed to get responses/learn more to be able to update members:
(c) Junior away days. The club will be asked if a ‘junior away day’ will be organised this/next season.
(d) Training ground situation and Oxford City. There has been no further news on either, but OxVox will ask the club for comment.
(e) City centre shop. There had been talk of a city centre shop, but nothing firm has been heard for some weeks. OxVox will ask the club for any updates/timescales.
(f) OUFC AGM. The Club AGM is overdue and OxVox will enquire as to when the AGM is planned for.
(g) Age 60 for concessions. The meeting discussed that some clubs provide concessions for over 60’s rather than over 65’s. OxVox will find out if OUFC plan to look at this.
(h) Twenty’s Plenty campaign. Some clubs in the championship have adopted a £20 match ticket policy for way fans. OxVox will discuss this with the club as part of the consultation on season ticket and match day pricing for next season.
(i) Pubs/clubs to become ‘official’ club venues. It has been suggested by members that pubs and clubs around the county could be designated as ‘official club venues’. OxVox will pick this idea up with the club.
8. Any other business
There being no other business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.30pm. The Bowls Club were thanked once again for their hospitality.