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CUSG: Minutes from the January meeting

20 January 2017

Minutes from the meeting held in January 2017

Attendance: Simon Clarkson (London Branch), Nigel Dickinson (CUFC), Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Andy Hall (CUFC), Amy Nixon (CUFC), Nigel Clibbens (CUFC), Phil King (CUFC), Kate Rowley (CUSAT), John Ireland (West Cumbria), Billy Atkinson (CUOSC), Carol Wilson (CUOSC), Barry Carter (Disabled fans rep)

After discussion it was decided that apologies would be recorded on the minutes.

1. Ground refurbishments - Sunset Suite

The plans were ongoing. The majority of the equipment had been earmarked for donation by local firms. A fundraising plan would be needed. West Cumbria Travel indicated they'd be able to pay for a new television. CUOSC would put together a survey to seek fans' opinions on the most popular ideas for refurbishment. Nigel said it would be a big 'statement' for CUSG to help fund the revamp.

2. Trading Name

Several ideas for a new trading name for the CUSG had been discussed. After a further discussion, it was decided to remain with Carlisle United Supporters Groups as the name. A twitter account would be set up by Simon.

3. Investment Update

Nigel indicated the club were awaiting a further visit by the overseas investor. Christmas/New Year had interrupted the process.

4. Disabled Supporters

The safety and advisory committee of the council were happy with the plans for an upgrade to the Paddock North facility. Formal approval was still awaited, however. World Group had agreed to provide most of the equipment. There was a funding gap to cover labour costs. The Football Foundation grant was likely to help cover this and other sources of funding such as Level Playing Field and the Wembley Stadium fund could be sought.

A further disabled supporters group meeting was planned for January 28 - this would happen at the same time as the next CUOSC surgery in the Study Centre. This meeting will be advertised via official club website and CUOSC weekly briefing.

Barry thanked the club for moving the PO Box on the East Stand as it hindered wheelchair access. He advised that bigger signage was ideally needed.

Kate complained that the side door exits on the East Stand were closed until after the game was over. She and other disabled supporters could not exit through them if they left early and faced a lengthy detour. This would be raised with stewards to correct.

5. Finances

Michelle's report showed £1,990 in the bank account. We had no current liabilities.

6. Events

Feedback from the Fans Zone marquee used before the Yeovil game was rather mixed. The marquee had been relatively busy but a smaller number of season ticket holders had taken advantage of the free drink offer than had been hoped. Barry and a colleague had helped out with distributing vouchers in the Study Centre. About 150 people had taken up the offer. Some fans apparently didn't know where the Study Centre was, causing a few problems.  Despite these problems Phil indicated the club would be willing to do it again, but needed a big game with a big crowd to justify it.

The CUFC Legends event on Friday in The Old Fire Station was now a sell-out. Capacity was in the 200-250 range. CUSG would benefit from raffle ticket sales. There had been some reports of forged tickets being sold - due to high demand.

A former players' association was in the process of being set up. Fundraising would be needed to help get it off the ground.

CUOSC organising a Race Night for February 10. CUOSC were also sponsoring more match balls and doing an associate match sponsorship.

The London Branch were putting on a networking event the night before the Leyton Orient game, which Keith Curle had agreed to attend. The weekend would also include a match between a Legends XI and a London Branch team, and a walking football match.

7. Club Song

The song had been digitally re-mastered and was now ready. Discs were ready to burn and club had agreed to help sell it. The title of the song was 'The Cumbrians'. It would also be available for download. Radio Cumbria had agreed to play it.

8. Code of Practice

The club had submitted a code of best practice as recommended by Kick It Out and were awaiting a response. This would be shared with CUSG and would be fan-driven.

9. Any Other Business

The scoreboard and clock had been damaged in the floods. Its performance had become erratic. It was suggested that the club look to replace it. Costs were potentially high at £15k-£20k. Phil suggested there could be ways to finance via advertising. Engineers from Ireland would be needed to properly fix the existing scoreboard.

It was agreed that Phil would provide some costings for a new scoreboard and that this would be available for the next meeting.  One revenue avenue would be for CUSG to make application to several funding streams available to supporters groups.

A complaint was received about the Paddock South toilets. There was no paper in the dispensers and the hand dryers were blowing cold air out.

Phil said he welcomed input about next season's kit design and colours.

Coca-Cola was being sold in 2 litre bottles in the bars with no draught system in place. Issues with draft soda system replacement due to cost versus volume sold, however the Club is speaking to an alternative supplier and are confident of having new system installed shortly.

The next meeting would take place in the East Stand offices at 6pm on February 20.

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