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Thread: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

  1. #11
    Spoonz Red E's Avatar
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    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Communications, Shareholding, Club Business plan, Governance, Trust membership, The Freehold(s).
    All have been mentioned in these Q & As and have also been mentioned for many previous years as 'work to do'.
    What do you feel is needed to put some 'adrenalin' into the process?

  2. #12

    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Quote Originally Posted by Avening Posse View Post
    Hi Nick

    1) Any view on whether the Trust should seek to acquire St James ?
    2) Do you think the £2 minimum contribution is enough ?

    Many thanks
    Hi

    With respect to acquiring SJP... I think that a detailed business case, for me, would have to demonstrate that such an action would benefit and secure the Club and Trust ownership for the foreseeable future. This would mean minimal risk to the organisation - either through the debt incurred from the purchase, or the failure of the asset to provide appropriate ongoing revenue generation, or cost savings. It would be interesting to understand what the utilisation of the asset is now, and what it could grow to. Can it meet the ongoing costs of maintenance, for example? I would also want to measure this against other proposed projects and determine how these might compare in relation to their benefit, cost and risk. We need to make informed choices around investment possibilities and I hope that a business plan (as per the resolution at the AGM), might have considered the pro's and con's of this type of thing. It should certainly raise the possibility of such ideas. I suppose, in essence, I'm in favour of anything that we can demonstrate provides the Club/Trust with future security. We shouldn't ignore any opportunity. I'd be interested to hear your own thoughts on this.

    To answer your second question, around the £2 minimum contribution, then I'm cautiously in favour of this. My caution is around whether increased admin/accounting costs might absorb any income benefit. The reason I say this is because many people make a voluntary donation on top of their minimum contribution - in the event of an increase folk may chose to allow their donation to pick-up the increase - so zero benefit. If the minimum increase takes us beyond a threshold for VAT registration (and therefore, potentially increases our accounting charges), for example, the net result of the increase could be negligible. However, I've not researched this personally so it's definitely worth a look. To be honest, whilst this should not be discounted I'm probably more concerned about how we transition youngsters from the Junior Grecians to full Trust members. I think there is some work to do for the 16 to 18 year olds in terms of making the Trust attractive, both in terms of their general interest and the effect on their pockets! If I'm honest, I don't see how the Trust is particularly appealing to this group and of course, they are the future, so we need to remedy this!

    I do not believe there would be a mass objection to an increase in the minimum contribution, nor do I think we'd have a massive drop in membership, but I do think we need to properly understand how the numbers add-up, and any costs that might emerge from the increase, compared to our expected benefit.

    Again, would like to hear your thoughts on this. They are both current topics, I think, and worth a debate.

    Regards



    Nick

  3. #13
    Avening Posse's Avatar
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    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvi View Post
    Hi

    With respect to acquiring SJP... I think that a detailed business case, for me, would have to demonstrate that such an action would benefit and secure the Club and Trust ownership for the foreseeable future. This would mean minimal risk to the organisation - either through the debt incurred from the purchase, or the failure of the asset to provide appropriate ongoing revenue generation, or cost savings. It would be interesting to understand what the utilisation of the asset is now, and what it could grow to. Can it meet the ongoing costs of maintenance, for example? I would also want to measure this against other proposed projects and determine how these might compare in relation to their benefit, cost and risk. We need to make informed choices around investment possibilities and I hope that a business plan (as per the resolution at the AGM), might have considered the pro's and con's of this type of thing. It should certainly raise the possibility of such ideas. I suppose, in essence, I'm in favour of anything that we can demonstrate provides the Club/Trust with future security. We shouldn't ignore any opportunity. I'd be interested to hear your own thoughts on this.

    To answer your second question, around the £2 minimum contribution, then I'm cautiously in favour of this. My caution is around whether increased admin/accounting costs might absorb any income benefit. The reason I say this is because many people make a voluntary donation on top of their minimum contribution - in the event of an increase folk may chose to allow their donation to pick-up the increase - so zero benefit. If the minimum increase takes us beyond a threshold for VAT registration (and therefore, potentially increases our accounting charges), for example, the net result of the increase could be negligible. However, I've not researched this personally so it's definitely worth a look. To be honest, whilst this should not be discounted I'm probably more concerned about how we transition youngsters from the Junior Grecians to full Trust members. I think there is some work to do for the 16 to 18 year olds in terms of making the Trust attractive, both in terms of their general interest and the effect on their pockets! If I'm honest, I don't see how the Trust is particularly appealing to this group and of course, they are the future, so we need to remedy this!

    I do not believe there would be a mass objection to an increase in the minimum contribution, nor do I think we'd have a massive drop in membership, but I do think we need to properly understand how the numbers add-up, and any costs that might emerge from the increase, compared to our expected benefit.

    Again, would like to hear your thoughts on this. They are both current topics, I think, and worth a debate.

