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AGM 8th July 2010 & Chairman's Report

Minutes of the AGM held on 8th July 2010
AGM opened at 7.05pm

Present: Nick Saunders; Margaret & Colin Atkins; Jeanne & David Jones; Steve Gazzard; Mark and Becky Devereux.


Apologies: Kim Scratchley (EDG); Tony Badcock; Trevor and Sue Harwood.


Minutes of last AGM: The minutes were read and approved, Colin proposed that they are signed as correct seconded by Steve, all agreed.


Chairman’s report: See report below. Nick read a detailed report of the year’s activities which will be attached to these minutes for future reference. Colin proposed a vote of thanks to Nick for the hard work put in to prepare the report and all his work during the year. This was agreed by all.


Election of Officers: The re-election of all committee members was approved en-bloc, committee members positions will be decided at the next committee meeting.


Financial Report: Our account stands at £****.** and the accounts have been verified for us by Steve Williams, for which we are indebted to him. Margaret has given Steve a bottle of wine by way of thanks for preparing the accounts for us. A copy of our accounts will be attached to these minutes for future reference.

Pitch in for City: As the request for funds came directly after our annual draw we had the money to put in the first £****.**  As the moving of the pitch will herald in time improved disabled facilities. It seems sensible to help with the fund.

Soccer Sight: Colin explained that the Soccer Sight funds we hold in our accounts are for us to provide drinks and biscuits to the disabled children attending the Soccer Sight football evenings. These evenings are run by the Exeter City Football in the Community staff.


With the explanation of the accounts David proposed that the accounts be accepted and Becky seconded the proposal which was duly agreed by all.


AOB: Vi commentary: Becky asked about the system which offers a running commentary of the match. Nick explained how the headphones and system worked. Becky was very impressed and intends to use the service which she feels will improve her enjoyment of the game. We did inform her that she needed to book a headset as we only have 10 sets available on match days.

Disabled parking: Nick gave us an update on the possibility of wheel clamping non disabled users for parking in the disabled parking spaces outside the St James Centre, there was also a discussion about the possibility to using fold down posts with a key being kept in club reception or in the bar. Further discussion was delayed until our next meeting.


The AGM was closed at 7.40pm


Date of the next AGM: To be confirmed at a later date.
Chairman’s Report - AGM - 08/07/2010.
Hello & welcome to this years AGM.


We’ve had another successful year and we continue to fulfill our aims and objectives as set out in our rules, all this would not be possible without the help and support of our committee and our members.


As your chairman, one of my hopes for our association at the beginning of the season was to get over 50 members and the great news is that we had a total of 54 members, the season before that we ended with 36 members. As you can tell, our membership has been growing steadily and to get to that 50 mark shows that we are all going in the right direction with what we are trying to do as a group.


Exeter City have kept their League One status and with that, a good following from visiting disabled supporters. The club, continue to receive good comments from visiting supporters and good comments are being left on the NADS website (National Association of Disabled Supporters) on our disabled facilities and friendly staff. These good comments are partly down to the support and help, us at ECDSA give Exeter City.


The following are what we’ve been up to in the past year:


July 2009: - One of our younger members took part in the Ten Tors event in May 2009 and they kindly donated some of the money that they raised to ECDSA, we thank you.

August 09: - Sponsorship: We sponsored Bertie Cozic sock ties.

We sponsored one of the Exeter City Ability Counts Football Teams (players with Learning Difficulties) so our association name could remain on their team shirts.

Spurs match: There were big problems at the Tottenham game where disabled supporters using the front disabled areas in the Big Bank Stand had supporters standing throughout the match in the Keep Clear Area in front of the disabled areas, because of this these disabled supporters could not watch the match and had to force their way to the front of the keep clear area. Because of the problems at this match, stewards now patrol the front of the big bank to ensure supporters using disabled areas 6 & 7 have a clear view of the match and to date seems to be working.

September 09: - We were working on producing a Audio Cd of the football clubs match day programme for our visually impaired supporters but the final results of the computer program used to transfer text-to-speech was too robotic sounding and was giving some supporters headaches, it has been decided we will look around for a more suitable computer program but it maybe something that we would have to pay for.


October 09: - Chairs & Markings: We brought the football club 16 chairs for disabled supporters PA’s to use in disabled areas 6 & 7 in the big bank stand, markings have also been put down in disabled areas to clearly show each position in each area, each position includes disabled supporter and pa.

Christmas draw: For the 2010 World Cup the Supporters Club would be having a draw and as their draw would take place around the same time that we would be doing our end of season draw we decided it would be best to start a Christmas draw instead as our draws are our main income maker.


