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CUSG: March meeting minutes

Minutes from the March CUSG meeting

15 March 2019

CUSG Meeting Summary

East Stand Offices, 11.03.19

Attendance - Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Geoff Weston (Supporters' Liaison Officer), Terry McCarthy (London Branch),  John Kukuc, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Barry Carter (Disabled Group), Dan McLennan (TheCumbrians.net), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)

Apologies – Kate Rowley (CUSAT), Jim Mitchell (CUOSC), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), John Ireland (West Cumbria Travel), Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net)

The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.

Action List

All outstanding items to be covered in agenda.

CUFC Updates

Ground maintenance – The replacement disabled shelter at the Pioneer Stand north location had been installed by CUFC, to be funded by the London Branch and CUSAT. The invoice was given to Barry. The planned Pioneer Stand disabled platform had been discussed by Nigel and leader of the SAG and another SAG representative. Although they had no issues in principle, they said the lift could only be used to get people into the ground but was not to be relied on for an emergency evacuation. Instead other options ('evac chairs') would be needed, and the exit speed would limit the capacity of the platform (to six disabled supporters). It was thus accepted that the plan could not go ahead in its current form.

The planned electronic scoreboard was awaiting further updates from the installer. Technical specs were being acquired. Nigel said the funding source was still 'onside' with the project and he remained confident it would go ahead for start of next season.

Nigel had spoken to ABM about the issue of selling the planned Jimmy Glass beer out of bottles at Brunton Park. Club supported the idea but ABM and Heineken would need to give the go-ahead before it could go on sale.

The number of ongoing maintenance issues had 'settled down' since a number of problems had to be sorted over Christmas/New Year.

Data accumulated from #8kforMK had gone into improving existing database. More emails were now being sent out to supporters who had signed up to receive regular updates.

The provisional plan for season tickets next season has been drawn up. There was a discussion about this and the issues it brought up. Some ST holders had complained about the #8kforMK promotion. Simon reported a continuing belief amongst some fans that the £3 match day increase for tickets was a 'surcharge' rather than the default price from which all other prices and offers were derived. The Club typically sell approx. a third of match day tickets in advance. Nigel reported that the cash turnstiles for the MK match worked well due to the simple £10 pricing. He didn't think it would work as well when the prices were at normal levels.

Finances/ fund-raising

The bank balance was now £217.60 after payment of invoice from the picture framer.

London Branch were reported to have dropped plans for selling Jimmy Glass pin badges. Simon suggested that CUSG should take on the project. The badges would likely sell for £2 each. Simon would clarify the exact situation with the London Branch.

Disabled facilities

Barry thanked all people who had helped him with the installation of the new shelter – including ground staff at Brunton Park and the London Branch and CUSAT who had contributed to the cost. A plan was discussed to put logos from LB/CUSAT on the shelter. The door lock conversion for disabled toilets was in progress. Barry said he planned to do an update on disabled supporters' matters every 3 months on the Club's website.

There had been another complaint about the stewarding of the car park which would be progressed. Club to look into.

Due to the cancellation (see above) of the Pioneer Stand platform, reprioritisation and focus was needed. Nigel suggested Paddock North. It was agreed to seek to extend the size of the shelter in that location, and lower the roof (to avoid blocking sight lines of the boxes).  Nigel would talk to SAG initially to clarify their requirements.

Barry requested access to away disabled fans on match days. He would liaise with SLO Geoff Weston to facilitate this.

Communications/Events

Feedback from the fans' forum last week had been mostly positive, though some people complained about being unable to see from the back of the room. 102 fans had attended with only 29 no-shows. Streaming data for the two videos put on Facebook now stood at 4.2k and 2.7k streams respectively. Microphone volume had been a minor issue and would be set higher for future forums. The raffle had produced a £233 profit. Matt wanted to give thanks for their help in putting the event on to The Turf Tavern, Lumber Lounge Axe Throwing, CUFC, GoActiv Sport, World Group, London Branch, AMF Bowling and also to all individuals who had donated raffle prizes.

The club would adopt this format for all future forums – the next one was due to be held before the end of the season and would be attended by directors.

The Jimmy Glass event had been brought forward to March 26 to be held in Foxy's and would be widely advertised. A press release was coming out on Thursday. The change of plan was due to Sky Sports coming up to do some filming for a documentary marking the 20th anniversary. Jimmy Glass was attending on the night and would not now come back up in May. Mike Zeller will host the event. Tickets costing £5 each had been printed and were distributed amongst the groups on the night. The Club would sell the remaining 75. Various guests would also attend alongside Jimmy and would be announced in the coming days and weeks. The event would be streamed live on Facebook. A meeting this week would progress the project.

The London Branch reported they had a £2k surplus from sales of Jimmy Glass T-shirts and wanted to use this for refurbishment of a bar or bars at Brunton Park. The group discussed how best to do this and a potential name change for the bars was also discussed. A shortlist of ex-players and managers to name bars after would be drawn up and a vote carried out to determine the most popular choices. Dan volunteered to help organise this.

Supporters' Liaison Officer

Geoff reported two new recruits had been found to carry out meeter and greeter duties on match days. He had requested an updated SLO list from the EFL as identifying current holders of these posts at other clubs had been problematic. Cheltenham Town had requested a CUFC shirt and match ball for a charity event that Geoff had supplied. Geoff had recently undergone a DBS check for working with youths/children.

Group updates

CUOSC – Reported their #8kforMK promotion had reached over 12k people on Facebook. 4.5k of these came from the paid promotion. The paid ad had reached 73% males and 27% females.

CUOSC had been approached by Terry Marsh, a football fan based in Kent, about supporting a nationwide Alzheimer's appeal, leading to an exhibition. Terry was hoping to acquire a 'memory' from each of the 92 English league clubs. Old shirts, programmes and photos were being sought. Terry's contact address is: terry.marsh@telent.com and his contact phone no. is 07850 066532 if any fan is willing to help.

CUOSC said it and many others, including CUFC, had been asked to support a bid to get Ivor Broadis recognised in the next honours list. Billy Atkinson would write in support, to back other letters sent in by a CUFC supporter.

TheCumbrians.net – Wanted to express their thanks to the Club for all the work done on the #8kforMK promotion. Another, smaller set of questions had been distributed for the Club and groups to answer, from messageboard users. Click HERE to read the full Q&A. 

Nigel explained the position of various players contracts, following on from an answer he had given about renewal of contracts earlier this season (after appearance triggers had been reached). Nigel contrasted those with the contracts of Hallam Hope and Adam Collin which were renewed due to the Club having an option on extending them (Club's choice alone), not due to appearance triggers (like Kelvin Etuhu's) where on achieving a specified number of appearances, where the contract was automatically extended (no choice for either club or player).

London Branch – Passed on their thanks for the #8kforMK initiative. They also wished to thank stewards for facilitating the photograph promoting the installation of the new disabled shelter which LB members had appeared in. The Branch were using a new 'funding request form' to avoid any confusion in future about use of their funds.

Any Other Business

The appeal for home shirts had been very successful. Every home shirt from recent history had been acquired with the exception of the 'temporary' 2002-03 shirt. Away tops were still being sought.

Nigel appealed for four 'fit and healthy' individuals to act as flag-wavers on match days. The club had acquired four very large flags to help add to the atmosphere on match days. The flags would be waved in front of the Paddock. Groups would put out appeal to their members.

Next meeting brought forward to Monday April 15 at 6pm.


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