You can now find all of the latest Bath City Supporters Society news at:
[ELECTED CANDIDATE TO SERVE UNTIL THE 2018 SOCIETY AGM]
I would like to nominate myself for the position of Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO). I have not missed a game at Twerton Park in 4 years, and travel to six to twelve away games a year (we don’t always get to the semis of the FA Trophy!). As someone who is often around helping to put up and take down the flags; and has travelled on both train and coach; I believe I am someone who understands the roller coaster of emotions associated with being a City fan, that comes from the exceptional highs of Rovers away, to the lows of losing 7-1 at East Thurrock.
I understand that there are many different opinions held on various issues with the club, from some people's complaints about ticket prices, to other's concerns about the bars and many other issues, and I would endeavour to make sure that all of the issues no matter how small they may appear would be listened to.
I am easily approachable and available in, and around the ground, so will be able to listen to your (the supporters’) concerns. If elected, I would try my best to put forward your views to the board and would not be afraid of addressing contentious issues.
I have been a Bath City supporter for over 50 years, rarely missing a home or away fixture since moving back to the west country and I have become closely connected with various supporters’ groups and events in the past 15 years. In my roles on the Society committee and in particular as secretary and away travel organiser of the Supporters Club, I have liaised closely with the members of those two groups. This has been related to such things as supporters meetings, newsletters, meeting former players, fundraising events, surveys, awards and advertising trips. Some of these have also necessitated liaison with BCFC and other clubs, especially during the two seasons spent in the Conference Premier League when visiting those who had very particular requirements for visiting supporters such as segregation, ground regulations and police requests.
More recently I have also been a member of the Big Bath City Bid team and this has required me to communicate with the wider supporter base and community and also with members of the existing and new boards. The team was composed of a mixture of existing supporters and some who were very new to the club. I felt it was important that the interests of Bath City supporters were heard, such as helping to ensure that the minimum price for community shares was not set too high.
I feel that the above experiences would help me to fulfil the vital task of liaising with supporters and the board, while showing that I possess the commitment necessary to be a board member.
My job as a teacher regularly involved listening to the requests and concerns of children and their parents and I feel that I can bring the skills acquired to this new role. I certainly believe that the only way to resolve conflict is through dialogue but I feel that I could also act proactively so that potential problems were resolved at a very early stage. However, I feel when necessary I would be able to represent the views of supporters to the other directors and feed back the board’s views on issues raised.
I hope that those who know me and the members of the two supporters groups will agree that I possess the qualities and skills required for this role and that I can provide the important link between the club and its supporters.
I have supported City since the 1950s. In the late 1990s, I became involved with the Independent Supporters Club (eventually the Supporters Society), looking at the worrying position of one majority owner. I helped to set up the Society in 2001, when it became possible to take over the club. This was only partly successful and was marvellously rescued by 3 very committed board members who made large loans to buy the club from the majority owner.
I have fully supported the new takeover by supporters, initially being on the Big Bath City Bid team. I am really looking forward to the new board, with its expertise in business and local community contact, making essential changes to various aspects of the club. I am very open to new ideas for improvements and do not say ‘things have always been done this way!’ It is encouraging that supporters will now have a say in what happens, which has not previously been the case.
I am not applying for this post to give me ‘power’, but I have always been committed to helping supporters. This has included giving my views on special tickets (for families, youth etc), helping fans who felt that they had been treated badly, and helping disabled people get a better view of the match (I built the disabled area on the popular side). I liaise with all the staff.
I enjoy working with the Bath City Foundation, Bath City Youth and University Freshers Fairs, to widen the appeal of the club.
I have been heavily involved in communication from the club, setting up the database of email addresses (now over 1000), which helped me to circulate the first newsletter 7 years ago. I monitor the official email system and always reply very promptly. I also help to run the club’s google calendar and the Facebook pages. I have always been very supportive of the Supporters Club’s excellent contributions, and have always paid to travel with them on the coach to away matches. I remain the proof reader of the club’s programme, having been the editor previously.
