Please find the latest communication from the WST board below, regarding the current situation at the Football Club. You can find our previous updates here.
We have received our first repayment from the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. The club has received a payment of £141,232.32 to cover wages that were paid in April and part of March. This covers wages for full-time employees, part-time staff, matchday staff and part-time Youth Department coaches.
Club directors have already started work on the claim for May ready to be submitted later this month. The Job Retention Scheme was extended by the Government on Tuesday and we await further details about this.
Hats off to Dean Keates who has uncovered a useful funding stream for us. Pitch Preparation Funding Grants are available from the Football Foundation and we have managed to secure £1,500 to repair the damage to the Racecourse turf caused by the long lay-off.
This is especially welcome as the cost of re-seeding alone will be around £1200. Read more here.
National League Consultation of the Member Clubs
Following on from the decision to cancel any remaining fixtures in the 2019/20 season, member clubs of the National League were recently asked to give direction (not vote) as to whether the League should extend the date to be able to conclude the play-offs for the National League season.
On behalf of Wrexham AFC, our guidance to the League was that they should continue to hold the play-offs if these can be completed before the start of the next regular season and not delay its start.
It was our assessment that it was only fair to those clubs involved in the play-offs that they should be given the opportunity, if it wasn’t to impact on next season and impact WAFC and other clubs.
The National League vote was:
– Cancel Play-Offs – 12
– Postpone Play-Offs to a later date – 9
– No vote – 3
The National League Board Of Directors have decided to pursue the option of postponing the play-offs and are seeking an extension from the relevant football authorities at this point in time.
DLO update – Kerry Evans keeping busy
This past week we checked in with DLO Kerry Evans to get an update on her work during the lockdown period. This is what she told us:
“I am on the list of people advised by Welsh Government to fully shield for 12 weeks during this lockdown period. I’ve been using my time as productively as possible continuing to support our disabled fans on behalf of Wrexham AFC.
“I have got to know many of our disabled fans over the 2.5 year period of my job at the club, and have been continuing the work of the club by contacting the ones I have the details for every few weeks for a chat and to check in on how they are and try to lift their spirits.
“The response has been quite overwhelming with everyone I have contacted being so happy to hear from us at Wrexham AFC. I even received text messages after my call to again thank me for contacting them and saying how much the call was appreciated.
Everyone I speak to is missing their football fix and is eager for these times to end so we can all get back to the Racecourse Ground once again. I have to say it’s been an absolute pleasure to have met so many lovely people through my role at the club.
“I will continue to contact fans on behalf of Wrexham AFC through this difficult period but hope to see everyone back at the Racecourse ground in better times very soon.”
The WST is currently engaged in an exercise to improve its operations and those of the Football Club. A working party consisting of board members and lay members has been set up to examine our constitution and policies with a view to increasing transparency and accountability in the organisation. It is expected that a raft of changes will be brought forward for members approval in the coming months.
As part of this process we are opening out the discussion for members feedback prior to finalising the proposals. Group members are Paul Cox, Phil Davies, Lindsay Jones and Gavin Jones. All feedback to – firstname.lastname@example.org
The first policy that was tackled was the Disciplinary Policy. This policy applies to all members and the existing policy can be found here.
The proposed changes to the policy make it clearer and fairer with an independent party managing the process. This would ensure that an “over-mighty” board could not abuse the policy as a tool to attack members. Members would be guaranteed a fair hearing and justice would be served.
One potential downside is that it could cost the Society financially as we would be footing the costs. For this reason, we have built in an annual review. If it looks like it is costing too much, we can find another solution. This would be a decision of the membership.
We are also stressing that any complaint must be evidence-based so that we prevent frivolous and vexatious complaints. Members might also note that the existing policy has never been used in the history of the WST. A testimony to the good humour and exemplary behaviour of our membership.
You will also note that there is no automatic right to appeal. The reason for this is that the complaint is already being handled by an independent party, so an appeal to a further independent party may be seen as duplication.
It may be an idea to allow appeals based on new evidence being brought forward. The draft policy is printed below.
WREXHAM SUPPORTERS SOCIETY LIMITED DISCIPLINARY AND GRIEVANCE POLICY (DISCUSSION)
This document is drafted in accordance with the existing rules of Wrexham Supporters Society Limited and sets out the Disciplinary Policy adopted pursuant to a resolution of the Society at a General Meeting held on ……………….
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that:
1.1 Members agree to be bound by the rules of the Society which require that the conduct of members is not prejudicial to the Objects of the Society.
2.1 “Member(s)” means a member(s) of the Society.
2.2 “Society Board Member(s)” means an elected Member(s) of the Society.
2.3 “Co-opted Member(s)” means a person(s) who is/are a Member(s) and has/have been elected to the Society Board by Society Board Directors but not elected by the Members.
2.4 “Board Membership and Conduct Policy” means a detailed set of rules and regulations of the Society set out in a separate policy statement which includes the procedure which should be followed in all cases relating to Society Board Members only.
2.5 “Disciplinary Offence” means a member has committed an Indictable Offence (as defined below at 2.6) or such act or deed which would adversely affect the reputation of the Society in accordance with 4.1 below
2.6 “Indictable Offence” means a criminal offence (other than a spent conviction as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) for dishonesty, fraud or dealing in drugs.
2.7 “Disciplinary Policy” means the terms and conditions laid out in this document.
2.8 “Rules” means the rules and regulations of the Society laid out in the separate Rules document
2.9 “Secretary” means the Independent Secretary of the Society.
2.10 “Chair” means the elected chair of the Society Board.
2.11 “Society” means Wrexham Supporters’ Society Limited (also known as Wrexham Supporters Trust).
2.12 “Society Board” means the Board of the Society including any Co-opted Members.
3.0 Society Board Members
3.1 Society Board Members who may be the subject of a complaint must declare an interest and recuse themselves from all proceedings relating to the complaint.
4.1 Where a complaint is raised against a member of the Society or a member of the Society Board the Independent Secretary will open a complaint file, inform all parties that a complaint or grievance has been lodged and a file opened.
4.2 The Secretary will examine the detail of the complaint and, if appropriate, attempt to resolve the complaint in accordance with the rules of the Society.
4.3 Where a resolution is not possible the Independent Secretary shall pass the evidence based complaint on to an Independent party agreeable to both parties or appointed by the Football Supporters Association .
4.4 At any subsequent Disciplinary hearings the subject of the complaint shall have the right to a companion who will be able to attend any meetings with the member subject to the complaint.
4.5 All incidental costs arising from the complaint shall be met by the Society.
4.6 The independent party shall investigate all evidence that relates to the complaint. Their decision will be communicated in writing to all parties. Their decision shall be binding on all parties and there will be no appeal.
4.7 All proceedings shall be treated as confidential.
4.8 Proposed sanctions will be applied by the WST Board following the hearing.
4.9 This policy to be reviewed and renewed every year at the Society AGM