Customers Charter Meeting - Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: 17/04/2007
Venue: Glovers Lounge - Yeovil Town Football Club
John Fry - Chairman/Chief Executive
Jean Cotton - Football/Company Secretary
James Hillier - Stadium Manager
Dave Linney - Commercial Manager
Sue Parsons - Ticket Office Manager
Adrian Hopper - Press/Publication Manager
Peter O'Riordan - Accountant
Clive Robinson - Hospitality Manager
Sara Bradley - Supporter Liaison Representative/Communications
Ali King - YTFC Website/Communications
Richard Rendell - GWSC Chairman/CCM Chairman
Fiona Grant - GWSC Representative
Hazel Ford - DSA Chairperson
Mark Kelly - Supporter Representative
Paul Chesterman - Supporter Representative
Dave Lilly - Supporter Representative
Colin Turner - Supporter Representative
16 Additional Supporter Representatives
Rod Hallett - VP Chairman
James Richards - Supporter Representative
Jon Saunders - Supporter Representative
Mike Kunz - Supporter Representative
Steve Watts - Supporter Representative
2) Approval of Minutes
All Committee members agreed that the minutes from the previous CCM (06/02/07) were a true and accurate account of the previous meeting.
3) Season Ticket Pricing Proposals 2007/2008
Sue Parsons stated that the Club were looking to implement the following ticketing policies for the 2007/2008 Season.
Price Freeze on Season Ticket prices & Match Day Tickets
Under 5's go Free in designated areas
Reduction for Westland Terrace Season Ticket until 30/06/07 with the price reverting back to the 2006/2007 price thereafter.
Family Season Ticket and Match Tickets (10% discount at any time of purchase)
Junior Match Tickets remaining the same.
There will be categorised matches next season with the fixtures and charges being announced at a later date.
£20.00 will be added to all Season Ticket categories i.e. Adults/Seniors etc.
Early Bird Discount retained.
Under 5's Go Free in designated areas.
It was suggested that the Club implement the early bird discount for Season Ticket Holders across the board and not only in the Westland Terrace because it was felt that supporters sitting in the Cowlin and Yeovil College stand also needed the incentive to purchase their tickets early.
Another suggestion at the meeting was to section off certain areas within the stand and have a different price scale for each section. This prompted discussion from the floor. With that in mind it was also suggested that the centre sections of the stand weren't necessarily the most popular with it being pointed out that perhaps supporters wanted to sit near the ends, especially if it was close to the Home Terrace.
Dave Linney stated that the Club had noticed the drop off in support on the Westland Terrace and at the last CCM the general sense of opinion was for the Club to introduce a reduction for supporters standing on the Terrace. He then went onto say that the Club had listened to these views, discussed them and implemented them.
The Club then went on to say that they wish to encourage younger supporters to attend matches, and are therefore offering a Family Season Ticket and Match Tickets for next season, as well as allowing supporters under the age of five to enter free of charge in designated areas.
However John Fry stated that further consideration would be given to points raised by supporters at the meeting.
Please Note: After further consideration with the Board of directors, ticket prices will be announced early next week.
John Fry detailed the structure that the Club intend to adopt, incorporating the 'Achieve by Unity Fans Partnership" which had previously come under the Customer Charter umbrella.
John then explained how the partnership will be structured and what it hopes to achieve in the future. Looking at the new Club structure, he explained that the Club would be split into three defined sections, YTFC Ltd, YTFC Stadium Developments and the YTFC Community Sports Trust .He them detailed each of these sides of the business explaining how they tie in with the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the Fans Partnership Forum.
John then reviewed the progress that had been made by the Club in the past twelve months giving special regard to Steve Thompson for establishing the Club in League One last season, and to Russell Slade for moving it on further to its present status in the top 6, and on the verge of qualifying for the play-offs to the Championship.
Looking forward, John said that the Club was moving into a new and exciting era, but there was still much to be done, with it looking to recharge its batteries and move on further.
To achieve this John then showed supporters the club's mission statement:
"A Customer Focused Football Company with a National brand generating profits, competitive teams at the highest level with a redeveloped 14,000 Seater Stadium by 2012".
He then went on to say that the Club would face many challenges which included maximising the Club's land holdings to deliver Club and community benefits, establishing local partnership funding and revenue opportunities to achieve the Club's aims and improving the bottom line.
The following action points were raised by supporters and discussed at the meeting
Action 1) More openness between the Board and the Fans
A: John Fry stated that he felt that the Club and Board were transparent, although there would be certain issues discussed by the Board that should remain confidential.
Action 2) Appoint a General Manager
A: The Club has now promoted from within the Club and the General Managers are Jean Cotton - Football General Manager/Secretary and James Hillier - Stadium General Manager
Action 3) Appoint a Marketing Manager
A: Although John agreed that a Marketing Manager was required at Yeovil Town F.C he stated that at the present time the Club could not afford to appoint one. However if any supporters had expertise in this field he would be more than happy to meet with them to discuss ideas. Please contact Sara Bradley either by e-mail at Supporter.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01935 423662 ext 200
Action 4) More realistic Ticketing pricing structure with incentives for Students/Children & families
A: Details are now due to be released early next week.
Action 5) Catering/Teabar improvements in order to speed up service, quality of product and cheaper pricing.
