22/01/2009 : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes No. 7
22 January 2009 : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes No. 7
Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership
Thursday 22nd January 2009, 5.45p.m. Board Room

Martyn Starnes
John Fry
Dave Linney
James Hillier
Clive Robinson
Peter O’Riordan
Adrian Hopper
Rich Rendell
Fiona Grant
Darren Jones
Sharon Swain
Martin McConachie
Cyril Pomeroy
Dave Lilly
Len Brooker
David Burnett
Richard Culham

1. Apologies

Sue Parsons
Jean Cotton
Sara Bradley
Kevin Farley

2. Approval of Previous Minutes.

All approved

3. Action Points

I. Action: A selection of supporters to be invited to the club by John Fry to talk about the questions listed above, and to discuss other matters along with the ABUFP and the Executive Committee at a time convenient to the supporters.
A ticketing meeting was held on Saturday 17th January to discuss the potential ticketing ideas for the 09/10 season. A further meeting is to be arranged. Action Sara Bradley

II. Previous action point requesting the age when concessionary rate applies. MS explain that the age is 65. JRF stated the customer services charter be reviewed in respect of this. Action Sara Bradley

III. JRF raised the matter regarding a letter that he wrote in response to some questions asked by Hugh Gleave. The response was sectioned as follows;
a. Information regarding the company
b. Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust
c. Shareholding company
d. Details of John Fry

IV. Meet the manager night, JH to speak to Sara Bradley regarding the organisation of the evening

V. Len Brooker asked if the issue of the Away fans in the marquee had been concluded and were the visiting fans allowed in. Clive Robinson stated the existing policy has been in place some time. Away fans were allowed into the Marquee BEFORE, but not after any game unless the match grading for policing purposes dictated that no access should be provided before the game. He went on to say that the security staff had been briefed.

4. Ticket Prices

A general discussion was had regarding the possible strategy for 2009/2010 season and match day tickets. The discussion encompassed the match day experience and possible alterations to the price categories currently in existence. The discussion continued from the previous Saturday’s meeting regarding ticket prices. The group will be considering the proposed strategy and make it public when all the possible avenues have been explored.

5. Membership Scheme

MS stated that the responses received from the consultation were largely positive but were relatively few in number. Most of the negatives were from the season ticket holders and the positive ones from the exiles. MS explained that the common interest of all parties was the loyalty card facility within the proposed membership scheme where the members would be able to redeem loyalty points at the Club. MS stated 1000 members would be required at £10 each to make the scheme feasible.

D. Lilly, suggested that if the scheme were to go ahead then it should be launched at the same time as the season ticket promotion.

6. Supporters Questions

Q1. Why in this day and age of Modern Technology, is the club so slow to update aspects of its website? The match reports for the games particularly the away games are often not up on the following day.

AH explained that he was the only person writing the away match reports and because of his other match day duties there was sometimes a delay in publishing them on the web site. He went on to explain that a work experience student is currently helping him that means the match reports are published a lot sooner. JRF explained that the site is very restrictive as it is a PTV site. He went on to state that more volunteers should be involved to help provide an input.

Q2 "Who does the club pay for the printing of the Match day Programmes? It is widely rumoured that a club employee buys the programmes off Wincanton Print, and then sells them onto the club at a mark-up. Can the club confirm or deny these rumours which I and a number of other supporters have heard from various different sources.

POR explained that the club is directly invoiced for the printing of the programmes.

Q3 Since when did the whole stadium become a family area? I notice that people have been ejected from the Blackthorn Stand for swearing this season, is this going to be the common policy from now on?

JH stated that it the entire stadium should be welcoming for families and that the ground regulation set out by the Football League regarding foul and abusive language must be adhered to.

Q4 The tent on Saturday was awful. It was cold, the seats and tables were sopping wet and the least the club could have done was put the heaters on so the place could dry off. Just how much longer do the supporters have to put up with third rate conditions in there? It still takes too long to be served, can't the club see that just an extra two or three staff would be worth it as more fans would drink in there

CR, Explained that the marquee requires a large amount of maintenance and unfortunately has suffered from some significant break downs following freezing temperatures and flooding. CP stated people were unhappy with the tent due to its poor quality and the fact that the Arrow was cheaper.

