RESULTS OF AGM 2024

Date:  Sunday 28th January 2024 11.00   Meeting closed 12.25

Apologies:

Andonis Wolverson

Attendees:  See list at foot of page.

Matters arising:

Nil

Chairman’s Report: Copy available

Vice Chairmans Report: Copy available

Secretaries Report:  Copy available

Treasurers Report:  Copy Available

Director of Operations Report:  Copy available

Director of Projects Report:  Copy available

Director of Commercial report: Not available

Questions from the report

Why did the club find itself in the financial position that is did?

We thank Tom for everything he did but it was his choice to leave when he did and we have to respect that.

What happened to the player on the 2 year deal?

The club had to pay them out of their contract

What outstanding debts does the club have?

3 Payment plans in place to recover the current debt.   Expected that the recovery with be a 5year plan.  We need to survive, stabilize and be sustainable.

It was noted that the Lack of First team home games has effected cash flow.

Lots of comments recently about Beer running out and what the issue is?

The club acknowledges and apologies for this, our agreement with the supplier is cash on delivery and the lack of football at home has caused cash flow issues.

Any plans to generate more money?

Club is looking to introduce the 12th Man.  We want to maximise the board sponsorship around the ground.

If we are stay up is this viable for the club?

Yes we are

Clear message from the board that volunteers are needed, there are many roles and jobs that we need help with and whatever anyone can offer it will be gratefully received.

Election of Directors & Club Officials:

  • Existing directors to keep posts, all voted on and all unanimously carried by those attending
  • New proposal –
  • Andonis Wolverson as Director of Football – unanimously carried by those attending
  • Nick Merritt as Vice Chairman – unanimously carried by those attending

Matters for the board to consider:

No new matters for consideration

Attendees

Ian Moyes                                         
Tony Brinkley                                   
Vicki Theobald                      
Paul Rudland
Chris Brinkley                                    
Nigel Jarvis                            
Ken Burgess
Jack Hawkins
Andrew Horrex                                       
David Walker                                 
Rob Linnett
Kevin Blundell       
Roger Double
James Baxter
Andrea Blundell
Sarah Merritt
Nick Merritt
Pete Cook
Paula Bloomfield
David Audley

AGM Report – Chairman Report – 2024

I would like to thank all the directors for all their reports.  I would also personally like to thank all of the club for their assistance and the volunteers who make the club what it is today.  I would also like to thank all of you for taking time out of your day to attend this meeting today.

A year has passed since I last sat here in front of you at last years AGM.  The last year has been the most difficult year for both the CIC and the football club.  There is no doubt that Tom Morley’s contribution over the previous five years has placed the club where it is today -Step 4 football.  770k was the total amount donated to the club over a period of five years.  Early 2023 I was informed that Tom would be withdrawing his support for the club.  We were not only left with zero budget for players but also inherited the debt that the club had created.

This is why we as the board have had to make the difficult decisions we have in order for the club to survive.  We did receive some negative comments however, the majority of people have been very positive and supportive this work still continues and as you will have read in many programmes I have split this down into three phases: Survival, Stabilise and Sustainment for the future.

The CIC and football club has had many ups and downs but it doesn’t run itself.  Both need volunteers and paid employees to keep going, Its relatively easy to find people to work for money but finding volunteers has been impossible.  The club is run by a handful of people who all hold down day jobs, families and other commitments.

We welcomed Nick and Sarah to the club. They have worked tirelessly throughout the year on numerous tasks and their contribution has been outstanding.  I thank you both again.

At the end of the season we will be losing Vicki Theobold as secretary of the CIC and Nigel Jarvis as Director of Projects and Infrastructure.  I thank them both for everything they have done for the club over the years they have been here.

