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Supporters Consultative Group Meeting Minutes - Wednesday, September 24th

31 October 2014

The meeting minutes from September's Supporters Consultative Group meeting are now available...



Pat Abel – PA
Jim Brown – JB 
Steve Brown – SBR
Ian Davidson – ID
Darren Davies – DD
Adam Dent (Advent Communications) – AD
Tim Fisher (CCFC) – TF 
Chris McGrath – CM 
Jan Mokrzycki – JM
Kevin Monks – KM
Pat Raybould – PR
Tynan Scope (CCFC) – TS
Mark Sorbie - MS
Ray Stephens – RS 
Jonathan Strange, Chairman – JS
Ravinder Singh Takhar – RT
Steve Waggott (CCFC) – SW 
Peter Ward – PW


Steve Barnett
Nick Connoll (CCFC) 
Dale Hayward
Kevin Heffernan

Introduction from Chair

Points highlighted:

• Welcome to everyone including, for the first time, Steve Waggott
• SCG section to be included in every other edition of match-day programme PUSB, also advertising 
• Encourage overlapping of discussions between SCG and Stadium Forum
• Thanks to ID for presenting RT and JS with detailed research into CCLSC members’ views about the Ricoh 
• Invitations to be extended to Liz Cooper (ACL) and Karen Bennett (CCFC Ticketing) for October meeting


JS: SCG considering making a statement with regards to the potential arrival of London Wasps at the Ricoh Arena. 
SW: It’s business as usual for us. We have signed an agreement for two years in good faith and we need to get on with the day-to-day running of the football club. I would advise the exercising of caution with regards to any statement.
JM: Agree with SW until facts are clear.
SBR: Could you clarify the position of your commercial deal with ACL in terms of time. Is it two years with a definite two or two and review.
SW: Its two years with another two subject to review by both parties at the end of that period.
TF: We are completely focused on achieving an ‘operational steady state’ to action the fixtures with as high crowds as possible and do as much for the community as we can in the process.
TF confirms Coventry City Council have pre-emptive rights over the football club in purchasing AHC share of Arena Coventry Ltd.
JS: If I draw up any first draft statement it will be of a positive nature and ensure it passes group approval before distributing. 


Agreement reached that SCG to be represented at CCFC Board meetings on a quarterly basis. Chairman or Deputy Chairman plus at least one additional member to attend those meetings.
In situations where a specific issue is to be addressed, it would be the decision of the group to nominate a member who best represents that issue.
Monthly SCG meetings remain the platform for addressing specific practical and operational issues and ideas. Board meetings will provide opportunity to air views over wider strategic planning in relation to the football club and the Ricoh Arena. It will also give SCG opportunity to challenge directors over a wide variety of issues.
TS: It is the right time to have this form of representation at board level. 
SW: With the new representation at board level, does that mean there is a requirement for directors to attend all monthly SCG meetings. We will always make ourselves available if you feel this is the forum where we are required.
JS: As long as a member of the club is present to ‘put up a ladder’ to board level.
JM: We don’t necessarily need club directors here as long as an operational member of the club or ACL is present in order to pass issues along.
JB: Are there plans to expand the current club board?
TS: Yes there are. We have made no secret of that providing of course it is under the right circumstances. We have considered legal questions and issues regarding the potential expansion of the board and are now in a position to look at it.


