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CUSG: Minutes from the September meeting

A summary of the latest CUSG Meeting

27 September 2019

Summary of the September meeting of CUSG:

East Stand Offices, 23.09.19

Attendance - Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Jim Mitchell, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Dan McLennan, Matt Spooner (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 – Geoff Weston (Supporters' Liaison Officer), John Kukuc (CUOSC), John Ireland (West Cumbria Travel), Kate Rowley (CUSAT)
The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.

Action List

All outstanding items to be covered in agenda.

Click HERE for answers to questions raised on TheCumbrians.net forum. This is a downloadable pdf document.

CUFC Updates

Ground maintenance – One of the new disabled shelters, the one in the far corner of the Waterworks End, had been damaged after being hit by a ball. The Club were pursuing repairs.

The order for a new electronic scoreboard had been placed 4 weeks ago. The scoreboard is 6 x 2m in size. The scoreboard was due to be installed starting in mid-October and tested by October 21. No in-game highlights would be played on it due to EFL rules. Older match footage, animations and adverts would be run.

The A Stand roof was still not removed. The next stage of work would take place on October 14. Andrew Jenkins was due to publish a fuller update on this work in Saturday's programme.

EFL matters - An EFL meeting this week (Thursday) was due to discuss the situation at Bury FC. Bury were campaigning to be allowed back into League Two for next season. There was no certainty of a vote of clubs. EFL looking to get a feeling of direction of travel that clubs wanted. Nigel stated that he wasn't certain the matter would be decided at this meeting. It was evident that there was strong resistance from those representatives present at the meeting to Bury being re-admitted.

iFollow -The Club received quarterly payments for their share of iFollow revenue. They had no hard data yet on figures for the Forest Green match. The club didn't believe the gate for that match was affected by iFollow.

A question was asked about moving of fixtures. The number of fixtures and available dates mean its not possible move games to avoid Champions League fixtures. EFL are usually more flexible in allowing games in the EFL Trophy to be moved. The Trophy game with Wolves under-23 was going ahead 24 hours before Wolves senior squad played a Carabao Cup tie.

A rule change introduced by the EFL meant that the Jack Bridge suspension did not start until after the Trophy match and he would thus miss the home game with Oldham Athletic. In Trophy games that were drawn after 90 minutes, the prize pot was equally divided between both teams, regardless of the penalty shoot-out result.

CUSG Roles - No extra fan representatives had come forward to attend these meetings after an appeal following the last meeting. However, the door remains open for any new fans to join the group. Simon suggested moving next meeting to a Friday night (November 8). It was also suggested that the venue could be changed to the Sunset Suite to accommodate any increase in numbers. This would be reviewed in light of the draw for the First Round of the FA Cup, which takes place on November 9.

Events - Terry handed out options for the 1994-95 season 25-year commemorative event. Those present favoured the 'pie and pea' and 'no food' options as those bringing the highest likely profit. A raffle would be held, and one prize would be a signed and framed copy of a 94-95 shirt. A final decision to be taken at next meeting after discussions with other interested parties. Terry updated on the plans to produce two pin badges to celebrate the 94/95 season. Designs will be circulated to reps to select from.

A Race Night would be held in Foxy's on November 1 that would be free to attend, with Eventbrite software to be utilised to manage numbers capped at 150. Sponsorship of the eight races to be set at £100 each, that included publicity during the marketing of the event, on the evening and in matchday programmes. Sponsors would be allocated a table to entertain their guests. Some supporters groups had already committed to being race sponsors with others asked to confirm by 29 September. After this date local businesses would be approached. Horses to cost £5 to own with the winning owners receiving prizes donated by the club.

Finances
£1678.30 in the bank account. No liabilities.

Ticketing priority
A discussion on ticketing priority took place. Season ticket holders receive top priority. The next tier of priority are supporters' groups. Those with membership schemes are able to give details of members to the club, subject to 'opt-in' permission being given by members. Club to decide method of identifying qualifying members. Compliance with GDPR is essential.

Disabled facilities
Barry reported thicker perspex would be needed for the damaged shelter. All outstanding issues with locks/alarms had been sorted. Barry requested wider access pass to the ground on match days to allow access to all disabled fans. Club agreed. A free cup of tea was now being offered for away disabled fans at each home fixture. Barbara was working on the plans for a new disabled platform in the Warwick Road End, and requested a meeting with Tim Wordsworth, the chief safety officer. The disabled group newsletter to be sent to the club as a PDF.

Memorabilia
Dan was looking into options for display of old shirts. A form of metal railings was considered the best option. Prices to be sourced and the matter progressed for next meeting.

Communications
Matt proposed CUSG get a dedicated domain and associated email address. Longer term a website could be set up and space on it given to constituent groups if they wanted it, for instance to book travel. This was given the go-ahead.

Bars and player lounge enhancements
It was agreed a formal event should be held to mark the re-naming of The Sunset Suite, as 'The Glass Bar'. The Sunset to be prioritised for improvements before that. Improvements to the doors, new signage and Jimmy Glass beermats plus other work highlighted. The Hopper family were being consulted over the players lounge which was to be named after Tony Hopper. Simon offered to lead on 'The Glass Bar' refurbishments. The final project would be the refurbishment of the Sporting Inn that would be re-named as Murphy's Bar acknowledging the other winner of the fans vote, Peter Murphy.

Group updates

London Branch – The '40' Club raised £2k last year. Thanks were given to the club for donating prizes to this. The plan was to fund the CUFC Academy. Eric Kinder had identified new mini-goals as a requirement. A London Branch supporters team had indicated interest in taking part in the Ukraine tournament next year, and requested more info. The Jimmy Glass beer was being launched this week with 500 bottles on sale. Club agreed to sell in the West Stand bars.

CUOSC – A survey of members had asked if Bury should be re-admitted to EFL League 2 next season. Over 80% of respondents were against at time of the meeting. Members were also being asked about size of membership fees and regular donations. The CUOSC website was to be revamped with the help of Richard Mullen. This was ongoing. A plan to hold another Quiz Night had been put on hold. It would either be before Christmas or in the New Year.

CUSAT – Reiterated that Geoff Weston was liaising effectively with other clubs' SLOs.

TheCumbrians.net – Were planning to bring back a semi-regular podcast this week. More details online.

Click HERE for answers to questions raised on TheCumbrians.net forum. This is a downloadable pdf document.

West Cumbria Travel – The supporter who was injured in a fall at Bradford City had been a traveller with WCT in the past. The groups and Club passed on their best wishes for his recovery. Club (Chairman) was in contact with family. Bradford stewards at the ground had handled the incident well. However there had been a complaint raised about other stewards at the game. Details to be passed to Geoff to follow up.

Any Other Business
A supporter had asked a question about whether the grass in the public car park would be cut. This was not actually CUFC's responsibility but the Environment Agency who cut regularly. They would be asked to cut it.

The club wanted to support the Poppy Appeal once again and mark Remembrance Day. John Ireland to be consulted.

It was noted that the roof of the away disabled shelter in front of the Pioneer Stand was a potential hazard. Club said steps had already been put in place (using cones on match days).

Representative discussed incidents of abuse directed towards players at football matches including at games and on social media. The group wished to reiterate that racist chanting at games or abuse on social media was totally abhorrent and unacceptable and all would play their part in prevention and dealing with any at CUFC games. All agreed that any incidents should be reported immediately to stewards home or away so action can be taken straight away. All agreed there is no place for racism in the game. The club said it was always on the look out and any reports would be taken very seriously – immediate reporting was essential.

Additionally, the club has an email address kickitout@carlisleunited.co.uk


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