CUSG Meeting Summary
Attendance - Simon Clarkson (London Branch), Alastair Woodcock, Jim Mitchell (CUOSC), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), John Ireland, Bryan Dent (West Cumbria Travel), Barry Carter (Disabled Supporters Group), Nigel Clibbens, Andy Hall, Amy Nixon (CUFC)
Apologies - John Kukuc (CUOSC), Kate Rowley, Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Nigel Dickinson (CUFC)
Minutes of last meeing - accepted
Season Ticket sales
The club will provide an update on sales after the end of the early buy period next week. Comparisons with sales to same date last year are difficult but sales are down (so far). Nigel C said he is aware some fans are saying they are awaiting news of new manager. Simon offered to help with phoning around non-renewals to help with the effort next week.
A temporary arrangement was put in place for the Newport game as a trial for next season and not all facilities were in place. Nigel C explained this was a logistics exercise and the trial went well. It is planned to have tables, PA and outside entertainment. These would be in place for next season. Branding would be provided on the adjacent wall. Players would be encouraged to mingle and sign autographs.
The club will provide an update on this at their next media briefing on June 1.
Family Fun Day
The date for this was set for July 15. This would be the same day as the World Cup Final. The event would run between approximately 1pm and 4pm. The match would be screened in the Sunset Suite afterwards. ABM had been approached to lay on a barbecue and had been in talks about the provision of 'local' food/drinks. Squad training (subject to new manager's approval) and tours of the ground would be a feature, as usual. The team coach would be parked up and allow visitors on board. Nigel C asked that the groups promote this and ask fans about any features/displays that people might want to see and invite for the day. The CUSG would seek a stronger presence than in previous years.
Centenary of the Armistice Appeal 1918-2018
The club were supporting this. More details to come.
EFL Code of Practice
The EFL were promoting this initiative https://www.efl.com/news/2017/february/efl-30-clubs-awarded-efl-code-of-practice/ and CUFC have been working on achieving accreditation over the last year. As part of that best practice CUFC has drawn up a draft 'Fan Code of Conduct'. Groups to read and suggest improvements before next meeting. The code of practice seeks to cover topics such as equality, diversity, young people and the treatment of fans attending games.
Nigel C reported a lot of interest in the vacant position. Over 50 applications had been received and they were still coming in and being considered. He said the club were talking with preferred candidates and would keep fans updated on progress.
Family Zone/ Singing Section/ Flags
The club were planning from next season to house kids from schools in the East Stand in a designated community section.
This would give them access to the Family Zone at the back of the stand.
Simon raised the possibility of housing the long-mooted 'singing section' in A Stand and the club had no objection to this in principle.
The issue of movement into the Warwick Road End on wet days was again discussed. This and other safety issues would be up for discussion in next few weeks, so as to formulate a fixed policy for next season. CUSG concerns on this issue to be discussed.
The club said their policy on flags was the same as other clubs. Flags needed a fire safety certificate to be allowed into the ground and could not present a hazard to supporters or stewards once inside. The club were open to large flags being on display as long as these measures were observed. Nigel C referred to a website that sells custom large flags which would meet all the required standards. https://www.flags.co.uk/sectors/football/
Unchanged from last meeting at £897.29. No current liabilities.
Sunset Suite memorabilia
Simon outlined his plans for a 'timeline' which were advanced but he needed a project manager to work on them. About a dozen 'moments' in club history would be featured on the walls. There was also support for a fans' noticeboard. A suitable candidate for managing the project was identified and Simon would make contact.
The club were going through the process of re-signing up supporters to ensure new rules were being adhered to. Supporters groups would each need to manage their own data to ensure conformity. This would impact on what they could share with the club.
Supporters groups update
Billy Atkinson currently involved in managerial selection process as member of interviewing panel. He had been able to influence the process and had attended all the interviews to date. He helped create the short list. He had raised issues during interviews of community involvement and the need to be a 'team player'. He had reported back positively on the overall procedure.
Disabled Supporters Group
Barry reported he was applying for grants at the moment to help extend the Paddock facility. He had a quote from World Group to do this work. The club considered his request to provide some financial assistance.
West Cumbria Travel
The issue of the pre-match day discount for tickets was raised again. Some people still saw this as a 'match day tax' but as Andy explained, the match day price is fixed for the season and all season ticket prices are based on it. He said the discount was 'significant' and should be seen as a discount not as the true price. For people who struggled to get to the ground before a match day there was the option of a Flexicard which covers any seven games during the season. This costs £55 up front and then either £7 or £10 per match based on standing or seating. This offers a saving over payment on the day.
Keith reported questions about the so-called 'Rooney Rule' which requires clubs to interview at least one BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) candidate for managerial positions. The club had complied with this requirement in the current process.
Reported considerable success in selling issue 300 of Hit the Bar, which included sales in the club shop. The club would he happy to sell more copies this way in future.
Chair of CUSG
Simon wanted the opportunity for another candidate from a different group to take over the role. The position will be formally decided at the next meeting.
Next meeting - Monday 2 July