June 19, 2022
Dear <<First Name>>
CUOSC are backing boss Paul Simpson to turn around the Blues fortunes on the field in the new season.
And we are also calling on all fans and supporters’ groups to work together to help him strengthen and develop the bond between the club and the community.
We know the majority of fans want to see change in the boardroom and CUOSC will continue to work to bring that about.
It will happen. Progress has been painfully slow but the owners, themselves, have agreed they want to see a change of control.
The main stumbling block remains the £2.5m debt to Purepay Retail but with the club determined to reach agreement about a repayment plan it doesn’t have to weigh us down.
Billy Atkinson is the CUOSC representative on the club’s Holding Board, providing a bridge between the directors and supporters.
It’s a challenging position and although he tries to be the voice of the fans, ultimately, he has just one vote. Also, the position is there by invitation only.
Like any democratic Board some of the discussions have to be confidential. As the fans representative Billy may not be in agreement with some of the decisions but they have to be accepted.
However, CUOSC believe he was instrumental in helping to bring the protracted EWM takeover talks to an end, a conclusion the majority of fans agreed with. He also played a full part in appointing Paul Simpson as manager – a decision that saved last season.
Without CUOSC’s representation on the Holdings Board Keith Millen and Director of Football David Holdsworth might well have remained in place.
It is important to remember the Trust was born out of adversity 20 years ago. Since then we have always tried to put forward the many differing views of the fan base.
It took years to secure CUOSC’s place on the Holdings Board and we have debated many times since whether it is worthwhile. But if the club and fans can work together it has to be a benefit.
Being on the board and running a football club is a complicated business – the Trust gets pulled in every direction by the Football League, the FA, players and supporters’.
But CUOSC’s relationship with the club has dramatically improved thanks to Billy and Jim Mitchell, our representative on the club’s operational board. Both have been involved in some important decisions at boardroom level - something that would never have happened in the past.
Working well with the club and supporters is the key to success. This is not always easy as those on the board will confirm.
In the future, fans around the country look likely to get a bigger say in the running of their clubs when the recommendations of the government’s fan-led review are implemented.
We are already in a very strong position with a 25.4% shareholding that is the envy of many supporters’ trusts.
This is something we would never give up lightly especially following the outcome of the review. And following the collapsed EWM takeover we have promised we will not consider dilution again without putting it to members first.
The £13,500 raised by our Carlisle REUnited campaign, which ran during the height of the Covid pandemic, has now all been handed over to the club.
It helped towards the cost of new training equipment and will also aid with improvements to the fan-zone behind the west stand.
We look forward to welcoming some new, positive blood on to the CUOSC board at next month’s AGM.
This year's AGM will take place on Sunday July 31st in the Sunset Suite, starting at 11am. Members will be able to attend on the day or connect via Zoom. All voting will take place electronically or via post, as in recent years. Candidates who wish to stand for election to the board should reply to this email or contact us on email@example.com
All candidates need to be supported by two or more current CUOSC members who should contact us via the same address. The deadline for candidates to put themselves forward is midnight on Tuesday July 12.
New co-opted board member
Don Beacock has joined the board until the date of the AGM. Don has a lot of experience in finance and will fill the hole left by the recent resignation of Mark Middling. Don has served on the board in the past and we welcome his contribution again.
Board Meeting Summary - June
Held on June 15, 2022 at Upperby CDC and Zoom
Attendance: Frank Beattie (chair), Nigel Davidson (vice-chair), Alastair Woodcock (secretary), Billy Atkinson, Carol Wilson, Norman Steel, Malcolm Nugent, Jim Mitchell, Don Beacock
Don Beacock was co-opted on to the board unanimously until the date of the AGM.
Billy updated the meeting on 1921 and Holdings board activity. Work was progressing on the fan zone and the remainder of our Carlisle REUnited funds were being paid into the club to cover some of the work required as well as providing new goals for the academy and software to support the football department.
There was no new progress to report on the PurePay loan.
The club was expected to remain financially secure throughout the 22-23 season, despite increases in the football budget to help Paul Simpson.
