03/04/2008 : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes No. 4
3 April 2008 : Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership Meeting Minutes No. 4
The Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership
Thursday 3rd April 2008, Alec Stock Lounge, 6.15pm


Meeting Minutes

Present
Martyn Starnes - Chief Executive
John Fry - Chairman
Stephen Allinson - YTFC Director
Sara Bradley - Supporter Liaison Officer
Adrian Hopper - Media Manager
Clive Robinson - Hospitality Manager
Peter ORiordan - Accountant
James Hiller - Stadium Manager
Rich Rendell - GWSC Chairman/ABUFP Chairman
Fiona Grant - GWSC Rep
Tony Streetin - GWSC Rep
Sharon Swain - DSA Rep
Cyril Pomeroy - Supporters Rep
Pete Brooks - Supporters Rep
Dave Lilly - Supporters Rep
Martin McConachie - Supporters Rep

Apologies
Nigel Inngs -Supporters Rep
Kim Vickers - Supporters Rep
Stephen Waldron -Supporters Rep
Rod Hallett - VP Chairman


1. Approval of minutes

All present agreed that the minutes from the previous meeting were a true and accurate record.

2. Action points from previous minutes

Sara Bradley to report back to the committee with regards to the PTV contract.

Sara stated that she had e-mailed Jim Smith at FLi and requested an updated version of the PTV contract to be sent to her. When she received it a covering letter from Alice Toal was also enclosed reminding the Club that the contents of the contract were strictly private and confidential. This meant that she could not report her findings with the committee. Sara held up the letter she had received and told the committee that they were more than welcome to read it. However Sara stated that she would endeavour to continue helping supporters if they had any problems with PTV or Glovers World.

Car Share Pilot Scheme to be implemented for the Pre-season friendlies

Ongoing.

Adrian Hopper to produce numbered flyers to be inserted into the match day programme for one of our forthcoming matches.

Sara stated that this had been done and that they would appear in the Crewe programme.
Cyril Pomeroy said that he was disappointed that this hadnít been announced over the tannoy at the Bristol Rovers match and that no advertising had been implemented.

Martyn Starnes stated that he had taken his comments on board and apologised. Both Sara and Adrian stated that they would make sure that supporters were aware of this promotion via the Internet and CRM.

James Hillier 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.

Dave Lilly said that there was a still a problem with the drainage in these areas and that at the Bristol Rovers game it was particularly bad. James stated that he would speak to the Ground staff again and would make sure that the Ground staff dealt with this. -Ongoing


3) Supporters Questions

Q1. Being one of many exiles who travel from a distance and arrive at HP a while before games I`d occasionally like to be able to have a drink and a meal while at the same time giving the club I follow my hard earned cash. The marquee isnít really cut out for this as was always supposed to only be a temporary arrangement regardless. By welcoming both home and away fans with a social club open well before each game I believe it would pay for itself and at the same time change peopleís habits of just turning up at KO and disappearing at the final whistle. After all we are trying to create a Huish Park experience rather than just marketing a football match arenít we....?

John Fry stated that due to the restrictions/covenants the situation with the social bar had become a real headache. However he would like to record his thanks to the supporters for their patience which had been remarkable. We feel we now have the answers and the Architect has been in this week and the master plans will be put to the Board on the 24th April. There are a variety of proposals and once we have the go ahead from the Board the plans will be on display for the supporters to see. Cyril said that he felt the fans wanted a proper Social Bar and not a Concourse bar as these were seen to be cold and not very welcoming. John Fry thanked Cyril for his comments and took them on board. In regards to the Marquee this will be staying but will be removed once a fixed supporterís bar is built. Clive stated that the Marquee would be cleaned externally during the Close season.

Q2. Why does the traffic control team place cones in Shrewsbury Road (off Stourton Way) on match days but not in Forde Park or any of the other side roads?

James Hillier stated that Forde Park should be coned but the Club had a situation with a lack of cones as a lot of the cones used on match days had been smashed or stolen.
James had spoken to the police regarding this but they have stated that the Club need to purchase them at a cost of £6.10 per cone. Because they need to be the right height, weight and have the right markings on we need to purchase them but we feel that they are too expensive so we are still having discussions with the Police regarding this.

Q3.Why doesnít the team & RS properly acknowledge the supporters at the end of the game? When GJ was here it happened at the end of every game - win lose or draw.

Adrian Hopper stated that he thought the players and management team were acknowledging the fans after matches. All supporter representatives disagreed and stated that this wasnít happening. If the team win they are quick to do this and it was felt that they should show their appreciation whatever the result. Martin McConachie said that a handful of players did this but it was felt that the whole team should, regardless of the result.
Adrian stated that he would speak to both Russell and Steve regarding this.

Action: Adrian to speak to Russell and Steve and get the players to acknowledge the supporters whatever the result.

Q4. At what stage, if any, have discussions taken place between ourselves and Bristol Rovers regarding a ground-share for next season? The local paper in Bristol has run a story regarding this - is it wild speculation or is it based on fact?

