Supporters Trust Election 2020. Questions for Doug Gillard

Doug3101

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
195
As most people are aware, I have put myself forward as a candidate in the upcoming election, my manifesto is below.
I'm ready to answer questions from both trust members and non members.
I'll mainly be answering said questions in the evening after work so if you don't get an immediate reply please bear with me.

Doug

"I have been a trustee for three years and I am looking to be elected for a second term. I have been
involved with the Trust for four years; I started by joining the Ownership Working Group in 2016 and
I was elected to the Trust Board in 2017.
I have been organising our presence at the Exeter Respect Festival for the last three years and I have
also been liaising with the Torquay United Supporters Trust, this partnership was expanded to
incorporate the Argyle Fans Trust at the beginning of 2020 and the creation of the Devon Supporters
Trusts’ Group. I lead the collaboration with our Devon counterparts to support, and contribute to,
the Jack Leslie Campaign this summer. I became the Trust Community Working Group lead towards
the end of 2019 and I have been engaging with team members from Exeter Community Initiatives to
develop our new partnership
If I am elected, my main focus will be the Trust’s Community responsibilities. The Trust is listed as a
Community Benefit Society and I am keen to forge new friendships with the local and wider
community while maintaining and strengthening our current links around the city and within the
football community. I would also like to make the Trust more visible at events and campaigns that
share our values and ethos. Unfortunately the Corona virus pandemic has meant that progress in the
last Six Months has been limited, I am hoping to be given the opportunity to make up for lost time.
I take a very holistic approach to the Trust; we are the sum of our parts so my aspirations must go
hand in hand with the Trust Board’s responsibilities to our members as majority shareholders of
Exeter City Football Club. In my first term on the Trust board I feel that I learned quickly, contributed
often and made balanced and reasoned decisions on the issues that were presented. Football is in
crisis right now, everyone who knows football can see the problems but there is a cosmic inability by
some within the game to make sensible choices. Good choices have stood both the Trust and the
Club in good stead for the future and I want to be part of the mechanism that continues to lead by
that example."
 

Edward

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2010
Messages
737
Well done for choosing to stand again for election.

My question is:

Is it time for the club to repay the £830,000 loan from the Trust?

Thanks.
 

i8cornwall

Active member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
1,821
Firstly good Doug in the election, My two

As someone who isn’t a trust member and someone who is starting to become disillusioned with our trust in its current form what will you offer to people such as my self and ultimately encourage us to join the trust?

and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on what the trust can do to engage with people aged 18 to 25 who support the club, and age range that somewhat often forgotten about or hard to engage with.
 

Doug3101

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
195
Well done for choosing to stand again for election.

My question is:

Is it time for the club to repay the £830,000 loan from the Trust?

Thanks.
Thank you for your kind words Edward, no brainer in standing again. Get made lead of the Community Working Group, community told to stay indoors!!

In answer to your question, yes. It will need the trust to actually ask for the money back but I think that there should be something in place so that the money can be repaid in a fashion that will not put the clubs finances in jeopardy or force them to ask for a loan of any monies back should they hit a bump in the road.
There is always the option of a recapitalization of said loan, I was still part of the Ownership Working Group when the issue of obtaining a 75% shareholding was being investigated. If part of the loan was converted into shares it could be beneficial to both parties.
 

Doug3101

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
195
With the recent sales of Ollie Watkins and Ben Chrisene, how should the club invest the money coming in?
Thanks for your question Snakebite.

A couple of things to note. payments of this kind are made in tranches over a few years as opposed to a lump sum, they are also subject to the taxman taking a sizable chunk.

Personally, given the current climate, I wouldn't be in a rush to spend anything. No one knows when fans will be allowed back into stadiums so we don't know when the club will be earning money again. Matt Taylor has said he doesn't want any additions to his squad right now but any player is always one late tackle away from a season out of the game. I would suggest having a contingency plan for emergency players and some cosmetic work around SJP for when fans return (sooner rather than later hopefully)
 

Doug3101

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
195
Firstly good Doug in the election, My two

As someone who isn’t a trust member and someone who is starting to become disillusioned with our trust in its current form what will you offer to people such as my self and ultimately encourage us to join the trust?

and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on what the trust can do to engage with people aged 18 to 25 who support the club, and age range that somewhat often forgotten about or hard to engage with.
Thanks for your question, you have almost answered the first one yourself. I would be interested to know what elements of the trust's work you have become disillusioned with, is it personnel or methods? As a trust member you have the power to push for change. You can attend Trust Board meetings, the AGM and you can submit motions to the Trust Board that could affect the way things are done. You can also become part of the process by volunteering on one of the working groups or put yourself forward to become a trustee or even a director on the club board in time. I started on a working group and that gave me the confidence to take the next step and stand for election, it's also fulfilling knowing that you are giving up some of your time, skills and effort into something worthwhile.

The 18-25 bracket is footballs Excalibur, no one seems to be able to get that sword out of the stone, I would go so far as to say that the age range starts at about 16. I think that there is a generic pattern. Parents take their children to football, said children grow up, have children of their own and the cycle continues.
The thing is that it's that time of life where these young adults are learning to develop without the constant guidance of their parents, they are forming new relationships and having new experiences. Maybe football isn't part of some of these individual's thought process. That said, we do still need to make this group feel welcome and valued as members of our club. I have a 14 year old who I take to football, he used to go in to the Grecian Family Zone but feels he's too old for it and standing around with the pie and pint brigade (not a criticism) in the Spot or Red Square bores him. These people need a place of their own where they can meet and interact with others that they can connect with and have a degree of freedom. The problem is that space is a premium right now. We have zones within the stadium for families and younger supporters, why not reserve a block for this age group? I would start by holding events during the week, give these people somewhere to go and interact with people their own age. if their circle of friends grows through the club then they may be more inclined to come to games to meet up with the new friends they have made. I would think that some may not go purely because some of their current friends have made plans or no longer want to go every week.
 

Doug3101

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
195
Just out of curiosity and with no problems either way, but just what would the Trust do with the £830,000 other than what the club can do with it if the loan was repaid?
As I mentioned, I would like to see an option of using of using part of the money towards achieving a 75% shareholding put to the members.
Personally, I would like to see the trust have a home of their own in the city centre, something on the lines of a cafe/drop in centre/retail outlet. The club have always been accommodating to the trust by stocking trust items in their shop so we could return the favour, it also helps people who don't have the time to get to SJP from the town centre.
 

Matt Phillips

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
59
Location
Manchester
Hi Doug. You mention in your manifesto about strengthening links around the city as well as being the community lead. With the recently announced feasibility study into a new ground, how will you ensure that the community (not necessarily just City fans) are appropriately represented in the study, and which groups would you look to engage with? What should the Trusts role be in the review? Also, how will the Trust work with the City Council through their own Local Plan exercise?
 
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