Supporter Alliance Meeting Minutes 8/11/2017

The Supporter Alliance has had another meeting with the football club on Wednesday 8th November 2017. Once again, a range of people representing different supporter organizations were present to give their views and discuss various issues with the club. The full minutes of the meeting have been typed below but if you would like to view the original document you can do so by clicking here.

Supporter Alliance Meeting Minutes
Wednesday 8th November 2017


Rich Rendell - Supporter Alliance Chairman
Paul Hadlow - G&Ws
Sharon Swain - DSA
Rob Newport - Cary Glovers
James Hillier - Stadium Manager
Kirstie Baker - Supporter Secretary
David Mills - Supporter Director

Tom Burt - Bridport Glovers
Marilyn Cottle - Junior Glovers


Opening Comments:

Paul Hadlow opened the meeting with the sad news that George Goggins had passed away and Paul, the G&Ws and all from the Alliance would like to pass on respects to the family.

Previous Actions:

Revised format of Alliance Objectives, Terms & conditions – all groups in agreement with the new wording. To be circulated and signed at next meeting
Issue with the TV in the Children Cabin has been rectified
Tv in the Alec Stock lounge – temporary TV in place with the intention of replacing with a larger TV with an improved connection.
Installing a ramp in the Glovers Bar – JH to review
Dates for future meetings – to be decided at each meeting but meetings to be held monthly if possible. Days and times to vary to ensure all groups can be represented
DSA on match day – now using collection booth as a base for their match day volunteer operations. This has improved match day communication between the DSA and supporters, however the DSA are still searching for a permanent base on
match days.

Stadium Issues

• Potholes – JH confirmed the most affected areas were done before the season started. The Club will continue the programme and are happy to report back to each Alliance meeting.
• General repair issues – JH is aware that there are broken seats that need fixing/replacing. Before each home game a survey of the ground is completed, and seats are either fixed before the game or supporters are spoken to if they are required to move seats.
• Stewarding – recent comment via social media that home and away fans weren’t allowed to use the same set of toilets in the Screwfix stand, however they can. JH has spoken with the stewards and ensured that they are now aware of the correct procedure.

The Club has received 2 complaints regarding Vaping. JH explained that although the Premier League banned vaping in stadiums the EFL left it up to clubs, most EFL 2 clubs do not permit vaping in stands. The meeting proposed that vaping is only allowed within the designated smoking areas. JH to report to YTFC Board of Directors with Alliance recommendation.

Mark Palmer:
Update from David Mills: Mark Palmer has met with representatives from all Alliance groups and has also met with the Glovers Trust. Rich Rendall stated that the Club and Mr Palmer need to be transparent and let the fans know the outcome of the result of Mr Palmer’s work as soon as reasonably possible.

A definite improvement has been seen regarding comments on social media with far fewer complaints about catering and even some positive comments. The group agreed that there is still a far way to go but clearly the Catering & Hospitality Group (in which RR represents the Alliance) was having a positive impact. However, RR highlighted that tea bar queues would have been eased naturally by reduced gates this season, so it was important not to be complacent and keep the improvements going.

First floor and shirts/review next season:
Request was made in the last meeting to remove the ban on playing shirts in the Alec Stock lounge. DM confirmed this would be trialled subject to checking with existing Alec Stock lounge users. DM also confirmed that a review of top floor and marquee arrangements will occur for the 18/19 season and the Alliance, existing members of both lounge and box holders will be consulted as part of that review which will take place at the start of 2018. DM again stressed that he could not guarantee this would result in changes, but matters would be fully and fairly reviewed. RR reiterated that there was strong fan support for unrestricted (apart from licensing and safety restrictions) supporter access to the first floor bars and the will continue to press strongly for this.

Season Ticket Strategy

The Ticket Office Manager has started to look at season ticket categories and pricing and will look to present his thoughts to the Alliance group by the end of the year to gain feedback. Alliance groups are asked to feed their thoughts and opinions into the current ST set up back at the next meeting. Areas that the group suggested at the meeting initially were:
➢ Review of the various age brackets.
➢ Offers including friendlies (when the game is not a shared gate)
➢ Bar entry.
➢ Price jump between Junior and Young Person pricing.
➢ Children age categories.

