Trust Advisory Board Questions/Answers Hub – TrustSTFC

Trust Advisory Board Questions/Answers Hub

The following pages provides a central hub for all STFC Advisory Board (AB) Questions and Answers , this will be updated each month after each AB to ensure we keep all questions grouped together with the latest relevant answers from the club so fans can reference this page.

Should you wish to submit a question please email and we will look to ensure this is asked at the next Advisory Board. Please ensure this question reaches us by the 26th of the month for the AB in the next month. If it doesn’t reach us in time it will be rolled over to the AB the proceeding month. Questions to the Ab should be relevant and of a strategic nature. Operational day to day questions and feedback to the club can be raised via emailing the club on

Please also read the following post on the fact questions are only to be accepted from named people, and also that questions need to be submitted by the 3rd of each month for that months Advisory Board.  Full Details Here.

Last Updated
July 2023 AB

Section A: The Board Room

  • The Karachi work was initiated by Zav Austin in a purely voluntary capacity. He is not the Vice-Chairman. He does not hold any position of influence within the club and does not receive a salary.
  • The Pakistan arrangement is aimed at attracting and developing talent, and we have seen some minor benefit from that in terms of our coaches getting international experience, but it is not a major part of our plans going forward. Zav’s voluntary work may well continue but it is not funded by the club.
  • The MOU with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office simply lays out a basic framework for how players can be brought into the club through official and above-board channels, which is crucial as we are committed to doing things the right way. It was not signed by Zav as he does not work for Swindon Town, but obviously he has built bridges between STFC and relevant officials.


  • You are referring to the recent photo of Zav Austin with a government official. To reiterate the message from last month, Zav is not the Vice-Chairman and does not hold any position of influence within the club. He does though have a close affection for the club and wants us to do well. He individually initiated a project in Pakistan aimed at attracting new talent to our club, and we have seen some minor benefit from that, but his work is voluntary, and not funded by the club. In terms of the photograph that was shared, this was a continuation of that voluntary work and supports our longer-term goals of finding players from all Commonwealth regions.


  • Clem was very thankful to Zav for the role he played in helping Clem take stewardship of the Club and promised the role of Vice Chairman. Clem was unaware of the stringent rules in place via the Owners and Directors Test. After legal advice we did not apply for the Owners and Directors Test and therefore Zav is not Vice Chairman. • However, Zav will continue to attend on match days as a guest of the Club given his critical support in helping Clem take control of the Club.
  • The club acknowledges the importance of player recruitment and is continuously working to improve this area. The recruitment strategy will be reviewed and improved in the off-season to ensure that the team is in a better position to compete for promotion next season with the right mix of experience and youth. The club appreciates the support of the fans and understands their concerns regarding this matter
  •  Clem is busy working in Australia with Axis and working hard behind the scenes driving the Club forwards.
  • Clem is still available to communicate openly to all fans where and when its relevant and needed

Section B: The County Ground Purchase and the Joint Venture (TrustSTFC and STFC)

  • Over the summer we will refine and clarify the car park offering, by working with our partners MI Permit.
  • Thanks for the suggestion regarding away fans, we will discuss this with the OSC and SAS Travel.
  • Every penny of revenue will be invested back into the club and the stadium. It protects our Ground – there have been issues at Coventry, Northampton, Oxford, Darlington and more. Very simply, at the moment the football club pays rent to the council, and that money is spent on community services, bin collections or whatever. Under joint supporter/club ownership – that rent would effectively be taken in one hand and then given back with the other. That’s an immediate benefit.
  • STFC and Supporters are going into this jointly in a 50/50 arrangement. Everything will be managed equally between both parties and resources from both sides will work on this.
  • We have our first JV board meeting with TrustSTFC and Nigel Eady Trust representatives later this month. We will consider feedback from the recent shareholders survey and release a 2023 business plan via Trust communication channels.
  • At this stage, the Club and Supporters Trust are working on a masterplan for the redevelopment of the stadium, which includes the Stratton Bank. The Trust are currently in the process of planning their initial engagement with voting shareholders and once everything has been analysed and the plan starts to form, we will know more about the redevelopment programme. • In terms of the proposed first stage, we are considering a number of options, including fan zones, executive boxes and a covered roof for the Stratton Bank. However, until we have completed the fan engagement, research, feasibility studies and our plan, we cannot confirm the exact scope of the first stage or the timeframe for completion. There will still be costs associated with maintaining and improving the ground, and financing for these projects will need to be secured through a combination of Clem’s support, improved commercial results, fundraising efforts, sponsorships, and other revenue streams. The exact details of the financing plan and timeline for the proposed redevelopment of the County Ground have yet to be determined, but the club is committed to keeping supporters informed as the project progresses.
  • The rent was c£200k per year. From now on, the club will pay circa £100k a year into the Joint Venture, to be spent on stadium improvements.
  • Yes, there is still a charge for the car park, and the revenue from the car park is now going to the club. • We are using one of our main sponsors, one of the leading car park providers in the UK, a company called ‘MiPermit’ to manage the parking system for us.
  • This is hard to define at this moment and would need discussing and prioritising by the Joint Venture, but it could be either the Town end redevelopment or the Stratton bank, we will have to see.
  • This is one of many ideas that has been suggested in the past and is again something which would need careful consideration by the Club and the JV.  We are very aware and respectful of the covenant from the Goddard estate and fully engage with them before progressing any ideas, which ultimately would be for the benefit of the Club and pursuit of football in Swindon.
  • Lots of remedial work is currently being done, and with regards to the main improvement works, meetings are happening
    following the results of the Trust survey, looking at the options. A feasibility study has commenced and Development Plans being
    driven for Club by Anthony Hall, Axis UK MD.
  • Club will raise at the September Safety Advisory Group and confirm.
  • Unfortunately water supply is not fit for drinking as is tank water so we wont be able to do this at the moment.
  • Car park is monitored at all times
    Car park is currently free on Saturday and Sunday but will charge during other days as per charging schedule.
  • Covered in previous meetings. But plans are being drawn up for medium to long term development plans. But immediate work to improve the CG are underway for the 23/24 season.

