Chairman’s Report To Clarets Trust A.G.M. 23RD May 2015

Firstly thanks to all those who have worked in any way for the Clarets Trust during the last year. The membership still remains under the 200 mark of which over 100 are life members. Membership costs still offer good value. The family membership is a very good offer but it still fails to attract any Clarets fans. Martin Barnes, is working to ensure members renew at the appropriate time and do not lapse! Michael Benyon continues as our Treasurer and has conducted this job with the efficiency for which he is well known.

At our recent election Phil Lea stood down from the Board – he did a lot for the Trust in the earlier days with the website and other things. We thank him for his work for the Trust and hope his health is soon fully recovered.

We welcome Terry Hephrun as a newly elected Board Member – a lifelong supporter and well respected local Burnley man.

The Trust owns 167 shares in the Football Club. The Trust shareholding has remained unchanged in the year – but the number of shares now issued has been increased – mainly to the Directors. Only a handful of shareholders hold more shares than the Trust. The Board own more than 90% of the issued shares. There are other shares on offer to the Trust but due to shortage of funds there has been no progress in increasing our number.

The Trust continues to have a column in the Home Game programmes and have had additional items in the programme on occasions. These articles in the current season have been done by me as Chair. If someone else wishes to take on this task then clearly they are welcome to do so – but it needs working to a timetable and sometimes a very tight schedule.

Our working relationship with the Club has continued and we have meetings in what we call the Alliance or Partnership, which includes representatives from the Club, two members from the Supporters Clubs and two members from the Trust – although only one remains active within the Trust. There is a signed agreement by the three Parties and it has been published in the Club programme.

We are no longer included in the other forum established by the CEO. These meetings have obviously led to some positive actions by the Club. That said there is still room to ensure further progress and more positive discussion and involvement of fans/supporters before decisions are taken. David Baldwin (now to be CEO) has attended meetings since his appointment at the Club and has made some very welcome moves – but it is important now that Lee Hoos is leaving he is not given an unrealistic workload.

Due to limited finances the Trust were unable to sponsor a first team player again last season but continued our sponsorship of a youth team player – Jamie Frost.

The Trust Player of the Year award winner was George Boyd.

Members this year were allowed to vote for any first team player.

Shirts4South Africa – the Trust hopes to get further football gear into South Africa and we have again had a number of messages from those playing in Burnley strips in various places in Cape Town and other parts of South Africa.

We have again not been able to arrange a beer festival this year. With other beer festivals now run locally including by Camra this really excludes the prospect for the Trust doing this again. We also have not been able to run any other events. To be able to do so we really need more active members of the Trust with some of those members living in the wider Burnley area.

We have launched our bottled beer during the year ‘Trust the Clarets’ – the beer is very good and has an attractive label. We may develop this project further.

The Trust remains linked to easyfundraising which enables our members to buy goods at competitive prices and the Trust to make a bit of money – we need to do more to encourage members to use this! Making user of our website and/or Facebook.

The website is now run by Tim Blackledge . We have tried to make use of Facebook and are also now using Twitter as means of communication for our members.

The Newsletters also are an important means of communication to members – if you would like to see us make changes do let us know. To save money we have had to reduce the number issued. Printing is expensive and postage costs continue to increase. The key members for the Newsletter have been Martin Barnes and Maddie Eames and their efforts are much appreciated.

John Trippier continue to do a good job with our minutes and notices.

Steve Corrigan has remained as our liaison representive with the Group representing Premier League clubs – we will now be relegated to the group for Championship teams.

The year has again not been a good one for the Trust. We do need to increase membership and we do need to know what members want. It would be really good to get members views on the way forward. We are not in competition in any way with other supporters clubs or groups – indeed should we getting such clubs involved as affiliated members?

The Trust and Club reached a compromise agreement on registering Turf Moor as an Asset of Community Value which stand for 5 years.

I have always believed that the Club is of great importance to Burnley as a whole and not just the football world. I think that is increasingly important. I believe that it is crucial that all of us that claim to be Clarets fans should work together and give our full and 100% support to the club.

Let us hope that the new season is a memorable one with us hopefully winning an automatic return to the Premier but it will not be easy.

Finally we had a very good meeting with Mike Garlick and Clive Holt – this followed a similar meeting last year. I intend to give a brief outline of the many issues discussed verbally.

Peter Pike – CHAIR

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