I also welcome Paula as our treasurer, taking over from Neil which has been and still continues to be a massive task (I can testify to this as Chairman).  You should also know that there has been many debts left unpaid that Paula has worked tirelessly on and continues to work on.  She has agreed payment plans to ensure that the debt is not ignored and the club can continue to function.  Every effort will be made to clear these debts before we can truly stabilise and sustain the club.

On the football front we have seen managers, coaches and players all come and go and I have no doubt this will continue, that’s football.  The management team we now have in place are doing a fantastic job in my opinion.  Bart and Liam have really pushed the players and they are playing some great football.  It’s just a shame we haven’t yet seen a win but I am sure that will come.  I am confident that they will continue to push and develop a side that will remain competitive whatever the level we play at.

The many changes  that I have mentioned and you have seen at the club has also given us the opportunity to fully be a one club image where our youth section and under 23 development team continue to support with its home grown talent, some of which have been at the club since they were 6 years of age.  This is something the professional game does so well but non-league continue to find difficult, we as a club going forward will continue to give our local lads the opportunity to better themselves and continue their own journey’s.

We continue to search for volunteers, you will notice the posters around the club.  If you do not like what you see here, then volunteer,  if you know of anyone or yourself would like to volunteer come and speak to us.

Since our financial issues have become more apparent I have had a number of people approach us with donations and I must publicly thank them for coming to us and offering help that is definitely needed and will continue to be needed.  We are always open to further donations or sponsorship should they arise.

Future projects and development?!?!

I thank you all

Uppa Stow

Kevin Blundell

Chairman

If you had told me a year ago that I would be writing a report as Vice Chairman at my local football club, I wouldn’t have believed it! But here I am, and I’d like to welcome you to our AGM meeting today.

For those of you that don’t know, my wife Sarah and I moved from Chelmsford to Onehouse, Stowmarket late in 2022, and decided that we wanted to get involved in the local community as well spread awareness of my company, as I am self employed as a PAT tester. So, at the start of 2023, we looked on the website, got in touch with the club, and sponsored a match against Sudbury.

We’ve never left since…

Sarah and I come as a “2-for-1” package, and we’ve both thrown ourselves into being on the committee and doing what we can for the club. I know that we have arrived at the club at a difficult time, and I will be honest with anyone that asks me and say that it is a lot harder work than I thought, and becomes all consuming, with something happening every day that needs my involvement. I find with our own jobs and the club, we have little time to ourselves, and yet I love it.

  • My first and most important action was to shadow Kev, and try to get involved and share the load with all of the tasks and responsibilities that he had on his shoulders. Kev is a great chairman, but that does not mean he is Superman and can do it all alone!
  • We’ve attended as many matches as we can, especially away games where the distance can mean there are fewer fans. We’ve had some adventures on the road this year, putting in some incredible mileage and visiting a lot of grounds.
  • Sarah has set up the “Stow Shop” with a market stall by the clubhouse. We have a wide range of merchandise, and the shop has great reviews from fans, visiting teams and Groundhoppers. We also took the shop to the Stowmarket Christmas Fayre in the town.
  • I’ve tried to focus on us being at the heart of the community, and I think we have made great progress with this so far. We now have foodbank collections at every home match, and have a permanent collection point inside the CIC. We are registered as a Warm Space. We held a free Family Funday in the summer, with entertainment, stalls and a visit from our local Mayor, Nick Gowrley, who is very supportive of us. We also had our CIC Christmas Fair.
  • There have been more events in the hall, which not only bring more of the community through the doors and prove that it is not just about football, but also generate revenue too. These include a Beatles night, Paint & Plonk, Comedy nights and more. Stu & Kate’s Quiz nights are an amazing success and are fully booked, such is their reputation now!

I am immensely proud to be involved with your club, and tell everyone I meet about what a great place the football club and the CIC are, in an almost evangelical manner, trying to get more and more people involved.

