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Shakers Community Board Update

As part of our commitment to transparency and accountability to the Shakers Community membership, who are the owners of Bury AFC, we want to summarise our board discussions to allow supporters to understand what is happening at the club. Clearly, there may be sensitive information which needs to be removed, to protect personal data or confidential information, but this will be rare.

This note summarises the two meetings which took place on 16th and 23rd June which together form the June board meeting.

Governance

It was agreed that to set the right standards from the outset, we should ensure that members of both the Shakers Community and Bury AFC boards should be subject to the following:

  • Conflict of interest disclosure – a register of all shareholding and directorships of board members and those of connected parties will be maintained and reviewed.
  • Fit and proper test – whilst not a requirement at the level of football we will start at, we will look to implement a fit and proper test for all board members and key personnel.

Culture and Values

A document has been developed over the course of the two meetings which summarises the values of Bury AFC as a community club so as to give some weight to what it stands for beyond 11 players on a pitch. This will be used to measure our activity and effectiveness as a board, the position we hold in the community and we will ask all representatives of the club, including managers and players, to embody these values too. The draft will be circulated for further feedback before we make it publicly available.

A one-page visual representation of the key elements of our business plan was also discussed for development and presentation to members.

Appointments

Whilst there are no additional voting rights given to these roles, the Shakers Community board are required to have a small number of formal positions appointed. The agreed positions are:

Chair – Phil Young

Secretary – Rod Peters

Treasurer – Mike Howarth

Within the football club, Bury AFC, there are further positions and we have agreed that the following individuals will form the management team.

Chair – Chris Murray

Secretary – Ian Coyle

Safeguarding and Matchday Operations – Gareth Castick

Media – Adam Ingram

Commercial – Jon Wiggans

We will look to make further appointments to compliment the existing team and also to replace Mike Howarth’s current role as treasurer within the football club, given his oversight role with the Shakers Community.

The Bury AFC board is now moving to appoint a manager. This has been delayed due to the uncertainty created by the Covid pandemic but we have sufficient, if not total, clarity over our likely league positioning and start date to begin the process now so that we can appoint immediately once our league position is confirmed. A two-stage interview process has been agreed, with the Shakers Community board involved at shortlist stage. Individuals with playing and management experience have been brought in to assist with both the interview and initial CV review process. An advertisement with be placed on the www.buryafc.uk website soon with a brief window for applications.

Financials

Membership revenue is growing with 460 members already paying and a number waiting for their first direct debit to be taken.

We are registered to run small society lotteries and are in discussion with two established lottery providers to football clubs which will bring in further revenue.

The Commercial Brochure has been well received and a number of the major packages have been bought. We should be able to announce kit sponsors shortly after the imminent kit vote.

Community

We will ask members to nominate any charities they believe we should be supporting or working with for the forthcoming season. This will be an advisory vote as we will need to scrutinise the charity to ensure they are appropriate for the club and its ethos.

Operations

Some budget was allocated to enhancing our internal IT systems and we will put together a list of requirements for what technology is required for fans to interact with the club. It was acknowledged that not all fans have smartphones or access to the internet and we have a social responsibility to consider and provide solutions for everyone. This is something we will work on further.

We are also conscious of our new obligations brought about by Covid-19. In addition to the extra operational challenges we face, especially on match day, we need to consider the possibility of future lockdown or restrictions when negotiating longer term contracts.

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