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CUSG: Minutes from the November 2019 meeting

The summary of the latest CUSG meeting

9 November 2019

A summary of the CUSG meeting held at Brunton Park on Monday 4 November.

Attendance - Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Nigel Davidson, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC),  Dan McLennan, Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net), Barry Carter, Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)

Apologies – Jim Mitchell, John Kukuc (CUOSC), Geoff Weston (Supporters' Liaison Officer), John Ireland (West Cumbria Travel), Terry McCarthy (London Branch)

The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.

CUSAT request

Keith Elliott on behalf of CUSAT had requested that an agenda item be included to discuss the current situation at the club given the concerns voiced by fans travelling with CUSAT. Nigel Clibbens had already sent Keith an email to try and answer these concerns. Keith was happy with the response which covered all his points and was thus happy to continue with the original agenda. Simon explained it was not the intention of the CUSG to stymie debate but the focus of the group is to work in collaboration for the benefit of fans.

CUFC Updates

Scoreboard AKA 'The Big Screen' – A supporting frame had been attached to the front of the Neil Centre. Connecting cables were still to be installed. The screen itself was now with the installer and just awaiting the cabling.  Nigel said everyone was frustrated and understood the fans were but the latest estimate from Scanlite was the screen would be in place for Cambridge.

'A' Stand roof – The roof had been removed and the next stage to replace purlins and then install the new roof panels would commence shortly [half of roof now on at 8 November]. It was hoped to open up the rest of the Paddock in time for the next home game, or the one immediately after.

EFL matters – Nigel stated that there were several clubs having financial difficulties as reported in the media. This was an ongoing issue for the EFL to deal with. Nobody wanted to see another Bury situation, so while the EFL needed to balance supporting clubs in distress and assist them, to try and help them to recover, it must also enforce its rules, which could make the blubs’ position worse. At the same time the EFL rules haven’t changed and its review was still going on. The next EFL meeting is scheduled for 28 November.

Warwick Road End warm-ups – A fan had recently been struck by a loose ball during one of these warm-ups. The club has installed warning signage in the Warwick and will erect a mobile net to protect Warwick Road End supporters. These would be moved away before kick-off.

A question was asked about the blanking off of the windows in the Sporting Inn. This was due to the rule about supporters not being able to drink in sight of the pitch between 15 minutes before kick off and 15 minutes after full-time on match days. The EFL were lobbying to change this law which did not apply to other sports such as rugby and cricket.

Meeting format

There had been an ongoing discussion about moving meetings from Monday nights. It was agreed to review the format after the next meeting.

Events

The planned Race Night for last Friday evening in Foxy's had to be cancelled due to low ticket sales. CUOSC stated that a similar event they had planned in 2017 also had to be cancelled for the same reason. It was suggested that forums and one-off events such as the Jimmy Glass evening were more successful generally than Race Nights. It was also thought that some fans may not want to attend events where the bar takings go to the stadium caterers rather than the club. Nigel C explained that the caterers pay a fixed fee each season and keep all takings up to a threshold of sales. The club and abm then share profits if the threshold is beaten .

1994-95 commemorative event – after consultation with other event organisers, this planned CUSG event had been scrapped. Another event was being planned in the city for the same purpose, on the evening of the last home game of the season. CUSG would seek to help support this event and potentially sell the planned 94-95 pin badges at it. The event was expected to benefit the Eden Valley Hospice.

Finances / fund-raising

Terry would circulate images of the designs for the 1994-95 commemorative pin badges amongst group reps, as soon as they were available. £183 had been banked from this season's prediction competition, of which 50% would go towards prizes.

£1769.80 in the bank account.

Nigel confirmed the Jimmy Glass 90+5 beer had sold over 200 bottles to date in the club's bars.

Bucket collections

Two games had been ear-marked for these. Bradford City on Boxing Day and Leyton Orient on March 21. Approximately six volunteers would be needed on these occasions. Any funds donated would go to benefit a specific CUSG project. Matt volunteered to acquire suitable collecting buckets. The London Branch had committed £2k from the sale of Jimmy Glass shirts to the refurbishment of The Glass Bar (current Sunset Suite). Plans for refurbishment of the Players Lounge, to be named after Tony Hopper, were in hand. The most appropriate project to require funds would be the planned revamp of the Sporting Inn, to be renamed 'Murphy's Bar', thus the bucket collections would be aimed at this purpose.

Disabled Projects

Barry and Barbara were finalising plans for the Warwick Road End facility. These had been discussed with Tim Wordsworth and a council representative. The next SAG meeting was scheduled for November 12 and Barbara said she was hoping to have the plans ready for discussion at that meeting. There would be a ramped area near the corner of the Warwick Road End and Pioneer Stand. A new toilet suitable for disabled fans would be constructed. The club and Matt both agreed to help Barbara and Barry meet the required deadline. Progress was being made towards securing the grants needed.

The scheme to provide a free cup of tea or coffee to away disabled fans was now well established and was appreciated by those who had taken advantage of it. Thanks were extended to both the club and abm for laying on this service.

The capacity for home disabled supporters had been reached at the Macclesfield game.

Vinyl wrap logos for the existing shelters are ready and waiting to be fixed.

Memorabilia

Dan had identified suitable 'mounts' to display the old team shirts within the stadium. They cost £25 per 3. The group agreed to purchase a dozen, with a chance to get a bigger discount.

Communications

The email account hello@cusg.co.uk was set up and working. It was linked to the EventBrite software. The group discussed the possibility of using a website to share information and updates, including for example the opportunity for CUSAT to sell travel packages online. Dan and Matt volunteered to establish CUSG Facebook and Instagram accounts. A sub-committee would be established to discuss these online projects. Matt said he would look into creating a logo for the CUSG.

Bars and player lounge enhancements

Perspex display panels would be acquired for the Tony Hopper Players' Lounge. A decorator was  being awaited for work on The Glass Bar. Memorabilia from the CUSG collection would go in when this work was done. A Jimmy Glass poster was identified as a potential addition, in vinyl wrap form. More funds would be needed to improve/revamp Murphy's Bar. Dan said he had some memorabilia from the 1972 Anglo-Italian Tournament which could be included.

Group updates

London Branch – The Jimmy Glass beer was selling well. Only a small number of the original stock were left.

CUOSC – Website revamp in progress with help from Richard Mullen. Four supporters had met CUOSC reps on Saturday before the Macclesfield game to discuss opportunities for increasing membership and raising profile. A members' meeting was discussed and would be arranged by CUOSC during their next board meeting on November 13. CUOSC had received an unusual request from a Yeovil fan for a copy of the official teamsheet for the Yeovil-CUFC match played on August 16, 2003. Keith Elliott offered to see if he had a copy within his programme collection.

CUSAT – Reported a successful weekend in London for the Leyton Orient match. A further weekend for the Macclesfield fixture was to come later in the season. A question was asked about this Friday night's televised FA Cup tie. All loanees at the club had been cleared to play. The club stated they had no plans to redecorate the subs' benches in response to a query.

West Cumbria Travel – Would be running a coach to Port Vale.

Scottish supporters – Keith reported 'unrest' about succession plans and EWM.

Cumbrians.net - click HERE for answers to the November questions.

Any Other Business

Keith Gomersall, injured at the Bradford City away match had recovered and would be travelling down to Dulwich Hamlet on Friday with CUSAT. The club were offering him free hospitality at a future home game.

A spectator sadly passed away at the weekend after being taken ill before the match. The club was in touch with the family.

The attendees expressed concerns to the club about on and off-field issues including lack of communication from EWM and team performance.

Next meeting – December 16


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