1 Year on the PST Board - Simon Colebrook
By Simon Colebrook

Added on 11 July 2016

I can’t believe it’s almost a year since I was elected to the PST Board.

It was the first time I’d ever put myself in front of the public in any way. I was used to speaking at work related events and conferences but this was something else. Being on the radio was particularly strange, not an experience that I’ve been keen to repeat. Looking back at my election statement, I spoke a lot about funding for the club and Trust, growing the membership and finding a home for the Trust.

I spoke of 5 main priorities:

1. Ensuring the finances of the trust are sound and that the money invested in it by members is safeguarded

2. Grow the membership

3. Make the activities of the Trust and board more visible

4. New ways to raise funds for club and Trust

5. A permanent home for the Trust within Fratton Park

So, how have I done against those?

Much of my work in the last year has focused on the first topic. I was very grateful to have received the support of my colleagues on the Board in being appointed Treasurer and therefore I have seen my primary role being ensuring that the finances are looked after. So I prepare the accounts of the Trust each month and make sure that my fellow Board Members are aware of our income and expenditure. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be preparing the annual accounts and going through the financial audit.

I’ve been very happy to see the membership grow this year. We saw a particularly big jump in Feb after we started the adverts on Express FM. In fairness this is not anything that I’ve specifically done and has been a great team effort from a number of people on the Board. On the visibility front, I was very pleased that we published our plan for the period up to June 2017; it was a good step towards ensuring that our members understand what we’re working towards.

We also had a successful open meeting, where we published the plan and also discussed other big issues facing the club. Fundraising for the club and Trust is my next focus and together with other members of the Board we’re looking at how fans can play a part in funding the next phase of the club’s future. We hope to have something ready for publishing towards the Autumn of this year.

Finally, the permanent home at Fratton Park for the Trust is something that I spoke about during my candidacy. I have to admit that this is something that is not likely to be on the cards in the near future, and although it would be symbolic to have a home there I have conceded that on a practical level it is not a priority. Space at Fratton Park is at a premium, and we would only make use of the space 20-25 times a year. However, the Trust did have its official address moved to the Park which is symbolically important.

I’ve also been delighted to represent the Trust in the meetings of the Presidents that share ownership of the club with us. It’s vitally important that the Trust, the Presidents and the Club Board work hand in hand to continue the rebirth of our great club. Having one of the Presidents on the Board has been a fantastic addition and really helped us drive forward.

Looking forward to the upcoming election, and thinking of my experience of the past 10 months, I’d encourage anyone with a passion for Pompey to stand. If you’ve got some vision for the club and the Trust and the energy to see it through then we can achieve great things together. What you’ll find is a group of people all focussed on helping Pompey to achieve its potential. Don’t expect an easy ride, you have to be prepared to argue for the initiatives that you believe in. And be prepared to work in a committee environment, for better and worse.

We try to decide things as a group, which can sometimes take a bit longer than when you have a single person in charge. But, the benefit of the committee structure is that everyone’s opinions are equally valid and you will find a group with open minds and willing to listen. You won’t always get agreement, but you’ll always get a chance to speak. Finally, you’ll get a bit of an insight into how the club is run. Not so much that it has risked turning my hobby into a job, but enough to understand how we can help the club move forward. You’ll also be impressed by how much everyone wants the club to be successful, the Trust Board, the Presidents, the Club Board and the staff at the club. We’re all dedicated to seeing Pompey develop – on the pitch, the league position, the Stadium,

All in all, I’ve been honoured to have been elected as a Board Member and I hope that you all feel that this has been a successful year that will provide the foundations for success for both the club and the Trust. So, come and join us to help with the next stage!

Simon Colebrook

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