An EDI survey completed by the club had highlighted some issues for them to address, reported Nigel. He was progressing plans for the coming season with the club in his other role as CUSG EDI officer.
The date of the AGM was set to July 31 in the Sunset Suite. This would maximise the time available to complete the 21-22 accounts and allow for all board members to be able to attend.
There was a discussion about future roles for the Trust including the amount of fund-raising that should be carried out. It was agreed to consult with members on this. The manifesto group would meet soon to agree the final version.
Membership was over 550. Alastair outlined the benefits of moving to an online membership platform that would include automatic bank payments, member access to their own personal data and integration with our current website which runs on Wordpress.
Finances were solid with £10,800+ in the bank before final CRU payment to the club is made of about £5,600.
Next meeting: July 13 (TBC)
I believe a member of UF put himself forward to be co opted onto the board but was asked for his qualifications etc.
Has this been asked of other board members before?
CUOSC occasionally co-opts board members based on their specific skills and experience, so we require them to tell us about their level of experience and knowledge before making any decision. The co-option period allows the board and the board member concerned to see whether they will be a good fit for a particular role that requires particular skills such as accountancy, business, legal or marketing.
What qualifications do the current board members have? Especially those re standing for positions and those on the holdings/1921 boards?
At the recent members' meeting, all qualifications and experience of current board members were asked about and details given.
How long has Gerard Gornall been helping the trust?
Gerard has been helping in an advisory capacity for a number of weeks.
We have received a request from a supporter for a copy of the home match programme v Luton Town in the 2017-18 season. Please reply to this email if you can help and we will put you in touch.
Latest from Brunton Park
It has been a quiet week at Brunton Park ahead of this week's return of the players for pre-season training and the release of the new fixtures. The Cumbrians have been linked to several players but so far there have been no further additions since the arrivals of midfielder Owen Moxon and goalkeeper Tomas Holy.
Current CUFC squad:
Tomas Holy, Gabriel Breeeze, Scott Simons
Jack Armer, Morgan Feeney, Corey Whelan, Joel Senior, Jon Mellish, Jack Ellis
Taylor Charters, Josh Dixon, Callum Guy, Brennan Dickenson, Lewis Bell, Jordan Gibson, Max Kilsby, Jamie Devitt**, Owen Moxon
Tristan Abrahams, Sam Fishburn, Omari Patrick, Kristian Dennis, Oluwatobi Sho-Silva
* Contract offered
** No contract offered but invited back for pre-season training
Proposed meeting dates 2021-22
Venue: Online or Upperby
Next meeting: Wed July 13
July 31 2022 - The Sunset Suite, 11am
Catch-up meetings – to arrange as and when needed
Members’ Meeting Dates
Venue: Online or Brunton Park
Next meeting: TBA
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES ON THE CUFC BOARDS
To contact Jim Mitchell, please drop him an email via firstname.lastname@example.org - you can raise any issue with him. Some things may not be relevant at board meeting level but Jim has regular contact with various people at the football club and your issue will be raised with the appropriate personnel, should it require an answer from the club. As an attendee at meetings of Carlisle United Supporters Groups he has the opportunity to raise concerns, queries and issues in that forum as well. You can also raise internal CUOSC issues with Jim. If Jim isn't available, we will pass on your query to his deputy, Billy Atkinson. Billy is also your representative on the board of CUFC Holdings
Next CUOSC Board Meeting - July 13
Next CUSG Meeting - June 27
Spot the player
Identify the player from the following clues:
Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Monaco, Swindon Town, Chelsea
Last week's answer: COLIN BELL (first correct answer from David Steele)
Spot the Club
Identify the club from the team line-up and season :
Line-up: Crichton, Douglas, Prindiville, Reddish, Richards, Hicks, Hine, Moss, Morrow, Jeffrey, Gormley
Last week's answer: OXFORD UNITED (first correct answer from David Steele)
Answers in next week's briefing
Weekly Briefing editor: Alastair Woodcock
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