Minuted by: Helen Goldsmith
1. Chair’s welcome
Jules Spencer opened the meeting and invited all those seeking election to the committee for 2004/2005 to ensure their names had been put forward.
JS proposed that the new season’s committee be 20-strong, which was agreed by the meeting.
2. Dissolution of the 2003/2004 Committee and Officers’ group
The committee and officers’ group were dissolved as required by the constitution.
3. Election of AGM Chair
Nick Clay was proposed, seconded and duly elected as chair for the AGM.
4. Minutes of AGM 2002/2003
These were accepted as a true and fair record by the meeting.
5. Officers’ Reports
Chair – Jules Spencer
JS reported on a great deal of recent proactive work, and paid tribute to members who had worked on the Not for Sale campaign and other successes such as the loyalty pot, ticket allocation issues and ticket prices. He added that as IMUSA approached its 10th year, the organisation has never been more widely recognised and respected by United supporters.
Press Officer – Mark Longden
ML reported continuing good media relations and work to publicise on-going campaigns, as well as new initiatives like doorstepping the press entrance at Old Trafford. He said press coverage helps highlight the good work IMUSA does, like putting money back into the pockets of supporters, and he would be looking to build on recent coverage in the new season.
Treasurer – Nick Clay
NC reported it had been a difficult year for the IMUSA accounts – income was down, some of the Murdoch campaign debts had been cleared and few social events had been organised. However, it was hoped to mark IMUSA’s 10th anniversary with some major events which would help with fundraising.
NC reported he would be standing down as treasurer, and thanked those members who helped the accounts by funding phone calls, postage etc out of their own pockets.
Secretary – Vas Wackrill
VW reported on his work with the fans’ forum, which had helped secure the away ticket loyalty pot and had provided a platform for communications with the club.
He also reported on a shift in focus for IMUSA to pre-emptive planning for the season ahead, and growing interest in the re-introduction of safe standing – stressing the importance of gathering evidence to support the case in favour.
Membership secretary – Duncan Drasdo
DD cited a lack of newsletters and guest meetings as the main reason for a failure to recruit higher numbers of new/renewed members. However a single renewal date has now been introduced and he is looking at electronic membership and online applications to help boost numbers.
DD thanked Nick Clay and Paul Hurst for their help with data and financial processing.
Questions and Answers to Officers
Questions from the floor included:
Q: Why haven’t there been any guest meetings this season?
A: It was explained that it is always difficult to arrange guest meetings because of team commitments or unforeseeable circumstances like Denis Law being taken ill. In addition, arrangements are sometimes altered at the last minute by the club.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson is committed to attending a meeting in the early part of next season, and Denis Law hopes to re-arrange too.
Q: What action did IMUSA take after the announcement of Rio Ferdinand’s ban?
A: It was explained that as per policy, IMUSA stayed out of the issue at first and only decided to comment after hearing the length of the ban. Comment stayed away from the rights and wrongs of the issue and drew comparisons with other players in a similar situation who had received lesser punishments.
Q: What happened to a statement signed by SAF and IMUSA encouraging people not to vote for the BNP?
A: Kevin Keegan had been due to sign the declaration but it was understood Manchester City’s board had asked him not to, and the statement was never published. ML will ask a contact to make enquiries of City’s board about the issue.
The officers’ reports were approved and accepted by the meeting.
Andy Walsh formally thanked Nick Clay for stepping in to take over as treasurer last season, and also for his work on the committee over the years.
6. Election of Committee
The candidates standing for election to the committee identified themselves to the meeting. It was explained that in addition to the 18 candidates, a member of the London branch of IMUSA – Alison Watt – and Shareholders United – Reggie Stubbs – were to be co-opted on.
The meeting agreed to elect the candidates onto the committee without a formal ballot.
The following were elected for the season 2004/2005:
Steve Donaghue Paul Kelly (Shifty)
Duncan Drasdo Colm Lambert
John England Mark Longden
Sarah Hatton Mick Meade
Colin Hendry Mark Southee
Michael Holdsworth Julian Spencer
Paul Hurst “Swampy”
Helen Goldsmith Vas Wackrill
Ben Greenwood John Wroe
7. Election of Officers
Those standing for officers’ posts introduced themselves to the meeting and were duly elected. The officers for 2004/2005 are:
Chair: Jules Spencer
Vice chair: Mark Southee
Vice chair/campaigns: Mick Meade
Press officer: Mark Longden
Communications: Helen Goldsmith
Treasurer: Sarah Hatton
Secretary: Vas Wackrill
Membership: Duncan Drasdo
8. Fans’ Forum
VW, the FF representative for 2003/2004, gave a review of recent work. Some members expressed doubts about the overall effectiveness of the FF but the meeting agreed IMUSA would provide a representative for the forthcoming season.
The committee will discuss in the early part of the season any concerns about the way the FF operates, and whether there is a need to convey these concerns to the club.
Vas Wackrill was re-elected to be IMUSA's representative on the FF.
9. Any Other Business
Ticketing: Swampy raised an issue regarding FA Cup Final ticket allocation, saying he understood 750 tickets had been sent to supporters’ branches outside Manchester, which was unfair on local supporters. It was agreed VW will write to the club to find out more.
Banners: Reggie Stubbs wanted to replicate the Not for Sale banner for use at away matches, and offered £100 as a starter donation from SU.
Venues: NC said he felt the regular city centre venue (at the Sevenoaks) for monthly meetings had helped attract greater turn-outs. However there was some feeling that the room was not suitable. It was agreed by the meeting that a suitable alternative be looked into, and if found, members will be informed via flyers and the website.
10. Conclusion of meeting
NC declared the meeting closed. JS thanked him for chairing the AGM.