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Coventry City Supporters' Consultative Group Meeting Minutes - Wednesday, April 22nd

16 June 2015

The meeting minutes for the Supporters Consultative Group which took place on Wednesday, April 22nd are now available...

Coventry City Football Club
Supporters’ Consultative Group Meeting
Wednesday 22 April 2015, 6.15 p.m.
Alan Berry Building, Coventry University, Coventry

M I N U T E S

Present:

Steve Brown (SBR), Jan Mokrzycki (JM), Chris McGrath (CM), Pat Raybould (PR), Tynan Scope (TS),  Ray Stephens (RS), Jonathan Strange, Vice Chairman (JS), Peter Ward, Chairman (PW), Robert Tidmarsh (RT), Kieran Crowley (KC), Pat Abel (PA), Sandra Garlick (SG), Kevin Monks (KM), Darren Davies (DD), Tim Fisher (TF), CJ Joiner (CJ), Mike Garlick (MG), Jim Brown (JB), Ian Davidson (ID), Mark Hornby (MH),  Adam Dent (AD), Kev Monks (KM)

Apologies:

Steve Barnett, Dale Hayward, David Busst

Introduction

PW welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced a new member to the group, CJ Joiner who is part of the younger generation of members. He also welcomed Steve Brookfield, the club's Finance Director. Steve had been invited to talk about the state of the club financially. Tim Fisher and Steve Waggott were also welcomed to the meeting

Minutes of Last meeting

Circulated earlier by email, the meeting accepted as a true and fair record.

Matters Arising:

ID advised that he was missed off the attendees’ mailing list. PW has updated the list and will send to all members to confirm their details are correct.

PW said that he was disappointed by the recent comments publicised about him by the Sky Blue Trust and posted on the SBT website. PW questioned why the SBT felt it necessary to openly criticise the Chairman of the group outside of SCG meetings, and asked what motive the SBT has to undermine the SCG, of which the SBT is part.   He asked SBR if he had sanctioned this.  

SBR said he does not claim to represent any group of supporters and never has. He represents himself, he will not apologise or withdraw comments.

PW said he is concerned about the actions of some members of the group to mislead supporters. PW asked SBR why, when the SCG had invited the Chairman of the club to give a detailed report of the Club’s accounts at the last meeting, the Trust published their own interpretation with no reference to what Mr Fisher had reported to the SCG.

JS advised that SCG members should not publish assertions about the motives of colleagues who haven't even spoken

Issues Log

ID asked how things were progressing with this as he had put forward a lot of questions to the club on behalf of the London Supporters Group and had no response. PW said it was work in progress and would welcome any help with it. ID offered his help and this was accepted by PW.

Board Meeting

A meeting note had been issued prior to the meeting to summarise the SCG representation at the March Board meeting.  PW asked if there were any questions arising.

SBR asked if the 5 point plan had been discussed.  JB said yes, in parts during the meeting.

PW advised that a number of references had been made during the Board meeting to Financial Fair Play and the Football League’s Salary Cost Management protocol, and for this reason he has asked Steve Brookfield to attend the SCG meeting to bring this matter more widely to the attention of supporters.

Steve Brookfield

SB gave an overview of the Football League’s Salary Cost Management protocol

• Introduced into all 3 divisions of the Football League in 2012/3, having been trialed in League “ for a few years
• The Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) limits spending on player wages to a proportion of the club’s turnover
• Any breach of the permitted spending threshold results in a transfer embargo
• Turnover is generated by Season Ticket sales, gate receipts, sponsorship and other activities that can be proven to be produced by “football club” activities
• The Football League’s scrutiny is intense, calling for a budget to be agreed pre-season, based on expected turnover, with close and regular monitoring throughout the season
• The threshold is League One is currently running at 60%
• Given CCFC’s current attendance, the player wage budget is circa £2m per annum
• Against the Football League’s benchmarking survey, this is believed to be upper quartile for League One
• There was some discussion and explanation from SB to clarify the misunderstanding about the difference between the salary cap, the P&L and cash flow
• The salary cap can now include "football fortune" where revenue from a cup run or TV and equity from the owner, could now be included. This was not the case at the time of our Arsenal games. There was a long discussion on this and the Callum Wilson transfer was used as an example (without specific amounts). It was made clear that only physical cash received could be included in the salary cap calculation. Any future cash received would be counted at that time. So whilst the P&L and cash flow would show player costs, loan signings and compromise agreements costs and commitments only the amount received in cash in the season could be used for the salary cap calculation
• The salary cap included all player costs, but not those for under 21 players, and it was confirmed that it did not include the manager and his coaching staff
• There was also discussion on various models a club could use, the sustainable model (living within our means) vs the benefactor model. SW mentioned that from the benchmarking study only 8 League One teams had benefited from their benefactor last season
• The Steve Lansdown Bristol City example was used to demonstrate this. The Club confirmed it would follow the sustainable model and therefore the importance of season ticket sales to bring in revenues
• For CCFC to invest in a playing squad to capable of mounting a promotion Challenge, it needs to increase its turnover, ie season ticket sales are key
• TF reminded the group of the need to increase revenue streams to build a sustainable future; this was not possible in the current situation of renting a playing venue for match days only
• SB confirmed that revenues from non-football items like conference centres/hotel could be included but only when there is clear evidence of a link to a football club’s business which is hugely scrutinised 
• SW offered to circulate the Hartlepool FC FAQ on the salary cap.

DD asked about the possibility of buying season tickets by direct debit as for some fans this is the only way they can afford to buy a season ticket. Steve Brookfield answered that they were waiting for a response from FCA with an answer.

Steve Waggott said that the club wants to create an atmosphere within the ground and asked for suggestions from the group.  After much discussion it was decided to setup a working group for Season Tickets and seat configuration.

This was to be held on Tuesday 28 April and the volunteers were:

RS, PR, DD, ID, KM, RT, CJ, JS, MG, JM

Next Board Meeting

This will take place on 22 June and two representatives of the SCG will be invited to attend.   

Any Other Business

DD asked if the club could give fans more warning when away tickets for sale are running out. MH said that the club's social media is regularly updated on the position of ticket sales.

ID asked about the pre-season tour. SW confirmed that the planning of it is moving along and is close to finalising. The fans will be updated and will also have the chance to book hotels for it too. The date it is to be held is the 3rd week of July and will be in Europe

SW advised that there would be no "home" friendlies due to the pitch not being ready

ID asked it to be noted in the minutes of thanks to Tynan Scope for the LSCSC Player of the Season Award

PR reported that the last family zone was a great success and that there was money in the kitty to role forward to next season.

MG said that the beer prices had been raised in the Yorkshire Bank lounge to £4.00.

JB asked if it would be possible to play videos games before kick off to get the crowd going. KC advised this wouldn't be possible as there is a copyright on videos. 

JB advised The next golf day is 4 June and will be held at Stoneleigh Deer Park.

JM asked how things were progressing with the Kit. SW replied it will be ready soon. There will be a new manufacturer this year.

Date of next meeting
Wednesday 20 May (provisional)

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