FaST Annual General Meeting
26 April 2018
Chairman’s Report

I would like to welcome you all as members of the Farnborough Supporters Trust (FaST) to the thirteenth Annual General Meeting of the Trust. FaST has had a busy year during which we have maintained our close links with Farnborough Football Club (FFC) for which we thank Club Owner and Director Rob Prince and his fellow Directors for their support.

The make up of the Board has remained unchanged and I thank all of my colleagues for their contributions. We are continuing to run with 6 full members and 2 co-opted members leaving 4 vacancies. I understand that one member may be putting themselves forward for election this evening and if there are any others please make themselves known.

We are fortunate to have a Board Member in Phil Martin who is also a Director of FFC and this enables the Trust to liaise with the football Club Board and put forward ideas for consideration as well as receiving feedback as to the club’s plans. Rob Prince has recently attended a regular FaST Board Meeting and a mutually beneficial discussion was held.

Earlier in the year our membership level dropped but I am pleased to report that it has now recovered to approximately 50 members in line with last year. The Board are planning a membership drive which we are looking to implement from the start of next season. FaST have maintained membership incentives of cheaper travel on the away match minibuses (previously applied when running coaches) and a 10% price deduction on merchandise purchased in the Club Shop and we thank Sue Reason for agreeing to this concession.

On the subject of minibuses, when introduced this was a particularly welcome move for those supporters who otherwise would struggle to travel to away fixtures and at an economic cost. A gap was left when it was concluded that it was no longer viable to run coaches and again FaST is extremely grateful to Sue Reason for taking on the organisation. These minibuses have proved to be very popular and run at a reduced rate for members. We are also grateful to the voluntary drivers Chris Cook and Andy Burford who do a great job.

At this time last year the team was due to enter the play-offs in the Southern League Central Division and happily secured promotion to the Southern Premier in which we have competed in the current season. It is fair to say that mixed results have been achieved this season but our position in the league has been consolidated and it is anticipated that the football management and players will be looking to make a push for promotion next season.

FaST have been running an initiative for the past two years named Boost The Boro which was set up with the intention of helping to boost the playing budget. This was reviewed at the end of last season and disappointment was expressed that supporters were not getting behind the scheme in more numbers. Also, FaST was concerned that our level of contributions was putting too much pressure on our reserves and as a Board we had to take the prudent step of reducing our contributions by half to £50 per week. Unfortunately, the fund continues to lack support from the majority of fans despite heavy promotion on our media platforms and the decision was recently taken in conjunction with the club to end the scheme. Having said that, fans have in all contributed £4,500 over the two years and FaST a sum of £6,000 to the player’s budget which is a commendable sum.

After further consultation with the club FaST are now relaunching the fund raising with a new scheme named FaST Ground Development Fund which is dedicated solely to ground projects and will no longer contribute to the playing budget. It is hoped that this will carry more appeal with the supporters. Details of the new scheme are covered in a separate agenda item at this meeting.

Our support for the club infrastructure and maintenance has continued and our activities include:-

• A sum of £1,426 paid towards repairs to the outside toilet block following severe damage caused by mindless vandalism. Repairs were carried out by FaST members saving the club thousands of pounds in labour fees.
• FaST paid for the hire of a cherry picker to allow replacement of defective floodlights in accordance with league rules to the sum of £390.
• FaST set aside a sum of £500 towards the refurbishment of the away dressing room and player’s tunnel area. Again work carried out by FaST members.

I am pleased to report that sales of 50/50 tickets are holding up well and continue to provide a major source of our income. Thanks go to Bob, Dave, Steve and Co who carry out this work very efficiently. It is very much appreciated.

The installation of the FaST advertising boards was put on hold due to problems with a supplier and also to encompass the new fund raising name but we hope to proceed with this through a new supplier in the near future.

FaST is also looking into the possibility of introducing a boot exchange scheme particularly helpful towards the cost of football boots for players in the youth and boys teams. Any profits to FaST will be purely by any donations received from purchasers.

Administration of the fund raising Scheme Cherrywood Chance was taken over by our Treasurer Paul Spicer from previous Chairman Graham Ellicott. There is only a small number of members left in this scheme and again FaST to decide on ways of boosting numbers and income.

The administration of the Supporters Player of the Year Award was handed over by Bob Perry to FaST this season. We introduced an online voting option put together by Luke Burford and the Board thank him for his efforts. This proved to be particularly popular as 75% of the votes cast were by this method. Congratulations go to Club Captain CJ Fearn who lifted the trophy and played very well in a difficult season.

Finally, I would like to collectively thank all Board Members and other members for their contribution to our work and support to me over the past 12 months.

Garry Ward

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