Last week’s annual supporters meeting was enjoyed and appreciated by all who attended. Supporters asked a range of interesting and sometimes quite testing questions of both manager and board, which were answered fully and honestly.
At that meeting, I was particularly pleased to see two young lads who I had spoken to after the Wolves game. They had been part of a fairly vocal group who had been voicing their understandable displeasure after what was a very disappointing team performance. We spent a good 20 minutes or so chatting, and I was able to tell them about the forthcoming meeting, and explain that it was an opportunity to come along and meet face to face with both the manager and the board. I was delighted that they took the trouble to turn up on the night, and to talk honestly about their passion for the club and the disappointment they had felt after the Wolves defeat.
They met for a private chat with Derek afterwards. He took their criticism on the chin and was able to reassure them about the direction in which he wants to take the club.
I got a fantastic e-mail from one of the lads the next day. Because we had taken the time and trouble to listen to his complaints, he felt very much part of the club and was grateful that we had all gone the extra mile to respond.
Talking of going the extra mile, we recently had our feedback from the ‘Mystery Family’ who the Football League send to a home game as part of their assessment process for the Family Excellence awards, and we were delighted that a lot of the work we have been putting in behind the scenes has been recognised.
The report highlighted our clear and easy to follow website with its dedicated ‘Bring Your Kids’ section, with advice on parking and finding the stadium. The family loved the ‘Scott Murray Video Guide’ which clearly explained how to go about buying a ticket and the best places to sit if you are bringing kids along. They also singled out Nick in the Supporter Services for special praise after he dealt with their phone enquiry: "He was fantastic: pro-active, gave advice, helped us save some money and answered my questions." They also thought Kate, the steward in the Family Stand was ‘Brilliant...a credit to the club’.
They loved the Community Park with all the various activities and a very proactive mascot, Scrumpy, and thought the whole day was ‘a fantastic experience from start to finish’.
We are very proud of the steps we have taken recently to make Ashton Gate as welcoming a place as possible for all supporters. It’s great to have our efforts acknowledged by neutral observers.
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E-mail questions, requests and dedications for David to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively write to Ashton Gate Stadium, Ashton Road, Ashton, Bristol, BS3 2EJ.