Whether I am elected or not, I intend to continue my voluntary work at the club, which includes regular maintenance (along with the special group of volunteers), improvements of the ground and repairing things like the floodlights, toilets, heating etc, and making sure that money is not wasted at the club.
The 2016 Interim General Meeting (IGM) of the Bath City Supporters Society will take place at 7pm on Monday 21 November, in Randall’s Bar at Twerton Park.
2. Minutes of the AGM on 23 June 2016
3. Election of Supporter Liaison Officer – voting
4. Community Ownership update
5. Convening of the Constitutional and Democracy Working Group
6. Election of Supporter Liaison Officer – result
Elections for Supporter Liaison Officer
We have received three nominations for the one vacancy available. Candidates' statements will follow in a separate post.
We will be offering a simple online voting system for those who wish to vote electronically.
All members who have provided us with an email address will receive an email from “Helios Voting Administrator” – this will give you a code that will allow you to vote securely and privately. Please check your junk folder if you do not receive this today, and contact us if you have any further problems with online voting.
If you prefer to vote by postal ballot or by proxy please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we do not have your email address, you will receive an agenda, candidates' statements and postal ballot in the post.
And you can of course vote in person at the IGM itself.
We have not received any motions for debate.
WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS
First of all, a warm welcome to all of the new Society members who have joined as the result of buying community shares in the Big Bath City Bid. We are a members-driven organisation and we encourage you to fully participate in the Society's activities and help to build a stronger Bath City FC.
To learn more about the Society, its rules, activities and policies, please visit bathcitysociety.org or ask us a question at email@example.com.
INTERIM GENERAL MEETING: MONDAY 21 NOVEMBER
The Society will hold its interim general meeting at 7pm, Monday 21 November in Randall's.
The meeting will cover:
If you would like to submit a Members' Vote motion for debate, please download this form and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 4 November . Members' votes are non-binding (unlike AGM resolutions), but the Society Board is bound to consider and respond to any members' votes that pass. All members will be able to vote online.
The democracy working group's job is to develop a set of recommendations about how the Society can ensure that its workings, and those of the club, are democratic, transparent and accountable. If you would like to be involved or give input but cannot attend the meeting, please contact us at email@example.com.
SUPPORTER LIAISON OFFICER (SLO)
We are seeking nominations for a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO). The SLO will sit on the board of Bath City FC and serve as an important link between the club and its fans on supporter issues.
CLICK HERE to read a full role description and CLICK HERE to download a nomination form.
The election will be held in accordance with the Society's election policy, which can be found here.
[NB the Society board has agreed to shorten the period during which nominations can be received, in order to be able to hold the general meeting in November.]
Candidates can nominate themselves and must provide a 200-400 word candidate statement. Please complete and submit your nomination form by Friday 4 November.
We will send the final agenda and candidates' statements to all Society members in the week commencing Monday 7 November. Members will be able to vote in the election and for motions by postal ballot and online.
Thank-you to everyone who has invested or donated however big or small an amount - and for everyone who has helped or wished us well. We have exceeded our minimum target by almost £50,000 and are now moving on to the next stage of converting Bath City into a community-owned club. Well done to everyone!
Here are a few points about what happens next:
This is an amazing achievement and we'd like to celebrate with you all. So please join us at the annual Bath City FC Community Day on Saturday 8 October, 3pm at Twerton Park. This is a special match where we invite people to "pay what you want" on the gate - usual price £13 adults, £2 children, but you can choose what you pay - and experience the thrill of live football on your doorstep.
PLUS - join us for drinks in Charlie's Bar at the ground straight after the match, and then we'll open up the adjacent Randall's for a party from 6pm featuring a live band.Bid team members will be on hand wearing Bid t-shirts to say hello and help with any questions or offers of help.
All are welcome - please come along - Saturday 8 October!
Share and Donation Payment
If you have invested or donated, here's what happens next:
Meetings will now be held between the Board and the Society to finalise the legal transactions, with an EGM being held in the near future to enable the Club’s shareholders to vote to increase the authorised share capital and for the new shares to be acquired by the Society.