Q5 Why did none of the players attend the Junior Glovers Christmas party on Sunday? The Green and Whites did an excellent job in organising the event, the food was great, Stuart Housley was the perfect DJ for the kids and Father Christmas turned up but no players. Why?

Due to the Players being unavailable another event was organised to accommodate the children, it was agreed that the alternative event was very good and the children were happy.

Q6 Are season ticket holders counted in the attendance regardless of whether they turn up or not? If so, why, because it seems that the club is trying to hide the true number of fans showing up at games.

MS explained that, yes all the season ticket holders are included in the attendance figure and that this is standard practice by clubs throughout the Football League.

Q7 What actually happened on Saturday regarding the minute's applause for Dickie Dyke? Was it the club's fault or the referee's?

MS explained that the referee had made the mistake in regards to the minute’s applause for Dickie Dyke.

Q8 Are there really 80 some employees at the football club? Are they all full time? A simple calculation suggests that the 80 some employees enjoy an average salary of some £30000pa. Superficially both the number of personnel and the average salary seem rather high.

JRF explained that the staff figure was made up of an average of full time, part time and match day personnel. MS confirmed that this was the case and the figure originated from the audited accounts and was composite figure of both full, part time and match day staff.

Q9 Why doesn’t the Club Introduce six foot yellow gates inside gates 14 and 15 on the away terrace so the toilets and tea bar can be opened for the away supporters before the stadium is open. This was agreed with John Fry, Graham and James two seasons ago.

JH will look into the possibility of fitting yellow gates.

Q10 Why has the regular treatment room update been removed from the club web site since Jim has left? It was good to read the players progress and possible return dates?

MS explained that Wayne Jones is still finding his feet and Russell is not keen on the page.

Q11 When will the club update the rear of the match day ticket with the correct stadium plan? Can the stadium plan be on the left hand side of the ticket and not the right so as when it is ripped off by the turnstile operator the supporter still has the stadium plan not half of the plan and the Bradford advert?

JH, stated he could reverse the illustration on the reverse of the ticket

Q12 What is the position reference the suggestion that the Payne’s timber building be used as a supporters bar on match day and a sports hall for the rest of the week.

JRF, Explained that there was a covenant on the site that restricted the sale of alcohol.

Q13 How many partially sighted supporters can use the new match broadcast system and where must they sit?

JH, explained that 10 people could use the soccer sight system at one time and that they could sit anywhere. It was explained that only 1 or 2 people are currently using it. SS asked if a promotion could be carried out. AH to action.

Q14 Is the club one of the 18 League clubs that owes money to the Inland Revenue?

MS stated that the club is not one of the 18 league clubs that owe money to the Inland Revenue.

Q15 Has a date been fixed for the next meet the manager night?

MS, the date of the meet the manager night has not been confirmed. Action: SB to arrange.

7. Any other business

JRF spoke about the ongoing stadium development plans and explained that the covenants continue to have a major impact. JRF went on to say that any stadium development would have to be complimented by the provision of training pitches in an alternative location. JRF stated he had a meeting the following week with the SSDC to discuss the issues. It was also explained that the construction of additional bar facilities would result in a substantial financial uplift having to be paid. JRF also explained that due to the current economic climate the stadium site like all other commercial property had significantly fallen in value. JRF went on to explain the board of directors philosophy to attract young players while maintain a reasonable amount of experienced players. JRF concluded by explaining that it is the clubs mission to remain financially viable and not end up in a CVA.

RR explained that hopefully in the future the club would be able to give a tangible indication to the supporters that the development process was moving forward e.g. site preparation, footings etc. He went to say that this would send a clear message and may encourage some supporters to return to the club. MM raised the issue of a supporter who attended the club late on the previous Friday evening who was unable to purchase a ticket due to the ticket office being closed. MM went on to explain that this person was unable to benefit from the reduced pre match day price. DL explained that someone did make themselves known to the Club on this matter, and the pre-match day discount was honoured.

DL asked what the groups opinion would be if the price reduction was removed prior to the match.
LB stated that the queue at the ticket office was already considerable and that this would not help the issue.
MS suggested JH monitor the queue for the next matches to identify the situation
MM Asked how Port Vale had received 300k of money from Britannia Building society.
DL could not confirm the amount but did confirm that we have a deal with the Norwich and Peterborough building society.

Meeting Closed
Next Meeting: Thursday 26th February

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