With the first month of the season already done, chief executive Nigel Clibbens brings us up to date on a range of issues.
It’s great to have fans back and to get the season under way, and there is plenty happening off-the-field.
The club continues to support our players in Taking the Knee. Fans are thanked for their support in recent games - this is recognised by the players.
Our community initiative with KIO and FSA called ‘My Club My Shirt’ is progressing and there will be further updates soon. If you want to be involved, details about the scheme are HERE.
We held a meeting with Anti-Racist Cumbria this week and we plan to work together on initiatives in our community.
Our ‘Coming Home’ game v Colchester on 7 August was a financial success, as well as great to see more fans back. The attendance of over 6,000 made for a memorable atmosphere.
We continue to input into Fair Game (https://www.fairgameuk.org) to promote change in the game as part of the Government Fan led review. EFL has not undertaken any engagement with clubs so far, so Fair Game gives us that voice.
The club condemns the vandalism and disorder at Hartlepool – the wrecking of seats. It tarnishes the reputation of the club and our fans.
We are in dialogue with the police for them to find those responsible and for banning orders to be issued. We will also deal with anyone found responsible using all the powers we have as a club. I am pleased that members of the Carlisle United Supporters’ Groups [CUSG] also backed this stance at the meeting this week.
The long-term result of this could be higher policing costs at home games, which will cost the club many thousands year after year ahead. This is money we can better spend elsewhere, to make a positive difference to the club and for fans, so it is extremely frustrating to face this possible consequence.
The club remains fully committed to CUSG as the primary route for engagement with our fan groups. We continue to work together and answer questions from fans in the member groups. The minutes from the latest meeting will be out in the next day or so. 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, as before. A fan guide detailing ‘Our approach to Fan Engagement’ is on the website, along with details on how to contact us. Click HERE to read that guide and HERE for details on getting in touch.
I will be attending a fan meeting Q&A with London Branch members before the Sutton United away game.
The new SLO team is providing 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.
They are also giving 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 ‘Fan in the Crowd’ cut-outs from last year’s lockout that haven’t yet been collected by fans will be displayed at the Warwick turnstiles.
A new idea for a shirt amnesty to donate old replica shirts for charitable re-use is to be launched in September, with donation points for both match day and non-match day. It was suggested by a fan, thank you.
An NHS Vaccine bus is due to visit for future home games to help increase community take up and fight Covid. Further details will be provided in the coming weeks.
Spending priorities in 21/22 remain heavily weighted towards on-the-field activities and the football department. Five-figure new investment is being spent on extra football gym equipment for players.
A basic repaint of Foxy’s has been completed with all TVs replaced with newer, better quality units. A new TV projector has been installed, plus two new extra TVs to improve our hospitality experience.
Nine additional TVs have been installed across the stadium to replace broken and out-of-date equipment using some ex-Foxys TVs, following previous work on new TV wiring. More will follow.
Further plans for full Sunset and Foxy’s renovations are on hold pending funding being provided to 1921.
Vinyl wraps and the completion of Murphy’s Bar remain outstanding. New memorabilia is being prepared by CUSG for installation shortly. The club plans to self-fund Murphy’s Bar improvements (without the need for the donation offered by CUOSC).
Additional historic shirts have been put on display on the east side stairway walls, and more are planned.
The new fan mural is close to installation on the west side – the artist is awaiting final materials to install.
Significant unavoidable works on renewal of essential internal and emergency lighting in the west and east stand is continuing. Unplanned electric renewals are now to take place in 21/22 in the west stand, over many months and at significant cost.
Covid continues to place pressure on match day staffing availability, with late drop-outs affecting ticketing and turnstiles.
An independent safety inspector from The Sports Ground Safety Authority visited at Salford to check on our Covid arrangements. We await the findings.
Part two of this update, out later today, will cover catering, ticketing and iFollow.