Section C: Football Management / Technical Director / Transfers

  • For our next appointment we have brought in a successful and experienced league two manager in Michael Flynn.
  • You will see announcements soon in relation to the vacant Football roles and as mentioned in other areas of this report, we are moving to a more conventional Manager type role as can be seen with the appointment of Mike Flynn.
  • We’ve learnt our lessons and our recruitment will be different going forwards.
  • Ed Brand is a permanent Swindon Town employee
  • Regarding the first point, the club is committed to conducting due diligence on all individuals involved with the club.
  • As for the second point, the club understands the importance of creating a positive experience for away fans and is open to exploring options to improve their matchday experience.
  • The Club does provide food and drink options for away fans in the concourses
  • The suggestions provided are appreciated and will be taken into consideration. However, any potential changes will need to be agreed upon with the relevant authorities and stakeholders
  • Michael Flynn is leading recruitment and is being careful to ensure we get the right players in to add to the squad

Section D: Club Strategy


  • We continue to work with both the OSC and the Trust who have inclusivity on their respective agendas. Any supporters who are keen to get involved and push forward this area are encouraged to get in touch with those groups. Independently we are following EFL guidance around this and we are 100% committed to welcoming everyone to a very inclusive County Ground.
  • The OSC have a LGBTQ+ Group they are looking to push and keen to encourage more members


  • The business strategy sits behind our day-to-day activities within the club and we have put in place an internal monthly review to ensure we are moving forward on each of our goals.  As with everything at our football club it will take time but they are all realistic targets. We’ve mentioned before that with financial fair play rules kicking in, we absolutely need the backing of supporters in order to stay on plan as recruitment will be driven by our financial results off the pitch.
  • Although we have leaned heavily on Clem’s personal investment to-date, that is not a sustainable position for the club in the long run and we have to stand on our own feet and that requires us all to look to the future and our strategy relies on supporters working hand in hand with staff, so that we operate as one club.
  • Many (if not most) football clubs outside of the Premier League are struggling financially, some of them experiencing very bad outcomes now, despite having been propped up by individuals for long periods. For our club, you can see from the legacy debt reductions we are working on, we are gradually getting back on track. We just need supporters to continue to back us and once the legacy debt is gone we will have the foundations for greater success. If our business numbers drop, then we are likely to see slower progress in some areas like the stadium developments because investment in a quality playing squad is our priority and we will definitely be competitive and aiming for promotion in a strong League Two next season.


