17/01/2008 : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership : Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes No. 3
17 January 2008 : Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes No. 3
Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership
17th January 2008, 5.45pm, Alec Stock Lounge
Meeting Minutes No. 3


Present:-
Martyn Starnes – Chief Executive
Sara Bradley – Supporter Liaison Officer
James Hillier – Stadium Manager
Peter O’Riordan – Accountant
Adrian Hopper – Press Officer
Clive Robinson – Hospitality Manager
James Richards – Marketing/Business Development Executive
Rich Rendell – GWSC
Fiona Grant – GWSC
Cyril Pomeroy – Supporter Representative
Kim Vickers – Supporter Representative
Pete Brooks – Supporter Representative
Nigel Inggs – Supporter Representative
Dave Lilly – Supporter Representative
Stephen Waldron – Supporter Representative
Martin McConachie – Supporter Representative

Apologies:
Jean Cotton – Football/Company Secretary
Dave Linney – Commercial Manager
Sue Parsons – Ticket Office Manager
Ian Blackmore – Lottery/Events Manager
Ali King – Community Co-ordinator
Tony Streetin– GWSC
Rod Hallett – VP’s
Sharon Swain – DSA

1) Approval of Minutes

Sara said that it had been brought to her attention that she had missed a question regarding the Vice Presidents from the previous minutes and that the question and answer would be included in these minutes. All present agreed that this question should be added to the minutes and that all other items covered in the last meeting were a true and accurate record.

Question missed from the previous set of minutes (22/11/07)

Qu:What do the VP's bring to the Club, that other supporters do not, and also what is their purpose/role within the Club.

The Vice Presidents play an active role within the Club by sponsoring players and purchasing equipment for both the Alec Stock Lounge and 1st floor. They also bring extra valuable revenue to the club through their membership and fundraising.

2) Actions Points From Previous Meeting

Queuing System

Clive told the group that the queuing system would be in place for the next home match to see if it made a difference on match days. Clive went on to say that this would stop people standing at the bar which would make sure that supporters were served quickly.

Sara stated that it had come to her attention that this hadn’t happened and asked Clive for feedback regarding this. Clive said that he had looked into buying safety railings but these had proved to be expensive. The TV is situated in a place that is causing a bottleneck at the bar so maybe we will have to encourage supporters not to stand at the bar to improve the situation. Cyril Pomeroy asked if it would be possible to implement the speed bar again. Clive said that although the speed bar is a good idea he has problems with staffing.

Contract with PTV

Action: Sara to look into the Contract from PTV regarding the Official Website and Glovers World.

Sara informed the committee that she hadn’t had chance to look through the contract from PTV but it was on her list of priorities.

Action: SB to report back to Committee with regards to the PTV Contract.

Programme

Cyril Pomeroy suggested that the Club could produce a numbered flyer that went inside every programme which could be drawn at half time. The prize could be £25.00 cash or a £25.00 cash bonus plus a voucher for the Club Shop. Cyril said that he has mentioned this to the Green and Whites Supporters Club who sell the programmes and that they would be quite happy to insert a flyer in each one in order to give supporters that extra incentive to purchase a programme.It was stated that the Executive Committee would take that idea on board and discuss that at one of their meetings.

Adrian said that he thought that this was a good idea and that this would be organised for one of the forthcoming matches to see if it improved programme sales.

Action: Adrian to produce numbered flyers to go into the programme for one of the forthcoming matches.

Car Sharing

Will YTFC encourage car sharing by allowing cars with 3 or more people in to park free?

James Hillier stated that this had been discussed in the Executive Committee meeting and that all agreed it was a good idea. With that in mind the club will be piloting the scheme for the pre-season friendlies to see how it works. Cars with 4 or more people will be able to park for free.

Action: Car sharing pilot scheme to be implemented for the pre-season friendlies.

3) Update on Tea Bar Improvement

Nigel Inngs stated that Clive had invited himself and a colleague to the Hartlepool game back on the 8th December to look at ways to improve the Tea Bars. Clive arranged for the Tea Bar staff in the Carlsberg Stand to come in early which gave them the chance to talk about how they deal with queues on match days ,things that they had tried in the past to improve the way they work and the problems they face at the moment.