The Supporters Society will also meet separately to begin the process of issuing community shares to applicants once funds have been drawn down from Microgenius and Crowdfunder.
We will all work as quickly, but as carefully as possible to implement the share issue and steps outlined in the prospectus, and will keep you informed every step of the way.
Thanks once again for all your support. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday 8 October, 3pm at Twerton Park.
With football returning to Twerton Park, we are pleased to be able to update you on the latest progress towards community ownership.
Over the past two months our lawyers have been working on a "Heads of Terms" agreement: a legally binding document between the current majority shareholders and the Supporters Society that will allow us to relaunch the Bid under a new prospectus. We expect this to be agreed within a few weeks.
In short, the plan is to relaunch the Bid and use the proceeds to increase the Supporters Society’s stake in the club to over 50%, thus making the Supporters Society, a democratic membership organization, the club’s majority shareholder. All community shareholders will automatically become members of the Supporters Society.
If successful, this will be the first phase in a two-phase process towards a financially sustainable community-owned club.
First Phase: A New Board & Redevelopment
During the first phase, it is proposed that a new Board will run the club. The new Board will be a blend of some of the existing board, for their continuity and detailed knowledge about the day to day running of the Club, and the majority of fresh board members with new skills, experience and contacts.
The Supporters Society, as the new majority shareholder, will hold the majority of voting positions on the restructured board. Representatives of the existing majority shareholders will take up the remaining voting positions (the exact number and composition will be finalised soon). Non-voting board members may also be appointed to provide expertise and assistance as required.
This means that the controlling votes will be held by representatives appointed by and accountable to the Supporters Society, which in turn is democratically accountable to members and community shareholders. In other words, Bath City FC will effectively start to operate as a community-owned club right away.
The new Board will then work to complete a partial redevelopment of Twerton Park (i.e. the north car park and stand area). This will release funds to clear all pressing debts, putting the club on a more sustainable footing.
It will take some time before these funds can be released. For this reason, the Supporters Society has secured working capital facilities from a group of Bid supporters that will enable the Club to run effectively for an interim period of about 2-3 years, which is the expected amount of time required for a proposed partial redevelopment of the Twerton Park site. These facilities will become available upon the successful completion of the Bid.
Second Phase: conversion to a community benefit society (CBS)
Once the debts are cleared, the Supporters Society will then seek fresh finance, if it is necessary, to buy out the existing shareholders and move to thesecond phase: converting Bath City FC Ltd itself to a community benefit society (CBS) with a new constitution and a fully-elected Board.
Who will serve on the new Board?
Our shared aim is to make the Board much stronger and to professionalise the whole setup and operation, whilst at the same time building up a large volunteer "army" to create working groups to cover the key functional aspects of the Club. We will also appoint a full time General Manager at the heart of club’s operations.
Under the present rules, the Supporters Society’s elected committee has the right to elect Board representatives for a 3-year term. Shane Morgan currently fulfils this role as the Society’s sole representative on the club Board.
The Society committee proposes to elect five representatives to the new Board. Subject to FA and regulatory approval, these will be Nick Thompson, Shane Morgan, Nick Blofeld, Sally Harris and Jon Bickley (see bios below).
The Society committee expects to be able to elect at least one further representative in due course. Representatives of the existing majority shareholders are still to be determined.
We are hopeful that announcing our fresh prospectus and structured two-step plan towards full community ownership will attract even more support from the Bath community. Above all, we are very keen to keep all existing pledgers on board and for you to convert your pledges into community shares once we relaunch the prospectus and reopen the Bid in the next few weeks.
We are also exploring ways to allow existing shareholders to pledge their shares, or the voting rights attached to them, to the Supporters Society and thus help us get closer to a 50%+1 controlling stake in the club.
Thank you again for your patience and commitment to the club. The road has been longer than we first anticipated, but we are all still very excited about creating a genuine, traditional, but community-owned and run football club, in a great sporting city.
Please do come back with any questions and we'll set up an appropriate forum to answer them.
