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Club News

FEEDBACK GROUP: Meeting notes part two

17 April 2013

Second of a two part article

The second part of our notes from the April Feedback Group meeting.

Player Appearances / Community

+ Club officials were able to explain that the club school community scheme brings approximately 100 youngsters into the club, with their schools, for the majority of home games each season. The children then get half-price tickets for the next home game. Despite this, the take-up for this scheme is poor. All local schools are contacted during the summer months to offer places but it tends to be the same schools who reply year on year. 

+ Players are contracted to make local appearances and, in some cases, the club has fallen behind in this area. However, it was acknowledged that the club do still complete a high number of appearances at a full range of venues. Action – a new and more robust system will be in place for next season to ensure regular appearances are completed.  

Marketing Consultant

+ An external marketing consultant was employed to look at all aspects of the business. A report has been produced and submitted (this week) to show weak and strong areas. 

+ It was pointed out that we are seen, by the Football League, as a club who adheres to ‘best practice’ in a lot of areas but that there is a lot of work for us to do, particularly in light of the current situation. Action – a marketing strategy will be formed for next season in conjunction with the recent marketing report.

Blues Store

+ It was acknowledged that there was either not enough or too much of certain items of stock. Action - lessons have been learned and the stock order levels adjusted accordingly for next season.

+ Fila are the kit supplier again for next season. Stobart will remain as main shirt sponsor but have allowed the club to look for additional sponsors to be named on shirts, or other items of kit. This has led to a delay as further sponsorship is sought, hence there will not be a launch of a new strip at the last game of the season. Supply contracts mean that new home and away kits for each season are standard across the industry. That isn’t ideal and is something to be discussed as new kit supply contracts are tendered.

+ The consensus of the group is that the quality of the kit supplied by Fila is good.

Catering

+ There were numerous complaints about the quality and pricing structure within the bars at the ground. It was explained that prices are set by the brewery and the club actively request offers and price reductions throughout the season. Action – this issue will be raised again during the closed season.

+ Andrew Jenkins explained that the mobile van contract was tendered every two years. Pioneer pay £20,000 for the contract and £10,000 per season on advertising. Due to crowd numbers it is expected that Pioneer could make a loss on the service this season. 

+ A number of suggestions were raised to help with smoothness of service – pre-pulled pints, meal deals and reward schemes for loyalty. Action – Nigel Dickinson to report back at next meeting.

+ A bottle / can bar was suggested as another method of improving quality. Action – suppliers to be approached to assess feasibility.

+ Simplification of the tariff, again to make service smoother, was another good suggestion. Action – suppliers to be approached on this issue. 

General Issues

+ It was explained that the Warwick Road End bar was closed due to lack of use. Average takings were just £70 per game. 

+ A unique reference number for all queries / complaints was suggested to facilitate a quick and easy method for the fans and the club to track ongoing issues raised by telephone, letter or email. It was explained that there is a system in place for tracking all such matters at present, but also acknowledged that this could lead to a removal of confusion for all concerned. Action – to be discussed at the next club meeting and report back to the Feedback Group.

+ The club admitted that the removal of the option to move between the Warwick Road End and the Paddock needs to be addressed. Action – safety staff to be approached to provide an explanation and way forward.

+ The cleanliness of the female toilets around the ground is a major issue. Lack of paper towels, bins, toilet roll and basic ablution requirements should be addressed. Action – ground staff to be approached to address this issue.

+ The benefits and pitfalls of social media were discussed. An agreement was reached that the service enhances the profile of the club and, therefore, the abuse has to be accepted as part and parcel of the activity due to the high number of users. 

If you would like to become a member of our Feedback Group, please send an email to media@carlisleunited.co.uk to register your interest.

Click HERE for part one of this interview.

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