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NEWS: Supporters’ Consultative Group meeting minutes.

27 September 2016

The minutes from the recent SCG meeting held at the Butts Park Arena...

Supporters’ Consultative Group
Meeting
Thursday 8 September 2016, 6.30pm
Butts Park Arena

Present: 
Pat Abel (PA), Chris Anderson (CA), Adam Brearley (AB), Shelagh Brock (SHB), Steve Brown (SBR), David Busst (DB), Declan Connolly (DC), Darren Davies (DD), Tim Fisher (TF) (via telephone conference), Mark Hornby (MH), CJ Joiner (CJ), Jan Mokrzycki (JM), Chris O’Neill (CO), Nicki Pollard (NP), Tynan Scope (TS), Ray Stephens (RS), Jonathan Strange, chairman (JS), Jodie Turner (JT), Bruce Walker (BW), Peter Ward (PW)
 
Apologies for Absence:
Apologies were received from Steve Barnett, Amrik Bhabra, Jim Brown, Michael Garlick, Sandra Garlick, Dale Hayward, Kevin Heffernan, Colin Henderson, Chris McGrath, Pat Raybould and Mark Venus.

Confidentiality
 
JS read out the following statement regarding confidentiality:

There must be an absolute commitment by each of us that nothing said or discussed at this or any future meeting can be published until after the official release time of the minutes. Whatever our interpretation hitherto, we must insist for everybody's sake that this is strictly observed.

This is not a fresh proposal. This is from the minutes of the SCG meeting of 22 May 2014. Nobody at that meeting demurred, and it has remained the SCG's stated policy ever since. 

Within hours of the last meeting, however, one member published detailed information on the internet of what Mark Venus had just said. This was without consulting me, let alone seeking the permission of our guest.  I had assured Mark that he would have the opportunity to amend the minutes before anything was published.

Three weeks later, I received an entirely unapologetic e-mail from the individual responsible. He claimed he was continuing a long established practice of posting reports about meetings on Sky Blues Talk. He suggested that he had 'picked up the baton for this' from a predecessor.  This predecessor had actually resigned from the SCG on 1 April 2014. That is to say seven weeks before our colleague was party to the commitment you have in front of you. 

As Sandra Garlick reminds us, everyone attending a meeting should have the opportunity to see how their opinions have been stated in the official minutes and given the opportunity to amend or remove if that information is misconstrued or sensitive. The only reason attendees and guests are so open at meetings is that they know they will have an opportunity to visit the minutes. Club representatives have shared information with us on the premise that they have the opportunity to remove any commercially sensitive material. No member of this group has yet been exempted from this understanding. 

This is about much more, though, than details of policy or approach. It is about trust and judgement, of respect for personal integrity. Without such things, this group is nothing.

Our friend went on to say that he had then been in contact with Mark Venus and Chris Anderson to explain the situation. 'They are satisfied that the matter is now resolved,' he told me. Perhaps I could invite the football club to comment?

TF said that what happened was completely inappropriate. Mark Venus felt very let down and hoodwinked. TF wanted it put on record that it was not OK for members to leak things and expect that the football club will just shrug their shoulders and say it’s OK. It’s simply wrong; the person in question let down everyone in the room.  Mark Venus won’t be attending future meetings – his trust in the group has gone.

CA added that it can only work if the people representing the club who attend these meetings feel that what they are saying is being treated in confidence. It will be hard to re-establish trust, the football club will be more cautious. The media environment in Coventry is far from friendly towards the football club and we don’t need confidential information being leaked across this platform. True fans of Coventry City FC will do all they can to support the club.

JS asked the person in question to consider himself and his position on the group.

Chairman’s Report

JS read out the following statement regarding the SCG:

I want to say a few words about the SCG, about what it is and about what it is not. The SCG is a consultation group. It is not and never has been a protest campaign group. 
It is certainly not the function of the SCG to commission support amongst its members for a campaign against the owners of the football club. And if any member wishes to propose otherwise, he may first consider it appropriate to consult me as the elected chairman. 

As the elected chairman, I will then acquaint myself with the opinion of every individual in this group including our colleagues from the football club. If I am convinced that there is an overwhelming demand for a modification to our Terms of Reference, I will then put it on the agenda once it has been possible to give due notice to every member. 
 
However, we need to ask ourselves two questions. Why should club employees continue to give up their time for us if it is to consult over ridding them of the very owners on whom they are dependent and to whom they owe a fiduciary responsibility? And is the club really reliant on the SCG for making it aware of what fans think about the owners?

I notice that there has also been an attempt to conduct a questionnaire through the group about 'just how many fans we represent'. Let me quote from the minutes of the SCG meeting of 22 April 2015:
SBR said he does not claim to represent any group of supporters and never has. He represents himself...