Collection of 2016 Annual Subscriptions deferred as we await Big Bath City Bid Progress + Cheryl Bradley appointed as external director
According to our Standing Order on Membership Subscriptions, your annual £5 membership subscription falls due on 31 May each year, with a final payment deadline of 31 August. (Note: this does not apply to members who pay a monthly standing order, from which the annual sub is automatically deducted).
However, we believe that it is highly probable that the Big Bath City Bid community share offer will reopen in the coming weeks. If successful, all community share owners would then receive one year's free membership of the Supporters Society.
For this reason, the committee has agreed to defer collection of 2016 annual subs until after the community share offer has been completed.
To read the standing order and other policies of the Society, please visit http://www.bathcitysociety.org/constitution--policies.html
Separately, we would also like to take this opportunity to announce that Cheryl Bradley has been co-opted as an External Director of the Society committee. Cheryl has acted as Treasurer and Secretary of the Community Ownership Committee (aka the Big Bath City Bid), and has been appointed to the Society committee in anticipation of a successful relaunch of the Bid.
On Saturday 16th April 2016 we sponsored the victorious home game against Eastbourne Borough. This was an opportunity to show our appreciation to some of those who have assisted us over the past 18 months in our drive for community ownership. This included volunteers, organisers of several Bid fundraising and information giving events, members of the 1000BC group, who are working so hard to raise the profile of the club and raise attendances, former + present members of the Bid team and a small number of the 500+ who have pledged to buy community shares.
Pictured is Martin Powell presenting a well deserved man of the match award to City player Chas Hemmings.
[Statement from the Big Bath City Bid - www.bigbathcitybid.org.uk]
Jan 23, 2016 - We are pleased to announce that the majority shareholders of Bath City FC have made a fresh commitment to transition Bath City FC Ltd to a community-owned, ‘one member one vote’ club.
This will depend on the club first being able to clear its debts by partially redeveloping Twerton Park, and on the Big Bath City Bid being able to show that it has sufficient working capital, a revised business plan and an interim Board to assume control of the club.
We are now a big step closer to community ownership - and crucially, the lion’s share of the money raised through the sale of community shares could now be used to invest in the club’s future, rather than paying off debts.
We now have three tasks ahead of us:
What will happen to the community share offer?
With the majority shareholders now agreeing to convert the club to community ownership after a debt-clearing redevelopment, the focus of our fundraising effort has moved from paying off debts to investing in the best possible start for a new community-owned club.
We will not reopen the Bid for new pledges just yet – pledges already made remain valid until the end of May 2016. We ask that investors stay with us as plans for the future of the club emerge. As always, not a penny raised through the sale of community shares will be spent without the express permission of investors, and pledges can be recalled at any time.
What input will the Big Bath City Bid and/or Supporters Society have on the redevelopment?
As the club's largest shareholder, the Supporters Society and its members will have a direct say in any future redevelopment proposal. The Society will ensure supporters have access to independent advice on any proposed development, in line with our obligations as the club’s largest shareholder.
The Society has delegated authority for liaising with the club regarding redevelopment to the Big Bath City Bid. Our priorities are to ensure the redevelopment plans leave behind a financially sustainable club that will not need to resort to borrowing, and that the new facilities will deliver maximum community benefit.
We look forward to seeing the results of the club’s feasibility study currently underway and are keen to work constructively with the Board of Bath City FC to ensure that the redevelopment process is in line with best practice and that the finished product is the best possible for our club and our city.
Thank you to Jon Bickley
We also announce that, after helping to secure over £300,000 of community share pledges in just three months, Jon Bickley has stepped down as Big Bath City Bid chair in order to refocus his energies on his own business. Jon’s contribution has been phenomenal and we are very pleased that he will still give time and input to the 1000BC team, a joint initiative between the club and the Bid to increase attendances. Martin Powell, chair of the Bath City Supporters Society, will act as interim chair of the Bid as we move forward.
Thank you for all of your support – let’s keep working hard to give Bath the football club it deserves!
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