1. Chair’s Report
The 2019-20 season has been one like no other on and off the field – and not just for the Ospreys and the supporters club. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit world rugby hard, and for us that started with the announcement in February of the cancellation of our away trip to Zebre, before emptying the remaining Pro14 fixture calendar and finishing off the season behind closed doors, with little bubbles of supporters gathering together in garden pubs, living rooms and wherever else they could to cheer on the team in our two local derbies to close off a disappointing season.
I’d like to give thanks to all the committee members for the hard work put in throughout the season. Two of our officers have stepped down in the past few weeks and I’d like to note the contribution our former chair Nigel Jones and our former treasurer Geoff Jones (who has been with the OSC from the very start) in not only taking the OSC to the place we are now at but also to their contribution to the Joint Supporters Group – our platform for discussions between pro rugby supporters and the WRU.
In a season where our usual efforts to contribute to supporters’ matchday experience where severely impacted, before lockdown we still managed to put on live music both in the Riverside and also in Neath RFC for our 2 home games at the Gnoll, we held a Q&A with our new players in September and with members of the coaches and management team in October. This season’s mid-season quiz never happened due to covid – during a period where online or virtual quizzes seemed to be on offer every night of the week if you wanted one!
We recognise that times are very different and it may be a while before we get to return to grounds to watch live rugby, however this has not stopped us putting together an improvement plan intended to improve what the OSC offer and how we function as a committee. Effectively – we want to improve and be the best supporters club we can be. The plan will be to implement this over the coming season & whilst the coming season is still a reasonably significant unknown in terms of supporters, we will do our best to implement changes to improve what we do and how we do it.
We need to highlight that as the 2019/20 season drew to a close, this brought about the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Ospreys Supporters Club (thanks to Mike Phippen and the other early volunteers who started all of this and helped bring us to this historic landmark. Whilst our 10 year celebrations will be lot more “virtual” than we first imagined when we started planning how to celebrate 10 years, it is still a great achievement and I would like to thank all of the committee volunteers over the years, the Ospreys for backing the initial idea and also to our OSCA sponsors – but most of all, I’d like to thank the Ospreys season ticket holders/supporters/fans (call yourself what you like) for giving the OSC committee a reason to be. Here’s to the coming season – lets support the Ospreys in whatever way we are allowed under the latest covid guidelines!
2. Secretary’s Report
This is not the first time that I have delivered the Secretary’s report for the OSC, but I can say without fear of contradiction, that I have never delivered this report in anything like the circumstances , that I find myself now! Covid 19 certainly has had a dramatic effect on all aspects of everyday life and the world of rugby is certainly no exception to this. Opportunities to watch the team have indeed been very limited and I am sure that we are all hoping for an improvement in that area in the near future! In that vain, I would like to recognise all of those people in the NHS, Care and emergency services, commercial outlets etc, that have worked so hard to support us at this difficult time! Our heart goes out to all those who have lost someone as a result of the pandemic, be they staff, patients or residents. A special mention to all Ospreys supporters, who fall in to any of these categories!
Part of the OSC’s role has always been to support charities that have a connection in some way to the game of rugby. Our traditional methods have been through the sale of the annual OSC badge and by organising raffles, at certain home games. Obviously, the limitations of the season have severely impacted on both of these activities! Despite this, I am delighted to report that we have been able to make a cash donation to Swansea Gladiators, a team of youngsters with additional learning needs, within the Swansea area. We have also donated to the Neuro Injury Department, at Morriston Hospital. The connection here is that one of the East Stand regulars Leighton Edwards, annually organises sponsorship to grows his grey beard, to make donation to the unit. In addition to this, we have been able to support James Hook’s charities, nominated as part of his testimonial year. Notable achievements, given the complexity of the situation.
This season we bade farewell to two of the OSC officers, Chair Nigel Jones and Treasurer Geoff Jones. On behalf of the committee and the OSC membership, I would like to thank both individuals for their devotion and service, going backer a number of years! We wish
them all the very best for the future.
Hoffwn i ddweued diolch i bob aelod y pwyllgor, sy wedi gweithio mor galed yn ystod y tymor! Heb eich cyfraniad chi, byddai Clwb y cefnogwyr yn methu cario mas ei gwaith. Diolch o galon i chi igyd!
Similarly, I would like to thank all of the committee members for their efforts throughout the season. Without your tireless efforts we would not be able to function as a supporters club. Thanks again to you all! Ac yn deyrfynol, diolch yn fawr i chi, y cefnogwyr am eich cefnogaeth dros y tymor! Dwi’n hallol siwr fod cefnogwyr y Gweilch, yw’r gorau sydd ar gael! Rydyn ni gyd yn edrych ymlaen at y tymor newydd gyda gobaith yn ein calon a ffydd yn y tim!