A: Clive Robinson stated that the main problems with the teabars were the logistics of the Stadium which wouldn't be resolved until improvements to the Stadium were made. The problems with the pasties would be looked into as the contract with Pukka pies is due to be reviewed. He also stated that he doesn't envisage any price increases in the Tea Bars at this time for next Season.
Action 6) Traffic Management. More resources to prevent long delays in leaving Huish Park.
A: YTFC is continuing to work hard on the traffic management scheme in order to assist fans leaving the Stadium, and require supporter volunteers to improve the flow of traffic.
Action 7) Supporters Bar for fans to socialize on match days
A: The Club Architect has drawn up an initial plan for the Supporters Bar which has been submitted for planning. The Club is now looking into the funding options.
Action 8) Official Site - Improvement in content/info & communication
A: Adrian Hopper stated that there had been a lot of criticism regarding Glovers World but this was primarily down to PTV and not the Club. In regards to improving the content, PTV is planning to roll out a brand new website during the close season.
Action 9) Pre-match/half time entertainment, currently not much going on and what there is, is stale and repetitive.
A: Dave Linney stated that Russell Slade and the Groundstaff are quite rightly protective over the pitch especially considering how much it costs to maintain the quality. With that in mind the Club is restricted in regards to what entertainment they can provide pre-match and at half time.
However the Club did implement the "Five Minutes of Fame slot" where only 1 supporter participated but if any supporters had any suggestions they could contact him at the Club to discuss these.
Action 10 - More Toilets required and to a better standard
A: The Standard of the toilets will be improved when the Stadium is upgraded. However in the meantime every effort will be made to provide adequate facilities.
Action 11 - Programme needs to be more informative, have more features and less advertising
A: The Programme will be revamped this summer and a supporters committee will be set up to discuss ideas and design. There will also be 2 volunteer proof readers.
Action 12 - More promotions for children and schools in the area
A: Sue Parsons stated that the "Fans of the Future" initiative had been implemented in schools throughout the county with John Flatters taking the vouchers and handing them out. However the Club recognises the need to send players out to various schools and community projects and are looking to set up a schedule in order to do this.
A major programme is to be developed with the launch of the Community Sports Trust this summer.
Action 13 - Better PR & Advertising of the Club
A; A New approach will be taken linked to customers ideas
Action 14 - Better quality of stock in the Club Shop
A: Dave Linney feels that the range and quality of stock in the shop has improved over the last 18 months but if anyone has any ideas regarding what they would like to see in the shop please feel free to contact him.
If we get to the Playoffs the Club will not order in a large amount of stock for the semi finals but will order merchandise that can be sold during the season i.e. flags etc However if the Club reach the playoff final the shop will be looking to bring in Scarves, T Shirts and other souvenirs to mark the occasion.
Action 15 - Larger and better situated Ticket Office
A; Improvements to the Ticket Office have already been made, with many of the initial problems being resolved. The Ticket Office however will be enlarged when both the Shop and Ticket Office become open plan.
Action 16 - Improved Training Facilities
A: Yeovil Town are looking into external training facilities away from Huish Park in readiness for the planned development in that area on the Stadium site.
Action 17 - Improved Youth system/academy
A: The Club is actively working towards a Centre of Excellence, and at the present time working towards fulfilling the requirements.
Action 18 - Downloadable Poster of forthcoming home matches
A: The fixture flyers are now available to download on the Official site and the Club will ensure that these are produced so that they are available next season and beyond.
Action 19 - Develop a Car Share Scheme for Supporters to include cash back for car fees
A: The Club have agreed to start a Online Car Share Scheme with the Communication Department developing this and getting it up and running before the end of the Season.
Action 20 - Develop a Marketing and sales plan for all sale operations & print Sponsors/Supporters packages for the 2007/2008 season
A; Already under way and will be developed fully after the Playoff Final.
Action 21 - Better Communication between Club Officials and Supporters
A: The Club has now separated the Media and Communication Department. Adrian Hopper is now in charge of the Media and Publications Department and Sara Bradley and Ali King are in charge of the Communications Department.
Action 22- Are the club reconsidering the timing of reserve Team Matches for the 2007/2008 Season?
Jean Cotton has spoken to Russell Slade, Steve Thompson & Stuart Housley and they would like to keep the 14.00 kick off for Reserve games. The reason behind this is both Russell and Steve can attend evening matches and watch other players and it also gives the players extra time to prepare for matches.
James Hillier stated that both the evening and afternoon matches ran at a loss, but the afternoon matches ran at a smaller loss due to costs for staffing/floodlights etc.
Action 23 - What marketing initiatives/incentives are being considered for next season i.e. Fans of the future etc?
A; Already covered in Action 20
Action 24 If the club reach the League One playoffs and/or the Playoff Finals, what additional promotional and merchandising ideas do those at the meeting feel would sell well for (a) the semi-finals and (b) if reached, the final itself?
A: Already covered in Action 14
Action 25 - Are the Club considering moving their matches to Friday nights?
A: Our home matches will remain to be played on a Saturday unless otherwise stated by the Football League and their fixture release.
6) Any Other Business
No other Items were brought to the Committees attention
Meeting Closed: 19.35pm
Next Meeting: TBA