We desperately need more volunteers. I think this is a key point, and I know it is not a new issue as I have read my predecessor’s report from last years AGM. We are not financially in a position to pay salaries for all of the roles and tasks that need fulfilling to keep the club running, and with fewer people involved, the weight on the shoulders of those on the committee is far heavier to bear. If we spread this load, we will achieve more and see less change in committee members – this will stabilise the club overall. We also need local tradespeople who can help us with maintenance tasks.

So please, if you can give us some of your time, or bring new people to the club, please do so.

Even sharing our Facebook posts or Tweets, and being positive about the club is a help, so please do what you can to support us. And if you already volunteer, thank you so much for your efforts! It is very much appreciated, and you help to keep our club alive.

The last 12 months are difficult to summarise. But the reality is that the club has undergone a significant financial shift,

there has been a restructuring of the first team on 3 occasions and that does have its impacts. At the start of the 2023/24

season a new budget was put into place which meant we would have more of a focus on younger players from both our

own pathway and scouted talent from around the area. Despite a successful unbeaten pre-season, the competitive

season began with a few unfortunate results which included some confidence shattering scorelines which resulted in a

club that felt flat. In early December I was appointed Director of Football and given the job to try and influence change. At

that time, we were cut adrift at the bottom of the table on 2 points and winless, we weren’t creating chances or scoring

goals, we had found ourselves out of all cup competitions and confidence in the dressing room was exceptionally low.

Then came the news that another financial restructuring was required which resulted in the departure of Richard Wilkins

and Alex Rossis and several players.

But where there is change, there is opportunity and on a busy evening of departures two fantastic appointments were

made. David “Bart” Lorimer agreed to become first team Manager with Liam Hawkins stepping up from the U18s to first

team as Assistant Manager. That evening I sat with Bart & Liam in the changing room at Greens Meadow, and spent hours

making phone calls, plans and strategies for what the rest of the season could look like and what talent we could tap into

from around club and the local area.

Since then, the last 6-7 weeks whilst the win does remain elusive, there are games we could have won and there are

games we that should have won but what has happened and cannot be denied is that there is a buzz around Greens

Meadow, both in the dressing room and on the sidelines. A competitive confidence has returned to the first team, we are

creating chances and scoring a lot more goals, the results are much improved, and the performances have been inspiring

to the local community and supporters. People who had been feeling down hearted attending Greens Meadow now

attend with hope and excitement that we can be competitive again and we have a team who will give 110% every time

they take to the field. Make no mistake, this is still a work in progress, many of the players in the team have not played

many games at this level or have made less than 15 appearances together, but what we are building is for the future andwe should all be excited by that. The current results have not entirely reflected our efforts or performances and I

maintain a positive outlook for the remainder of the season.

Continuing with positives, our Under 23s led by Craig “Jimmy” Brown are well and truly in the title race for the inaugural

Thurlow Nunn U23 Division, whilst also gearing up for exciting encounters in the Semi-finals of the Senior Reserve Cup

(vs Henley Athletic Reserves on 10th February 2024) and the final of the Chell Trophy.

Our Under 18s now under the stewardship of Shaun Finn have an undefeated start to his reign and continue to represent

themselves well in a highly competitive U18 league. The U18 have an excellent opportunity to continue progressing in the

Midweek Cup when they play Haverhill Rovers U18 on 29th February 2024.

There is a lot of work to do on all fronts for all our adult teams from now until the end of the season, but we have to look

beyond that and how the football can affect longer term growth within the club.

For me, long-term growth hinges on two pivotal factors. Firstly, we recognise the need for increased advertising and

sponsorship from local individuals and companies. Secondly, leveraging our on-field performances to enhance the

club’s standing within the community is crucial. Encouraging people to not only attend matches but also to return week

after week will be ultimately influenced by the atmosphere at the football club and the performances on the pitch.

Embedded within this report is an outline of our current standing alongside an overview of our football based agenda,

which of course has the football community at its core. I will provide a full development plan in due course.

One Club. Our Club. Since 1883.

