CUSG meeting summary - 24 September 2018
Attendance - Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), John Kukuc, Jim Mitchell, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Barry Carter (Disabled Group/CUSAT), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net), Nigel Clibbens, Amy Nixon, Andy Hall (CUFC)
Apologies - John Ireland (West Cumbria Travel), Kate Rowley, Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Dan McLennan (TheCumbrians.net), Derek Walsh (Ex Players Association)
The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.
Simon Clarkson introduced Terry McCarthy as a new representative of the London Branch.
Directors' forum – this event was streamed on Facebook. 9,600 views had been accumulated, with an audience of 2,500 individuals on the night. This was in contrast to the audience of 30-40 in the Sunset. There had been a number of no-shows as more than 70 had signed up to attend online. Radio Cumbria had been unable to cover the event due to staffing issues, but would continue to be utilised to cover future forums.
Ground maintenance – this was ongoing. Work had been done in A Stand, which was open again open for the Community Ticket Scheme. Other family and community groups are using Section 8 of the Pioneer Stand. A leak on the right side of the Warwick Road End roof was awaiting materials to be fixed. Steps continue to be taken to remove seagulls. There were some seats in the Pioneer Stand to fix after damage caused by Tranmere fans.
Ticket initiatives – Nigel reported these would be likely during November/December, to help increase attendances in the run-up to Christmas. The game against Morecambe would be streamed on iFollow.
Matchday publication – amount sold per match was reported by Andy to be virtually unchanged from the full programme sold last season – about 10% of all supporters entering the ground buy a copy. Feedback had been mixed, with some programme collectors particularly 'anti' but there had been plenty of positive comments, too.
iFollow – Nigel said all EFL clubs had been informed of the trial before the season, along with the games that would be streamed live. The 'block' on live streaming of games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday only actually applies to the Premier League and Championship. Hence there is no 'ban' on Saturday 3pm kick-offs in Leagues 1 and 2 being streamed. EFL and clubs have always chosen to block out as a policy. The club receives £6.67 out of every £10 paid to watch the stream. The trial runs until October 23.
John Kukuc explained that the CUOSC Board was against UK streaming of matches, because of a concern of the effect on the gate. Nigel agreed this was the crucial issue. It was suggested streaming may be a way of winning younger fans.
Catering – The club was about to announce a new initiative. A sheet was handed out detailing the offers on match days.
Social media – Andy explained that people will receive an answer to queries on Facebook if they use the messaging facility. The club have a 100% response rate on such queries. The club would update their Facebook header to reflect this.
Bank balance was now at £593.39. £300+ was earmarked for further Sunset memorabilia spending.
Sunset Suite memorabilia
Barbara Abbott and the Cumberland News were now involved with the project. The framer was still working but progress was good and in a few weeks all the frames would be ready. There was potential to house some of the frames in other locations.
A sheet had been drawn up detailing items that the club/CUSG wanted to progress and find funding solutions for. The items on it were discussed at length. These were categorised as 1-4 based on 1 being high priority and 4 lowest priority. The items agreed to be top priority are as follows:
+ Warwick Road End toilets and catering hut improvements.
+ Technical systems in all bars and hospitality areas, inc upgrades to Foxy's projector and sound system.
+ Academy extendible height camera pole and camcorder.
+ Improvements to Sunset ladies and gents toilets.
+ Disabled fans away shelter.
+ Disabled fans home Pioneer South shelter replacement/improvement.
+ Warning lights etc in East Stand disabled toilets.
The list would be re-visited at each meeting from now on to ensure adequate progress was being made.
Supporters' Liaison Officer
CUOSC would work with the club and other CUSG reps to define the role of the SLO. The definition of an SLO was not uniform across all clubs. Supporters would thus decide how best to define it. The role would be unpaid and carried out on a voluntary basis. There was the option to have several different SLOs, for instance a different person covering home and away games. The club would provide a list of the minimum requirements for the role. A meeting would be organised by Jim Mitchell of CUOSC for next week to discuss the role in detail.
Progress was being made in planning for the 20th anniversary match for the Jimmy Glass goal. The Sunday or Monday after the end of the season was being targeted. Jimmy himself was expecting to be available to attend. He was supportive of the plan to pass on proceeds from the match to the Motor Neurone Disease fund, supporting Tony Hopper, who played in the match on 08.05.99.
Supporters' Group Updates
CUSAT – asked about the letting off of flares/smoke bombs inside a bar at Bury at the weekend. The EFL were aware of the incident and were investigating.
TheCumbrians.net – Questions asked as follows:
+ Why Suzanne Kidd did not attend directors' forum?
It was felt because of the number of other panellists and likely areas of interest to be discussed she didn’t need to attend this time. Noted for next forum. John Jackson did not attend as it was felt others could answer the questions he would answer.
+ Was the price for a new scoreboard too high?
Quotes had been obtained from a supplier who had installed scoreboards at many football and other sports clubs.
+ Who would replace Tarn Simmons as ticket office manager?
Louise Banks was taking over the role.
+ Little had been heard from the club about the veterans match before the Tranmere game?
This was not a CUFC-organised event.
+ An anonymous fan who was a member of CUOSC and travelled to away games on CUSAT buses had said they weren't getting asked about items to bring to CUSG meetings by those organisations.
+ Could crowd-funding be used to pay for a new scoreboard?
This was feasible. A top of the range screen would cost £50,000 but more affordable models were available.
+ Why was a steward blocking access to A Stand at the end of games?
Because of children in A Stand as part of family groups, there was no access to this stand from adjacent areas.
Disabled group - Barry had met Louise in the ticket office to discuss the rights and needs of his members. The club's updated policy on disabled fans had been distributed to DSG members.
London Branch – Had expressed their dissatisfaction with the loss of banners previously displayed at the Waterworks End. These had been damaged in bad weather and had been considered 'beyond repair' by ground staff who had disposed of them, without other club staff being aware of the issue until it was raised. The branch were looking to sponsor a game this season and would be making donations towards improving facilities at the ground for disabled fans.
Next meeting – 05.11.18