Customers Charter Meeting - Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: 06/02/2007
Venue: Glovers Lounge - Yeovil Town Football Club
John Fry - Chairman/Chief Executive
Sara Bradley - Supporter Liaison Representative
Dave Linney - Commercial Manager
Ali King - YTFC Website
Clive Robinson - Hospitality Manager
Rod Hallett - Vice President Chairman
Rich Rendell - CCM Chairman/GWSC Chairman
Fiona Grant - GWSC
Hazel Ford - DSA
Mark Kelly - Supporter Representative
Val Keitch - Supporter Representative
Paul Chesterman - Supporter Representative
James Richards - Supporter Representative
Dave Lilly - Supporter Representative
Colin Turner - Supporter Representative
Adrian Hopper - Media Manager
Jon Saunders - Supporter Representative
Mike Kunz - GWSC
Steve Watts - GWSC
1) Approval of Minutes - (19/09/2006)
All Committee members agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate account of the previous meeting.
2) Proposed Ticket Prices 2007/2008
Dave Linney explained that ticket prices for the 2007/2008 season had been proposed by the Executive Committee but had not yet been approved by the Board.
It was proposed that the Club offers season ticket holders and new season ticket holders a 5% discount on this season's price if purchased before the 30th June 2007.
The club would also be looking at introducing a family ticket giving a 25% discount with this being available to purchase at any time and offer supporters the chance to purchase tickets for 8 matches which would include one free ticket.
The club also proposed to leave all ticket prices the same and retain the early bird discount.
Rod Hallett went onto to say that he felt that attending Huish Park was too expensive and he was disappointed with the amount of supporters throughout the Stadium but mainly on the Westland Terrace.
Dave Linney explained that Football throughout the country had become expensive and that the Executive Committee had discussed the prices at great length and agreed that they were competitive. He then went onto say that the Club do realise that money is tight and that we are doing better than last season on the pitch but getting smaller crowds and something needs to be done.
Hazel Ford asked why it was more expensive to sit in the Yeovil College Stand compared to the Cowlin Stand and the Westland Terrace.
Dave Linney explained that originally it used to be that way because the bars weren't used as corporate hospitality which meant that all supporters sitting in the stand could use the bars. I don't know why it hasn't been changed he said but it is obviously something that we need to look into.
The general sense of opinion at the meeting would be for the club to charge the same price to sit in the Yeovil College and the Cowlin Stand and introduce a reduction for the Westland Terrace.
John Fry stated that personally he thought that the prices proposed were about right if we remained in League One. The club may increase the prices if we get promoted to the Championship or they may stay the same.
John Fry told the Committee that he had discussed the possibility of moving some of our matches to Friday which would give children and adults who play football on a Saturday a chance to attend. Dave Lilly expressed his concern because he felt that the Club would lose revenue on a Saturday through ticket and merchandise sales.
3) CRM Database/ Membership Scheme
Thanks to the Green and White Supporters Club we have now established a central database which will be used to bring different groups of people to Yeovil Town Football Club.
John Fry stated that the Club were hoping to enter around 20,000 names and details onto the database and communicate with them through e-mails every week. Ali King went onto say that the CRM will allow the club to communicate with the supporters and inform them about what's happening at the club and what the club has to offer.
Rather than sending e-mails to everyone on the database we will be able to pinpoint groups and offer them things we know that they will be interested in, we will also be able to note how they spend their money at Huish Park. It's a massive step forward for the club and it gives us the chance to utilise our fan base and communicate better with our supporters.
Dave Linney stated that the main key to the CRM's success is e-mail addresses and without them we cannot communicate the way would like to so we need that information back from our supporters.
The CRM has been designed by the Football League, for the Football League for the promotion of football clubs and it will make a big difference to Yeovil Town.
The CRM will also allow the club to set up a membership scheme at some stage in the future but at the moment the club feels that this would be premature.
4) Home Shirt 2007/2008
The Customer Charter states that all Yeovil Town Replica shirts have a 2 year life span. With this in mind this season's green and white hooped shirt has come to its end.
