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FAN Meeting Minutes - November 2015

Latest details from the supporter meeting at Ashton Gate on November 17th.

Attendance 

FAN    Mike Adams (minutes), Terry Bond, Les Bowen, Colin Broadbent, Matt Coombs, Jon Darch, Marie Day, John Greenwood, Miles Hendy, Rob Humphries, Rob Jones, Jeremy Palmer, Rob Palmer, Keith Perry, Will Shipway, Phil Sweet, Rob Wood. 

Officials    Adam Baker (ABr), Andrew Billingham (ABm), Matthew Joy (MJ), Rachel Lemar (RL), David Lloyd (DL), Nick Lloyd (NL), Kay McGinty (KM), Nick (Supporter Services), Matt (Supporter Services) 

Guests    Derek Lidbury, Dave Walker (A&S Police) 

An agenda from the Football Club (qv) was circulated and AB chaired the meeting. 

ABS = action Bristol Sport    AFN = action FAN members 

1. Introduction

ABm said that DL would be standing down as Supporters Liaison Officer at the end of the season for his own reasons. 

DL then explained his position, that he had written the terms of reference for a SLO and sent it into BCFC together with his application for the position.  After nine years in the job, he felt a change was necessary for him. 

ABm said that the responsibilities were planned to be divided between ABr in the social media plus KM and RL in Supporter Services. 

2. Agree a FAN vision statement

After discussion the agreed vision statement is: 

a)    The overall purpose will be to work on initiatives, projects, offer feedback and propose resolutions, all striving to improve Bristol City as a great football club of which we can be proud. 

b)    FAN members should discuss with, and gather the opinions of, as many fans as possible in their area of responsibility. 

c)    FAN will continue to exist and meet a minimum of four times a year. 

d)    The Football Club will present its own ideas to FAN and will agree to consider all FAN recommendations and report back at the top of the next agenda.  To this end, its responsible officers will be asked to attend as required. 

3.  Election of Chairman

Jeremy Palmer spoke of his passion for Bristol City, his commitment and his wish to take FAN forward.  He was willing and able to put in the required time and energy into forwarding FAN’s ideas to the Football Club and Bristol Sport. 

Miles Hendy spoke of his work as one of the founders of the Supporters Trust and his knowledge gained over the years in negotiating on their behalf at Ashton gate, however he saw the value of an independent chairperson. 

Mike Adams said he rarely put himself forward for positions such as chairperson but felt there was a need to project the ethos of Bristol City to the new figureheads at Bristol Sport but he also valued an independent chairperson. 

After a brief discussion, ABr suggested a solution – Jeremy (JP) as chair, Miles (MH) as Vice-chair and Mike (MA) as secretary.  This was accepted nem con.  ABr continued in the chair for the rest of this meeting. 

4.  Progress on the concourses

The South Stand had been handed over late, the safety certificate being gained the day before the first match. 

Completion of all the fitments will take until December.  The ceilings have been painted black and the floors tiled. 

Flags 11m x 5m will be fixed up by the Blackburn or QPR game. 

5.  Market Street

There is a delay in setting up the number of concessions due to fire regulations. 

6.  Mezzanine rail obstructing view of TV

The rail has to remain for safety reasons.  Ideas to better maximise this area are being explored. ABS 

7.  Atyeo Statue update

MA reported - at the public showing on October 31st, the latest models gained general acceptance from supporters, from the four daughters of John Atyeo and from Steve Lansdown.  Tom will start work on the statue when the payment for the next stage has been made. 

8.  ‘Buy-a-brick’ scheme

A memorial way/ message path incorporating BCFC ‘Buy-a-brick’ scheme will be created to give supporters the opportunity to have a permanent place in history is planned running close to the building from the Sports Bar around the West Stand.  Fans will have the opportunity to buy a space in the memorial way once a year. Further details will be announced next year (2016). 

9.  Annual Supporters meeting

It is appreciated that the meeting was not held last season and will probably not be held this season.  However Steve Lansdown (SL) is keen that they continue and Doug Harman (DH) is the responsible official. ABS 

10.  2016/17 Season Tickets

a)    Last season’s advanced early bird prices with its deadline April 30th (qv) was circulated to aid discussion. 

b)    AB said there were many positive signs with U19s growing to over 26% of total STHs (12% U12s, 14% U19s). It was also noted that 66% Forever Bristol members (non-season ticket holder membership) had converted to season ticket holders (STs). 

c)    There was a general expectation of a move from the Dolman to the West Stand next season, a main reason being the better seat spacing.  The results of Bradford City’s pricing policy would be closely monitored. 

d)    The best sales talk was word of mouth from current STs – why not incentivise them to recruit? ABS 

e)    It was felt 30th April was early for some – a deposit scheme will be investigated. ABS 

f)    Interest-free credit will be investigated – last season credit cost about £20. ABS 

g)    MK Dons experience was mentioned but BCFC is different because we have so much history. 

h)    Key pods were suggested to ease casual purchases from the outlets. ABS 

i)    AB said that loyalty as measured by away match attendances was taken very seriously by Bristol Sport. 

j)    The voucher for STs this season was made conditional and should be a straight voucher or none. ABS 

k)    A family price for paying on the day would be advantageous.  The trade-off could be purchasers have to give their contact details, usable by BS in the future.  The same discount should apply for away fans. ABS 

11.  Disabled supporters

a)    Access for wheelchairs was good but needs improving for ambient supporters. 

b)    Black lines on grey in the South Stand gave unsatisfactory contrast.  Other colours were being investigated. ABS 

c)    Non- disabled but elderly supporters were not well catered for.  Handrails are needed in many areas. ABS 

d)    Radar keys for toilets etc are becoming standard equipment and should be considered. ABS 

12.  Age groups

The age for concessions will become 65 but current supporters in the age-range 60-64 will be protected. 

The price increase from U22 to adult is big and some easing in transition should be considered. ABS 

13.  Position of away fans

The current plan was generally accepted.  In a cup game the Club has to offer 15% capacity to away fans and in exceptional circumstances the Atyeo end could not cope with that number.  AB rejected the possibility of the overspill occupying the higher level of the West Stand for safety reasons.  This implies that home fans in the Atyeo would have to move for that game - a condition on purchasing those seats.  Feedback from fans is required for next meeting. AFN 

14.  AOB

Q1.  Why can coaches for away games no longer use the Winterstoke Road car park? 

A1.  RL said events are going on regularly and Peter Carol Coaches had agreed. 

Q2.  Why are people allowed to stand in front of the screen in the Bar & Grill? 

A2.  ABS said more screens have been added to allow all supporters a view of a screen from most standing/ seating points. 

Q3.  Would BS consider setting up their own permanent tepee outside the Sports Bar? 

A3.  ABS said the tepee trial was very successful and BS is looking at various solutions including the full Winterstoke Car Park use for all England Euro Championship 2016 matches. 

Q4. Why is there no hot water in some of the South Stand toilets? 

A4.  There have been problems with the boilers however these have been resolved. Future issues will be monitored. ABS 

15.  Date of next meeting

Tuesday, February 9th 2016 at 7pm in the Heineken Lounge, Ashton Gate. Tables to be arranged in a square.