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FAN Meeting Minutes - September 2016

Latest details from the supporter meeting at Ashton Gate on September 1st.

Attendance

FAN: Jeremy Palmer (JP, Chair), Mike Adams (MA, Secretary), Terry Bond (TB), Les Bowen (LB), John Carnell (JCl), Jon Darch (JD), Marie Day (MD), John Greenwood (JG), Miles Hendy (MH), Rob Jones (RJ), Rob Palmer (RP), Alan Payne (AP), Keith Perry (KP), Mike Rix (MR). 

The Club: Adam Baker (ABr), Vicky Barlow (VB), Andrew Billingham (ABm), Mark Kelly (MK), Rachel Lemar (RL). 

Guests: John Croker (JC), Allan Millard (AM), Chris Millard (CM), Nicola Millard (NM), Wayne Sargent (WS), John Cosh (JCh). 

Apologies: Mike McGrath (MM), Phil Sweet (PS), Rob Wood (RW). 

1.  Matchday experience

What’s been good

Match atmosphere, clean toilets, sound system (though Dolman still poor), quicker service (MK said 26 seconds in the South Stand), added activities before kick-off, wow factor … 

Needing improvement

No meal deal – MK said this was withdrawn due to lack of take-up. 

Security checks – these have to be random but should be applied the same way throughout the premises. 

Ball Boys (lack of) – They are younger this year and are being given more tuition. 

Dolman sight line – MK has approached the architects about the problem reported to him. 

Shop - the queue snakes all round what is a congested area with display goods close to the checkouts.  A dedicated queue is needed for the names on shirts service.  MK accepted the tight space with takings up 35-40% up. ABm [action] promised more sale points round the stadium. 

Concourse drinks - some tills are cash only, which is only seen when you reach the till. 

Hot drinks - will be taken off concessions; agreed some are too hot! 

ABm query – how many present buy food/drink? Answer - the majority, only two paid by card 

Outside concessions – MK said all prices should be at the discount level eg beer £3.60 per pint. 

Baby changing – currently in Coffee Shop; ABm [action] said facility planned in the Family Corner. 

Parking provision - ABm said this is a key issue and the Club are constantly looking for areas, many of which can only be short-term.  He had met the elected Mayor of Bristol. ABm [action] will research the possibility of making more use of Parson Street railway station. 

Bus routes to have free pass with match ticket? - ABm [action] will research the possibility of bringing in a system for SCHs and Members from 2017/18. 

Wi-fi – this was not working. ABr replied that we should keep trying as this helps the technical team trying to make the system work during this period of testing. 

Foul language – TB reported cases where families had to move after ineffective action by stewards.  MK answered that there had been an unfortunate increase in anti-social; behaviour in the family section, which stewards have been trained to deal with. The situation will be better after the Derby game – the new in-house stewarding service will take over. There will be a means of reporting incidents by text and quoting your seat number. ABm added that all supporters must adhere to the Club’s ground regulations. A number of Villa supporters within the home area were instructed to remove their colours. 

2.  Growth strategies in the Community

Bristol Schools  - the Woodcock Shield and League Shield are reported as thriving. Bristol Boys, a source of many City players in the past, require sponsorship; would BSL or BCFC consider this opportunity?  A match in Greville Smyth Park on a matchday between two “schools-of-the-day” with follow up activities at the match [action all matters VB & MA] 

3.  Ticketing arrangements for 2016/17

Since the last FAN meeting BSL had agreed to all-in prices. Still outstanding is the ability: 

a) to have at least one method of paying for tickets without an attendant booking fee 

b) to buy tickets in the shop with help from assistants if necessary 

JC explained the position fully then ABm [action] said he supported the sale of tickets in the shop; he will investigate and report back to the next meeting: 

c) potentially converting one pay point of the six in the shop to the ticketing system 

d) and/or having a ticketing hatch to the Community Office on the ground floor 

4.  Club kit 2016/17 & 2017/18

Why was there an unprecedented delay in releasing this season’s away kit?

ABr said that both BCFC and Bristol Rugby wanted gold away kits to celebrate the newly-completed stadium and that it made sense to market them together. There were logistical problems getting Bristol Rugby photos. 

Why was there no liaison with fans for this season’s kit?

ABr answered that points made by supporters in previous seasons had been taken into account. 

No replica kits available for three-year-olds

ABr said that after unprecedented demand, sizes including 3-year old had been ordered and will be available soon. 

Limited range of goods in the shop

There was general agreement that the shop area is too small to accommodate everything desired. 

Club badge

The monochrome badge is special for this season only.  There is no change of Club Badge. 

Next season’s kit

The deadline for decisions is in November. The Club [action ABr] will invite supporters to send in their ideas and will publicise this as widely as possible. They rule out a supporters’ vote as BSL has to keep a competitive advantage. 

5.  South Stand name

ABm said there were no plans to rename the stand. MA and others explained the significance of Billy Wedlock in the history of the Club and hoped his name would be restored. 

6.  Midweek games and potential for sponsorship to allow free travel

ABm [action] said “absolutely” – we introduced this at Stoke City and are currently seeking a suitable partner/sponsor. However, he confirmed it was no quick fix, and admitted it may only be possible in the Premier League, given the size of the sponsorship outlay needed. 

A special weekender in Newcastle was mooted; ABm questioned the likely take-up. Marie offered her services, being CRB checked for that purpose. [action VB to give update at next meeting] 

7.  EFL Whole Game Solution

This is a set of radical plans for the Football League and football calendar affecting Clubs and Supporters alike. 

ABr said there had been a meeting at Ashton Gate involving Steve Lansdown and others. The Club’s position is that the matter is in its infancy and they require more information. Being a footballing matter, the club’s lead officer is Mark Ashton. JD emphasised that the proposals are greatly skewed to the expectations of the Premier League and that the club should consider going forward in collaboration with its supporters. 

8.  FAN Elections and Membership

That FAN is an elected body was considered and it was agreed to hold elections at the end of the season.  Current officers would continue until then.  MA would present a membership report at the next meeting.  We would reach out to supporters in order to make the election process as successful as possible. 

Next meeting

Monday, November 28th, 7pm