CUSG Meeting Summary - Remote meeting via Zoom, 06.11.2023
Attendance – John Kukuc (Chair), Simon Clarkson (SLO), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Nigel Davidson (EDI Rep/CUOSC), Carol Wilson, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Bob Preece (South Lakes Supporters’ Club), Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)
Apologies – Sonny Kirkwood (Warwick Road Enders), Matt Spooner, Dan Maclennan (CUOSC), Andy Hall (CUFC)
John Kukuc introduced the meeting by welcoming Bob Preece from the South Lakes group who was attending for the first time.
- CUFC Update
Nigel C’s report on club activity had already been circulated and will be included in this update as a separate document. Click HERE to read the club update. Nigel C wanted to emphasise three key things from the document –
- Fan behaviour. The club are under scrutiny from the FA. An inspector visited the Leyton Orient game. 99% of what he observed was good but the firework incident in the Warwick Road End spoiled it. We all have a duty to stop it, said Nigel C. The club have admitted to charge E21 - failure to control fans. Port Vale suffered a fine of £30k last season for a similar offence. We are awaiting the decision.
- Quick wins. Meetings have been held with CUOSC about engagement with fans to bring these about. An appeal for volunteers has gone out with some early success. More info to follow.
- PurePay debt has been dealt with by Castle Sports Group as per its social media comment. It is not the right time to go into detail or comment further but it will be explained in due course.
A question was asked about planned improvements to the FanZone as it grows and crowds get bigger. What impact would this have on car parking and access – will the away team coach still arrive in front of the West Stand? Option of parking outside away turnstiles on east side was considered - but the club have decided not to do that. Access to the West Stand car park will become more restricted but the away team coach will have access. The small car park outside the study centre will be unaffected.
Simon asked about a Player of the Month proposal from a fan, which involved a crowdfunded donation to provide a trophy. Nigel C said the club would support such an idea. The club would be willing to help with it. Nigel said it was good when these things are fan-driven. Amy remarked that clubs often have sponsored player of the month awards – but fans can still vote to select the winner. Simon offered to progress and co-ordinate it.
- Investment update
Nigel C reported that everything is on track to complete the takeover. There are still formalities to complete.
- Finance/New Year raffle
Terry reported a £1760.97 bank balance, of which £82 is ring-fenced for prizes.
£20 was paid by Terry recently to the council for continuance of the license to hold a raffle. He would be reimbursed.
Simon/Terry to meet tomorrow to finalise design of tickets. 10,000 to arrive by 17th of November. So far ten prizes to the value of £750 had been pledged. Headline prizes were from Stanwix Holiday Park - 4 nights stay for 4 people and David Allen Ltd – a luxury hamper. Thomas Graham/Heineken/Tesco/Fusion were amongst the other corporate donors. The London Branch and South Lakes group had also donated prizes. The club would provide some prizes, promised Nigel.
All groups to ask for tickets from Terry by the 17th. In books of five.
Northampton 16/12 Cheltenham 23/12 Port Vale 01/01 were the home games targeted to sell tickets. Four volunteer sellers are already on board with more needed.
CUOSC were asked and agreed to make an appeal for volunteers in their weekly update.
Nigel C offered for the club to sell tickets via the ticket office and the club shop.
- Memorabilia and project update
More frames have been put across the west stand. Regular sorting and cataloguing continues from a small group of volunteers.
A national lottery heritage fund application has been submitted and we should have an update on that next month. If successful, a £5000 contribution will need to be made (other external partners will do likewise) and therefore the CUSG winter raffle proceeds will go towards protecting our heritage.
In addition, there is a separate piece of activity with Tullie House for the ‘Carlisle Inspires’ display that will be a part of the new look building next year.
Donations can be made via the SLO and are regularly received with thank
- EDI update
This had already been circulated by Nigel D - click HERE to read the EDI update.
ND stressed the important thing is the final deadline for the code of practice assessment which was October 25. Currently awaiting the outcome.
Black history month – the event done on 24/10 at the Burton Albion home game. 99.9% positive reaction to this. An article has gone on the club website.
Simon acknowledged that disabled fans facilities are inadequate. Disabled rep needs to be appointed asap. He said a strong voice was needed for that community. All supported that wish. Any fan interested please contact Simon SLO or Nigel D EDI officer. Disabled rep to be advertised ASAP.
