CUSG Meeting Summary - East Stand Offices, 12.08.19
Attendance - Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Geoff Weston (Supporters' Liaison Officer), Jim Mitchell, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Dan McLennan (TheCumbrians.net), Barry Carter, Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Graham Tyson (West Cumbria Travel), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)
Apologies – John Kukuc (CUOSC), John Ireland (West Cumbria Travel), Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net), Kate Rowly (CUSAT)
The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.
All outstanding items to be covered in agenda.
Ground maintenance – electronic screen/scoreboard – a survey would take place on Thursday. The screen would be fixed to the side of the Neil Centre. Club confirmed they were paying for this.
Work was ongoing on A Stand. Erection of scaffolding was complete, removal of roof to commence soon. Once the roof was off, part of the Paddock would be re-opened to spectators on match days. This had had to be closed on safety advice. There was no commencement date yet for the new roof to be fitted.
Nigel put on record his thanks to the fans and club staff who had volunteered and helped out with external painting jobs around the stadium.
A question was asked about Gate 5 in the Pioneer Stand. This was closed due to fans without tickets for that section using it.
The official ground capacity was now 17,300. This was the new limit reflected in the new safety certificate.
EFL matters – An internal governance review was ongoing. EFL remained tied up with trying to sort out the situations at Bury and Bolton. Nigel said his understanding was that League 1 would operate with 23 clubs if Bury were expelled. There would be one less relegation place from Leagues 1 and 2 to keep the total number of clubs at 92 for next season. Nigel reported that CUFC had now been paid in full by Bury for tickets sold for last season's home game.
Ticketing – Some disquiet had been voiced about the increase from £10 to £99 for children turning 11, for season tickets. The club explained it had been designed to be a 'manageable' jump from £99 upwards. £10 was extremely affordable for a whole season. There were no categories for 'students' in the club's ST pricing structure. It was not imposed on the club by any EFL edict. Clubs had resisted standardising on ST categories.
Simon reiterated his desire to stand down as Chair if someone else could be found. Alastair was willing to step down as minute taker in the same circumstances. The issue of roles within the CUSG would be re-visited at the next meeting.
The other question addressed was whether to invite fans who do not wish to attend as a representative of any group. This idea found favour and would be progressed.
Simon requested volunteers to be sought from within the groups for acting as marshals at the Carlisle half-marathon on September 1, which starts and ends at Brunton Park.
Events/Fun Day feedback
The club reported a well-attended Fun Day with a lot of activities. The event taking place on a match day had worked well, but this had meant less interaction with players and no training session. There was also a problem with lack of car parking spaces. A lack of music or PA was noted, too. A suggestion that planning of the event might be supported by CUSG reps was welcomed by the club, but would need close co-operation with club staff if it were to be implemented.
The recent fans' forum was once again considered a success. Between 6-10k online streams had been recorded. Andy stated the event is better attended if it isn't carried live on radio. The club would consider switching the start time to 7pm in future, after some feedback. The next forum was expected to be targeted for February. The groups requested it should be aimed at business rather than football matters, but Andy stated he believed Steven Pressley, Nigel Clibbens and David Holdsworth should always be in attendance. Groups requested that representatives from shareholders should attend any business-focused forum.
Terry said items and events to commemorate the 94-95 season were in hand. He would contact the supplier about costs for producing two types of pin badge, depicting the home and 'deckchair' away shirts. A contact had been identified who could do the designs.
Feasibility of organising an event with key members of that squad and head coach Mick Wadsworth, would be considered. The main issue was whether to go for an event in Foxy's or a bigger event at the Shepherd's Inn. The previous Jimmy Glass event in Foxy's had been well received. Another idea to tag the event on to the end of season awards dinner was ruled out. Maximum capacity in Foxy's was circa 120.
A race night organised by CUSG was in the pipeline for November. Ian Milburn would be the organiser. Groups and businesss would be asked to sponsor a race each and provide the racehorse owners. No admission fee would be charged.
Bank balance was £1,678.30. This includes £175 from the raffle held at recent fans' forum.
Disabled Group latest
A proposal was being put together for the Warwick Road End platform. This was expected to be sent to the club soon. Barbara and Barry were working on it together. The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) would deal with it once it was ready.
For the Crawley home game, Barry reported only one wheelchair spot was not taken. The current capacity for wheelchair users was close to being reached. There had been positive feedback from Crawley fans. Geoff and Barry to sort out offer of a 'complementary cuppa' for away disabled supporters at home games.
Toilet locks in the Pioneer Stand had been alarmed, reported Nigel. There was a further new lock now required in the Paddock. London Branch willing to cover cost.
Wraps for the covered shelter to advertise London Branch and CUSAT as co-sponsors were being manufactured.
The plan to house old shirts on torsos had been scrapped. Dan to investigate alternative options for displaying them.
CUSG to advertise for new attendees and volunteers. The prediction competition deadline was mid-September. Forms could be downloaded from the London Branch website.
The club was giving a page to the CUSG in the Salford City match programme.
Bucket collections would be aimed at the Boxing Day Bradford City fixture and the Leyton Orient game. Funds to be split 50:50 between CUSG and charities.
Re-naming of club bars
Voting had closed. 622 total votes had been received. Jimmy Glass, Tony Hopper and Peter Murphy topped the poll. It was agreed to name the Sunset after Jimmy Glass ('The Glass Bar'), the players lounge after Tony Hopper and the Sporting Inn after Peter Murphy ('Murphy's Bar'). This to coincide with a planned refurbishment of the Sporting Inn/Murphy's Bar. CUSG fund-raising and United for Business to help with funding this.
West Cumbria Travel – were planning their first trip of the season to Bradford City. A 49-seater coach had been booked. A complaint had been made by a member about lack of staff in the Paddock Bar. Club to investigate.
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CUOSC – regular match day surgeries on Saturdays were once again in operation. A food bank collection would again be held on August 24 prior to Salford game. Club to help promote this. CUOSC would once again be a United for Business member this season and had various match day sponsorships planned. Another quiz night would be arranged soon.
As a member of the new Football Supporters' Association (FSA), CUOSC were backing efforts to introduce a new licensing system for football clubs, especially in light of current problems affecting Bury, Bolton and other clubs. This would replace the current 'fit and proper' person scheme.
The issue of membership prices had been raised at the AGM and was being looked at. One option would be to introduce different grades of membership, starting with free membership. Membership was over 500 and renewals were coming in steadily.
CUOSC had requested data from last season's FSA survey on away fans. This applied to visits to Brunton Park only. It had been shared with the Club. Club scored well generally. Areas of concern were lack of signage for directions to the away end, and lack of staff serving in catering areas. Club to review.
Supporters' Liaison Officer – Geoff was actively communicating with other club SLOs now the season was under way. Visitors guides to Brunton Park were being sent out. An invitation had been sent for CUFC fans to attend a supporters' tournament in Ukraine next summer. Groups to advertise.
Disabled Group – Barry will be in attendance at the CUOSC surgeries for the rest of the season.
CUSAT – have issued their price list for the season. Weekend trips to Leyton Orient and Macclesfield were planned. An objection was lodged to the CUSAT coach being charged £20 by Swindon on Saturday. Geoff to take up issue as SLO on CUSAT's behalf.
Next meeting – September 23