Trust chairman's update: Nick Hawker's Supporters' Trust AGM speech

December 4, 2019

 

Welcome to this year’s annual general meeting of the Exeter City AFC Supporters Society Limited.

 

Can I begin by thanking all the candidates for this year’s 

Trustee elections? I should add well done to those that have been successful, and my commiserations to those that haven’t. I certainly hope that this doesn’t put you off standing at another time.

 

I should also thank John Street, our returning officer, Peter Hayes for being our volunteer observer, and of course Phil Burden for organising the documentation, the despatch of that documentation, and not least, for reminding me when I had to get things done by!

 

I also want to give a special mention to the East Devon Grecians. The EDG’s arealways keen supporters of the Trust and their assistance in stuffing envelopes, fixing labels, and eating custard creams that would otherwise we bound for Trust Board meetings (or so I’ve heard) has been invaluable. Not only does it ensure that everything is completed on time, but it also saves us a considerable sum of money. So, thank you to you all.

 

Last year a gentleman in the gathering asked me about targets for club board directors and I responded by saying that this was in progress. Back in January we implemented changes to the club board, via its governance group, that included the introduction of a chair to the club board who would be non-voting and therefore able to act independently.

 

Part of this process was to create job role descriptions for directors and senior staff, and these sat alongside associated targets. The latest targets, which go before the club board at the December board meeting, are wide ranging and include financial performance targets as well as some relating to business improvement.

 

To date, on two targets we are exceeding expectation (based on this current year); these are around gate receipts and commercial income.

You will have also noticed that each Trust elected club board director now has a specific role and associated targets. They are directors of:

  • Supporter Engagement;

  • Community Engagement; and

  • Finance & Governance.

We will publish details of these roles and targets on [the] website shortly. I know that our director of supporter engagement has already been doing the rounds of various grecian groups, gathering information on what works for our supporters and what doesn’t, as well as keeping a watchful eyeon safeguarding for the club.

 

Our director of community engagement has engaged with Exeter Cathedral, an Exeter Community Initiatives group, as well as taking a trustee role on the City Community Trust, and, as for the director of finance & governance, I can assure you all that the club are well aware of their presence and is expertly providing assistance in the process and procedures followed by the club, as well assisting in it legal matters around the recovery of debt.

 

In respect of the working groups we continue to work hard on your behalf. We have supported the Exeter City Women’s team financially through team sponsorship, ensuring they had a table at the end of season awards evening, and of course, their game against Buckland Athletic played at St James Park, which we sponsored and in doing so, ensured free entry to that game for Trust members and the under-16’s. 

 

 

We also sponsored the excellent Sporting Memories, held at St James Park, and helped fund accommodation for the disability counts team when they played in a competition at St George's Park. Alongside that we contributed money to the Heritage Lottery Fund award and of course, have underwritten the publication of the history groups latest publication.

 

We, that is you,make a difference to Exeter City, and to people’s lives. You should all be proud. I said last year, and it is no different this year, that I feel privileged to have been in this role, and to be a part of such a fantastic organisation.

 

Can I personally extend my thanks to all my fellow trustees, to our officers, and to all the folk who tirelessly volunteer for the Trust? We, all of us herein this room today, own our football club. Thank you. I think we’re all a little bit special.

 

Finally, I feel I must pay tribute to Paul Farley and Martin Weiler. Paul and Martin have both reached the limit of their allowed nine-years-service on the Trust board. During that time, they have developed many initiatives that today we take for granted, especially the ‘Kick-It-Out’ campaign, and the ‘One Game One Community’ initiative.

 

 

They have also been responsible for the very popular ground tours and latterly, they have both been engrossed in the setting up of the Exeter City Museum Trust; the fantastic works of which can be seen around the ground.

 

To celebrate our historic trip to Brazil, back in 1914, they produced an exhibition, a book, and even dabbled in musical theatre! And never ones to miss an opportunity, they have just published a second book to celebrate 125 at St James Park which, incidentally, if you haven’t got a copy already, you canpurchase here today, from the Club Shop, or from the Trust stall! And if you have already bought acopy can I say, it’s the must have Christmas gift of the year!

 

Martin and Paul have been fantastic ambassadors for the Trust, community ownership, and for Exeter City Football Club. We do have a small gift for you each so if you’d like to come down and collect it whilst, I’m certain our members will show their appreciation for all your hard work!

 

That’s all from me. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have – if we miss any then I’ll be around for a while after the meetings and equally, I’m very happy for you to mail me.

 

It is appropriate at this meeting that we remember those members who are no longer with us. Perhaps you’ll spare a thought for them as you make your way to the game this afternoon – Chris Roberts, Ted Ashman, William Flack, John Carter, Stephen Hawkes, David Everleigh.

 

Thank you all for coming along today – I do know that many of you have come some distance – so again, on behalf of the Trust board and myself, thank you so much for your support and enjoy the game this afternoon.

 

 

 

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