Trust Directors Talk Us Through Their Role – Part 5

The first to ‘declare their hand’ in this series was David Cook for whom the following article was published in the Accrington matchday programme back in August:

dc1As a Trust and Football Club Director we all have to accept responsibilities and ensure involvement and commitment to every single element of operating a successful and stable Club. Being a fan owned Club demands nothing short of that level of dedication. As Directors, we all use our work experience to accept related responsibilities within the Club, but, being a small, tight knit body we are often called upon to accept duties which might be outside our usual levels of experience. But that’s the nature of our Club, we all do what is necessary and required of us.

Coming from a background of employment in the highly regulated, nuclear healthcare industry has enabled me to use that particular experience to become involved in a number of different activities.

Many of you will know that the Football Club is allowed to operate only if we are granted a Safety Certificate by Bucks County Council. That requires that the County and District Councils, Thames Valley Police, the Fire Service, Southern Counties Ambulance Service, St John, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and ultimately the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) are satisfied with how we operate and how we ensure the safety of everyone attending Adams Park. In order to maintain our Safety Certificate, a Governance Committee was formed some 2 years ago and I sit on that body.

The responsibility that I accepted was to re-write the Operations Manual, the document that defines our Medial Plan, Fire Plan, Stewarding Plan and Contingency Plan, amongst many other things, in such a way that the Club is able to apply for self-certification. This means that the Club will define how it operates in such a way that SAG is satisfied, rather than our being told how to operate. Working very closely with the Stadium Manager, the Safety Officer and a fellow Trust Director having relevant experience, that task is close to completion, with an early indication from SAG and SGSA that we are on track. Maintenance of the Operations Manual is an ongoing task, it being essential that we react positively to feedback and changes in governing bodies’ regulations, so the work is never really complete.

My work on the Governance Committee has resulted in my representing the Football Club Board on the Safety Advisory Group, comprising the regulatory bodies mentioned above. The Club’s relationship with SAG has improved considerably over the past eighteen months as a result of the proactive, cooperative approach that has been generated by our Governance Committee and should ensure success in our objective of Self Certification.

Of the many other responsibilities that I have shared, probably the highest visibility areas would be the Community Share Scheme, the provision of the matchday bus service and the establishment of the sale of matchday badges, now administered by a fellow Trust Director. The responsibility that I least expected to assume is that of the Company Secretary, not to be confused with the role of the Club Secretary, two very different roles. In that role, I act as the secretary to the Board and all other duties associated with the legal and financial requirements of Companies House.

I do all of these things as a fan, as someone who enjoys being part of the Club that we all love!