Andonis Wolverson

AGM Report – Director of Projects & Redevelopment – January 2024

 

This will be my final AGM report following my decision to step down from the Board of Directors at the end of March this year (so I’ll make it a short one). The timing of this decision coincides with my retirement from work.

Although I’m stepping down from my formal role with the Club, I still hope to be able to help with future building projects as and when needed, these are likely to include the completion of the pitch perimeter footpaths and fencing work, plus new changing room facilities for players and officials. Longer term ambitions remain the provision of an all-weather multicourt facility and full Clubhouse redevelopment.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Board members (past and present) and also our brilliant volunteers for their support and friendship over my time with the Club. I wish everybody good health and great success going forward.

Cheers

Nigel Jarvis

As we look back over the past year, I am filled with pride at our collec+ve achievements and the resilience we have shown in the face of challenges. Our club has experienced significant enhancements and hosted a variety of exci+ng events, all of which contribute to the vibrant community spirit we cherish.

Bar and Catering Enhancements:

We’ve expanded our bar menu to include a greater variety of snacks and have introduced a bean-to- cup coffee machine, which has been met with great enthusiasm along with the pucker pie machine. The new sea+ng area at the front has quickly become a popular gathering spot for our members to enjoy and relax. we’ve also install brand-new beer dispensing equipment to ensure the highest quality of our draught offerings. Looking ahead, we are excited to introduce our own biNer, which will complement the 1883 lager next season.

Events and Community Engagement:

This year, we’ve had the honor of providing a venue for the army, where two sit-down meals were hosted to great acclaim. Our darts team claimed the championship of the Stowmarket Friendly Darts League, a remarkable achievement that speaks volumes about their dedica+on and talent.

The hall has been a focal point of ac+vity with regular events such as the popular quiz nights thank you to Stuart , paint and plonk nights, and the introduc+on of karaoke and race nights. to name a few. We’ve also embraced sports fans with promo+ons like “Beer & a Bap” for £9 during the Ipswich match and a pint and a breakfast for the lionesses game —a hit among members and non members.

Entertainment Ini7a7ves:

The club has seen the successful introduc+on of comedy nights and live music, bringing a new dimension of entertainment to our members. Notably, our first soul night was a resounding success and is set to make a return later in the year, further diversifying our entertainment lineup.

Financial and Opera7onal Update:

We’ve navigated through financial challenges that temporarily affected our bar’s stock levels. I acknowledge the inconvenience this may have caused and am commiNed to rec+fying these issues.

Catering Ventures and Kitchen Update:

Our kitchen will remain closed un+l the end of the current season, as we review the performance of the burger van experiment.

Upcoming Plans and Acknowledgments:

The club is eagerly an+cipa+ng the return of Country and Western nights, family days, and our Christmas fair. We will con+nue to host karaoke, and race nights, and are planning for more comedy and live music events due to their popularity.

I extend my sincere gra+tude to our staff, commiNee, and all club members for their unwavering support. A special thanks to Sarah MerriN for her crea+ve input and dynamic approach, which have been crucial in the success of our events. We are a team, and together, we will con+nue to face any challenges and celebrate every success.

Sincerely,
Paul Rudland
Director of Opera+ons

The time has come for me to step down as Secretary at the end April.    

All those years ago when I said yes to joining the board and then roll of secretary, I didn’t think I would be one of the originals left from that time.  During my time there has been a lot change on and off the pitch and we’ve navigated some very tricky times especially during covid.  I’ve thought long and hard about this decision and it wasn’t easy to make but I think the time is right for me to take a step back.  I am grateful for the time that I have been involved, some great memories I take with me and I will look back on my time with fondness. 

From when I first joined to now, the CIC and the football club has progressed forward and continues to do so which it’s great to see. The new blood coming in with new energy and ideas the future is bright.   

I want to take this opportunity to wish the Board, the club and everyone involved all the best in the journey forward.   

Many Thanks

Vicki Theobald