  • As mentioned already, we have appointed a football manager in Mike Flynn, who will take the lead on future transfer dealings, and as everyone knows, we need to bolster our squad with experience. From time-to-time we will still have to sell a player, like all lower league sides do, but this is not what drives us on the footballing side. The priority is to build a successful, wining football team.
  • Of course, we are all disappointed and sorry about how the season played out – it would have been hard to imagine such a bad run of results in 2023. Mistakes were obviously made, and we have learned from that, as you will see with our next series of footballing recruits. We can’t guarantee success, but we are confident we are moving forward in the right way.
  • The club understands the concerns raised by the fans about the recent performance of the team and we also appreciate the continued support of our fans and are committed to improving the team’s performance. Early signings are important, and we are already actively working to identify and sign new players to strengthen the team for next year. While we cannot reveal our budget numbers, we assure you that the club is committed to investing in the team and pushing for promotion in 23/24
  • The club is continuously evaluating its player recruitment strategy and is open to making changes based on feedback and performance. While it’s important to have a balance of experienced and younger players, the club also values developing young talent and giving them opportunities to progress. The club will work hard and prioritise finding the right balance in the recruitment strategy to build a team that is pushing for promotion in 23/24.
  • The objective for next year is always to compete at the highest level possible and have success on the pitch. Promotion to League One is most definitely our ambition, but there are many factors that can influence a team’s performance and position in the league. As for recruitment, the club is always looking to strengthen the squad and improve the team and the club will be working hard in the summer to identify and bring in players that can help achieve the objectives for the upcoming season
  • 1. Pay more than national minimum wage to some and minimum wage to others, depends on roles and suppliers
  • 2. C£4.4m is long term debt to Clem/Axis at 0% interest rate – as per 2022 accounts
  • 3. Being worked on and will be more 1-3 year given difficulty of longer term plans
  • 4. Legal team reviewing position
  • 5. Have an interim in place and assessing position
  • Thanks for sharing the Swipestation information, it looks a good idea and we will explore in more detail.
  • The advisory board includes this Q&A section which as you can see includes lots of questions related to on the pitch activities.
  • Work is progressing with Michael Flynn leading recruitment and ensuring we get the right players in to add to the
    c18 already in contract
  • We have a strong and experienced manager in Michael Flynn and an experienced and very capable Academy
    Director in Jamie Russell. Chris Kiely provides data consultancy that will support the recruitment which Michael
    Flynn is undertaking
  • Junior Reds room will be available for Junior Reds members next season
  • Focus right now is on stadium redevelopment but an STFC training ground is still a long-term focus for the Club
  • The Manager, Michael Flynn, is in charge of recruitment but is supported by Jamie Russell, Head of Football, Les
    Caffrey, Head Scout and Chris Kiely’s data analysis. Michael Flynn has the final say on signings and sorting out
  • Responded that there is one more year on the contract. Contract runs until the end of the 24/25 season. This is a
    contract that Clem inherited
  • The Club works with many different mainstream and other media outlets
  • New Head of Media will consider when in place.
  • Supporters club and Trust to consider this.

Section E: Fan Engagement

  • As mentioned already, we have taken decisive action on the football side and will soon have a new manager in place who will be responsible for forming a new and improved football strategy. We will share further details on those plans through regular interviews on not only our own STFC website, but also on OSC ‘On the Sofa’ sessions and future fans forums.


  • There’s no doubt we could have done better on communications and we have to work on that but as has been stated already, we are limited on many occasions on what can actually be said, and we have found that written communications can be easily misinterpreted and lead to further concerns (and more questions). Ultimately we do have a limited number of staff available to answer the types of detailed questions that supporters ask, but we are committed to answering those questions.
  • With our commitment to transparency that does mean valuable time (many hours every month) answering supporters concerns as best we can within sometimes constrained circumstances. We hold the monthly Fan Advisory Board, club representatives have attended many OSC ‘On the Sofa’ sessions, we hold Fans Forums, and answer questions in detail here with lots around the financials and other aspects of the club, which is a lot more than most other clubs do.
  • As you know, Jody has now left the Club, but we will work with the new manager, Mike Flynn  to ensure that players are more visible in our local community.
  • Although we had aimed to do the second fans forum this month, we felt it would make more sense to delay this until the start of the new season when Clem is here, and when the new manager has had a chance to put a squad together for the year ahead.
  • The aim is always to hold two in-person fans forums every season however due to the recent managerial change and with Clem being overseas, the next Fans Forum will now be at the start of next season. In the meantime, we are committed to answering questions via this monthly Advisory Board session and STFC representatives also appear regularly ‘On the Sofa’ with the OSC.
  • We understand the importance of clear communication with our supporters, especially during significant moments such as manager vacancies and transfer windows but there are complicating legal factors that are often hard to discuss publicly and limit what we can communicate.
  • See Previous response
  • We do recognise the value of engaging with our fans and will look to improve that going forwards. We apologise for any offense caused by Jody’s choice of words, which we know was not intentional and we can assure you that nobody at the club views our fans as just customers. We understand that our fans are emotionally and financially invested in the club, and we value the importance of building a strong bond between the management team and our supporters. 
  • We hope the recent open training session highlights our attempts to improve the bond between our team and our magnificent supporters
  • We have taken note of Exeter City’s comprehensive report and will review and consider what we can produce for our supporters. We will update our supporters as soon as we have more information on this matter. Thank you for your suggestion
  • This be being discussed and will be arranged and will be openly communicated when Clem’s travel plans are confirmed
  • Discussing options based on 1st team pre-season schedule

