Notes of the Board Meeting (BM) held via Zoom at 7.03pm on Wednesday 9th November 2022

  1. PRESENT
    1. Rob Bradley (RB) – Chair; Mandi Slater (MS) – Vice-Chair; Steve Tointon (ST) – Treasurer; Ian Hodgson (IH) – Membership Secretary; Gavin Gordon (GG); Kirsty Hackney (KH); Mark Hodds (MH); Rick Lalka (RL); Stewart Millar (SM); Steve Freestone (SF) – Company Secretary; Andy Porter (AP) – Minutes Recorder; Observers: Callum Brown (CBr) and Martyn Dobson (MD).
    1. Apologies for absence were received from Chris Baldam (CBa) and Martin Blow (MB).
  • NOTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
  • Notes of RICT’s BM on 20/10/22 would be published on the RICT’s website. Action: AP would send those Notes to SF in a format suitable for publication. Once published, their availability would be announced via RICT’s social media channels.
  • The number of times that the Notes of RICT’s BM on 18/08/22 had been viewed as an online news item was encouraging.
  • Notes of RICT’s BM on 14/09/22 had not yet been published on RICT’s website. Action: SF would publish those notes as a news item on the website.
  • EVENTS AND FUNDRAISING
  • The latest Bingo Plus Night, held on 07/11/22, had been enjoyed by those present and the next one would be held on 05/12/22 at the premises of Tension Twisted Realities (TTR).
  • Arrangements were being finalised for the joint Race Night with the FPA on 24/03/23 at the premises of TTR.
  • Details had not yet been finalised of the event to be held on or around 02/05/23 to celebrate the 35thanniversary of promotion from the GM Vauxhall Conference. Action: RB would ask MB to submit a detailed proposal at the next BM.
  • The RICT Player of the Month Awards would be presented on matchdays in future, possibly by winners of a draw for RICT Junior Members. Action: RB would meet Andrew Whitham, the Club’s Director of Commercial Affairs, on 10/11/22 to discuss sponsorship opportunities for the RICT Player of the Season Awards.
  • An “Evening with the Legends” event, to be held in 2023 at the premises of TTR in conjunction with the Former Players Association (FPA) and other fan groups, was canvassed. Action: RL would submit a detailed proposal at the next BM.
  • STACEY WEST PROJECT
  • Reactions had been overwhelmingly positive to the announcement jointly by the Club and RICT (initially to bondholders and subsequently to the wider fanbase) of the decision as to how the project should proceed. An application for a Bond by a new investor was being processed.
  • Six investors still had not provided the information required to enable the interest due to them be paid. Action: ST would telephone the bondholders concerned.
  • CHARITY/COMMUNITY ACTIONS
  • Lots of donations to the Sincil Bank Foodbank were being left at RICT’s marquee on home matchdays and passed to the charity.
  • MIND would be RICT’s charity partner for 2023. Action: RB and RL would meet the manager of the local charity shop on 11/11/22 to discuss practical arrangements.
  • In support of The Bridge Church’s 2022 Pressie Push, a request had been made for donations to be left at the RICT marquee on matchdays from 12/11/22 to 10/12/22 for children who might not receive any Christmas presents.
  • COST-OF-LIVING INITIATIVES

Confirmation had been received from Gary Burr of benefits offered by Active Arena. A summary had been uploaded to the RICT website of the entire programme that had been designed to ease the financial burden on supporters, including various initiatives taken by Lincoln City Foundation (LCF).

  • FAN ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS
  • All RICT Board Members were asked to assist at the marquee on 10/12/22 if they would not be attending the gathering of RICT Gold Members on that date.
  • RICT’s website had been updated (i) whenever tickets went on and off sale for Red Imps Association Travel Section (RIATS) coaches (with details also being publicised through RICT’s social media channels) and (ii) as soon as final information became available about the FA Cup first round tie. Action: AP would continue to keep the website updated as the season progressed and liaise with RL for appropriate social media publicity.
  • Further exhibits had been uploaded to RICT’s virtual museum. Action: SF would upload more new exhibits when received.
  • The programme for the match on 12/11/22 would include an article about IH’s role in RICT. Action: MB would submit an article of up to 300 words about his role in RICT to SF for publication in the programme for the match on 19/11/22.
  • Following the implementation of new procedures, the Club was sharing and re-tweeting more of RICT’s social media output than it had in the past.
  • A photograph of IH had been added to those of individual RICT Board Members on its website. Action: Suitable photographs were requested for GG, KH and MH.
  • More frequent use would be made in future of the Mailchimp service to communicate with Members about RICT activities. Action: AP would send to SF at monthly intervals some text for circulation.
  • A letter had been received from a RICT member raising concerns about the Club no longer providing any indoor facilities (including toilets and the sale of refreshments) to passengers awaiting the arrival of RIATS coaches to away matches. Action: RB would review the matter after ascertaining the reason for the change of policy from Rob Noble, the Club’s Head of Supporter Services.
  • MEMBERSHIP
  • RICT welcome messages had been sent to the email addresses of the Club’s Silver and Bronze Scheme Members.
  • At their meeting on 10/12/22, RICT’s Gold Scheme members would be invited to consider re-branding it as the John O’Gaunts Club. Discussions were ongoing about inviting them to the Club’s Elite Player Performance Centre in late Spring 2023.
  • A benefits package for RICT Junior Members was still under consideration. Action: RB would discuss the issue with Ian Hodson of the University of Lincoln, who assisted the administration of the Club’s Junior Imps Scheme.
  • LINCOLN CITY FC/HOLDINGS
  • RB and MS would represent RICT at the next quarterly Club Board Meeting on 24/11/22. ST would also attend as a Club Director in his own right.
  • The next Holding Company Board Meeting would be held on the same date and would be attended by RB and ST as directors, with MS attending as an observer.
  1. TRI-PARTY MEETINGS