John Fry stated that the story had broken from the Bristol Rovers end and that any discussions that were held were private and confidential. Bristol Rovers have considered all venues and the Chairman Ron Craig had held off the record discussions. However he stated that supporters shouldn't always believe the press and that there was nothing to be said at that particular moment in time.

Q5. Why can't Yeovil True be added to the pre-match playlist?

Adrian stated that he would speak to Tony Burton and get Yeovil True put on the Play list for future matches.

Action: Adrian to speak to Tony Burton about getting Yeovil True onto the playlist for forthcoming matches.

Q6. Change the title of these meetings back to CCM. ABUFP is so pompous. Change the format of these meetings - make them completely open and drop representation of all organisations (GWSC, DSA etc) so that all supporters are united in one group Change the time to make it (say) 7.30pm so that more people can attend Make sure that RS, a team rep and board members additional to JF or MS attend Make them more frequent (monthly during season)

It was felt by all that the Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership was a good name as ďAchieve by UnityĒ was the Club motto and something they truly believed in. The times of the meetings were to be reconsidered for Open meetings but all agreed that the time for committee member only meetings was fine. All agreed that the meetings were held because of off the field activities and that Russell Slade should not attend unless under special circumstances. The meetings would be held once every other month but if the Club felt the need to call an extraordinary meeting this would be done at a time convenient to all parties.

Q7. I frequently buy match DVDs for my brother who is an lives away from Yeovil and uses the DVDs to catch-up with games that he misses I went in on Saturday to see if I could purchase the Cheltenham and Doncaster homes games but neither were available. I have found this on a few occasions this season. Is there any way the process can be changed to ensure that games are available, at least before the next home game if not before? Also since the end of last season, I have been asking for the home game vs. Doncaster (1-0 28/04/07) which has to be produced. I think twice he produced the away game! The ladies in the club have asked him about it again but to be honest we've almost given up as it is nearly a year ago now! The thing is DVDs are easy money as they shouldn't take too long to produce initially and only 20 minutes to create copies?

Adrian stated that match DVDs were produced to order as he felt it was pointless producing hundreds of DVDís if they were only going to sit in the shop and not sell. For classic matches however the club produce around 200-300 DVDsí as they know that these are going to be popular and sell. However if any supporter wants a DVD produced, please contact the Club and this will be done. In regards to the Doncaster DVD the copy was lent to a player and has not been returned and the club have been unable to get another copy.

Q8. On Saturday when it was blowing a gale and hissing down, my thoughts turned to if the match would be on or not? I thought it probably would but sought reassurance from the main website and local radio. Imagine my surprise when I could find not one word of reassurance from the club on either, stating that the game was definitively off or on. Being serious for a moment, that was a really prime example of poor communication with fans. On a day like that not to think that they needed to make a statement either way was ridiculous.

Pete Brooks stated that he wondered whether the Bristol Rovers game would be on so he rang the club and was politely told that the game was going ahead. He felt that it was a case of supporters using their common sense and that if the game was in doubt it would have been put on the Website. Adrian stated that the weather for the Gillingham game had been a lot worse and that he had put up a number of messages on the Official site stating that the match was on. If we make a habit of putting messages up when there is bad weather people will panic and will always look out for them. If there is nothing on the website about the game there is no doubt about the game being postponed.

Q9. I have been asked by another fan to raise the subject of the tea bars and toilets in the Agusta Westland Community Stand (main stand). The fan was concerned about the cleanliness of both facilities and he stated that several other fans around him agreed that they were put off buying refreshments from the tea bar for this reason. As I type this, I realise I should have asked him whether this was noticed just at the Rovers game or whether this was a long standing problem. Anyway, maybe someone from the club could inspect these facilities and draw their own conclusions?

James stated that the Toilets are regularly checked the day before the match and on the morning of the match. They are cleaned by Pat Custard who does this voluntarily and it is felt that she does a tremendous job. We do everything that can be done but I will take this comment on board and see if there is anything else that can be done. John Fry suggested to James that the Club could do something similar to that of service stations when they list when the toilets have been checked, James agreed that that was a good idea and it would help inform supporters that this was being done on a regular basis.

Clive stated that he would look into the problem with the Tea Bar and perhaps implement something similar. If supporters do experience problems like this please speak to a member of staff or contact him at the club. Cyril stated that the toilets behind the Marquee for the Bristol Rovers game had no water as the taps water supply had not been turned on. James Hillier to action.

Rich Rendell thanked Clive, Sara and the Club for their assistance with the Easter Egg Hunt which was a huge success.


4) Season Tickets

Peter OíRiordan announced that for the 2008/2009 season the categorised match policy is to be abandoned and that there will be no increase in ticket prices. He also stated that the Board had reached this decision after careful consideration of the views of the fans and of the current economic climate.

It was hoped that the pricing structure and the receipt of the Family Excellence Award from the Football League will encourage and attract improved attendances at Huish Park.

