Remote meeting via Zoom on 11 January 2021.
Attendance – Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Nigel Davidson, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Dan Maclennan, Lee Rooney (TheCumbrians.net), Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Gary Wylie (LGBTQ supporter), Andy Hall, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)
Apologies – Geoff Weston (SLO), Jim Mitchell (CUOSC), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net), Barry Carter (Disabled Group), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), John Ireland (West Cumbrian Travel), Amy Nixon (CUFC)
Welcome from Simon. He praised communications from the club during the recent upheaval with fans once again prohibited from attending games.
Finances/income – only significant trading income is now from iFollow and small amounts from online retail. All Premier League money for this season was paid over by October. Monthly cash distribution from EFL continues as normal. Funds from season ticket Direct Debits have been stopped. iFollow numbers in December were the best so far. Over 1,200 subscribed for the abandoned Harrogate Town match on December 29.
The Premier League support package ‘bailout’ agreed before Christmas consists of two batches of money – £30m + £20m, for League 1 and 2. Allocations of the first £30m batch have been agreed with all 48 clubs getting amounts pro rata based on the EFL’s estimates of lost gate income from the start of Covid in March, to the end of this season.
First interim payment of £250k (same for every League Two club) already received. A further £110k is expected soon making a total of £360k for CUFC. It provides 31p in £ in terms of estimated lost gate revenue of £1.14m.
The £360k is much needed and club are grateful for it. The remaining lost gate income (around 70%) and other lost trading income due to Covid remains well in excess of £1m. The club continues to work hard to deal with this.
Access to the £20m still to be decided.
All staff and directors not involved in football are furloughed to some extent again as a result of the Tier 4 and fan lockout to save money.
A number ST holders who have paid in full have requested refund post Bolton despite no refund policy. They believe the no refund policy was not communicated and they don’t want iFollow or see it as inadequate compensation.
In these cases, refunds have still been offered as a gesture of goodwill. Some of these fans remain unhappy with this arrangement as they want the refund and also to keep the first-choice rights to their specific seat reserved, for when we restart again, and renewal rights for next year as a season ticket holder for part of the year.
Lockdown has meant a hiatus at the club. Academy at under-18 and first team activity only continuing. Media activity will be reduced. Andy explained that this is down to restrictions that apply during the pandemic. The EFL have the power to sanction clubs who break lockdown rules (like Grimsby). Fans will see less output than normal.
EWM – no new updates. No further contact with administrators or EWM. Administrators report to creditors was sent out before Christmas. CUFC have seen it, as a creditor themselves. Reference to £2.1m trade debt being written off. CUFC can't confirm if this refers to the club debt to EWM, as it was not specified in the report.
£1,341.46 in bank. £82 ring-fenced for prediction competition. Pin badges – 330 badges sold. Break even point surpassed. £180 profit made. 420 still to sell. Selling through the club shop at steady rate.
None planned due to the pandemic. ‘Ask the Gaffer’ has been put on hold due to restrictions applying to media team.
Geoff was absent from this meeting. He reported no issues with reduced attendances at games during December. Fans were sticking to the rules.
The disabled group has asked Ashwood Design Associates Ltd to undertake a measured survey and production of drawings. To produce an initial sketch proposal and finalise for presentation to the board and SAG for approval. Changes in levels for the ramps need to be agreed.
London Branch will cover the initial architect’s costs.
Diversity updates – not much happening due to lockdown. Face in the Crowd – new promotion in the past week. Carlisle REUnited money used to fund NordBord acquisition. 428 members at present. CRU funds stand at almost 13k.
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Matt Spooner is getting prices about bar refurbishments. Sporting Inn to be targeted first. Club agree with this approach. Question about 'virtual tickets' etc. Nigel C agrees it’s a good idea to look at, but in reality it’s a donation appeal.
Simon Clarkson question – what more can fans do to help club? Nigel C – iFollow is the simplest and easiest, as not much can be offered in return at the moment due to the lockdown. Fans need to be ready for when things get better. Andy Hall asked if Carlisle REUnited can be grown? On the agenda for discussion on Wednesday night at next CUOSC board meeting.
Message Board memorabilia
Slowdown over Christmas. No access to Brunton Park for now.
Any Other Business
Dan suggested that the next meeting be held back until March due to lockdown. March suggested, and agreed.
Next meeting – Monday 15 March