Chief executive Nigel Clibbens discusses more of the current issues in the second part of his December update.
The club remains fully committed to being open and to having the best fan engagement we can. Carlisle United Supporters’ Group [CUSG] is the primary route for engagement with our fan groups.
Click HERE for more detail.
The FLR has a number of recommendations in this area. We are, however, well placed. The minutes from the latest CUSG meeting will be out in the next day or so and it covers a lot of fan issues. Please do read them when they appear.
Individual fans can still question and contact the club directly with any issues they have, and I continue to answer many fan questions personally every month – the issues raised with me are dealt with in this update and at CUSG meetings.
Fans with concerns, please come in and speak to the board, or individuals, or CUSG, or the SLO. You can make your voice heard in a way that will be listened to, that makes a difference. The door is open.
Current fan initiatives we are working on include (more details are in the CUSG minutes):
- Club supporting London Branch with memorabilia to commemorate Roma 40.
- Shirt amnesty to donate old replica shirts for reuse will be launched very shortly – donation points will be in the Blues Store and East Stand upstairs ticket office/reception.
- Food bank collection to be planned for Christmas along with Christmas bucket collections.
The Supporter Liaison team continues to provide weekly post-match feedback to the club on many things, including catering. We are making changes after each game as a result, to improve what we do. This is a positive step forward. Contact the SLO on twitter [@CUFCSLO] or by email on email@example.com.
They are continuing to give match day support to fans via the ‘meeters & greeters’. We need more volunteers, so why not join in and make a positive difference? It helps the club, fellow fans, and there is a complementary match ticket included!
The club condemned the vandalism and disorder at Hartlepool at the time. It tarnished the reputation of the club and our fans. The club has now received a bill from Hartlepool for fan damage caused at the away game.
Fan behaviour incidents at home games are rising, which is a growing concern, with further possible implications for the club.
- Barrow saw no arrests in the ground or on the club footprint, but we were reported to the FA for home fans in WRE throwing drinks at a player. There was some disorder and arrests in the city, and we take that seriously. We don’t want CUFC related disorder anywhere.
- A supporter has been banned for throwing a coin at a home director at the Harrogate game.
- A full Safety Advisory Group inspection took place at Walsall game. Events in the WRE late in the game, objects brought into the WRE by some fans in breach of Ground Regulations, and a fan on the pitch, are all in the spotlight. We are awaiting its findings and what it means for the club.
We are aware of plans to disrupt home matches to stop games.
Fans need to remember, actions can be criminal and an offence under the Football Offences Act (1991). These issues carry very serious consequences for all concerned.
Fans risk bans, which we don’t want to be faced with giving, but we cannot and will not tolerate disruption and bad behaviour. It is counter-productive and does absolutely no good in making things change.
As a result, we expect to incur significant additional unplanned stewarding and police costs dealing with home fans on match days in the coming weeks. This again risks taking much-needed cash away from spending on the club, and the team, as we approach January.
Dealing with this could also require increased searching and revisiting whether bags can continue to be allowed into the ground, which could sadly affect all fans. We don’t want to be faced with any of this, but I need to be up front and tell fans what is at stake in the short-term.
I have said in the long-term, the result of this could be higher policing costs at home games, which will cost the club many thousands year after year ahead.
As Keith Millen said last week: “If everyone in Carlisle wants this team to do well, then surely they have to do everything they can to help us rather than go against what we’re trying to achieve. If we want to try and create a positive atmosphere, then everyone has to be part of it. That’s me, the players, the club, the board, the fans, press and everyone.”
Fans with concerns, make your voice heard in a way that will be listened to. Get in touch HERE - the door is open. I’m always outside on the West side pre-match, and you can email the club or ring me.