Season Ticket holders are still offered an excellent value package with four first team matches free and an additional early bird discount if purchases are made by 31st.May 2008.
There will be continued free admission for reserve team games and priority seating for Cup matches home and away. A new 10 month instalment plan is to be introduced which will enable supporters to pay as we play over the course of the season.

Families will continue to enjoy significant savings with the purchase of a family ticket whilst the Junior Glovers scheme will continue unchanged.

Martyn Starnes stated that the Club was aware that it had been a difficult season but we have to look ahead and I think we've been positive with our pricing structure.

I know that many fans were unhappy with the categorised games this season and we've abandoned that policy for next year. We are trying to keep the game affordable. I hope that in so doing we can build on the excellent support we receive from the people in the Town.

Cyril Pomeroy said that he was happy with the prices and the fact the Club had abandoned the Categorised matches. However he was disappointed with the cut off date for the early bird discount as he felt that supporters tended to make their minds up once they had seen what players had been brought in. Dave Lilly asked why sitting in the Cowlin Stand was still cheaper than in the AgustaWestland. Peter OíRiordan stated that the cost of sitting in the Cowlin Stand would be brought in line with the AgustaWestland stand for the 2009/2010 Season. Dave Lilly suggested that the Club looked into a four game season ticket for the armed forces. Martyn stated that this would be looked into.

Action: Club to look into a four game Season Ticket for the Armed Forces.

6) Attracting new supporters to Huish Park.

John Fry stated that the Club should be marketing the Huish Park Experience as a complete package and more than just football. We are already looking into a membership scheme/loyalty scheme for our core supporters but we need to encourage more families and children to come along to our matches. We have a very successful community scheme and we need to get the youngsters excited about Yeovil Town Football Club and encourage them to build an affinity with us. We need to look at our Fans of the Future Scheme for next season and improve our promotion of the Club.

A lot of people play their football on a Saturday so for next season we will be looking at playing some of our matches on Friday nights to see if that makes a difference to our attendance. We have spoken to Russell about this and he is willing to give it a try however we will need to speak to the Clubs in our League to see if they would be prepared to do this. This would also help reduce any police costs that we may incur especially if itís a local derby or a high profile match. Dave Lilly stated that he felt that this would affect our secondary spend. Martyn Starnes stated that all areas would be looked out and that the Club was just looking at the possibility as it all depended on various factors.

Dave Lilly said that he was disappointed with the outcome of the Glovers Football Campaign as he felt that this had lost momentum. He also stated that he felt that the first poster that James Richards had produced had an out of date picture in the background and that the picture had shown empty seats which isnít the message we should be putting out. The poster stating the remaining pictures had not even been seen. Martyn stated that internally the club was unsure as to whether the posters/postcards had worked and that the cost of producing them was quite high. However he took Dave comments on board and stated that over the Summer a serious review would be undertaken.

7) Membership Scheme

Martyn stated that heíd, had further conversations with the G&WSC regarding the Membership Scheme. We have been looking at not only a Membership Scheme but a Loyalty system as well. By introducing a Loyalty card our supporters will be able to gain Loyalty points not just at YTFC but through local attractions outside of the Club. Discussions had been held with Team card and they have just rolled out a loyalty system at Southend United and Oldham Athletic. Detailed costings are awaited. Further research and consultations were to be undertaken

8) Recycling

Dave Lilly asked the Club what they were planning to do about recycling as he felt that the Club should be looking into cutting costs and waste. Adrian stated that heíd, had a meeting with a Representative from the Football League Trust that morning and that the Football League were looking into launching an Initiative for Clubs to recycle. Once he had more information he would report back at the next meeting.

9 AOB

9a) Pete Brooks asked why the Leeds game had been changed to the Friday night?

Martyn stated that the Police had insisted on the change of date.

9b) Family Day

Sara thanked the G&WSC and the Vice Presidents for sponsoring the event and said that preparations for the day were going well and that she was looking forward to seeing the supporters enjoy the day. Sara also asked if any of the supporterís reps of supporters would be available on the day to help

9c) Family Excellence Award

Sara showed the committee the award that the Club had been presented with by the Football League and thanked all connected with the Club for helping them achieve the accolade.

9d) Staff vs. Supporters match

Dave Lilly stated that on the Staff vs. supporters match will be held on the 27th of April and that the supporterís team will be paying £5.00 each with the money going to the Help for Heroes charity for service men and women. All supporters are welcome to attend, kick off 13.30pm

9e) Concessionary Prices

Cyril Pomeroy asked the Club to look into the Concessionary price as a lot of clubs offer the discount to 60 year olds where ours is 65. John Fry stated that the Club would look into this.

Action: Club to look into Concessionary prices

9f) Players Presentation Night

Clive stated that due to the Annual Dinner and Dance being cancelled the club would be holding a Players Presentation night on May 5th. Tickets are £5.00 and will include a buffet and music as well as the presentation.

PLEASE NOTE: After further consultation the Player presentations will now take place at the Leeds United match.

Meeting closed: 8.35pm
Next meeting: TBC



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