Trust Annual Report for 2015

CANARIES TRUST ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 31ST DECEMBER 2015

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

It has been a year of transition for the Trust as we have attempted to increase our public profile and our level of activity both in terms of share purchase and getting involved in supporter related issues. The close links forged with Forces2Canaries, the Barclay End Projekt and Proud Canaries have meant that we have been actively involved in combating discrimination and abuse at grounds, have supported the Football Supporters Federation's Twenty's Plenty campaign to try to bring down ticket prices and also have encouraged debate about safe standing. We were also part of the consortium of Supporters Trusts which has successfully pushed for the public disclosure of the full details of West Ham's deal for use of the Olympic Stadium largely at the tax-payers expense.

We also had a very good (and very hot!) Royal Norfolk Show which raised significant funds for share purchases followed by a very successful Canary Challenge campaign which further boosted the coffers and we are now working with the club as the official broker for share sales and purchases and are trying to bid for as many small parcels of shares as possible. We feel that this is a more cost effective approach than buying new shares from the club, although that avenue is also open to us.

Our communication with the club has been good and David McNally, Joe Ferrari and Stephen Graham, the Supporter Liaison Officer have all attended board meetings, while we worked closely and successfully with Stephen Balmer-Walters, in respect of the Show, and think that the relationship formed will be very productive going forward. We also gained good exposure through competitions to win signed shirts and footballs.

Going forward we will continue to develop our social media presence and seek to ensure that more and more fans know who we are and what we do as we feel that we are gaining momentum as the message that fan shareholding is the only way to have a real voice with the club is getting through to more and more supporters. I believe that we have a very strong and committed board and that we can build strongly on the foundations that we have laid.

Robin Sainty

Chairman

NORWICH CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST BOARD

Chairman: Robin Sainty

Vice Chairman: Myra Hawtree

Treasurer: John Easton

Trust Secretary: Mike Reynolds

Membership Secretary: Mandie Thorpe

Board Members: Kathy Blake
Paul Bond
Gary Field
David Harper
Mal Mortimer
Caroline Spinks

Co-opted Members Neville Townsend (Forces2Canaries)
Di Cunningham (Proud Canaries)
David Wiltshire (BarclayEndProjekt)

The Trust annually invites the Shareholders Association to provide a co-opted member to join the Trust Board as detailed in the constitution.

The Trust formally meets on the last Wednesday of every month excluding December and informally to organise the activities for the Royal Norfolk Show.

The Trust would like to thank Norwich City Football Club for the facilities that they offer the Trust.


DRAFT MINUTES OF THE OF THE 13TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF NORWICH CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST HELD ON 12TH FEBRUARY 2015

1. Apologies

Mal Mortimer, Caroline Spinks, Dave Harper, Roy Blower, Nic Hopkins, Denis Cox and Catherine Reynolds

2. Minutes of AGM held on 19th March 2014

The minutes of the 2014 Annual General Meeting were agreed and seconded. There were no matters arising from them.

3. Annual Report

In presenting the Trust Annual Report, the Chairman took the opportunity to inform the meeting on the ever expanding Supporters Trust movement of which the Trust is just one of over 150.

The Chairman explained the major aim of the Trust which was to be a relevant shareholder in NCFC and using its increasing shareholding to achieve a dialogue with the Club on a number of issues. The Chairman explained the agreement the Trust has with the Club regarding the purchase of shares but also the new arrangement where by the Trust actively operates a “share shop” on the website on behalf of the Club. For this reason the Trust also buys NCFC shares from third parties subject to the availability of funds and the price asked.

The Chairman explained how the Trust had approached the NCFC CEO to seek agreement that the Club would not oppose the Trust seeking to make Carrow Rd stadium an Asset of Community Value like Anfield and a number of other stadia. The Trust was not successful but will re-open discussions.

The Chairman informed the meeting of the Trusts plans to invite other NCFC fans groups to attend Trust meetings in the way Forces2Canaries do.

Finally the Chairman informed the meeting of the plans for the future beginning with the re-branding from Norwich City Supporters Trust to the Canaries Trust and modernising the way in which the Trust works. The subscriptions will rise from £10 to £12 per annum but with a free six monthly lottery with a £50 prize.
The Chairman said that there were often references to the fact that a number of the Trust Board had links with NCISA and INCST and he assured those present that supporters were now operating in a different environment where Clubs were mainly only interested in the views of shareholders and that was why modernisation and increased recruitment were of the greatest importance.

4. Financial position of Trust

The Treasurer presented the last set of audited accounts.

5. Appointments of Auditors

It was agreed that Mr Ford should continue to act as “independent investigator” and the Chairman will formally thank Mr Ford.

6. Trust Rules

The rule changes agreed at the last Annual General Meeting had been ratified by the FCA and the Trust were now operating within these rules.