Seating Configuration

JS: Why were Yeovil supporters given so much space in the South Stand given the knowledge that Yeovil would not bring the size of support which would warrant such space?
SW: Decision is taken by Safety Advisory Group which includes ACL safety officer and CCFC counterpart Chris O’Neill. South Stand importance to away fans is the configuration of the stand, not just in the seating area but also access in and out of the ground, including coach access.
ID presents statistics on average size of away support from League One clubs at the Ricoh Arena with a view to justifying argument of not handing opposition so much seat space, keeping away fans in Block 6 and allowing CCFC supporters the option to purchase in Block 8, 9 and 10.
ID also suggests closing blocks in all corners, halving available seating and encouraging compacting supporters together.
SW: I will take these suggestions and concerns back to the Safety Advisory Group (SAG). Anything that improves our chances to generate better atmosphere and win games.
SW: If the strength of feeling is so high regarding seating configuration I suggest a case is made to have some form of representation on the SAG.
JS: Is there a way to offer a deferred payment scheme to alleviate some of the financial burden?
TF: We have come up with a hybrid match package. By your next match package after the previous one expires and you can keep your seat in the same way you would with a season ticket. Those packages are in 6-12 match versions.
RS: Is there a way we could offer discounts or complimentary tickets for those on benefits? Or perhaps even make it a bit cheaper for students to attend?
TS: We have had those commercial relationships with both Coventry and Warwick University with varying levels of success.
TF: A question to JM and SB if I may. How are you encouraging your Trust members to come to games?
SBR: We put info on Sky Blues Trust site on how to purchase tickets. Some are militant that they won’t go and others we understand have found other things to do. But we can carry out a survey amongst our members. We first need to ask if people are going to games and if not, why not?
PW: We have discussed brainstorming sessions on this subject for some time. 
PA: We also need to find club ambassadors for outlying areas to work with club and nail logistics for tickets in those areas.
JS: We need to look at the possibility of an external streamlined, integrated ticket and travel system.
JS: Can we do print at home tickets off the internet
TS: That is one for Karen Bennett in Ticketing. I will take it back.
TF: This may be ‘next generation’ for us but of course we will look into it.
JS: Question from Dave Allen, how many season tickets have we sold.
SW: Just under 4,650 I believe so far. (Including corporate)
TF: Target is 6,000 which was the number in 12/13
JS: Will regular cash turnstiles be available?
TF: These decisions are taken closer to the day of a game however what we have found is that it is as much about communication so supporters know which turnstiles to head for.
PR raised issue of ease of purchase of tickets by disabled supporters who do not live within travel distance from the CCFC Superstore and could not call through. TF advised to pass on details so he can contact supporters on an individual basis to make arrangements.
TF suggests action point to bring to next SCG to improve ease and quality of purchase and match experience for disabled supporters. Asked MS to collate points which can be addressed.
ID: Asked about PSL and season ticket holders being able to move seats. SW said the club would be flexible once the configuration issues were resolved. TS said moving PSL seats had been raised at a meeting earlier in the week.
JS: Steve Barnett has asked if it’s possible to stress test shop website to improve usability.
TS: The usability is not down to broadband speed. The Superstore has fibre broadband. It comes down to the ticketing system which is a problem that is not uncommon among other organisations or industries selling tickets. With season ticket sales, the system has to allocate the seat to every game. More systems, more staff and more sales would not have alleviated the problem with regards to wait time. We are looking at our system but our provider See Tickets are renowned in the industry for their solutions and have a great deal of expertise in selling tickets. There was general praise for the ticket office staff.

Additional Queries

• Filthiness of some of the stadium seats
• Availability of disabled parking
• Audio quality of tannoy system
SW: We have a pre and post-match briefing in between games with ACL and we are happy to take these issues straight to that meeting.
• The group was grateful to DD for his survey into beer and parking prices at twelve surrounding pubs and clubs. The average price of a pint of Carlsberg was £2.85 against the Ricoh’s £4.60 for a pint of lager. It was £3.60 when the club were last at the Ricoh Arena.
• Price of car parking in surrounding area is £3-5 compared to £10 at the Ricoh Arena


• TF said that research into CCFC share certificates was on-going
• SBR suggested team sheets sponsored by SCG
• In touch with Coventry University about possible reciprocal arrangements with CCFC
• Tickets for Schools to be resumed at the beginning of the school year
• Car Parking arrangements at Tesco
• CCFC to come back on procedures for disabled supporters
• Detailed disabled people’s issues to be raised at a future meeting
• ID said that out-of-town supporters would not visit the Gallagher Park retail shop. CCFC is proposing mobile outlets around the Ricoh. 


Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Alan Berry Building, Coventry University
6.30 p.m

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