Remote meeting via Zoom, 11.04.2023
Attendance – John Kukuc (Chair), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Nigel Davidson (EDI Rep/CUOSC), Simon Clarkson (SLO), Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)
Apologies – Gary Wylie (LGBTQ+ Supporters), Matt Spooner, Dan Maclennan (CUOSC)
- Club Update
Nigel C had already circulated the update prior to the meeting. He made some comments and invited questions.
Click HERE to read the club update.
Nigel C said the Tranmere game had gone really well.
Simon reported positive feedback from fans about the opening up of the Waterworks End.
Nigel C agreed it had been a popular decision which had added to the atmosphere in the ground. The move had been well supported, he said. The Waterworks acts as a good ‘overflow’. The club will consider using it in future, but not for every match.
Question about lack of atmosphere at games? Should we ban away drummers? Nigel C said club won’t do that. Nigel C said CUFC would treat away fans as we would want other clubs to treat our own fans. He added that it would be great if CUFC had a drummer.
Nigel D said some people have complained about the sound of drums in close proximity.
Simon suggested that Waterworks tickets could be sold earlier and fans moved if sales don’t hit a minimum target.
Nigel C explained that the opening was a contingency that came into play when sales had gone above expectations.
He said next time there is a discounted game, it could be close to capacity due to the success of the Tranmere game. He said there were fewer ‘no shows’ this time.
Some of the flags supplied to fans at the Warwick Road End had gone missing and some were broken. The club were left with a lot of sticks without flags attached. Dan to order more flags without sticks. Nigel C said the club will keep supporting these initiatives. He believed better messaging will deter fans from taking/vandalising the flags.
Question from Terry – does the club get prize money for finishing in the top 3?
Nigel C explained that there is no current merit payment anywhere in the EFL. It has been suggested they could be introduced in future.
Terry asked if we keep all revenue from a Wembley play off final?
Nigel C explained:
For the two semi-finals, the total net gate income (after costs and levy) from all four semi matches (two semis each of two legs) - is all pooled together and shared by the four clubs and the rest of the EFL:
50% shared by all EFL clubs via a “pool” and then the remaining
50% shared equally by the 4 semi-finalists
In effect, clubs share the income from the two legs of the other semi-final games they are not playing in.
In the final the same applies but the 50% club part is shared by the two finalists only.
Any semi-final matches selected for live tv would also result in a “facility fee” to the home and away club (same amount).
Dates for the play-offs are May 14 (12pm and 7pm) for first legs and May 18 (8pm) and May 19 (7.45pm) for the second legs.
Simon asked if season ticket prices would go up if CUFC get promoted?
Nigel C said this was very likely. The club would not be able to operate if we charge League 2 prices in League 1. He said fixed costs rise all the time.
He said that in L2 clubs get £1m in total payments (TV deals). In L1 clubs get 50% more, making £1.5m (an increase of £500k).
The gate on Friday was the largest in L2 this season apart from at Bradford City.
On improving communications, Nigel C explained that the club are sending emails before/after games to sponsors and their guests.
£2481.70 currently in the bank. Most of this is committed to paying bills for bar refurbishments.
£241.70 left after these commitments and £87 of that is ring-fenced.
Terry had sent info out about a possible funding scheme to support CUSG projects.
It would provide a regular income stream with funding decisions taken by supporters. £2400/month was the target. 33% would be returned in prizes.
Simon said he was surprised that CUOSC had not gone down this route.
Note: CUOSC attempted to launch a lottery scheme based on the National Lottery bonus ball a few years ago but take-up had been too low to implement it.
Nigel D said a debate was going on within CUOSC about this. Raising money for supporter initiatives and/or acquiring shares. It would need consultation with members.
Nigel C said regardless of what CUOSC ultimately decides. CUSG needs to make its own decision about what it wants to do. The principle is that CUSG raising its own funds for fan initiatives has worked well. He said that bucket collections could be a way to raise some funds at games before the end of the season. The club would support such an initiative, he said. Every penny goes back into projects or fans, decided by fans.
CUSG would need about 30 volunteers to do bucket collections at the Salford game. There was agreement to aim for the Salford game.
The fans’ forum on Thursday would provide an opportunity to hold another raffle, but after discussion it was decided the focus should be on the forum itself. The plan was to have no break in proceedings and to get through all the questions and answers briskly.
- SLO update
The use of fan zone continues to rise. The extra space and seating have eased issues relating to queues. I am actively in dialogue about future plans, to represent the views of fans, so please get in touch to share any views,
New bar signage in the east stand was revealed before the Stevenage game that included the formal opening of Halpy’s bar. A new bar in the east stand, Hopper’s was opened before the Tranmere game. Adding to Balderstone’s and Halpy’s, the new bar will offer some flexibility and the opportunity to offer differing products, an initiative in collaboration with the Hopper family.
It has been great to see more of the former 74/75 players over the past few games, as they take in matchday hospitality, do Q&A’s in corporate and half time appearances. The feedback from them all on the 74/75 lounge has been superb and I know that fans that take in hospitality in there do too.
I had an amazing fast response from fans to the call to tidy up the Waterworks end for the Tranmere game. Aged from teenagers to pensioners, the effort was superb. Everyone talked about a huge pride in getting involved and to see that area bustling with home fans, made the hard work worthwhile.
The SLO team hope that the proactive social media presence enables our fans to have an enhanced game experience. We focus on fan information that also includes key messaging on appropriate fan behaviour.
General issues raised by fans to the SLO team are continually relayed to the club and feedback provided to fans. 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.
