Middlesbrough Supporters Forum……Minutes 53

Middlesbrough Supporters Forum Meeting
Monday 18th September 2023
18:30 – 20.00

Present MSF: Mark Motley (MM), Michelle Coleman (MC), Matthew Gale (MG), Kulbir Kaur Peacock (KP), Nind Singh (NS), Rob Nichols (RN), Jeff Collins (JC), John Brunger (JB), Owen Swift (OS), Caroline Walker (CS) John Donovan (JD), Dana Malt (DM),

Present MFC:

Apologies: Paddy Cronesberry (PC), Ifshaan Mahmoud (IM), Red Faction (RF), Jill Atkinson (JA),

1 – Constitution Review

The group had agreed it was time to review the MSF constitution (available on MSF website) which had been in place since 2017.

All group members acknowledged MSF had evolved and updates were required.

The group agreed on the following changes:
Chairmanship elections should take place every 24 months – This is a change from every 12 months.
Meetings will be scheduled for every 6 weeks – This is a change from every 4 weeks.
The group should have a new vice chair role.
The group should have a new combined role of Treasurer / Secretary – Previously only a secretary role existed and had not been filled following the passing of the previous secretary PH.
The MSF website should be updated to reflect the current MSF members.

Changes to constitution wording to be drafted, circulated to group, and sign off agreed before changing details on website.

2 – Chairmanship

The chairmanship was a topic the current chair (MM) wanted to raise following 3 years in the role. (a large part of it through COVID Pandemic)

It was agreed that following the changes to constitution being agreed and updated on website, a vote will take place to elect a chairperson.

It was requested that those members wanting to put themselves forward as chair should start to think about this.

An election for a chair will take place before Christmas 2023.

Each member group will have one vote each.

3 – Roles & Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the chair with the support of the vice chair to chair meetings and liaise with MFC about MSF business (items we talk about in MSF meetings)

Following the appointment of a chair, a vice chair and Secretary / Treasurer will be appointed.

The vice chair will be responsible for supporting the chair and chairing meetings in their absence.

The Secretary / Treasurer will be responsible for note taking in meetings and have responsibility for the MSF bank account.

Communications Officer (CW) is responsible for writing MSF press releases, share press releases and put together any wording we agree on.

4 – MSF Moving Forward

Recent internal MSF debates and frustrations around press releases, managing and maintaining relationships with MFC and how MSF sees itself engaging with supporters going forward has led to open discussions on new ways of working.

All group members discussed how they must make the feelings of MSF known even more so publicly even at the risk of damaging communication lines between MFC and MSF, especially if they don’t agree with an MFC stance.

All members agreed that they are committed to having a positive relationship with MFC and staying independent, but feel more communication and consultation is needed by MFC to MSF on matters that impact supporters, such as digital ticketing.

5 – Bank Account

Following the appointment of a Secretary / Treasurer, a new MSF bank account will be opened.

Due to issues (CW) was having with current MSF bank account being transferred to new signatories, it was agreed the best way forward would be to open a new account.

6 – Other

Individual fan groups do not have, bring or share the details of their individual meetings or discussions with MFC to MSF meetings unless they feel it is relevant to do so and impacts the wider supporter base.

Individual fan groups should continue to meet with the club as and when they wish as they always have done.

MSF come together to discuss the common major issues that concern supporters.

For all future votes, if members are choosing to abstain, they must let members know.

All press releases and statements require a vote before going out.

Members discussed introducing a safeguarding policy that would be created and published on the MSF website. A policy support the group in bidding for funds to help MSF campaigns and supporters.

7 – Actions

1. Change constitution.
2. Organise chairmanship election.
3. Organise vice chair and Treasurer / secretary roles.
4. Change bank account
5. Write a safeguarding policy