The club has signed a new three year contract with Vandanel which will start at the beginning of the 2007/2008 season. Dave Linney stated that after speaking to Russell Slade it is his intention to showcase the new home shirt on the 28th of April 2007 with the shirt being available to buy in the official store leading up to the Doncaster match.
Colin Turner asked if Bradfords Building Supplies would remain the main sponsor for next season. Dave informed the group that Bradfords have a year left on their contract and during the next 12 months he will be sitting down and renegotiating.
5) On Line Car Share Service
John Fry told the committee that he thought that the online car share service was a good idea as Yeovil Town Football Club has a lot of supporters who live in rural areas where transport to matches is a problem.
Colin Turner asked if we could set this up through the CRM because if users register and say that they can offer transport to matches from Bridport, a supporter who has transport problems can get in contact with the club and the club can link supporters up.
John Fry stated that he felt that Yeovil Town needed to promote itself better by projecting its image throughout the county and getting more coverage in papers across Somerset.
Dave Lilly suggested that that the Media Department should e-mail copies of match reports to newspapers throughout Somerset after every match because if the article is written for them then they are more likely to accommodate the article in the paper. John Fry thought this was a good idea and asked the media department to look into it.
He also suggested that all sports editors from Somerset should be invited to a match in order to speak to them about the coverage of YTFC.
Action: the Media Department to look into sending match reports to newspapers within Somerset.
Action: Yeovil Town Football Club to invite all Sport Editors to attend a match at Huish Park
6) Fixture Flyers/Advertising Boards
Sara stated that the Fixture Flyers were in production but it was felt that the Club needed a network of supporters to distribute them. She suggested that maybe the Club could ring companies throughout the area and ask them if they would mind putting up a few flyers in their canteen, staff room or reception area.
Hazel Ford suggested that if the Club wanted more children at matches then perhaps we should be sending the flyers to local schools.
John Fry suggested that the club should be offering a downloadable fixture flyer like Shrewsbury Town do, so supporters can print them and distribute them. Sara stated that this had been suggested before and that she will ask the Media Department to look into it.
John went on to say that in regards to Hazel's point earlier the Club had been in discussion with the local councils about the Community Sports Trust. The Club he said will be putting a lot of emphasise on this with regards to sponsorship and communicating with youngsters through the schools and education authorities. We have been talking to the County Council about this and they see us as a brand name and the leaders in regards to supporting this county alongside Somerset Cricket Club.
We have produced the flyers and the Apex board has been purchased and is being used but the distribution of the flyers is not good enough and the club needs to look into increasing the circulation and supplying 2 or 3 more Apex Boards to be located around the Town.
7) Service in the VP Lounge
Rod Hallett stated that he had had a lot of complaints from the Vice Presidents regarding the level of service they are receiving in the VP lounge on match days.
The overall situation is that there is a shortness of staff on match days which means that people are not being served as quickly as they should be. We also have a problem with what the club supplies in terms of drinks/ snacks. Vice Presidents want to buy and spend their money but they are unable to do so because of the lack of stock.
In comparison in the Glovers Lounge the service and food is excellent and that standard should be applied throughout the Football Club.
Colin Turner went onto say that although the service in the Marquee has improved there was an issue on Saturday with the heating. Clive Robinson stated that the heating had been turned on at 10.30am but it appeared that there was a problem with the generator.
It was felt by the committee and the clubs Executive Committee that the bars were closing too early after the match and that the club should be offering what the supporters want.
Dave Linney stated that if there were only 2 supporters in one of the bars then of course it would not be cost effective but if there are still 20 supporters it would be in our best interest to keep them open.
Colin Turner suggested that if we have another Friday night fixture then perhaps the club could maintain the normal licensing hours allowing supporters to stay and have a drink at the club. Clive Robinson went onto say that he didn't mind the bars being open longer as long as they were used.
John Fry stated that there had been a vast improvement in the bars over the past 5 years and that the VP Lounge is scheduled for re-developing during the close season which will see the lounge being open plan having carvery units installed which will mean having to have more staff and better service.
Val Keitch expressed her disappointment with the Tea Bars as she feels that she shouldn't be getting out of her seat on 37 minutes in order to get refreshments. On Saturday the Tea Bars were a nightmare she said and I was queuing for so long by the time I got back the players were back on the pitch.