December 09: - Christmas draw: We raised just over £****.** from our draw, this could have been more but within two weeks of us starting selling tickets we found out that the football club were also having a Christmas draw and because of us both doing draws at the same time it’s regrettable to find out that the club made a loss. Early January 2010, myself and Colin had a meeting with the club and it was decided at that meeting that the football club would not be having a Christmas draw for the foreseeable future and that the club would help back our Christmas draw which in turn would help us raise more money so we can improve the football clubs disabled facilities.


January - February 2010: - Disabled area 7 roofing: Because of a number of unforeseen delays and 8 mouths down the line the roofing to area 7 in the big bank stand has now finally been completed, the supporters club back in April/May 2009 offered to help part fund the roofing as we didn’t have that much funds ourselves at the time and we were just starting to sort out doing an end of season draw and they kindly donated just over £***.** towards the total cost, with the remainder coming from that end of season draw. Our thanks go to the Supporters Clubs for their generosity and support.

Bucket Collection: The Supporters Trust deal with all bucket collections at the football club and we were kindly offered a collection for the Leeds United match and we raised just over £***.**, I’m sure we could have made more from this collection but owing to a mistake made at the football club and not by the Trust we were in competition with the cheerleaders who were also collecting on the same day, I sent a letter of complaint to the Trust as I didn’t want this error to happen again to anyone else and the outcome was that only one group at a time can have a bucket collection on match days plus we were offered another collection for this coming season.

NADS fans forum: At the end of February myself, Jeanne and David attended a fans forum held at Bristol City arranged by NADS (this was done at our own expense), the forum was poorly attended but we did find out that NADS are hearing good things about the disabled facilities at Exeter City.

ECFC Disabled Facilities plan: A detailed plan has been put together of all the disabled facilities we have available at Exeter City and this is sent out to all disabled supporters wanting disabled information.

‘Pitch In for City’: The Trust was asking supporters groups for their backing for their forthcoming project, we replied that as a very small group, we would have found it very difficult to raise a large amount in a very short space of time as all the other supporters groups would be fundraising themselves towards the ‘pitch in’ project and because of this, it was decided that fundraising by ourselves would be impractical but if any of the another groups wanted our help with their fundraising, we would do want we can to help them.
We did come to one decision that I think was the correct one that we give a donation up front towards the project, we hoped it would get more people to raise money themselves if they saw that the disabled supporters association has given a big donation, we donated a lump sum of £****.** towards the project. Our hopes for our donation, has had the effect we were looking for and we’ve had some great publicity.

You maybe asking yourself why did we donate towards the project as our rules state that we only raise and spend money on projects that benefit our disabled supporters, the moving of the pitch does benefit disabled supporters as the pitch will be closer to the Big Bank and Flybe Stands disabled areas and with the pitch moved the club can plan for future redevelopments of the Old Grandstand and Away End of the ground, which at present does not have disabled facilities.


April - May 2010: - Most Improved Player of the Year: We are in our third season in giving out our ‘Most Improved City Player Award’ and it was decided that instead of only our committee deciding on a winner, that our members be given the chance to vote for this years winner as well. This season’s award went to the player who has made a big jump in cementing his place in the first team and his work rate for his team mates is second to none, the winner this year is Liam Sercombe and we all wish him well for this coming season.

ECFC Priority List: This coming season our membership will be added to the football clubs ‘Priority Group List’, the club did have worries about this though, our membership is cheaper than other supporters groups and because of this our membership could be abused and in turn could affect other supporters groups, to ease the clubs worries our Chairman (who ever, it may be?) will be handling our membership for the coming season.

Wheel clamp: The club asked us if we could buy a wheel clamp to clamp down on non disabled parking in the 2 disabled parking places outside the St James Centre, we looked into this with great detail and one of the things that was needed was a SIA license (vehicle immobiliser license), this license would allow the club to clamp peoples vehicles and apply a release fee, the problem was the license cost £***.** a year.

Because of any release fee applied by the club would not cover the cost of any license we have decided to help the club look at other ways of policing the disabled parking spaces.

Adam Stansfield: It was sad to hear the news of Adams illness. On behalf of all of us at ECDSA we have sent a Get Well Card directly to Adam and wished him luck on a speedy recovery.


My hopes for the coming season is for our association to grow even more and for us to have a social event for our members, we’ve been unable to do one to date and any event will need to be backed by our members wanting one.  


Finally, I would like to thank all our committee members for their time and hard work for the benefit of our disabled supporters over the past season, all our members for their continued support and to Exeter City Football Club for allowing us to again use their facilities for free for our meetings and last but not least Bertie Cozic for being our President for the third year running. 


Many thanks to you all for coming along this evening and thank you for listening!


Nick Saunders, ECDSA Chairman