He then went onto say that he and his colleague had submitted a report to the Club and that it is now down to the Club whether they implement their suggestions. Clive thanked Nigel for his efforts and stated that the Club would be using his report to improve all the Tea Bars in the Stadium.

4) Astroturf

Dave Lilly asked what plans the Club had for the Astroturf as currently a third of the pitch is out of use. The supporter’s team and many other organisations use it on a regular basis and he doesn’t want to see the club lose valuable revenue. Adrian Hopper said that he was fully aware of the situation and that this section of the Astroturf had been closed for health and safety reasons.

While the Sports Zone is being debated we could end up with possibly three of four Astroturf’s in and around Yeovil. We want to keep the Astroturf but we are quite conscious of the fact that it needs some refurbishment and if we spend the money on that and three of four more Astroturf’s appear we could find that we have spent a lot of money on a facility that may not be used very much.

We are going to make the necessary repairs and get it open as soon as possible, however the weather hasn’t helped and that is why that section is still closed. James Hillier stated that the club are waiting for the Health and Safety Inspectors to examine the pitch and that once they have submitted their report the club could repair the surface.

The Club are estimating a further 7 days subject to the weather before the inspectors come in and then we can get the company in to do the repairs. However the Club anticipate that the pitch will need to be repaired every 6 months and its going to need constant work on it.

Cyril Pomeroy went onto say that he felt that the Sports Zone would not be built and that perhaps there was the chance to work alongside the Council and improve our facilities at the Club, as we don’t want to lose the revenue that we are currently getting from the Astroturf. Adrian said that as a Club we could improve the Astroturf as there are people that want to use it week in week out, but for a new top of the range Astro Turf it would cost around £250,000.

Martyn Starnes informed the group that the Chairman has all the information regarding the Sports Zone and that he is in close liaison with the Council and other interested parties with regards to the sport zone and the Football Club.

Unfortunately dealing with these matters tend to go on a lot longer due to political reasons that are unknown to us. John is currently looking at plans to see how this site can be better utilised for the benefit of the football club and it is going to take time. The whole reason why I was appointed at the Club is to give him more time to concentrate on that.

Rich Rendell stated that once the Astroturf had been repaired the Club should look to push the facility not only for evening bookings but during the day as well.

5) Centre Of Excellence

Adrian Hopper informed the group that the Football League has set down certain criteria that you have to meet before you can become a registered Centre of Excellence. At the present time Yeovil Town F.C. are going through the list of criteria and putting these in place.

We have employed an extra Physio and we also need to employ 2 UEFA B registered coaches and have all the facilities. It’s something that is ongoing but we are getting through it especially where budgets have to be worked out

Mo Hopkins is doing an excellent job and he has recruited 7 teams (U9- U15) that are fulfilling fixtures at this moment in time but it doesn’t happen overnight. Martyn Starnes stated that the document that has to be produced is effectively a very detailed business plan. It has to be submitted to the Football League and they won’t affirm any funding until they have that document.

Our document is virtually complete and it is going to be submitted in draft next week for one of the Football League Officials to cast his eye over. Once we have had the nod from him we will then be in a position to officially submit the document and from then on we are in the hands of the Football League. We will then have to wait for them to approve the grant funding and then we can move forward.

6) Pathways around the Stadium

Dave Lilly asked if the club could do something about the state of the pathways around the Stadium.The areas that needed to be looked at included the Western Avenue pathway from the traffic lights to the Cowlin Stand and the pathway behind the Blackthorn Stand as these areas are constantly flooded and potentially very dangerous.

Pete Brooks added that he felt that the pathway to the Cowlin Stand had been inadequate ever since it was first laid there.

James Hillier stated that it wasn’t just a problem there but also behind the Carlsberg Stand as well.
Unfortunately there are no drains behind the Carlsberg Stand and the road drains over in the Cowlin Stand car park have tree roots going through them.

The drainage on the whole throughout the Stadium is poor. James stated that he would arrange for the Ground staff to provide some slits in the ground to try and help the water drain away at the back of the away stand and along the Western Avenue pathway.

The drainage system in the whole place is inadequate and it’s very difficult to permanently fix the problem, but we can patch it up the best we can.

We have been in discussions with Symonds and we are waiting for them to get back to us regarding them using the car park through the week as they are looking at converting the mead avenue entrance so that there is both pedestrian and road access which will help the drainage problem over there.