Progress reports had been exchanged at the meeting on 02/11/22 between representatives the Club, LCF, the FPA and RICT.

  1. GOVERNMENT’S FAN-LED REVIEW (FLR)
  2. The White Paper promised for the summer by the government had still not been published.
  3. RB had represented RICT at the meeting with Jim Lord (the independent external facilitator) and David Lowes (a Club Director) on 26/10/22, to which representatives of various fan groups had been invited. There would be a follow-up meeting on 10/12/22, prior to which a red-amber-green assessment would be circulated to participants, showing the extent of RICT’s compliance with the existing FLR mandatory requirements for Golden Shareholders. A working draft was considered at the BM of such an assessment. Proposed and seconded that:-
    1. RICT accepts the principles underlying all the FLR’s recommendations;
    1. RICT is willing to become the Golden Shareholder for Lincoln City FC and, if it takes on that role, to appoint a representative to the Club’s Shadow Board;
    1. RICT will work towards the adoption and operation of any model rules that may be agreed between the Independent Regulator of English Football and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA);
    1. RICT will initiate any amendments to its constitution that might be necessary: any such amendments will have to be approved by RICT members in a General Meeting and then registered with the FCA which, to minimise fees, will require the Football Supporters’ Association to sponsor them, so RICT will engage with all parties concerned to achieve that objective.

It was noted that the proposal did not create any conflicts of interest for RB, MS and ST between their roles as RICT Board Members and their roles as Club Directors. Carried unanimously.

  1. GOVERNANCE
  2. MS and IH would join RB, SF and AP on the Nominations and Governance Working Group (N&GWG), which would review the composition of the RICT Board, its capabilities and succession planning, as well as the adoption of an updated constitution (with associated Policies) to meet its needs in the modern era, including complying with the relevant recommendations of the FLR. Action: N&GWG would be added as an agenda item at future BMs.
  3. RICT’s updated Standing Orders for General and Society Board Meetings had been published on its website.
  4. RICT’s updated Board Membership and Conduct Policy, updated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, updated Disciplinary Policy and updated Election Policy had all been published on its website.
  5. The FSA had issued a new template in 2020 for a Media Policy. RICT’s Media Policy would be updated, subject to ratification at the next RICT annual general meeting Action: AP would send that Policy to SF in a format suitable for publication on the RICT website.
  1. STRATEGY
  2. MD explained how strategies of Lincolnshire Cricket (of which he was the Chief Executive Officer) had been condensed onto a single page by VMOST planning, namely:-
  3. V = Vision – long term aspiration
  4. M = Mission – purpose
  5. O = Objectives – tangible targets that contribute to Vision and Mission
  6. S = Strategy – direction to be taken
  7. T = Tactics – specific actions to enable the above
  8. The RICT Strategy adopted in 2021 needed updating. It was suggested that:-
    1. RICT had a role to play in protecting the Club’s heritage, such as by holding a Golden Share;
    1. supporter engagement could be improved, such as by more frequent emails from RICT to the fanbase;
    1. it was imperative that RICT should be representative of the Club’s fanbase and that minority groups should feel welcome;
    1. money needed to be raised to meet RICT’s running costs, as well as supporting the Club’s fundraising initiatives;
    1. responses to current challenges, such as the cost-of-living crisis, should be documented;
    1. achievements should be measured against quantifiable key performance indicators.

Action: RB would re-draft the Strategy for approval at a subsequent BM.

  1. FINANCES
  2. There had been no material changes to the bank balances since the last BM. Action: ST would pay to the Club by the end of the month all money due to it under the RICT Gold Membership Scheme.
  3. Since the last BM, additional cash had been collected at RICT’s marquee on matchdays for sales of old programmes and commission from the sale of books. The balance held was approximately £350. Action: RB would deliver £300 to ST for banking, retaining about £50 as a float.
  4. The bank mandate forms had not yet been completed to replace John Wilson and Jim Lammin with RB and CBa as authorised signatories. Action: ST, RB and CBa would meet to sign the forms.
  1. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next BM would be held via Zoom at 7pm on Wednesday 07/12/22.

  1. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

There being no further business, the BM closed at 8.49pm.