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CUSG: Minutes from the January meeting

Summary from the latest meeting

14 January 2022

Meeting held by Zoom on 10 January 2022.

Attendance –  Nigel Davidson (Chair, CUOSC), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Simon Clarkson (SLO), Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Gary Wylie (LGBTQ+ Supporters), Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)

Apologies – Jim Mitchell (CUOSC), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), John Ireland (West Cumbria Travel), Barry Carter (Disabled Group)

Nigel Davidson chaired the meeting on behalf of CUOSC.

Club update

Club update already circulated and uploaded separate to this summary.

Click HERE to download the club summary.

Question from Terry McCarthy: Were any repayments of the PurePay loan scheduled?

Nigel C said none were scheduled. Discussions were planned. There could be some repayments this year, as per his update.

Simon asked if fans were asked to wear masks at the turnstiles. He thought there might have been a communications issue.

Nigel C said the club had asked fans to wear masks in indoor areas. Passing through turnstiles was a particular bottleneck which carried more risk. He accepted not everyone may have got this message, and promised to amplify this info before future home games.

Additional comments by Nigel C:

Beer supplier Heineken are increasing prices – CUFC need to assess the prices they charge fans because of this.

Fan behaviour – objects were thrown on Saturday at opposition fans. A bottle and a vape were thrown. A complaint had been received from a Bradford supporter. Nigel C asked the CUSG reps to put out a firm message about behaviour inside the ground.

The club were again grateful for all the support shown for Saturday’s foodbank collection.

Latest ifollow data - 352 passes sold for Bradford. 436 for Harrogate. 600 for Mansfield. The EFL Trophy streams (436) were higher than expected as fans watched the game at home.

The N&S had published a story about a Companies House filing by CUFC Holdings. This was routine legal compliance, said Nigel C. The board and shareholders had considered a potential conflict of interest and shareholders passed a resolution to deal with it. This had no wider implications.

Andy asked the group about a decision the club needed to make on whether to stream next Tuesday night’s home match with Hartlepool on iFollow?

Simon said that financially you wouldn’t stream it, but other considerations had to be taken into account.

The club would need to reach a decision by Thursday.

Barbara asked why fans had not been allowed into the Warwick Road End from the Paddock when it was wet. Nigel C said this was a safety officer ruling. A more stringent view had been taken of this during the pandemic. There was a greater risk when people moved around a lot inside the ground. Nigel C agreed to consult the safety officer again on this issue.

The club were planning a new fans feedback survey on the new catering set-up. The survey used in the summer needed updating. CUOSC were working on tweaking the questions. This would be promoted as a club survey but CUOSC were hosting it.

Communications

Nigel C said that there were now multiple routes for supporters to ask questions. CUOSC’s weekly briefings regularly contained answers to questions asked by fans. The club continue to scan the messageboard and questions that come up are usually covered by information in his briefing (like this month), said Nigel C.

Keith said there had been no further approaches from the media for him to give interviews.

Barbara said that many disabled fans don’t want info about their disabilities being in the public domain.

Finances and fundraising

Bank balance was unchanged at £1910.53 - £602 of this was ringfenced for bar refurbishments and prizes for the prediction competition. (Latest prediction competition standings to be uploaded separately to these minutes).

Pin badge profits stood at £288. There were still 384 to sell.

The Cumberland Building Society needed the CUSG’s signatories to be confirmed. The group confirmed the existing signatories, Michelle Hall (treasurer), Simon Clarkson, John Ireland and John Kukuc, would remain in place. A registered address for the CUSG was also needed. An incorporation date had been requested. It was agreed to set this as the date for the first CUSG meeting which was 07/10/2015.

Events and projects

The club’s plan was still to host a football forum after the current transfer window closes. Keith Millen was very keen to do a forum. The club would need to re-assess the situation with COVID before making any firm decision on the type of event to host. Regular forums were an EFL requirement. Nigel C stated that he preferred fans to be present in person, if it was possible.

Andy reported that a shirt had been recently stolen from the display in the East Stand ticket office stairwell. The group registered their disgust at this action. The shirt was a predominantly white top with Lloyd sponsor logo from the 1992-93 season.  It featured red/blue markings as part of the design.

The club have foodbank items which had been donated via the ticket office. Nigel D for CUOSC agreed to organise their collection with the help of Billy Atkinson and Carol Wilson.

Equality and diversity

Two reps from ‘Her Game Too’ campaign would be attending the Sutton United home game later this month. Training tops bearing the campaign logo could be given to the players to wear, although this needed the agreement of the club. Cumbria Pride would be similarly represented at a game in February.

My Club My Shirt – the final costings were being calculated. Tullie House had already advertised the forthcoming exhibition which would be launched soon. A location had been identified in the East Stand for the display of photos. Bigger images would be costed for this purpose. Barbara advised that she has used a company that do them at low cost.

SLO update

Simon was continuing to establish relationships with other clubs’ SLOs. Andy asked if he could promote ‘Happy Hour’ on Saturday for the Crawley game (£2 a pint), which Simon agreed to do. Simon was pressing for an update on any change to the kick off time for the return league fixture with Barrow. He had been assured that both clubs’ SLOs would be involved  in any decision taken.

Group updates

Disabled group – Warwick Road End Platform. Three quotes were required. One would be from DSD as they had helped in the past. She asked if anyone could recommend other firms. John Kukuc was mentiond as someone who could offer advice for sourcing quotes. Nigel C offered to ask around at the club. A disabled child on Saturday supporting Bradford City was put in the small shelter at the front of the Bradford fans, but there were no seats. Nigel C will look into this matter internally. Broken chair at the Waterworks End shelter to be fixed. Club to sort this.

LGBTQ – Gary reported a very quiet period over Christmas. He had attended an EFL webinar earlier in December. He said it was a really positive event. The EFL has a new diversity officer who was in attendance. A questionnaire about disabled fans is to be completed by the club. Gary will arrange a meeting with Cumbria Pride soon.

CUOSC – Saturday’s Foodbank collection had once again been very well supported. CUOSC thanked all those who donated items. It was suggested a notice to say ‘Carlisle Foodbank’ could be provided for future collections. Club to arrange. CUOSC had answered a series of questions from supporters about the abandoned takeover/share transfer. They were still to re-arrange the recently postponed members’ meeting. Next board meeting is on Wednesday evening.

London Branch –  The LB committee recently approved £2,000 funding for the refurbishment of The Sunset Suite. This is in addition to the £1,500 previously donated to this project by CUSCLB.

Sales of the Roma T shirt were going well. An additional 100 shirts were being ordered bringing the total to 300. Shirts will be on sale in The Sunset Suite prior to Saturday’s game v Crawley. Nigel C offered club/player support for promotion of the T shirt.

Nigel C agreed to meet CUSCLB members prior to the game at Leyton Orient on Saturday 26th February in The Burbeck Tavern.  All Carlisle supporters going to The Orient game will be welcome at this event.

AOB

The group expressed their shock and sadness at the recent death of former CUFC commercial manager Martin Hudson. Martin’s passing will be marked by the club via an ‘In Memoriam’ presentation at the Sutton game later this month, which will feature people associated with the club who have passed recently.

Next meeting

February 21 – next Chair to be Gary.


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