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Club News

CUSG: Minutes from the November meeting

Topics discussed at the latest meeting

4 November 2022

Club News

CUSG: Minutes from the November meeting

Topics discussed at the latest meeting

4 November 2022

Remote meeting via Zoom, 31.10.2022

Club News

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Attendance –  John Kukuc (Chair), Terry McCarthy (London Branch),  Nigel Davidson (EDI Rep/CUOSC), Simon Clarkson (SLO), Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Gary Wylie (LGBTQ+ Supporters, Chair), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens, Suzanne Kidd (CUFC)

Apologies –  Dan Maclennan, Matt Spooner (CUOSC), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Barry Carter (Disabled Group), Emmanuel Boateng (EDI – PoC)

  1. Club update

This had been circulated around the group today. 

Click HERE to view the club update.

Terry asked about efforts to acquire a fan zone cover. The cover was ruled out by Nigel on the grounds of cost. He said the capacity in the bars was sufficient to accommodate people on wet days. Installing a roof was therefore not a priority at the moment. Dave Brown had sent an email suggesting putting up two marquees. Nigel said the club had looked at marquees but they didn’t think they would last long enough due to weather damage.

Simon asked about issues with the scanning of tickets on the West Stand side of the ground. Nigel C said that the IT had been checked out for connectivity and bandwidth. New WiFi points had been added. All now worked OK.

Suzanne explained that the scanning issue was linked to portals. Portal scans had timed out. The problem only occurred with seated areas on the west side of the ground. Scanning needs to be active when police attend games. Bottlenecks in earlier games are now much smaller.

  1. Fan behaviour
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Nigel C said issues of fan behaviour at recent games were a growing problem for everyone. Police involvement costs the club money. The safety officer and Police Liaison Johnny were asked to attend this meeting but both were unavailable. The  football authorities expect clubs and fans to sort issues out.

Suzanne said some fans were being less co-operative this season. There had been issues with vaping and alcohol. There was more abuse towards staff and stewards. A pyrotechnic device was found at the last home game. The police have reported worsening behaviour amongst fans. The club brands itself as ‘family friendly’, explained Suzanne, but current issues undermine that. There was a strong need to call out negative behaviour. Coin throwing had been reported at the Leyton Orient game. An area around the tunnel will be cordoned off, starting from Saturday. More response stewards are being hired with body cameras.

Seven arrests were made at the last two away games, all those arrested being over 18 (all CUFC fans). Two FA letters were received last week. They could lead to charges. Simon asked if drugs were part of the problem. According to the police and the FA, they are. The EFL is providing clubs with advice on drug issues at games. 

Cost of policing can be more than £20k per game. The club have a good relationship with the police.

Terry asked if other clubs are experiencing the same level of trouble. Suzanne stated that the behaviour of away fans is worsening too. Tougher stewarding had been introduced in the away section. Lots of clubs were experiencing big issues.

Nigel C said the club is looking for the support of fans groups reps to call out this bad behaviour. Some fans were questioning the messaging used so far. Fan groups need to develop their own voice on these issues, he said. He suggested it was not enough to simply repeat club/police messaging, but to communicate direct to supporters.

Andy said the club’s response to the FA would benefit from references to fan groups doing their own messaging. Nigel D said it was everyone’s responsibility to help fix the issues even if they haven’t created the problem.

The club had stopped under-14s coming to games on their own after pitch incursions last season, reported Nigel C.

Doing nothing is not an option, he said. More draconian steps may be applied. Sales of away tickets could be limited to ST holders only, for instance.

The announcement of the Paddock cordoned-off area will be made before the game.

Andy reminded the meeting that the police had stated it was illegal to take alcohol on coaches travelling to sporting events. CUSAT operates a strict ‘zero tolerance’ policy on this and the behaviour of the fans travelling on their buses has been exemplary this season.

  1. Finance and fundraising

Bank balance: £753.53

£55 ringfenced for Jigsaw (raffle proceeds Directors forum 24/05/2022)        

£87 ringfenced for LB prediction competition prizes         

Cumberland Building Society have confirmed that the signatories on the bank account have now been changed to remove John Ireland and add Nigel Davidson.

