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Outline minutes from the Stadium Forum Committee Meeting - Wednesday, October 8th

9 October 2014

The outline minutes from Wednesday's Stadium Forum Committee Meeting are now available for City fans to read...

These minutes are a brief outline of the points discussed at this meeting.  They are not a verbatim record and as such, should not be duplicated, distributed or placed on any media, website or forum as a record of those discussions, without the express permission of the Chair.

Any feedback, contributions or ideas should be addressed to the Chair sandra.garlick@ccfcstadiumforum.co.uk

DATE: Wednesday 8th October 2014 – 6.30pm at The Squirrel 

Present:
Sandra Garlick (Chair)
Simon Smith
Michael Garlick
John McQuillan
Nigel Warren
Laura Smith
Tynan Scope
David Busst

Invited:  Tim Fisher (CCFC)

Apologies: Jim Brown, Bob Eales, Rav Takhar, Pat Raybould

Minutes of last Meeting: No action to report.

SG confirmed that Ben Evans has resigned from the Committee due to personal time constraints and business commitments.  

Minutes:

SG confirmed that this meeting had two agenda items:
1. SCG
2. Ongoing role of the Committee

1. SCG

• SG explained that the SCG would like the committee to join the SCG as there was an overlap in remit and discussion.  It would also enable the Stadium Forum to reach a wider fan base through its members.

• In principle, SG believed that this was a good idea although she believed that the Stadium Forum Committee still has a vital role to play going forward (see point 2).

• SG also stated that she had discussed the matter with the SCG Chair, Jonathan Strange (JS), who had canvassed SCG members for their views on the proposal, and believed that the SCG would become unworkable if all members of the Stadium Forum Committee joined the SCG.  It was therefore proposed that SG and DB (SBiTC) joined the SCG and two members of the Stadium Forum Committee attended on a rotational basis.

• The Stadium Forum Committee would then meet as a sub group on a full basis to discuss wider issues which arise from SCG meetings.  

• Communication would flow between SCG members and fans.

• SG would continue to Chair the Stadium Forum Committee as and when it meets to discuss specific issues.

• All those attending agreed that this was a good idea and it was agreed that SG would contact JS to confirm our agreement to the proposal.

• SG, DB plus 2 committee members would attend the next SCG meeting on Wednesday 29th October at Coventry University.

2. Future role of Stadium Forum Committee

• SG outlined that there were two roles going forward:

1. Ensuring that the match day experience for fans is enhanced during the interim rental period by CCFC

2. When land is purchased to become active in proposing fans’ ideas when plans are submitted.

• SG asked all those attending to speak to fans on a match day, at away games and when out and about to gain input on what they believe would enhance the Ricoh arena for a better experience.

• SG proposed that she should seek a meeting at the earliest opportunity with the Chairman of the Ricoh Arena to see what the scope was for improvement of the concourse areas and other aspects of the stadium.

• SG confirmed that she would endeavour to arrange a meeting as soon as possible although as yet it is not know what the impact of the Wasps purchase will be.

• SG asked TF if CCFC had a budget if we could agree enhancements.  TF confirmed that he would make budget available where appropriate

Tim Fisher Update:

Current position:

• In light of the recent Wasps deal, TF confirmed that there is a secure tenancy at the Ricoh for 2 years plus an option on a further 2 years.  The club would like to extend that to a 5th year if possible.

• Current rent is currently at 10% of the former rental levels

• The club, for the first time in 15 years, is cash flow positive

• The only debt sits opposite the creditor-investor.

• The club participates in 23 match day revenue streams but there is still a need for the other 342 days

• There is now a fully integrated football model which they have developed with SP.  That model has been developed for the club irrespective of who the manager is.

• 9 Academy players were on the pitch at one point against Exeter in the JPT match

• Non-match day revenue is critical. For example, Walsall’s non-match day revenue is a good example whereby the stadium is monetised on non-match day and allows the club to  maximise Financial Fair Play allowable revenue

• DB is currently working with Steve Waggott (SW) on community initiatives

Stadium:

• News over the last 12 hours have highlighted that the Higgs share could be for sale and the terms of the option agreement might give an opportunity for the club to consider purchasing the stake.  Wasps have offered £2.7m.  TF was a little surprised by how the deal was configured with the sale of two tranches of equity.

• Stadium project: Highways consultation has been ongoing with the vendor of the land as it opens up tracts of land beyond the 50 acre site.

• Stadium project: There are several challenges ahead so TF will focus on property matters and SW will run the club as CEO.

• TF is extremely respectful of the energy of the committee and the time they have devoted to the forum.  He felt it was important to concentrate on the match day experience at the Ricoh and to get this right.  As soon as the land deal is done this can be switched to the new stadium.  In effect, use the Ricoh as a testing ground for what works and what doesn’t.

• The Wasps are speaking to SW in a positive manner.  They have advised him that they are keeping the Sky Blue and there will be no black/gold.

General Discussion

• It was accepted from many fans that the concourse at the Ricoh needs new ideas
• There is nothing to ID the stadium as a football stadium – it’s just a venue
• The bricks on the wall are in a terrible state
• There is no club history visible at the stadium
• The walls have been stripped of all photographs (although these are in safe storage)
• Football and Rugby can play on the same pitch provided that the pitch is looked after and is of the right construction
• Something should be happening on the pitch prior to kick off and at half time.  DB confirmed that they were awaiting permission at present to use the pitch at these times
• It was suggested that local dance groups and voluntary organisations should be able to put on half time displays and collect for their respective groups.  TS stated we should be mindful of the club’s charity partners and constant requests to donate as this may be off putting to fans.
• TS was happy to attend a future meeting with members of his team as over the years, they know what suggestions will work and what may be rejected or unworkable.

Action and Next Steps

• SG would contact JS of the SCG to confirm that SG/DB plus 2 would attend the next SCG meeting
• SG would arrange a meeting with the Chairman of the Ricoh Arena Company
• SG would submit these minutes to Kieran Crowley so that a statement could be produced on the website and these minutes attached.
• Each committee member would gather fans input on match day experience at the Ricoh and feedback to SG via email to sandra.garlick@ccfcstadiumforum.co.uk before the SCG meeting on 29th October.
• As and when the Stadium forum committee meets, a few new members are required 
• Date for the next meeting would arise from developments over the next few weeks and actions arising from the SCG meeting
 
Date of Next Meeting:  TBA
 
Meeting closed at 7.30pm


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