CUSG meeting summary - 26 April 2021.
Attendance – Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Jim Mitchell, Nigel Davidson, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Dan Maclennan, Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net), Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Gary Wylie (LGBTQ supporter), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)
Apologies – Geoff Weston (SLO), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Barry Carter (Disabled Group), John Ireland (West Cumbrian Travel)
Simon introduced the meeting.
Nigel outlined some of the rules and regulations that the club will have to follow for next season. Wage capping came in this season, but was then outlawed. Old rules of SCMP come back for next season. 50% of income + 100% of football fortune can be spent on football wages. Club produce an estimate of next season’s income followed by December update. Estimates are based on recent performance – liable to challenge by the EFL. Capping of squad sizes to 21-22 senior players was challenged by the PFA. Further attempts are now under way to agree a squad cap for next season via talks with the PFA.
Clubs are organising a social media blackout for this weekend. CUFC are supporting it. YouTube account and club website being updated throughout the blackout, so keep visiting for reports, interviews, etc. Team news plus ‘live blog’ will appear on website on Saturday. Club has asked BBC and Newsquest to support the blackout.
European Super League – nothing official was sent to the club from the EFL other than the press release that they shared online. Nigel C said the Premier League would be devalued if big clubs leave. A supporter-led review of the game was going ahead with government backing. The scope and form of this review was still to be decided.
The club want the catering relaunch to have a proper ‘fanfare’. Nigel C said that arrangements had been ‘narrowed down’. A survey of fans will be undertaken. The brewery deal is also up for renewal. CUOSC had been sounded out to create a survey that would go out to all fans. Other CUSG groups could also run/promote this survey.
Pitch work is being planned for the close season to take account of potential friendlies.
iFollow – discussions are continuing about next season. Test events (with limited spectator attendance) in the next few weeks are expected to inform any decision reached.
Nigel C said he wants to be more creative with season ticket pricing. He welcomed any input from the groups.
Kit launch date – no firm news. The club don’t have a firm date for when the kit will arrive so can’t commit yet.
Nigel C said it was always preferable to have a shirt sponsor in place before new kit is manufactured. It adds significant costs to do it later. He welcomed Thomas Graham as the new shirt sponsor.
A question was asked about the future sponsorship of the current EWM Stand. The club has no info at present on it.
Nigel C said that, despite all the difficulties thrown up by COVID, few refunds were given to sponsors this season. Match day hospitality and catering income were lost. He has an update for the club website about the overall impact of COVID on regular income. The club will make up a £1.2m income shortfall with the help of the EFL support package, iFollow revenue, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, cost savings before other income from player sales/ add-ons. Nigel C called it a ‘brilliant outcome’ for CUFC.
Nigel D recapped the changes made to the draft statement of intent. No objections had been raised prior to the meeting. A small amount of re-wording was agreed. The reporting process is not 100% clear yet. Legislation is not always helpful. The document therefore will be considered a ‘work in progress’ due to this.
Document to be formally adopted post meeting. Groups to make members aware of the policy on the CUSG part of the club site.
Nigel D reported a mid-May date for the online awareness session. An exact date had yet to be finalised.
Click HERE to read the CUSG Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement of Intent.
Simon summarised the proposed additions, including the additional wording committing the CUSG to a policy on discrimination and inclusion. Nigel C said it was good for fan groups to nominate the SLO position. Election of the SLO to be added to the constitution. Positions of all officers to be reviewed annually. Process to review the SLO position to be decided before the next meeting. The role spec to be published on the club website.
Click HERE to read the CUSG Constitution document.
£1692.46 in the bank, with liabilities of £82 for the prediction competition. This is unchanged from previous month. Badges are still on sale.
End of season awards. Andy Hall was willing to do the virtual awards but wanted some testing of the feeling amongst the fanbase. The timescale would be very tight at the end of the season. Each group to inform Andy of winners and provide physical trophies.
Barbara summarised plans for the access platform at the Warwick Road End. The SAG committee would now be asked by Nigel C to consider it. Costs to be advised later. Provision for protective netting to be pursued by the club.
A new member had joined this week from Carlisle, PA, stating that he was inspired by the recent controversy caused by the ESL collapse. This would be publicised in the weekly newspaper article. Ideas for improving membership had been discussed with the club. There would be a role for trusts in the fan-led review via the FSA.
Website revamp has been completed - https://www.carlislelondonbranch.org
Schools in Cumbria to be contacted to encourage students leaving Cumbria for the coming academic year to get in touch with the branch.
Forum had been recently upgraded to an Amazon based server following exceptional usage due to fans not at games etc. Early signs are all good and will likely switch over full time in the coming months.
Dan has the latest memorabilia collected to be sorted/categorised in the near future.
Matt will be forwarding some plans towards the bar refurbs during this week to those involved, with a view to a more comprehensive update at the next meeting.
QUESTIONS BROUGHT TO CUSG MEETING ON MON 26 APRIL 2021 BY THE USERS OF THECUMBRIANS.NET FORUM:
- No Group is made/forced to answer any question and does so at their own behest.
- Some Groups have answered both their own specific questions and the ones that were marked ‘All in attendance’, others have answered just their own specific questions.
- If a Group hasn’t answered their questions, a simple ‘No answer received’ has been written. This is in the interests of clarity within the CUSG Group.
- TheCumbrians.net would like to thank all those who replied on behalf of those who submitted questions.
Click HERE for answers to questions raised on TheCumbrians.net forum. This is a downloadable pdf document.
Season ticket query about fans having access to their original seats. The club were hoping restrictions allow them to accommodate all fans in their normal seats. Ideal scenario is no social distancing but limited capacity.
Any Other Business
The club are in the process of organising a forum with owners present. This is likely to take place after the end of the season, and to be carried out under COVID rules and streamed via Facebook Live. More information to be provided when available.
Next CUSG meeting – June 7