  1. Christmas raffle

Simon and Terry had already sent an update about progress made. The date to draw tickets was moved to Wednesday 28th December at Brunton Park. Simon and Terry to make the draw, witnessed by club staff. £40 for the registration of a small society lottery has been paid by Terry who would claim it back. 1000 books to be ordered. 5 tickets in each book. 50% of businesses contacted so far had agreed to donate prizes plus a prize from the London Branch. The groups were asked to donate prizes. CUOSC committed to donating a prize. The prize list will be published on the club website.

Volunteers would be needed to sell tickets at the three home games in December.  CUOSC kiosks outside the West Stand and in the East Stand concourse could be used, as well as the Study Centre. Online sales were also discussed, as was the possibility of using card readers to take payments for tickets at games. The group agreed for Terry to acquire 2 card readers.

Total costs for the raffle were estimated to be about £200.

  1. EDI update

In addition to EDI work mentioned in the club update, Nigel D reported the following progress:

  • Working on initial pieces of work to go into the Code of Practice ahead of meeting with the EFL at the end of November
  • Planning out the next number of games for EDI guests taking us up to the end of February
  • Working specifically on a project around our autistic supporters
  • Attended the Multi-Cultural Cumbria Conference recently, which was very illuminating and some work/contacts will come on the back of that
  • Organising a Clothing Drop for Refugees in the area for the home game versus Sutton Utd on 3rd December
  • Looking at a number of pieces of training we can facilitate for the club and CUSG around EDI which will help with the Code of Practice assessment.
  1. SLO update

The fan zone expansion, utilising more space and providing extra seating has been well received by fans, especially the new container bar. The EFL have picked up on the success of the fan zone and will feature an article in a future newsletter.

In the east stand the SLO team continue to look to reduce pressure on catering queues by engaging with fans and showing them the click and collect app as well as where applicable, encouraging families to use the tuck shop instead of the bars. The opening of a third bar has helped too.

The window vinyls in the Glass bar will be changed following fan feedback about the reduction of natural light in the bar. This work should be completed before Saturday 3 December when Jimmy Glass will officially open the bar.

Keith and I hope that the proactive social media presence enables our fans to have an enhanced away game experience. We focus on fan information that also includes key messaging on appropriate fan behaviour. Cumbria Police play a big part in this too and liaison with Jonny Sunley is constant.

I will participate in a EFL SLO webinar on 3 November. The nomination for the FSA awards for SLO of the year came a huge surprise. I see this as an endorsement of the team approach that we adopted and the excellent support from the club and fanbase. The event is on 14 November in London when the winner from a shortlist of 6 nominees will be announced.

We are always keen to recruit more meeter and greeters who are thanked with a complimentary ticket. If you would like to join us, please get in touch.

  1. Group updates

Disabled fans –

A report on the planned platform for the Warwick Road End with drawings had been circulated by John prior to the meeting. Progress, he said, had been ‘limited’. John reported a quote of over £40k which was in place. This he said was prohibitive. Better ‘value for money’ options would now need to be explored with other sites within the ground to be looked at. Andy commented that he thought, given the scope and large scale of work to be done, the existing quote was very reasonable.

LGBTQ+ - No major update. Still trying to organise meetings. (Gary)

CUOSC -

New Membership System is now ‘live’. Much easier for folk to join/renew, and also update any details etc. Using ‘MemberMojo’ which London Branch are familiar with. Match day stands proving helpful. Fans have joined, renewed and just asked general queries. Hoping to upgrade to a better stand in due course for fan zone. Fully support Club push on fan behaviour and will utilise our briefings (short piece was in yesterday’s), socials etc to help spread message. (Dan Maclennan)

London Branch -

  • At their October meeting the branch agreed to fund a replacement camcorder (£700) for the club’s analyst.
  • Dave Brown is currently conducting a survey of all supporters groups affiliated to CUFC with a view to producing a directory to help supporters understand who the various groups represent. All members of the CUSG meeting group were circulated with this survey. Dan and Keith have completed the survey on behalf of The Messageboard and CUSAT respectively. Would all representatives please ensure that the survey is completed for their group.
  • Next summer the London Branch will be visiting Warsaw for their annual summer trip. Anyone interested in joining branch members in Warsaw over the weekend of June 9th - 11th please contact Terry McCarthy (mccarthy178@btinternet.com)

CUSAT – Keith Elliott had emailed his apologies earlier in the day. No items to add.

  1. Any Other Business

Simon asked about the clash between the Sutton game in May and the King’s coronation. This could also impact on the Awards night. At the moment, the club was still awaiting advice.

  1. Next meeting

December 12 (provisionally).


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