Banner image

FAN Meeting Minutes - February 2016

Latest details from the supporter meeting at Ashton Gate on February 9th.

Attendance

FAN: Mike Adams (Secretary), Terry Bond, Les Bowen, John Carnell, Matt Coombs, Marie Day, John Greenwood, Miles Hendy (Vice Chair), Rob Jones, Mike McGrath, Jeremy Palmer (Chair), Rob Palmer, Keith Perry, Will Shipway, Phil Sweet, Rob Wood. 

The Club: Adam Baker (ABr), Matthew Joy (MJ), Mark Kelly (MK), David Lloyd (DL), Kay McGinty (KM). 

Guests: Derek Lidbury, Alan Payne, Dave Walker (A&S Police). 

Apologies: Andrew Billingham, Jon Darch. 

1. CONDUCT OF MEETINGS 

The chairman, newly elected for one year, outlined the way forward for the group – to understand where we are going over two or three meetings and at the end of the year be in a position to hold elections.  We hope for five or six clear agenda items which can bring value to the Club. Meetings will end promptly at 8.30pm. The officers had met to discuss ways to reach out to fans. Agenda items had been collected from our new Facebook page and from OTIB fans forum as well as FAN members.  Les and Derek spoke on behalf of fans who are not online.  As a result: 

a) Two boards will be put up at opposite ends of the concourse – action the Club 

b) Newsletter to be produced (including relevant hyperlinks) for boards, websites, online databases – action FAN editor Mike McGrath with proof readers Rob Jones, Marie Day & Miles Hendy 

   – action Matthew Joy to circulate the Club’s 78,000 database 

c) Space in the matchday programme – action secretary to approach editor 

d) Space could perhaps be found on the matchday TV broadcast – action the Club 

2.  TICKETING & LOCATIONS 

Season tickets (STs)

The Club outlined their plans for pricing and membership next season, which were due to be announced later in the month. The plans included amendments to age categories and initiatives, following feedback from FAN. The Club aims to put STs on sale in March, with a three-week reserved seat period for current season ticket holders.  Priority periods were currently being worked through, but ex-Williams Stand season ticket holders will have the first chance to purchase in the West Stand. Season tickets would be on sale online and by phone only as there is no suitable office space at Ashton Gate. The Club added that 60% STs last year and 70% tickets for the WBA game were sold online. 

There would be an incentive scheme for current ST holders to recruit new ST holders and the option to pay in instalments by direct debit. The top tier of the West Stand would only be made available if STs sell out elsewhere in the ground – that would be 18,000 compared with the current 12,600. There will be no opportunity for fans to try out seating positions in the West Stand because a late hand-over is expected.  Photos from selected positions will be made available. Those who vacated their Williams place during the rebuild will be in the first phase of ST sales. 

Problems buying WBA tickets

e) Hard copy of instructions for online purchase to be taken to Senior Reds – action Kay McGinty 

£20 away ticket proposal

The Club agreed to take on board the £20 away ticket proposal.  At present it plans to set pricing in line with home matchday prices, which will remain competitive. 

Away ticket split singing/non- singing

This is something Andrew Billingham set up at Stoke and The Club is happy to investigate operating for away ticket sales; much depends on the support of the home club in question. 

Location of singing section

The Club brought to FAN an agenda item to review options and consider FAN feedback for the existing Atyeo unreserved section area from next season which included: 

(a)  retain existing area in Atyeo where there are 1,400 in the section now but only 1,000 places would be available next season. A condition would be that they would have to move away in the event of a cup game attracting away support to fill the Atyeo and no alternative unreserved section would be available for such games 

(b)  transfer the whole section to Dolman blocks 33&34 (old A&B) with the same degree of freedom as now and at frozen South Stand prices.  This would require Safety Advisory Group (SAG) support.  Rob Jones, who sits in that area of the Dolman, predicted an angry response from fans near him as they would be paying more.  There could be a further knock-on effect for those fans who were forced to move from the Dolman to other areas of the ground. 

One suggestion was to offer the 1,000 places in the Atyeo hoping that would be sufficient, taking into account those thinking of moving away by choice.  FAN did not make a decision on these proposals because they were not mandated to do so by the group of fans in question, who should be consulted directly.  The club thanked the group for their valuable feedback which will be considered as part of a detailed consultation process. 

In addition it was said that if the singing section moved en mass, there would then be no home fans in the Atyeo Stand and the Supporters Bar would then be located back in its most recent location and not in the Atyeo Stand.  Those who had been involved in discussions about an Atyeo Bar expressed vehement opposition to this proposal; they felt that they were being undermined, while still actively involved in meetings about a possible Atyeo Bar. 

f) After this feedback, the Club representatives agreed to go back and negotiate with the singing group directly at the arranged meeting on 22 February and to leave the feasibility of a Supporters Atyeo Bar to the group which is already discussing the matter – action the Club. 

Problems for Birmingham away fans at Ashton Gate

A coach was late and the counting system indicated the away end was full.  The fans concerned were held back while a check was made and did not get in until shortly before half time.  The fans are receiving compensation amounting to a 50% refund of the ticket price. 

Problems for some away fans at Charlton

One coach broke down and 17 passengers were transferred to another coach.  The other passengers arrived late.  They are receiving compensation amounting to a 50% refund of the ticket price together with 100% coach fare. 

3.  SUPPORTERS LIAISON OFFICER (SLO)

Copies of a draft SLO Job Specification and a press release from the Supporters Club & Trust (BCSCT) had been sent to members prior to the meeting.  The agenda item was not reached and the matter will now be discussed at the next meeting. 

4.  NEXT MEETING

In order to receive feedback from the Club on item 2 and to discuss item 3, the next meeting was arranged for Wednesday 9 March, 7-8.30pm.