Remote meeting via Zoom, 18 October 2021.
Attendance – Terry McCarthy (Chair, London Branch), Simon Clarkson (SLO), Nigel Davidson, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Gary Wylie (LGBTQ+ Supporters), Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)
Apologies – Jim Mitchell (CUOSC)
Terry McCarthy chaired the meeting.
Nigel C had circulated a club update before the meeting. There were no questions arising from it.
Read the club update HERE.
Simon asked if the club was supporting the EFL ‘Green clubs’ initiative. Nigel said the club would be willing to support it, but were awaiting full details. Nigel had already done a piece on the impact of climate change on CUFC for the BBC website, which would be published in connection with COP26.
CUFC v Barrow kick off change – Simon questioned if this decision was taken too late. Nigel said an update risk assessment had driven the decision. It was decided by police advice. Simon said he wanted to see any change to the Barrow away game kick off announced as soon as possible. Nigel said the club recognized the impact of changes on fans but ongoing assessments took place which could lead to changes as new information emerged.
CUFC home draw v Horsham in the FA Cup – half price for season ticket holders. Date of match not yet decided, awaiting confirmation of TV games.
Covid vaccine passports – this matter was raised by Keith Ward. A recent EFL meeting had addressed this (attended by Nigel C). In the event of a change in Covid rules, clubs had been advised to plan for passports at venues with 10k+ capacities. 100% check-in. Dispensation will be granted for players & staff.
Michael Knighton attendance at BP on Saturday was asked about – Nigel explained what had happened. At around 12.30pm MK arrived at the ground and saw Club Secretary Sarah McKnight (an employee from his time). SM informed Nigel C that MK was coming to the game in the stand with the fans. Nigel C considered things and decided to ask MK if he wanted to sit in the director’s box. He said yes.
Nigel C described this as a simple act of human kindness.
Andy said the club didn’t invite him to attend (which had been communicated via Radio Cumbria). It was not pre-planned.
Nigel C stressed it was 20 years since MK was last at the club. Nigel C said he always recognises there is no forgiving or forgetting even after a very very long time like this and events of the past always feature at the forefront even now. He said, he felt if the club had ignored MK they would have been criticized too by some. Whatever the decision someone would be upset. Yes his time ended very badly, but MK is part of the club’s history, he left a legacy of the East stand and some memorable times on the pitch along the way.
Nigel C understood why some fans might be upset by MK being sat in the director’s box. It was not to disrespect anyone.
TheCumbrians.net had requested their name be removed from the constitution.
This was discussed and the following statement was agreed for inclusion in these minutes:
Following TheCumbrians.Net's decision to leave CUSG, the group would like to place on record our thanks to Dan and Matt for their valued contribution to CUSG activities over the years, and to remind them that the door is always open should TheCumbrians.Net wish to rejoin the group.
Constitution to be amended to show departure date of TheCumbrians.net.
Finance and fundraising
£2019.71p in bank.
£244 with Terry to be banked.
Two items ringfenced £448 for Murphy’s Bar & £111.50 for prediction competition.
Club to fund the remaining costs to complete Sporting Inn before renaming Murphy’s bar.
Nigel C said there was to be further investment behind the Sporting Inn bar with new cooling and glass washing equipment being acquired and installed to improve the beer.
Andy and Amy will take snaps of Murphy’s bar refurbishment to help promote it.
Memorabilia – this task is a big one, stressed Simon. 1000s of programmes have been acquired with extensive cataloging of all the collections. New items now on display in the Sporting Inn,
Fan mural now up. Again thanks to Dan who was responsible for the project.
West Stand vomitory walls now suitable for memorabilia display after being repainted. New shirts have been put up in the East Stand stairwell, with more to follow.
Terry reminded those present that £1600 was now available in the bank. Fund-raising initiatives to be discussed at the next meeting.
There was likely to be a forum with the new head coach once appointed. The possibility of using the event (charging an entry fee and holding a raffle on the night), to raise funds for the CUSG, was discussed. Nigel C said it would be the club’s intention to hold such a forum as soon as it could be arranged, with fans present in person again.
Barbara Abbott asked about the forthcoming Anglo-Italian 50th anniversary. Supporter Ron Maddison was doing fund-raising for a veterans’ charity using a modernised 1972 poster to raffle off. A Carlisle fan in Turin had spoken to Nigel D about a possible introduction to Roma. CUFC had made no formal approach to Roma for organising a friendly. Andy said he would like to produce a commemorative programme from the original with new content. Dave Brown had been in touch with a manufacturer about T shirt and mug production (the club previously said they could facilitate this too). The London Branch were looking into the possibility of an LB team meeting a Roma fans team based in London. Percentage of LB sales will go to an Alzheimers charity, in recognition of Stan Bowles. All the groups agreed to feed in to CUSG so activities could be co-ordinated and work together.
Prediction competition - £223 raised. £111.50 ring-fenced. Total entries - 77.
De-briefing was taking place after each match. Gradual feedback about catering had produced actions to improve the overall service.
Simon was still keen to take on more fans for the catering panel. A proactive approach to gaining feedback was being followed. A request to sit down and eat fish&chips had been met by the club with seating now in place. The club planned to expand the fan zone area with further seating and catering as demand required. Info was being given about experience expected at away fixtures. Keith had been tweeting about his SLO role but using his own account. He will be given access to the main SLO account to do this.
Barbara said that Forest Green fans had congratulated CUFC for putting on vegan options.
Disabled group – thanks were given to the London Branch for funding support. Waiting for finished plans to enable grant application for Warwick Road End platform.
Fans for Diversity group had been discussing autism and provisions clubs make for autistic fans. Feedback from an autistic fan already sought. Barry Carter to be updated on that issue.
CUOSC – had circulated the following update prior to the meeting:
My Club, My Shirt – Most photographs done. ND is chasing up some remaining photos. Expect project to be complete by November. Tullie House to exhibit 18 MCMS photos in an outside space. Will be on display until approx. February. All photos to be displayed both online and in a final, permanent exhibition at Brunton Park.
Carlisle REUnited – the campaign is being wound down with only small amounts now coming in. CUOSC have agreed to fund a new extra underlay “frost protection” for the Warwick Road End of the pitch. Further funds are available and we will consult both our members and the club over best use for these.
Succession/debt – we’ve fielded some queries about this from members. Our responses going out in our weekly briefings and on our website. The process continues with no firm timescales in place. No public updates until there is firm news to report.
Fan-led review & CUOSC questionnaire – Govt review into football expected to report soon. CUOSC will monitor this closely and it will help inform our own ‘manifesto’ for the future of CUFC. The questionnaire has had over 650 total responses, representing total numbers of completed parts of the questionnaire (8 parts in total). Far more responses to Part 1 about the owner than other parts, but we consider the total to be adequate for a meaningful cross-section of fans to be represented. We plan to promote the questionnaire for another few days and close it on Sunday. We have NOT looked at any of the detail in the responses yet. The questionnaire ‘team’ will begin to process the results on Sunday/Monday.
Nigel D added that the women’s game initiative #HerGameToo was keen to sign up clubs for support. He was meeting with a founder of the organisation soon. Nigel D said he was keen to promote this with help from both club and CUSG. CUSG agreed and the club will support.
LGBTQ+ – Cumbria Pride event recently attended. This had provided good feedback and created a chance to build stronger relationships. Gary had spoken with some fans.
CUSAT – Keith encouraged fans to get behind Gavin Skelton and the new head coach when appointed.
London Branch – hosted a pre-match get-together at Sutton cricket club – attended by Nigel C. This had gone down very well and had been well supported.
Monday 29 November. Keith Ward to chair.