And finally, thank you to you the supporters for your support over this difficult season! I am sure that the Ospreys supporters are the best there is! We are all looking forward to next season, with hope in our hearts and faith in our team!
Dewch ymlaen y Gweilch! Come on the Ospreys!
3. Vice-Chair’s Report
There’s not a massive amount left for me to say as I think Grant and Keith have already covered everything. However, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say that it is an honour to be your Vice-Chair and I believe that the future is bright for us as a Supporters Club.
During our discussions for our 10 year anniversary celebrations, we asked ourselves ‘what does good look like?’ and this is a question that we must keep asking ourselves as we move forward. We must strive to be the best supporters club in Wales and constantly look to improve. Just like the guys on the pitch, we, as a committee need to work together as a team in order to provide our supporters with the best possible experience.
We want to further expand our relationship with the Ospreys, offer more transparency and guidance for our supporters and to try and enhance the match day experience for everyone. Obviously, not forgetting our excellent charity work for which we are mightily proud of! As Grant has already alluded to, this season we are celebrating 10 years of the OSC and we’ve got plenty to look forward to, with our first event happening this Thursday with our virtual ‘Meet the Coaches’ Q&A with Toby Booth and Brock James. There will be other events planned throughout the season with Player Q&As, Quizzes and other celebrations planned! We may not be celebrating as we
initially planned, but we will celebrate nonetheless.
This just leaves me to thank those who have left the OSC committee this year for all their hard work over the years. Their time, graft and guidance has been truly appreciated.
4. Treasurer’s Report
The OSC account closed at the end of our financial year (dated 31 st of May 2020), with a positive
balance of £1,515.
Without being in a position to circulate hard copies of the income and expenditure account, I will
just run through some of the main items that have resulted in us reporting that amount. If anyone
would like to see the full account, let me know and I can arrange for the information to be
- We brought forward a surplus of £2,087 from the previous year ending May 2019
- We received a total of £250 sponsorship income in the year, from PB Garage Services. This funding is linked to the POTM awards
- Our badge sales totalled £1,279
- With raffle monies totalling £443
- As regards the badge sales and raffle monies, we would like to thank our supporters for their ongoing generosity and support in this way.
- We made a small profit of £90 on the Scarlets bus for our away fixture last season. This more or less offset the loss made on the buses run to Rodney Parade and the Neath bus for home fixtures.
- In terms of expenditure the key items to note would be:
The initial purchasing of pin badges at £503
- Entertainment and expenditure on match day experience £220
- Groggs £1,150 – it is worth noting here that this expenditure has been covered in previous seasons by sponsorship income received. With PB Garage Service no longer operating, this will be an area for us to look at going forward
- Payment to Paul James’ testimonial year and charity of £600
That is a quick summary of the main items that resulted in the balance of £1,515. From our badge sale profits, we will be making donations to the Swansea Gladiators and James Hook’s testimonial charity.
Just one final point to note in terms of finances. We have once again delivered the functions of the OSC without calling down any funding from the Ospreys themselves. Given the current climate and financial uncertainties facing sporting entities across the country, this is something we are particularly pleased to be able to highlight again this year.
5. Election of committee members
Two places were available after the resignations from NJ and GJ. CG, who was a coopted committee member plus Annette Thomas were the only applicants. The vote confirmed both as committee members.
6. Changes to Constitution
GB stated that amendments to the constitution could only be made at the AGM or a specially convened meeting. In view of that GB proposed a few changes:
1) Committee members would be expected to attend 75% of meetings per season, instead of 75% every 3 months.
2) In the event of a dispute re interpretation of the constitution, change from the Chairman will determine the
intended meaning to the majority of officers plus Vice Presidents. In the event of a split vote, the Chairman
will have the casting vote.
7. Officer Change
GB proposed that a new officer role be set up in response to the increase in Social Media and digital presence. MP said that he hoped that whoever took it on, did as good a job as LC and SD. GB proposed CG, nomination was carried.
- Angela Collins thanked the committee for their work during the season. She also extended thanks to NJ and GJ for their work.
- MP thanked NJ and GJ for their work over the past years and contribution in creating a good working relationship with the Ospreys.
- LC extended thanks to NJ and GJ
- CG extended thanks to NJ and GJ
- Christine James thanked the committee for their work during the season
- DP extended thanks to NJ and GJ. DP also pointed to the fact that the constitution should include the use of Zoom and Digital platforms for committee meetings and the AGM.
- KC closed the AGM
GB, SD, LC, KC, JW, MP, CG, AT, IT, DP, LJ, Angela Collins, Nicholas Williams, Christine James, Karen Walters, Annette Thomas