Section F: Club Financials / Debt / Budgets / Agents Fees

  • As per the monthly financial update slide “Chairman Clem Morfuni has to-date injected c£5.8m into Swindon Town, to help stabilise the club finances. The accounts will reflect that this is owed back to him, however no interest will be due, and there is no timeframe for repayment”.
  • It’s very common practice in football for transfer fees to be staggered over long periods which of course is less than ideal. The mechanism we have used allows us to take that transfer income earlier through an external loan agency and as transfer fee instalments are paid then they go direct to the agency. It’s fairly standard across the leagues, but not widely known by supporters.
  • As has been highlighted at various points in this Advisory Board update – the club still has a lot of legacy debt and finances remain a challenge – we make no secret of that fact and we need fans’ support more than ever. There is no need to panic as we are sensibly run but until the legacy debt is gone and our stadium developments have progressed, this will always be the case.


  • The club cannot reveal its current budget for competitive reasons as it would affect transfer dealings and give an advantage to other clubs if they knew our budget. However, the budget for this year was significantly higher than the previous year and we will ensure we have a competitive budget to enable us to push for promotion in 23/24 but your help buying Season Tickets does play a massive part especially given EFL Financial Fair Play rules
  • A sustainable and responsible approach to player recruitment involves balancing the cost of player acquisitions with the financial health of the club and always strive to be responsible in our spending, which includes keeping agent fees to an absolute minimum whenever possible.
  • Loss on a monthly basis. Expecting c£500k loss in current financial year. Plan is to break-even and reinvest any profits made back into the Club
  • Details of the transfer is confidential. Transfer monies have been received and reinvested in the Club

Section G: Club Staffing and Outside Support

  • We always aim to improve our back of staff operations and aim to run our business as efficiently as possible.
  • Our general business performance is going well, there are very few clubs who have turned a profit and reduced debts in the way we have over the past two years. Without being too repetitive, all football clubs outside of the Premier League are struggling financially but we are going to be in good shape if we continue on our current path. We simply need supporter to stick with us and be patient as we remove the legacy debt and start on our game-changing stadium redevelopments.
  • On the football side, we have taken swift action to put right some of our recent footballing mistakes.  We have appointed Mike Flynn who has a lot of good football experience and as a Club we will take the learnings from a difficult season.


  • There will be some changeover in staff over the summer, but we will start next season with qualified people in the most important positions within our club. People come and go for a variety of reasons but that has been the situation at this club for many years.


  • We are looking at this and have plans in place and are working with experienced Safety Officers. The club has responsibility for ongoing repairs within the lease and as mentioned in the financial update, this is another burden from the past as we anticipate we will be spending in excess of £100k on repairing legacy issues this summer.
  • This was a suggestion that came from our JV partners, TrustSTFC. They have been approached (as have we) by many supporters who want to offer their services and get involved in their stadium. We think that is a positive for everyone and of course this helps us financially and makes good business sense. We will not cut corners but if people offer to help it would be foolish to not explore that and it helps build the bond between the club and its supporters. It’s your club, and if you want to get involved, you often can.
  • Our day-to-day staff are paid above the national living wage, however on a match day we do pay the minimum wage to casual staff in our hospitality areas. This is not ideal, but we are a League 2 club with large debts inherited from others and we are working hard to reduce those debts. In time of course we will be in a better position to pay everyone involved with the club the national living wage as a minimum and it’s on the club’s long term roadmap, but our financial priority at the moment is debt reduction, sustainability and building a squad for next season that can compete for promotion.
  • Work is progressing with certain key appointments soon to be made. The Club is always looking
    to be as efficient as possible to ensure sustainability and to invest as much as possible into the
    football side of the business
  • Will look to organise working with supporter groups
  • For the 23/24 season the Medical and S&C team will be a fully in-house STFC team
  • Work is progressing in filling key roles. We have filled key roles in Finance, Ticketing, Retail and Media but always
    looking to be as efficient as possible to drive a sustainable football club and invest as much as possible into the
    playing squad
  • Adam Hart will support across 1st team and Academy using his S&C and sporting background
  • Gavin Gunning remains at the Club and has a new role as Loans Manager
  • There are health and well being services on offer via Go Again a mental health charity that the Club works with
  • Finance roles have been filled and we have retail and ticking leads
    New Club Secretary has started and a new Head of Media & Communications is due to start in mid July
    Club will look to run as efficiently as possible off the field
  • PWR have left and we now have an internal Sports Science and Medical Team