In regards to the traffic we are putting a Zebra crossing on Memorial Avenue across the link between the Western Avenue footpath and the Stadium to help people trying to cross the road. Along with the markings will be signs stating give way to pedestrians.

Action: James to speak to the Ground staff about providing slits in the ground to try and help the water drain away at the back of the Blackthorn Stand and the Western Avenue pathway


7) Membership Scheme.

James Richards is currently looking into the Membership Scheme and the best way to implement that. However the Club do recognise that the GWSC have got a membership scheme running already.

Dave Lilly added that the issue of a Membership Scheme had been discussed at many Customer Charter meetings in the past and that supporters were getting fed up with nothing being done about it. Something needs to be done sooner rather than later.

James stated that the Club had made greater steps than they had in the past and that it had become more than just an action point.

Martyn Starnes said that he had, had a meeting with Gayle Franklin last week and that numerous issues had come up with, one of them being a Membership scheme. Martyn could not see then sense in starting up another membership scheme as he felt that the club should be looking at developing the G&WSC Membership Scheme so it works for them and the Football Club.

Martin McConachie said that he felt there was a gap between a STH and Supporters who came to 4 or 5 matches a season. He felt that a membership scheme would fill that gap especially when it came to cup matches.

James Richards said that he would be able to discuss this Item in more detail at the next meeting as he was currently holding several meetings with supporters and supporters groups to discuss this

Action: James Richards to report back at the next meeting


8) Marketing Momentum

Dave Lilly asked the Club why the Glovers Football posters were still up in shops etc when the offer for December has now passed. It was felt that there had been no push from the club to replace those posters and the online offer.

Sara stated that she had spoken to Dave Linney regarding this and that he had said that at the time of sending the posters out the Club had asked the companies/individuals who kindly put the posters up to take them down again at the end of December. However the Club have taken the comments on board and will endeavour to make sure that all the posters are taken down and replaced.

Dave Lilly stated that replacement posters should have been ready to go out in January with the online message and asked why this had not been done. Martyn Starnes said that the Club had to hold its hand up and admit that this should have been done. Online ticketing was a success but there was a very short time between measuring that success and going into a new set of fixtures. The decision was taken to continue with the idea and see if the success we had in December would be maintained and I think that it is fair to say that we have been encouraged.

However we have missed a trick and should have got the posters out to replace them. We have had discussions this morning whereby there was a consensus that we should run with it until the end of the season so there is an opportunity to replace the posters.

Cyril Pomeroy asked if the posters could be A4 in size as he has difficulty displaying them on Parish notice boards. It was also suggested that the posters should be available to download off the internet and that the branding of the posters should be kept the same.


9) Any Other Business

What has happened to James Brown, who was signed by the club on August 31st 2007. He has not played in any Reserve Team matches, and there has been no subsequent announcement made by the club since the day he joined. Is he still with the club, and if not, when/why did he leave? James sustained a foot injury during pre-season but is expected to report to training in the next couple of weeks.
Tom Clarke - What is his current status - is he still with the club as there has been no announcement on his current status. Tom’s Contract ran out on the 31st December 2007 and he is currently a free agent.
What is the status of Danny O'Brien (seen playing for Tiverton) and Owen Irish (seen playing for Chard)? Both Danny and Owen are Youth Team players that get called upon to play in the Reserves as and when require.
Will the Club consider holding Opening Meetings later on in the evening which will make it easy for supporters who finish work late and for supporters having to travel? Sara stated that she had taken the comments on board and will that she will look into having the next opening meeting later in the evening.
Dave Lilly asked if the Club would be interested in the Supporters Team running a Six a Side Football Tournament. It would be an Adult competition that would be held for 2 hours one evening per week. Adrian said that the Club were very interested in his proposal and asked Dave to e-mail the details to him.

Nigel Inggs asked if there had been any more developments regarding Premium Pricing. Martyn Starnes stated that the club had held a meeting this morning and that Dave Linney and Sue Parsons would be submitting a report to the Board for consideration.

Cyril Pomeroy asked if the Club could look into have huts selling the Gold Bond membership in the Town. James Richards stated that he is looking at the Lottery Department at the moment and is looking to form a partnership with the Quedam Centre.


Meeting Closed: 6.45pm
Next Meeting: TBC


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