7. Any Other Business

The Chairman, on behalf of the meeting, thanked the departing Chairman Paul Bond for all his hard work since the creation of the Trust and also Pam Bassham and Chris Holmes who had been the mainstay of the Trusts fund raising, especially their organisation of the Trusts presence at the Royal Norfolk Show.


The AGM was followed by an open meeting for a Question and Answer Session with Michael Bailey and Darren Eadie.


SHAREHOLDING

The accumulation of shares in Norwich City Football Club has become the principle aim of the Trust in order to give the fans a stronger voice on Club matters.

It is worth reiterating that these shares are held in perpetuity for all fans of Norwich City Football Club.

Trust members who are also shareholders also have the ability to retain their shares but pledge their voting rights to the Trust.

This year the Trust has increased it’s shareholding in NCFC by 120 shares through both purchase and donation. The current position is that the Trust holds:-

Ordinary Shares = 1257
“A” Preference Shares = 100
“B” Preference Shares = 2
We have recently received a number of donations from Trust members who have transferred a proportion of their NCFC shares to the Trust. This enables them to help the aims of the Trust whilst retaining the right to attend the NCFC AGM as an individual shareholder. The Trust provides the Share Transfer form and the Club organises the share transfer.
Over the year the Trust has matched a number of “vendors” to “prospective purchasers” with the NCFC operating the Share Transfer service at no cost.

Full information on this subject can be found at
www.canariestrust.org/Shares

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR STATUS

The status of Associate Director of Norwich City Football Club was created to offer a role to individuals who purchased £25,000 of Ordinary Shares in Norwich City Football Club. It remains an aim of the Trust to be recognised alongside these individuals.

MEMBERSHIP

Once again there has been a small but steady increase in membership with a surge at the Royal Norfolk Show. It should be noted that currently, once a member becomes a shareholder in Norwich City Supporters Trust they remain a legal shareholder until such time as they notify the Trust they wish to cease being a shareholder. Only members who renew their annual subscription may vote at the Annual General Meeting.


It is only through renewal of the annual subscription that the Trust can continue to purchase shares in Norwich City Football club on behalf of the fans.

COMMUNICATIONS

The website remains the Trust’s main source of information to members and a new design was launched last April and includes a number of new pages aimed to keep members information updated.

The Trust has used social media to communicate to the “outside world” via both Facebook and Twitter, both of which can be accessed from

http://www.canariestrust.org

The twitter account @canariestrust has over 1870 followers and is growing daily. The size of our following is very important as it opens new opportunities for fund raising so please follow the Trust on Twitter and Facebook

FUNDRAISING

Canary Challenge: The Trust is now running a 2015/16 Challenge with 410 participants

The Trust would like to thank Nurture Financial Planning for their sponsorship of this year's competition. You can find out more about them at

http:/www.nurturefp.co.uk.

FA Cup Game: The Trust once again operated an FA Cup game which has proved a popular fund raiser but requires more trust members to be involved in selling it.

Royal Norfolk Show 2015: Once again the Trust accepted the kind offer of the Football Club to be part of their presence at the Royal Norfolk Show which included a stand within the Club’s marquee.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

Norwich City Football Club has an excellent record regarding its link with the community and for this reason the role of the Trust in this area has been limited.

The Trust used it’s presence at the Royal Norfolk Show to raise money for the CSF

The Trust has worked with the community radio station Future Radio on a few occasions during the year.

ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE

The Trust is still considering whether to raise the issue again as more football clubs are being registered as Assets of Community Value.

SUPPORTERS DIRECT

“Supporters Direct” is closely linked with the Cooperative movement and is funded by subscription plus an annual grant which has been seriously reduced. Its aim is to help people "who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the football club they support" and it offers support, advice and information to groups of football supporters in the UK and in Europe.
The Trust attended the joint Football Supporters Federation / Supporters Direct Conference in Birmingham.
There were “workshops” offering assistance to Trusts regarding membership and community responsibilities and also information on issues such as Safe Standing, Assets of Community Value, and Homophobia at football grounds and Financial Fair Play.
For details of what it does and how many Trusts are in operation visit www.supporters-direct.org
The Trust is also a member of Supporters Directs Premiership Trusts Group and there have been two formal meetings thus far. The Group has discussed the issue of the “Norwich City Parachute Payments”, Policy recommendations regarding consultations between Clubs and supporter groups and Supporter Liaison Officers amongst other topics.

FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS FEDERATION

The Trust and several members of the Board are members of FSF which campaigns widely and vociferously on issues affecting football fans. The Trust is represented at the South East Region by Myra Hawtree.
The Trust were involved in the FSF “Twenty’s Plenty” campaign and helped with a leafleting campaign that was organised by the BarclayEndProjekt.
For details of what FSF does visit www.fsf.org.uk/

Mike Reynolds, Trust Secretary