CUSG meeting summary
Attendance – Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Jim Mitchell, Alastair Woodcock, John Kukuc, Mike Routledge (CUOSC), Kate Rowley (CUSAT), Barry Carter (Disabled Fans’ Group), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Nigel Clibbens, Phil King, Nigel Dickinson, Andy Hall, Amy Nixon (CUFC)
Apologies – John Ireland (West Cumbria Travel), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Derek Walsh (Former Players Association)
Minutes of the last meeting were accepted.
Items of action from last meeting
All included in the minutes.
Ground/ Stewarding/ Catering/ Bars
The club had been approached by a land owner with regard to a possible new stadium site. It had approached another, and a meeting to discuss this matter and a meeting with the Environment Agency were planned for early March.
The lack of hot water in some of the toilets around the ground was an outstanding issue. The club were looking into this.
The club had moved to a different SIA (Security Industry Authority) provider for supply of Response Team members. 34 CUFC stewards had passed Level 2 NVQs in spectator safety this season.
Feedback on catering had become more positive. Another meeting with ABM had been held to review operations, and plan ahead for the summer’s concert. ABM and the Club are discussing the staffing approach with regards to catering operations on a match day and non-matchday.
Two meetings, one with CUOSC, and one with Heineken, had been held to discuss plans for a Fan Zone outside the entrance to Foxy’s Restaurant. Heineken were willing to partly fund the project to the tune of £10k-£15k. PK was keen to point out that this is one of the benefits of an association with a 'pouring rights' partner such as Heineken. CUOSC were also committed to raising funds to support it. The Lakeland Steak mobile outlet would form part of the Zone, along with other facilities.
‘Mad March’ offers were now in place, as discussed previously. Nigel C stated that they offered ‘something for everybody’, including season ticket holders. The club hoped the offer plus recent results would make a difference and be backed by fans.
In the recent meeting held at Villa Park, the club had voted against changing the transfer window, but the resolution had been passed by 40 votes to 29, with 3 abstentions. The votes of Championship clubs had largely swung the result.
At another meeting of the EFL clubs, concerning commercial activities, it was clear clubs were moving against the production of a regular match day programme. They are considered outdated and unviable by many, supporters buy fewer and fewer, and many clubs only continue with them due to EFL regulations and the need to carry central EFL advertising. The club stated they are very unlikely to produce a full match programme in the same format from next season. New regulations from the EFL could mean clubs will not have to produce a full programme in future. New proposals from the EFL are awaited. Many fans were now getting match day info such as team line-ups through their smartphones.
The club typically give away 165 programmes each home game. Programmes usually lose money over the course of a season, although it hadn’t made a loss this season. The production of the programme is very resource intensive in terms of the amount of time that the Media department put into the production of quality content for each issue..
Andy and Amy were now part of an EFL working group, regarding web content and will be able to influence the League directly. They welcomed feedback on the club’s web site.
The bank balance was unchanged at £2,280.21, but Barry had an invoice for the work done on the Paddock disabled shelter via World Group, which was for £1,300.
The camera lens for the media department had been acquired, via the support of CUSAT. The club would like to put on record their thanks to members.
An appeal had been issued to fans to donate items of memorabilia for display in the Sunset Suite. The club had publicised this. It was expected to take several weeks to acquire all the items and check their suitability for display.
New regulations were coming in that would affect any organisation that store and maintain personal data. The club and several CUSG constituent groups would be affected.
Supporter Group updates
CUOSC – were sponsoring match ball against Grimsby. Hospitality prizes had been offered via the group’s weekly email briefing. Two winners would attend with a guest each. Jim Mitchell had attended the birthday celebration for the club’s oldest fan, Jack McDowell, who was 105. A group of students were coming from Cheshire to attend both Grimsby and Cambridge matches and would attend CUOSC’s regular supporter surgery.
CUSAT – prompted a discussion on merits of spending money on playing squad versus ground improvements/repairs. Consensus from within group indicated giving more money to ground improvements.
Disabled Supporters Group – The next committee meeting was on Wednesday night. The club would be promoting Level Playing Field initiative at the Crawley home game.
Barry had been put forward to the EFL as the club’s supporter of the year nominee, with backing of CUSG groups.
London Branch – wished to acknowledge the help of the club in facilitating the banner highlighting the Motor Neurone Disease charity which was on display at the Waterworks End.
Former Players Association - not in attendance, but Derek Walsh had passed on an update via Simon Clarkson and Phil King that he would like future involvement in the CUSG meetings and closer working together between the groups.
Any Other Business
The former players evening on Friday at The Old Fire Station venue had seen steady ticket sales.
As part of any other business a general discussion was held about the CUSG members’ views on the future priorities and direction of the Club. This included tackling the club’s recurring losses and funding requirements, the balance between on and off the field spending and between first team and academy including opportunities for home grown players.
Next meeting – 09.04.18