Section H: Season Tickets / Ticketing

  • Without doubt we can improve on our marketing – and of course we want to do that, but what we ultimately know is that it’s the football side and success on the pitch that drives season ticket sales. Fans want entertaining and exciting football, and we want that too, we don’t want to twist the arms of supporters in order to get them to buy, we want them to renew because they enjoy their experience on a match day and that is why we are focusing  on improving the team and the stadium in future years. That’s not to say we won’t invest more in marketing, but that will come a little later down the line.


  • As mentioned already, this is largely down to a more disappointing season on the pitch, ST sales have picked up and we hope that as many as possible get on board and back our Club to success in 2023/24 season as we push for promotion.
  • Value of Family 2 is priced in line with Family 1. Year on year increase is higher as Family 2 incorrectly priced last year. Need to ensure fair pricing across the range of options
  • Klarna and V12 available along with Credit and Debit Card, Bank Transfer and Cash • Bank transfer an easy and most efficient way to pay
  • Of course, promotion is always our aim, and we will no doubt approach the next season differently with our new coach in place. He needs the backing to get the squad needed for promotion, but of course, we need supporters to back the club too. Lessons have been learned, and changes will be made but we can’t guarantee success. We’re confident that we are moving in the right direction as a club off-the-field and that it will ultimately improve matters on the pitch.
  • Aim for 48 hours turn around and all links have now been sent
  • The Official Supporters Club are linked to the Disabled Supporters Club and liaise with them regularly. Something went wrong this time on the season ticket consultation, and we have all learned from that
  • The ability to provide online card payments is a legacy issue due to a poor credit rating which has meant the costs of providing this service is prohibitive and would not represent value for money when other options are available. Again, we are in recovery mode from the situation that was inherited and in time we will be able to address this properly. Unfortunately, many football clubs are in a similar position as banks do not like the credit risk in football.
  • Feedback noted but need to ensure that revenue comes into the Club to help with making the club financially sustainable and also to ensure we can be competitive on the pitch given financial fair play rules in the EFL
  • We are still working on rebuilding our club which has been run very poorly for the last 30 years. Long term external
    debt has been significantly reduced, including the debentures and the Stadium has been purchased. It will take time
    to turn our Club around.
    We really appreciate all the support to those that have purchased Season Tickets and we hope many more continue to
    buy and support their Club.
  • We have a loyalty bonus point scheme which supports prioritising tickets to our most loyal supporters, followed by
    season ticket holders. We will allocate tickets as fairly as we can

Section I: CG Atmosphere

  • The club appreciates the hard work and dedication of all volunteers, including those who provide pre-match entertainment because the match day experience is important, and we are committed to improving that. • Our volunteers provide their services as they love our Club and we really appreciate all that they do
  • Survey was carried out regarding what the fans would like to have/see and meetings to discuss the results planned for end of
    June 2023

Section J: STFC Women's Team

  • We are currently positioned in Tier 4 of the women’s FA national league. Only the winning team in our division can gain promotion to the tier above. To give us the best chance of achieving our ambitions of tier 3 and championship football we have appointed Mike Cook a highly qualified Pro licence coach. • We chose to brig Mike in before the end of the season so he had the opportunity to assess the current players, give them the chance to get into the squad next season and to give Mike time to build a quality team of players and coaches over the closed season
  • No Mike Cook’s appointment was driven by our STWFC, Director of Football, Tom Hartley, following a thorough
    search and we are delighted to have someone of Mike’s experience and quality at the helm of our Women’s team
  • Mandie Coe is Head of Football for STWFC and has done a great job working with the existing committee as we look
    to transform STWFC and drive the team up the leagues. Mandie has excellent credentials and experience from an
    extensive and successful business career. Mandie will work closely with Mike Cook and Tom Hartley, we are sure
    they will drive STWFC onwards and upwards

Section K: Commercial Questions

  • Open to ideas and Club and OSC will pick up with Andrew Hawes from BBC Wiltshire who is working on something

Section L: CG Catering

  • Thanks for the feedback. Looking to add options to Kiosks to improve offering for all supporters

Section M: Substainability

  • Happy to consider options to improve travel sustainability for supporters with supporter groups. Agreed that this would be
    picked up by TrustSTFC who are looking into this area through Trust Board Member, Chris Van Room
  • Looking at options for cycle parking alongside other short term sustainability initiatives such as re-useable cups