Clive informed the committee that there had been problems with the water boilers and shortness of staff but he would look into the problems raised.
Dave Lilly added that it was nice to see the vending machines around the ground which was discussed at the last Customer Charter Meeting.
Action: Clive Robinson to look into problems with the VP Lounge/Tea Bars
8) Football/Stadium Developments
At the moment we are focusing on the first team and the results to keep us at the top of League One or to progress automatically into the Championship. The progress we have made this season is first class considering that we only have a small squad, but we have a very good management team and we have had a lot of changes this season.
The side is trying to get into the playoffs if not automatic promotion and we are looking at further all weather training pitches which at the moment is a problem.
John Fry then went onto say that he had discussed his proposals for the development of Huish Park and that he is currently working with consultants to develop the site into a community sports village which will work inline with the Vision of Yeovil scheme.
The consultants are very impressed with what we have provided the Town and how important we are in regards to being a market leader within the Town.
We have given them a shopping list of the facilities we need and they are quite extensive. We are hoping that the plans will be finalised by July this year and these facilities would include an extended stadium with a capacity of either 12,000 or 18,000 which will incorporate a large restaurant, corporate hospitality suites, a 500 seated stand for community use, 4 floodlit grass training pitches, an indoor Astro pitch, 3 floodlit seven aside pitches, gym/rehab facilities, a health and fitness club, 8 changing rooms and shower facilities, a car park for at least 600 cars, classroom facilities for various schemes plus the development of the Copse Road terrace.
We are a working partnership with Yeovil College, The Somerset FA, the Vision of Yeovil, SSDC, and the County Council in order to provide these facilities.
The plan is to regenerate on this site so it doesn't involve too much money and it will redevelop this site. I have written out the strategic objectives for this club for the next 3-5 years and with the council's time line it will be 2009 or 2012 before it's complete.
In regards to the supporters bar we have been in discussions with a brewery who are prepared to fund the development and we are hoping that this will be built at some stage in the summer.
9) Disabled Facilities
Clive Robinson stated that disabled supporters using the platform will be entered into raffle which will determine who will be using the platform for the rest of the season.
Hazel Ford told the committee and officials of the club that the viewing platform had become slippery and was a hazard
Clive assured Hazel that this matter would be dealt with immediately and that he would discuss this with the Stadium Manager James Hillier as soon as possible.
It was also brought to the committee's attention that the stewarding at the bottom of the lift needed to be looked into as there had been a few problems locating the keys for the lift on match days.
Action: James Hillier to look into the problem with the Disabled Platform and the Stewarding of the lift.
10) Any other Business
a)Staff vs. Supporters Football Match.
Dave Lilly stated that the Supporters Team have played a number of matches this season which had lifted the profile of Yeovil Town Football Club as the team are known as one of the most hospitable in the country. What we are looking for is the backroom staff to play a match against the Supporters Team at some stage at the end of the season
b) Coca Cola Promotion
The Coca Cola promotion is going well and at the time of the CCM our supporters have raised £644.50 which sees us in 8th nationally and 3rd in League 1 behind Swansea and Huddersfield.
The promotion ends on the 25th of April and we are encouraging our supporters to back the promotion by texting the code and the name of the club to 80094 or alternatively visit the coca cola website
Yeovil Town have teamed up with Thomas Cook to bring some great savings on all supporters travel needs, whether crusing, sailing, safaris, short breaks or family beach holidays are your style you won't be disappointed .
You can take your pick from thousands of holidays to worldwide destinations with over 120 tour, cruise or ferry operators. Not only that but you receive your discount on top of any tour operator deals available on the high street.
d) Further Questions from Supporters Representatives
Dave Lilly expressed his disappointment with the standard of the match day programme as he felt that more attention should be given in order to make sure mistakes do not arise.
There were a few problems with the Millwall Programme which listed the Tranmere match as a 19.00pm kick instead of 3.00pm and other mistakes throughout the programme.
John Fry informed the committee that he would be discussing these issues with the Media Manager
Meeting Closed: 20.35pm