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CUSG: Minutes from the November meeting

Update from the latest fan meeting

4 December 2020

Remote meeting via Zoom, 30.11.2020

Attendance –  Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Dan Maclennan, Lee Rooney (TheCumbrians.net), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), John Ireland (West Cumbrian Travel), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)

Apologies – Geoff Weston (SLO), Nigel Davidson, Jim Mitchell (CUOSC), Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net), Barry Carter (Disabled Group), Gary Wylie (LGBTQ supporter)

Simon Clarkson introduced the meeting. The agenda was sent out two weeks ago. No additions, so no update sent.

CUFC update

An announcement was made today about match tickets for the Salford game on Wednesday night. Club staff finished sending out season tickets today. Tomorrow will be dedicated to match ticket sales (approx. 300 to sell). Any outstanding queries from the process will be dealt with on Wednesday. A lot of preparatory work had been done before the announcement last week that fans could return. 1700+ season tickets had initially been sold. 500 refunds had been made. Fans had requested the same seats that they had been allocated before refunds. Some season ticket holders who are shielding or in Tier 3 areas would not be able to attend games. Further requests had been received from these supporters for refunds. Match tickets for the Salford game would be made available for collection at the ground. If season tickets do not arrive in time, then ST holders affected can collect a match ticket at the ground before kick-off. Social distancing rules will apply as per the Southend game.

The club stated that their system should stop people getting in who are resident in Tier 3 areas. iFollow access to continue for ST holders.

The club said they would be likely to sell future match tickets in bundles, not one at a time. There will be no more sales of season tickets.

Terry McCarthy question: What reaction, if any, has there been from clubs within Tier 3?

Nigel C: No collective meeting to find out reaction. Hasn't seen anything about that issue.

John Ireland question: Vaccinations – will these increase attendance limits?

Nigel C: No consultation about that up to now. Plan is to increase numbers asap. Vaccinations may take until March to have a real effect.

Keith Elliott question: Are 7pm kick-offs now to be the norm?

Nigel C: Mansfield date may be the last one. This was already agreed before the restrictions of fans attending had been lifted.

John Ireland question about wearing of face masks.

Nigel C: Club strongly recommend wearing face coverings at all times. This is not mandatory. Face coverings are mandatory for getting into and out of the ground when queuing, walking within stadium concourses to seat, walking within ground and visiting toilets. Can take off when sat down. No ban on chanting/shouting.

The club said that the Lakeland Steaks catering outlet would be in operation near to the gym on the western side of the stadium perimeter. No catering outlets will be open inside the ground.

iFollow: Data arrives every Monday for weekend games and the day after midweek games. Average is close to 1k paid subscribers for away games. 1K paid + 350 complementary streams for home games. In top five for away games. Numbers are rising. Aston Villa EFL Trophy game got 236 streams.

Streaming of FA Youth Cup ties by the club’s media team had proved popular so far, with up to 900 simultaneous users streaming. 7,000+ total streams per fixture. Blackburn Rovers game in the Third Round will be streamed live next Tuesday night. Andy said the camera used for streaming was satisfactory but not an up to date model. There was no internal funding available to replace it.

Youth games were being played behind closed doors because demand is small compared to the costs of stewarding. Streaming the games is more economical for the club.

Nigel C reiterated he expects the club to lose money with gates of up to 2k. He stressed that having fans back in the short term is about 'stepping stones' to increasing attendances, and not about making money.

Finances 

£1,198.46 in the bank. £82 is ring-fenced for prizes in the prediction competition.

Events

‘Ask the Gaffer’ clips are yet to be turned into a final video. Andy said some of the questions are now out of date. Suggested CUSG ask for more questions.

Group updates

SLO – Geoff not at the meeting. He will attend internal meeting at the ground tomorrow. More meeters and greeters are needed. Free match tickets for all volunteers. New coats ready to be worn by all involved.

CUSAT – thanked everyone at the club for their efforts during the pandemic.

Disabled group – Club advised that every disabled fan who wanted to attend was able to. Social distancing needed to spread people around. Barbara will attend the Salford match, as she is working at it. She will interact with disabled supporters to get feedback. Only two fans plus carers were in the disabled areas at the Southend match. Meeting has recently taken place with an expert who looked at plans for WRE platform. £800-£1k to get architect drawings and get SAG approval. To further discuss this within the disabled group itself. London Branch funding would be able to support this.

CUOSC – CUFC put thanks on record for CUOSC volunteers doing season ticket packing at the weekend. Face in the Crowd cutouts still being sold. Over 230 sold to date. Cutouts would be moved if needed to accommodate ST holders.  Carlisle REUnited total is £12.5k. Almost 150 online raffle tickets sold so far.

London Branch – question about Tier 2 - bars won’t be opening unless meals being served.

Steering committee to plan refurbishment of bars. Simon requested Dan be involved due to his memorabilia work.  Nigel C keen to get meeting sorted out to start process. Prediction competition raised £164. Pin badges – low sales since last meeting. Request to set up table outside Study Centre to sell badges. Club happy to accommodate this. Need social distancing and hand sanitiser. Club will publicise. Thursday night last week saw a virtual event held ‘The Kids are United’. Coaches and ex players attended. LB bought 5 FITC cutouts and will buy 5 golden goal tickets for each game this season.

Messageboard – Memorabilia collection and cataloguing was continuing to come on. Several items had been selected for upcoming bar refurbs by Dan and Simon (LB). A master copy of what programmes were collected/needed is being produced. A lot of the Videos and DVDs collected in had now been converted for future use, with some excellent vintage footage included, thanks to Geoff Jackson for his help with this. Lee added that the messageboard’s side project ‘The Brunton Bugle Podcast’ were hoping to utilise some of the collected items for research for some future planned episodes.

Scottish supporter – Scottish based fans not allowed to attend due to COVID restrictions. Car parking question – ST holders for car park can be accommodated. No other cars due to environment agency work being done.

Any Other Business – None

Next meeting – Monday 11 January


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