Date: 5th July 2018
Venue: The Spread Eagle
Attendees: Richard Gardham, James Lockwood, Andy Clark, Dan Heap, Chris Swales, Jon Tennison, Lucy Tennison, Paul Ashbridge
Apologies: Mike Scott, Martin Batchelor, Ian Thomson, Adrian Hoggarth, Peter Helsby, Harvey Fletcher, Mike Lawton, Graeme Marshall, Sue Brown, Oliver Gardham
1. Chairman (Richard Gardham)
It feels like we had a good year at the HCSS. At the last AGM we discussed ways to publicise what we do and make ourselves more visible. On that score, we’ve taken our Twitter followers from about 290 to 900, we’ve reorganised our Facebook page, and through the Hall of Fame we received some excellent coverage in Radio Humberside (who used it as a theme for a full Sportstalk programme) and the Hull Daily Mail, who did a full feature on it.
As we will discuss in the Any Other Business section, I’m keen to keep the Hall of Fame going. The manner in which the club followed suit and messed up their version, alienating fans groups and players in the process, only served to make our version look superior.
The Committee’s Choice vote last season went to Les Mutrie, who sadly passed away not long after we’d told him of his induction and sent him a commemorative book to mark the occasion. When Les died, his family asked us to send six more copies of the book to the funeral for guests to see and for his family to keep as a tribute to his career. Of course we were happy to do this and covered the expense out of HCSS coffers. To say his family were grateful for this gesture would be an understatement. Such incidences show the value of letting former players know of our appreciation of them and it is something I’m keen to repeat.
Elsewhere it’s just been a case of keeping on keeping on. Relations with the club continue to be minimal. My attempts to contact Tom Rowell – who was in charge with liaising with fans – fell on deaf ears. We were not alone in succumbing to that fate. I’ve sent an email to Tom’s successor, Ann Holland, she’s replied to say she’ll pass on a request to have the club come visit us. It would be good to have some sort of meet-the-club night back again after so many years without (though that hasn’t been for the lack of trying on our behalf).
When it comes to finances, we had the pleasure last season of being able to donate money to a couple of excellent causes led by HCSS members. Paul Robinson’s work to improve the life of a fellow polio sufferer in Sierra Leone touched all of us and led to a lovely article in Tiger’s Eye, while another HCSS member, Matt Greensmith, cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for an Eyegaze package for the son of another HCSS member – Horatio Herrera Richmond – who has cerebral palsy. We donated £50 to each cause and for such special cases I’m happy for us to continue down this route, particularly as our attempts to spend money on the club have been rebuffed in recent years.
Other than that the newsletter is still a worthwhile part of what we do, though if anyone has any ideas on how it could be improved I’d be happy to hear them. I, of course, remain eternally grateful to the members of the committee for doing what they do. We’d be lost without them.
I’m happy to continue in the role of chairman for another year. Apart from anything else, I’m keen to be HCSS chairman when I release my book – which I’m hopefully months off doing – as I feel I’ll be able to get us a lot of publicity through it.
Elected: Richard Gardham
2. Marketing/Social Media Report
With Twitter, I’ve been tweeting copiously all season to, largely, positive effect. It’s hard to strike the right balance in tone at times, as I feel that we should be able to be constructively critical of the club and perhaps the manager, while also dishing out praise where warranted, but I appreciate that the Twitter account to some extent represents all of our members. On the whole I think we’ve got most things right, and I’m confident of passing the 1000 mark this coming season and going beyond that. I’ve been trying to aim at youngers City fans on Twitter, as these are types more likely to move to London in the future.
On other facets of social media, it’s harder to engage with people on Facebook but it’s still a useful outlet for letting people know what we’re doing with TV screenings and the like. I don’t really understand Snapchat or Instagram so I’m staying the hell away from them. Twitter and Facebook seem to cover our needs, along with a few postings about various bits and pieces on Not606. I don’t think there’s much more to be done on that score.
With marketing, we’ve had mentions on Radio Humberside and the HDM through the Hall of Fame. We’ve managed to get a few mentions in programmes – home and away – in the past year too. We’ll try that again next season, though I’m not entirely sure how much it alerts people to our existence.
Elected: Richard Gardham
3. Legal Issues
Little to report on the legal side, except that I have looked at what Mike has put together and am satisfied that we are GDPR compliant. Because such a statement might well act as a red rag to a bull, I’m happy to field any queries or complaints that might be voiced by members.
Elected: Ian Thomson
4. Travel Guide
The Travel Guide is in preparation at the moment and we are on course to get it out before the first away game. I’ve switched printers this year and got a significantly better deal. Two other things I would like to table around the TG (one for the AGM and one for the Committee) are as follows:-(a) This is the third year I’ve done it and – apart from a little bit of nit-picking and some completely unfounded comment from one individual about a mistake on the Ipswich page last year, I’ve had SFA in the way of feedback. Whilst conscious that I should be careful what I wish for, I’ve had a chat with Pie and Mark and we all agree that the TG could do with a refresh next year. Consequently all sensible suggestions would be welcome. One thing I’m actively considering doing is getting rid of the maps now that we have the QR codes and we all have smartphones but suspect that this might not go down well with some, for no other reason that “we’ve always had maps”. Would be good to test the mood.
Elected: Ian Thomson
We had a good season last season, our best membership numbers in the second tier for a few years, at 266.
So far we have had just over 100 renewals, which will grow rapidly now that ticket ordering season has resumed. The three year memberships have proved very popular and will boost our coffers.
Elected: Mike Scott
Last season was a little quieter than the previous two Premier League campaigns, but we still ordered around 650 tickets, had big turnouts for all London games (notably 58 tickets ordered for Brentford) and generated £15,400 of Paypal payments. We now have an account surplus of around £600 which me and Martin use to rectify any blunders we (I!) make, order nice things for the ticket office staff at Christmas and fund the upkeep of the website domain and hosting.
Elected: Mike Scott
7. HCSS Committee for 2018/19
Chairman – Richard Gardham
Membership secretary – Mike Scott
Treasurer – James Lockwood
Tickets – Martin Batchelor, Mike Scott
Events/APFSCIL – Paul Ashbridge
Tiger’s Eye – Andy Clark
Marketing/social media – Richard Gardham
Travel – Dan Heap
General Counsel – Ian Thomson
Travel Guide – Ian Thomson