This is an email I sent to the Club 1872 Board members in October 2018. Nothing changed as a result.
Dear Board Members,
I am sending this to the generic e-mail address and also individual addresses. I don’t have one for Euan so please pass it on to him. I have also heard that Bruce has now resigned.
I am writing this as a person who was on the Working Group that set up Club 1872 and heavily involved in the first six months of its operation. I have always tried to be supportive of the organisation although at times I have found it difficult. I am not trying to harm the organisation or any individual involved but I have grave concerns about the election proposals plus more general ones that I will go into later.
Election proposal – what is the rationale behind moving from requiring a proposer and seconder to suddenly requiring 15 donating members to nominate an individual to the Board? This would preclude the vast number of members from putting themselves forward. The only people that would know for sure who is and isn’t donating are people with access to your database. From the outside it appears that you are limiting the number of people standing and making it more of a closed shop, which is the last thing that you should be doing.
Three year term for directors – I have no objections to this in principle but you have failed to explain how this would work. If the plan is at the next election for five people to be elected for three years then that is very wrong. This has to be rotated so that there are still annual elections with a proportion stepping down each year. This enables continuity but also allows people with new ideas to be elected on an annual basis. Perhaps this is the plan but the proposal does not make this clear. You also need a method to appoint directors after resignations either by co-option or a one-off election.
Maximum of five directors – I strongly oppose this and would make it a minimum of five directors required. Given the history of resignations from the Board and with the amount of members money that is being put at your disposal then I think it is necessary for the Board number to increase rather than decrease.
Other – Communication with members has been awful. We used to get summaries of Board meetings and information on meetings with the club plus the occasional members meeting but that has all but disappeared. I know there was a ‘quarterly’ newsletter but out a few weeks ago which smacked of there are elections coming up so we better put something out. Failure to address comments made about the organisation is also a concern, particularly when these are made by an ex-director. In addition, the organisation has never held an AGM or given members an opportunity to ask questions on the accounts. The last two sets of accounts posted have been unaudited and only signed off by one director, who is not an accountant. I realise the CIC regulations state somewhere that independently audited accounts are not required for a CIC but given the vast amount of money involved I believe it would be prudent to have an proper audit, regardless of there being a cost. There are two different companies listed on the last two sets of accounts and people will wonder exactly what their role is.
As I said, I want the organisation to thrive but membership numbers have, at best, remained stagnant. I think this is mainly due to the fact that the Club is now more stable and the number of different ways that supporters can put money into the Club. I wish you well but I‘m now considering whether it is worthwhile to keep my donation going as it isn’t the organisation that I had envisaged. I may share this with others.