Project to cover fences behind home terrace:
As had been requested, the Club have been obtaining quotes and designing fencing to cover the areas behind the home terrace (pictures of what the covers would look like were circulated at the meeting). The idea is to fence around the equipment and for the designs to have useful information to fans and maps of the stadium. The will smarten up the look of the area and stadium and make Supporters and visitors feel welcome. The Club are looking for sponsorship to help cover the cost. The amount seeking is £1500 through sponsor ship either via Alliance members or commercial sponsors.

Fan Survey
It was requested that the Club provide a review of progress made on last year's fan survey. This process will help guide the next fan survey.

DM shared the recent letters to and from the Glovers Trust and explained that it had been the Trust's own decision to withdraw from the marquee, the club had not required them to leave.

DM highlighted that the Trust had been invited to the next meeting but had been unable to attend.

The matter was discussed at length and the conclusions were:
• The Alliance thought it was right for these concerns to be highlighted to the Trust.
• The marquee should be an area where no fan group had a formal presence, but the Alliance very much wanted to see the Trust having an area outside the marquee at Huish Park where it could act formally.
• The recommendation from the Alliance to the club was that the club consider offering the Trust an area at Huish Park to site a cabin where it could operate under similar terms as those enjoyed by the Green & Whites.

The meeting felt the following points should be noted regarding this issue:
• The DSA are already looking for cabin to purchase and should therefore have first choice of position
• The G&Ws, DSA and the Junior Glovers work voluntarily on a match day as well as paying for their facilities, their signage and improvements to their cabins

Glovers Trust Chairperson
It was noted that the Chairman of the Trust had changed to Stuart Burrell and the Alliance formally noted its congratulations to Mr Burrell on his new position. The meeting expressed its wish for positive relations with the Glovers Trust and that they would feel able to join the Alliance. It was noted that the revised Alliance terms and conditions should have now eliminated any concerns the Trust has that joining the Alliance would in any way dilute their independence.

Results of the Alliance to date:
It was thought useful to have a list of Alliance achievement and to update this at every match as fans frequently requested an overview of progress the Alliance was involved in. An initial list (starting from June 2017) was created as follows (list contains items where the Alliance has directly had an influence on):
✓ Pop up tea bars to assist with queue times at half time
✓ Extra marquee staff as due to licensing a speed bar implementation was not viable
✓ Potential relaxation of playing shirts ban in Alec Stock lounge.
✓ Review of first floor to be conducted ready for 18/19 season
✓ Introduction of Match Day hotline
✓ Ticket bundles to give fans some flexibility in purchasing tickets
✓ Revised wording of the Alliance Objectives, Terms & Conditions
✓ New tab on website for the Alliance where updates and minutes of meetings can be viewed
✓ Pot holes and repair programmes at Huish Park
✓ Possible new screen signs behind Thatchers stand

DM mentioned that at the Glovers Trust AGM it was suggested that Bridport Glovers were not part of the Alliance. KB confirmed they were fully signed up members and had been for some time.
RR – Asked that fans should be involved in future shirts designs. DM to pass on request to Commercial Manager.
RR – Suggestion made to hold Veteran days at home games, player to be part of the match day build up, piece in the programme and presented and have a Q&A session to the crowd before or during the game. Allows the younger fans to learn the history of YTFC.
RR – whilst agreeing with the concept that the marquee should be a neutral area where no fan organisation had a formal presence RR suggested that from time to time charitable fundraising should be allowed in the marquee. DM noted and mentioned that he was having
a meeting with St Margaret’s Hospice representatives soon and would discuss the idea with them.

Date of next meeting:
Resolved that meeting should be monthly if possible but next meeting date would be set to ensure Junior Glovers and Bridport Glovers could attend as they had missed this meeting.

JH – to review the request of a ramp in the Glovers Lounge for match day viewing
JH – to Issue Vaping policy and make recommendation to the Board of Directors
Group – to feedback any thoughts/comments regarding season ticket strategy
Group – to consider donating to the cost of wrapping the fences (£1500)
DM / KB – to review survey and recirculate findings
DM – to Circulate trust letters re marquee
DM / JH – to offer the Glovers Trust to purchase a cabin and have same T&Cs as G&Ws in
order to operate on a match day
DM – to print and distribute for signing new Alliance agreements
DM to speak with Dave Linney regarding fans choosing or designing shirts for next season
DM – to liaise with the Executive team regarding a Veteran per game for Q&A

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