    Regards



    Nick
    Thanks Nick

  4. #14

    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Quote Originally Posted by Terryhall View Post
    Hi Nick

    What would your opinion be on ECFC committing to being a carbon neutral organisation / ambition to support itself 100% with renewable energy?
    Hi Terry

    Isn't this what we should all be committing to? When we talk about sustainability and the future proofing of our football club, I think it's inevitable that this should be an important consideration. I don't pretend to understand the complexities and costs of the impact on ECFC, that is something that would require the right amount of appropriate research, and of course there may be choices to make around where money gets spent, but we're a Community Benefit organisation so of course, it should be a direction of travel. In essence, I'd like to think we'd be doing everything possible, over time, to achieve this goal. However, I'm also conscious of the inevitability of a desire to pursue success on the pitch and maybe, the choices might be harder than we'd like to think! It would be good to see a genuine statement of intent around this and measure ourselves in terms of progress toward the goal, albeit in relatively small steps.

    Regards



    Nick

  5. #15

    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Quote Originally Posted by Antony Moxey View Post
    Do you prefer custard creams or chocolate hob nobs at Trust board meetings?
    The TB are far to indecisive to make a decision like that!

  6. #16
    Antony Moxey's Avatar
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    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Sorry Nick, that’s a cop out answer. You’re campaigning to be on that very TB so should be prepared to - publicly - back your own judgement. If you can’t come down from the fence and are simply prepared to stay in the background and go with the flow are you really suitable for the cut and thrust of political office? The Trust Board needs confident and strong characters, not people unable to give a simple answer to a simple question.

  7. #17

    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Russell View Post
    Please comment on posts 24/25 on the Doug Gillard thread
    I suppose I have two views on volunteering... instinctively, coming from a very corporate background, Iíd want to understand the reliance on volunteers. Are they an absolute necessity to survive? If so, I might well challenge that this shouldnít be the case. On the other hand, iím a keen volunteer myself - not just with ECFC but other organisations, as well. Weíre a community focused Club and opportunities to become involved, to grow a sense of influence and ownership around that community is critical, i think, for the long term success of the organisation. Volunteering often offers an opportunity to do things that might not otherwise present themselves to us and so, typically, the volunteer gets as much benefit from it as the recipient. I think thatís fantastic. Personally, I think the benefit to the organisation is not so much financial, but is more indicative of how committed supporters are to creating something special about ECFC. So providing there is not an overeliance on volunteers, I only see good in the process for all concerned.

  8. #18

    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    I was trying to draw you out on the specifics of the exchange, but thank you for responding as you have anyway

  9. #19

    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy The Fish View Post
    What would you do to widen the appeal of the Trust and increase membership ?
    As iíve noted in a earlier reply, there is a challenge facing the Trust in terms of transitioning Junior Grecians to full-on, paid up Trust members. This arises between the ages of 16 and 18, I think, though very possibly going into their 20ís. I recently volunteered for the Trust to man a stall at Exeter College and what was very evident was that tutors and other stall holders engaged more with us than the actual students! I spoke with another stall minder who was representing a bar (used to be the Timepiece in Gandy Street) and they were telling me how they had done some work with the Chiefs (I gave them a couple of scarves to hang up). So there are opportunities out there. As to what iíd do, well I think we probably need to venture beyond SJP more frequently, but also understand the nature of our existing members to see if there are groups we are obviously missing. I did some analysis very recently that demonstrated the majority of season ticket holders are not Trust members. Thatís incredible, folk who are prepared to make that kind of commitment but struggle with the notion of an extra £2 a month! So I think Iíve identified two growth areas - young adults and non-Trust season ticket holders. In terms of making the Trust more appealing - how great is it that iím able to engage directly with other Supporters, both Members and non-members through a popular social media outlet. If youíre not talking to people through the media of their choice then quite clearly, they wonít hear what youíre saying. That would be my first recommendation, to open ourselves up beyond the Trust WEB site and engage!

  10. #20

    Re: Trust Board Elections 2017 - Questions for Nick Hawker

    Quote Originally Posted by Alistair20000 View Post
    Do you support the view that the Trust should increase its shareholding in the Club to at least 75% and if so what steps do you propose to take to deliver that objective ?
    The thing that most troubles me about this is that it seems to have been an objective of the Trust for a very time, so what are the reasons for not achieving it? Is it too hard, not beneficial, or a case of Ďbetter off in the long grassí. Generally, objectives should be met or reasons provided for not doing so, and an agreement reached as to the next steps. Even if that means abandoning the process. As for whether I support the idea - well given that it was deemed important enough to be made an objective in the first place, then I would assume there is good value in it. My understanding, and this is an unqualified view, is that our current percentage share holding is actually far higher when translated into voting rights (on the basis that there are unidentifiable shares held in a suspended account who clearly, do not turn up to vote, etc! On this basis, perhaps the benefits need to be reviewed and re-established, refreshing the drive to push the project onwards.

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