- SLO update
The recent glut of away fixtures, with the majority of trips to grounds a lot of our fans have not been to before, makes it important to gather relevant information from the home SLO and Police. We hope fans find the information we share is useful and it enhances the match day experience.
Simon added that there is a common grey area about what pubs to use pre-match. Some SLOs don’t see it as their area to make recommendations. Police liaison staff are used to get this info.
At home games, our meeters and greeters are kept busy with a variety of activities around the ground including supporting the pre match community groups who get a mini ground tour before the game. We are delighted to have expanded the team this season with two new team members added. As our crowds grow and areas like the fan zone become increasingly popular, the team needs to keep evolving.
We are always on the lookout for more meeters and greeters, so please get in touch if you would like to join the team. As a thank you for helping you will receive a complimentary match ticket.
At Brunton Park, adjacent to the east stand, a memory garden is being developed. The project is being coordinated by the SLO with contributions from local businesses, the Former Players Association and Cumberland Youth Justice Service. We hope the area will serve as a quiet, reflective place where fans can go to be comforted and inspired.
- Groups update
We have 8 candidates standing for election at our upcoming AGM. Time TBC. List of candidates was circulated shortly after the meeting.
Met with NC and SK last week re suggestions for “quick win” improvements around BP and on a match day that we’ve received from members and the wider fan base.
During the chat last week, we identified some areas that we can target ahead of Charlton game. We will send information on this later this week.
Following on from this, we are compiling a schedule of quick wins/projects, with Club and fan involvement, that can be worked to all year round by a pool of volunteers that we will look to start building later this week. Summer is best for a lot of the work, due to weather, but there are bits we can work on all year round.
If anybody in your respective groups would like to join the pool of volunteers and spare a few hours here and there to progress projects, please let us know. The projects will include stuff like pressure washing terracing, cleaning of hand rails, barriers, gates around the stands and move to painting railings and gates (to replicate the WRE) later in 2024.
We have 1144 members as of this morning. This is nearly 3x the amount at our last AGM. We are working behind the scenes to revamp our membership offering and hope to announce more details early in 2024.
As per Club report - Things are progressing, we will update when we are able.
Warwick Road Enders -
John wished to put on record his thanks to the Warwick Road Enders for taking the initiative in fan projects.
- Thursday October 19th CUSCLB hosted a well received Zoom Q & A session with Nigel Clibbens
- Tentative plans are now being made for CUSCLB to hold a celebration dinner during the 24 / 25 season to mark 50 years since United’s only season in the (then) First Division and the 50th anniversary of the founding of CUSCLB. The event will be held in the London area, hopefully over the weekend of an away game in London. As such, no date can be agreed until the release of the 24 / 25 fixtures
- During the second half of the current season the branch are looking to arrange two Q & A events. One with Paul Simpson in Bristol the evening before our away game with Bristol Rovers and one with the Piataks the evening before our away game with Charlton Athletic.
- Following an approach from the club, the branch have recently agreed to fund £2,445 towards the purchase of a Game Ready machine which will help players recovering from injury.
Young supporter Jack Musgrave is starting chemo. A raffle is to be run to raise funds to support him. A CUFC shirt is to be donated from CUSG. Chorley fans are selling tickets in their fanzone on 29/12 on day of Wigan away fixture.
Extra coach booked for Barnsley.
South Lakes group
On 20th October we held a Quiz Night at The New Union in Kendal, which was well supported and raised nearly £300 for club funds. We have held a number of events now and also run raffles etc., on away trips - so are building a nice reserve which we want to use to support the Football Club - with many of our members very keen to sponsor one or more players next season. We have seen that a number of the other supporter groups do this - so would be keen to get advice on how to kick start this.
On 26th October we were pleased to welcome their 50th paid up member - since we formed in August, We will continue to recruit at future social events and are pleased to see a really good mix of people in our group.
Following on from successful coaches to Port Vale and Bolton, we are currently organising for further upcoming games including Barnsley, Blackpool & Wigan and we are trying to organise transport in a way that will let us subsidise kids travelling with a parent(s) to open up the away fixtures to as many as possible. For the Bolton match, we got the majority of Match Tickets in a bulk order with the Carlisle Ticket Office after speaking to Simon and working with Amy in the Ticket Office - was really easy and straightforward - and meant that most of our coach were sitting together at the match which was great.
The group are keen to start player sponsorship for next season or January.
- Any Other Business
Simon - fundraising question in light of takeover. This could be a topic for the next meeting.
- Date of next meeting