The minutes from the meeting between the Football Club, Supporters’ Club and Clarets4Change.


Tuesday 5th April 2022 at the EMG Inspire Stadium Clubhouse
Start: 6.02pm

1. List of Invitees

Chelmsford City Football Club (CCFC) – Steve Shore (Chairman) and Robbie Simpson
(First Team Manager)

Chelmsford City Supporters’ Club (SC) – Alan Jones (Chairman) and William Cresswell
(Committee Member)

Clarets4Change (C4C) – Gavin Brewer, Richard Macey and Jordan McManus (minute taker)

2. Present

As stated above.

3. Apologies

None.

4. Introductions

Brief introductions made by all present. SS & RS thanked for offering their time.

5. Clarets4Change aims and discussion

C4C – would like to meet John Holmes in future and a shame he couldn’t be present.

Concerns of the group are for off field matters. Timeframes and action points for aims 1-4 are
the focus for this meeting and are where we think there are huge opportunities to improve the
club.

A strong functioning board is vital to ensure strong and open decision making and for
accountability.

Aims 1-2 should be actioned in the short-term and for aims 3-4 medium term. Aims 5-6 are
longer term.

RM confirms the six aims of C4C to the floor.

1) Supporter Representation on the Board.

AJ discusses a statement from CCFC in 2013 about board representation. Mentions a
commitment that two supporters can attend board meetings and have areas of responsibility
in the executive. They cannot propose or second matters as non-executive director. SS agrees
with the principle of the statement.

C4C – There is concern that there is not enough club representation at some away fixtures. SS
is the only board director currently based in the UK.

SS – Early season, two people with experience on football boards (one with commercial
experience and one with engagement experience) were lined up and changed their mind after reading supporters’ views on the Soapbox.

AJ does not necessarily feel the two representatives should come from the current SC
committee and that suitable candidates should be found amongst all supporters. AJ surprised
that an SC EGM hasn’t been called by the membership yet, but the SC may feel the need to
call an EGM themselves in order to get the views of the fanbase and to back changes
requested by supporters.

AJ proposes calling the EGM of the SC in 2-3 weeks with the two candidates for the board
proposed to SS shortly afterwards. SS agrees that the two chosen candidates will join the
board.

2) Expand the Board, each with responsibility and accountability for different
areas of the club.

SS says that too many individuals wanting to join the board want to take the top roles
(Director of Football) rather than help the club in a smaller way. Director of Football is not a
position CCFC need, which the floor agrees with.

AJ says CCFC needs to move on the commercial side and SS cannot be expected to carry all
of the club’s tasks on his own.

CCFC need to find people with the right skillsets and SS hasn’t found them.

SS – talking to two external people about joining the board. A number of candidates for the
Media role have withdrawn having seen the comments from supporters on the Soapbox.

SS feels that the hiring of a General Manager will ease his workload and that of future
directors. SS going through candidates for the position.

SS feels that C4C didn’t need to happen and that grievances should have been aired before
needing to protest. AJ says that it was because of promises not being fulfilled from recent
Q&As. AJ says SS’s inability to say “no” is causing issues and he should just be honest if
things can’t be fulfilled. AJ says that regular statements/updates should be issued to stop fans
complaining about a lack of communication, bringing up the issue of shares as an example.

GB says the fans’ perception is that we wouldn’t get a meeting with SS and this is why C4C
was formed. SS says he is open to meetings with the supporters and his door is open.

C4C – A perceived lack of action from Q&As is what has frustrated fans.

RS says the onus is on CCFC to expand the board which RS reiterated to SS at the start of the
season. SS – Help will also be needed from supporters to find contacts/identify people.

AJ asks if anyone knows about any commercial opportunities, speak to the club. AJ asks if
any sponsors from the walking group may be willing to expand to sponsoring CCFC.

RS says we need to determine where the gaps in skills are in the board. AJ says a
Commercial Director is needed to maximise matchday revenues and find opportunities
(sponsorship, engagement, etc). AJ says there are plenty of suitable people in Chelmsford
who can help and they just need locating.

AJ feels that Tracy Andrews can also do with extra help. SS says the General Manager will
ease Tracy’s workload.

SS feels a board member focusing on the Community and wider club should be on the group
and someone focusing on supporter engagement. The latter suggestion could be covered by a supporters’ representative on the board.

RM feels that matchday operations should be eventually taken back from the SC and that
CCFC should be less reliant on volunteers. GB feels that the current volunteers are being
overrun and that puts new people off from volunteering.

AJ says that it is tough to calm certain individuals down on the Soapbox. A number of the
worst offenders often don’t attend matches and/or are not part of the SC or C4C.

SS – The General Manager would attend board meetings but would not sit on the board.
RM believes that there is a potential conflict of interest with Tracy Andrews as she works for
CCFC and sits on the SC board. Tracy could attend the meetings of the new board instead
and leave the SC board. AJ maintains that the SC must remain independent of CCFC.

AJ says that football fans need to be ‘spoon fed’ information about progress of the club on
and off the field. SS believes the future media approach should focus on regular supporter
engagement.

AJ estimates it will take at least two weeks to call an SC EGM with a potential follow up
meeting the following Thursday (28th April?). RM says that the following week (w/c 2nd
May) would be more suitable due to the charity walk.

3) Investment in infrastructure to improve tired facilities.

SS – Greene King contract renewed recently to avoid exclusivity. Flexibility with breweries
now possible hence there were Mighty Oak beers at the recent home match. GB says that bar
improvements need to be well communicated to supporters as many have criticised the bar
recently and have stayed away from it and drunk in local pubs until kick-off and post-match.

C4C – Issues with queuing for the bar needs to be addressed.

SS says he is working with Tracy to look at staffing and how we ensure queues reduce. The
new pumps have fast pour installed so this should speed up serving.

The carpet was also mentioned and SS shared the quote for fitting the new carpet which was
£7k plus VAT. SS stated that when funds were available and timing allowed, as it is a big
job, this would be undertaken.

4) Open and honest communication and pro-active engagement with Supporters’ Club
to ensure fan experience is improved and maintained.

C4C – Communication issues in the past showed inactivity when it wasn’t always the case.
Communicating for help will also ensure that other people are more willing to assist with any
issues the club have or jobs that need doing at the ground or find others that than help.

5) Introduction of Commercial Initiatives to increase footfall, funds, quality of match
day experience, and supporter engagement.

Issue to be discussed in the future when aims 1-4 have been well addressed and actioned.

6) Convert the 10 Year Vision to a plan that shows accountability, progress, and end goals whilst bringing in all sections of the Club.

Issue to be discussed in the future when aims 1-4 have been well addressed and actioned.

6. Date of next meeting

Specific date to be agreed, but early May 2022.

7. AOB

None.

End: 7.12pm