- EDI Update
Guests at Games
We have had a range of guests at recent games from Scouts, Cumbria Pride, Refugees from both the Cumbria Park and Hilltop Hotels, Parkinson’s UK (Cumbria), James Rennie School, People First, the Ukrainian Community, Bee Unique and many more for the International Women’s Day celebration at the beginning of March when we were joined by Kristine Green (Fan Director & SLO at Grimsby Town, as well as Cumbria Police, local Councillor Lisa Brown and MP’s John Stevenson and Martin Vickers MP for Cleethorpes.
Tobi Sho-Silva has kindly been helping me out with a number of EDI related activities. Thanks go to Tobi for wanting to be involved, Paul Simpson for allowing him to help and Andy Hall for facilitating this. He has been a presence on match days and also met with a couple of our refugees from the Cumbria Park hotel so far.
I attended the CST Pan Disability Tournament with schools from James Rennie, Hexham Priory and Mayfield which was amazing and it was great to have the club/CUSG represented. The event was run by Ryan Godderidge, Inclusion Officer at the CST and was a real success.
I met recently with Carlisle City Council and a range of groups such as the Community Sports Trust, Every Life Matters and Border City Greens FC to discuss how we can work together and also widen and strengthen the community groups in and around CUFC and CST.
Next week Emmanuel and I will be meeting Emeke Nweke from the Cumbria African Forum and Stephen Dunn from the new Cumberland Council, to discuss working with the African community in the area.
Next week brings the latest meeting between the club and the EFl regarding the Code of Practice on EDI & Mental Health. We have been working hard on many areas of this over the season and are hoping that when we meet that we will be well on track to achieve what we planned to. Our assessment will take place in October 2023.
I have spent a lot of time meeting with members of the Neuro Diverse Community and their families and schools over the last few weeks. One or two more meetings to come and then the plan is to get all around the table to discuss CUFC provision for our supporters from this group. We will be starting small, but looking at what we can provide and the best way to establish that is from listening to the people themselves.
To that end, the club recently wrote out to all those registered with us as Disabled Supporters, to let them know about the sad loss of Barry Carter and that in the interim I would be looking after the group. We also asked specifically if those from the neurodivergent community could get in touch regarding the provision in that area and have already had responses.
Disability Access Audit – this week.
People First – meeting to discuss neuro divers supporters, they have offered to have some of their Neuro Diverse Ambassadors come to the ground to give us their perspective on facilities, which I think would be great. Also, they are able to tap into funding pots that may assist with the Wheelchair Viewing Area and other Neuro Diversity Facilities. We are meeting again next week to discuss further.
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWAG) – I recently began meeting with Cumbria Police regarding the VAWAG project to see how CUFC can assist. It’s early days in the project, but the idea of safe spaces and group meetings have been discussed as a starting point – more to follow on this in the coming weeks
Women and Girls Rep/Her Game Too – I have given this some further thought and want to start a push to fill this position with the help of HGT for next season. HGT have now established a range of ambassadors across the leagues and we need to pick this up as a priority for next season. For our women and girl supporters, for HGT and to link with the VAWAG project.
Period Equality – Kindly donated period products for the toilets at Brunton Park; article to follow. 18 new sanitary bins have been installed around the ground.
Articles on the website to follow for the past two homes games
EDI has been helping to promote the Carlisle United Ladies Team and the newly formed Development Team – a number of photos have been taken for social media from training and the Seni-Final of the Cumberland Cup, which the team won 1-0 with a very late penalty against Workington.
The Ladies team will be playing in the final of the Cumberland Cup on Wednesday 3rd May at Frenchfields in Penrith. It would be great to see as many CUFC fans attend the game as possible to give the girls our full support.
Can we give this as much promotion as we can ahead of the game? CUSG social media accounts etc. Interview with a couple of the players maybe? I have requested that they go on the pitch ahead of the Salford game to promote the final the following week. Nigel C agreed.
Tracy Gannon has welcomed 2 of the Afghan refugee sisters Mozghan and Roma (1 more, Resalat, to join when she recovers from an injury) and Lilian from Kenya into the newly formed CUFC ladies Development Team. They will play in a summer league starting next week and running until August.
- Group Updates
Keith E said a second coach was now going to Sutton. It was filling up but seats are still available. Approximately 1000 tickets would be made available to CUFC. Keith also mentioned a signed shirt raffle he saw working well at Leyton Orient. Nigel C said he would look into it.
Keith W asked about the strip for next season. Details will be revealed at a later date.
London Branch Weekend in Carlisle coming up. 24 people in Foxy’s. Plans for a pre-match meet up at Sutton in the cricket club are well in hand. Pre-match pub for Wembley has been provisionally booked.
Part 1 of our upcoming rebrand saw fans invited to select a preferred colour way for a new logo. Blue/Red won with roughly 75% of all votes via Twitter Poll, Facebook and Email. Feedback has also been taken on board and this is now in the process of being worked on in the coming weeks as we look to refresh our look in the Summer.
We will also releasing a short questionnaire to Members on several topics as part of this process which will help shape our future outlook. Keep an eye on both your emails and briefings for more info.
Unfortunately we had to cancel our planned quiz due to low ticket sales. A shame but we will continue to look to host events in the future. Our thanks to Tobi Sho-Silva for offering to be involved.
A recent ‘Guess the Tranmere Attendance’ competition saw roughly 550 entries in the build up to the ‘10 for 10’ match. Ryan Stubbs was closest being only 12 off and won the signed CUFC shirt.
- Date of next meeting
May 22 (Monday).