Once again, it is my pleasure to report upon another season for the Annual General Meeting.
In common with the previous two seasons, it was a season of two halves with a managerial change at mid-point and whilst we had hopes of a play-off position as the season took shape, we had to be content with ninth place in the end – still our best position for five years.
Perhaps had VAR existed in the Championship, we would have had two or three wrong decisions given against us overturned, notably at Leeds, West Brom and Ipswich, but in fairness, over the whole season, perhaps we didn’t do enough to justify a season extension.
From the branch point of view, once again, I sincerely thank my committee for their efforts in keeping our day to day activities running smoothly. We only have a small team, and with three of the five of us residing in Kent, we are more grateful for and reliant upon e-mail to achieve this but fine, that’s what it’s for.
Our relationship with the parent Supporters’ Club remains strong and I need to pass on my gratitude to Joan Bakewell who managed to accommodate our match ticket requirements for the season in all cases bar the FA Cup tie at Chelsea.
However, with a number of people sorting themselves out equally for that game, we ended up getting everyone bar four at the game. We do now have a number of members who pay for their match tickets electronically but can everyone please remember that, irrespective of the payment method, I still need the stamped addressed envelope to return your tickets to you. I’m afraid, there’s no electronic way of doing that at the moment.
The branch still actively supports APFSCIL through attending its meetings and also competing in both darts and pool Leagues this year.
The darts team continually perform well and, as I write, have a great chance of winning the league. Again as I write, the pool team still has one more league match to play and although not quite repeating the high finish of last season could still finish fourth if this game is won well. Despite this, both teams are always interested in obtaining new members so anyone interested, please come forward.
Over the course of the season, I know a number of you often used the special football travel tickets set up by East Midlands Trains and although developed from discussions with APFSCIL clubs, nevertheless is open to anyone and has been very beneficial.
However, you are probably aware that Abellio, the company who operate the Greater Anglia services out of Liverpool Street to Ipswich and Norwich, are taking over the franchise and we’ll have to see what they put in place but I’m sure they will continue this to the same or equivalent level. You can get decent fares on the East Anglia journeys so fingers crossed.
Membership numbers dropped slightly last season from 150 to around 140. Nothing serious as we always get a turnover each season and it’s hoped that, especially if Forest are having a good season, we will push on as next season progresses.
Many years ago, we did have a branch constitution which Janet Robinson, when she was secretary a few years ago, looked to revive but as our membership has grown considerably over the past two or three years, I feel it’s worth updating and reintroducing.
This proved necessary when we had our ticket allocation for Chelsea reduced so we can implement a system that ensures distributions are undertaken as fairly as possible.
Naturally, we are bound by the constitution of the parent Supporters’ Club which should appear in the diary they send us as part of the membership package but I feel it’s worthwhile having our own set for internal matters (when completed this will be available on the branch website).
When the word constitution is used, people tend to think about a draconian set of rules but that’s not the case or is it meant to be.
Much of it is administrational, other paragraphs effectively demonstrate our hopeful commitment to you and the rest comprises the procedures that you are already aware of. I attached a draft with the AGM Notice for discussion at the meeting so any comments from you will be welcomed.
I, for one, believe we can look forward to 2019/20 with a wave of optimism especially if we can keep all our existing players and add some more quality and the City Ground may well be a good place to be. Certainly, the new set-up at the club does exude that even more so now that work will commence at the end of the season to develop the City Ground into a stadium of which we can all be proud…
Finally, on a personal level, I think most, if not all of you are aware that my health was not at its best last season.
I had a benign tumour in my Pituitary Gland (called an adenoma) which had to be removed and this was carried out in Queen’s Hospital, Romford back in April. The tumour had also affected my visionary field and I had been stopped medically from driving.
The operation has been successful, I do have an appointment with the consultant on the same afternoon as this AGM but hopefully that will be fine.
I do understand my medication is being reduced, a great sign. I’m just awaiting a date for the eye test now that I hope will let me reapply for my licence back.
I know that during this period and following it when I saw you all at QPR, I received a number of encouraging messages from a number of you so it would be very remiss of me to not publicly thank you for this. It was very much appreciated.
* Please note that the fixtures for 2019/20 season will be released on the day after the Annual General Meeting (Thursday 20th June at 09.00 hours). If we are away on the opening day (Saturday, August 3), will you please let me have your ticket order by Friday 5th July. If home on the opening day, we will therefore be away on Saturday, August 10 (and a possible midweek away game as well), please let me have this by Saturday, July 13.