That hits the nail on the head. We are a representative group of individual supporters consulting on matters of mutual interest and concern to both the football club and all who follow it. We provide a link between individuals, organisations or demographic groups and the club. Every member of an organisation or group, however, does not necessarily share the same views. That is why this is primarily a Supporters' Consultative Group, not a Supporters Organisations' Consultative Group. 

The minutes to each of the last six SCG meetings have been published on average within six working days. They are accessible to anyone on this planet with internet access. And anyone with internet access can also easily discover details about the purpose of the group, information about its individual members and the contact e-mail address - an e-mail address, incidentally, to which no-one has ever failed to receive a cogent response.  The challenge for the SCG, therefore, is not one of inaccessibility; it is one of misperception. 
 
The SCG does not presume to take decisions on behalf of supporters. It has no executive responsibility. What it does is to seek answers to questions for the benefit of all concerned. There is no mystery to that. Anyone is welcome to ask questions. And there are crucial questions to be asked and answered about budgets and balance sheets, car parking, where we play and everything from toilet rolls to transfers to ticketing. 

‘We want SISU out!’ is a statement; it is not a basis for consultation.”

Chris O’Neill was in attendance with regards to safety. PR had forwarded some questions from Paul McKay but CO felt they were not of relevant consideration to the meeting, but he did confirm that ACL own the safety certificate for the stadium. SBR met with CO last year regarding stewarding and feels the stewarding situation is 100% better this season. He feels the stewards are now there to help, rather than to police.  JS proposed thanks to Dave Morris. CO thanked SBR for his comments – it was their intention to change things for the better this year.  He admitted there is still a way to go on the customer care front but is confident that this will improve even further as the season progresses.

On behalf of Pat Raybould who was not in attendance, JS read out the following statement:

“Thank you to everyone who supported Amy Louise’s ‘brave the shave’ in the family zone before the Northampton game.  She has so far raised £1359 to go to Macmillan Cancer Support and her hair has been sent to the Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children.  Special thanks to CCFPA for helping with the event.  On the same day, the zone received a cheque from Northampton Town Trust for £500. We have thanked them and would like to say a huge thank you to the Sky Blue Trust for choosing the zone as a recipient, along with the Alzheimer’s Society, for this generation donation."

Ticketing

CA introduced Shelagh Brock, who has re-joined the club as ticket office assistant.  She is doing a terrific job of being the face of the ticket office – she is an absolute gem.

JS asked CA if all our academy players, not just the elite ones, receive two tickets for each first team home game. CA confirmed that they all get two tickets for each game and this has been the case for many years. JS added that this is positive PR and could be publicised.  CJ asked if it was possible to extend this to DB’s SBITC kids; DB stated that they do get tickets for three fixtures a season, adding that there was great support from the club around this.

At the last meeting a question was raised asking if there would be a way on the system to upgrade concessionary tickets to adult tickets should the concession be unable to attend (i.e. evening games) – with only the difference being paid.  MH confirmed that this is possible and fans would need to go to the ticket office to upgrade – they would be given a paper ticket and the season ticket be disabled for that game.
CJ asked if cash turnstiles are being kept – AB confirmed they would be for the foreseeable future.  

CJ was in the match day ticket office queue earlier this season and calculated that it took over two minutes per transaction (SHB said it took a minute for a straightforward cash transaction; 1½ minutes for a straightforward card transaction – but not all transactions are straightforward. and this might put off fans deciding to go to the game on the day.  She added that the Ticketmaster staff have been brilliant. CA said that, as a society, we are becoming more and more cashless.  

Nine or ten League One clubs no longer operate cash turnstiles at all.  There is also the issue of the club knowing who is attending games and having information on them so it can contact them and target them in future.  Some fans do not read the news or social media and expect to turn up ten minutes before kick-off and to walk in so it is felt these changes need to be made more gradually, to let fans get used to the idea before implementing it.  JS added that fans are used to paying over the turnstile for minor cup games.  

RS asked if card readers could be used for ticket transaction but TS said this would still be an issue with regards to data capture.  SBR suggested letting it run for a few weeks and addressing it again at the next meeting - there are bound to be teething problems so we need to let it settle.  CA said the club have received a lot of feedback and it has improved greatly, the error rate is minimal.  Fans are unsure still over what is our responsibility and what is Ticketmaster’s – season tickets not arriving was not the club’s fault but it was dealt with. JS said that the improvement in the ticketing situation was worthy of publicity.

Car Parking

RS raised an issue he has with car parking. He parks in Car Park C and is concerned there isn’t an area within the car park designated for season ticket holders, as they are the supporters who attend every game and should be given priority.  He can’t walk too far or too fast so would appreciate having a designated area nearer to the ground for season ticket holders.  He has contacted APCOA, who operate the car parks. They have said that, although he is not a blue badge holder, if he takes a copy of their email to him to the games he can park in a disabled space.  

RS feels that it is wrong to park in a disabled space when he is not a blue badge holder.  Although someone else suggested that the car park spaces are numbered, it was agreed that designated spaces were not possible to steward.  RS reiterated that he only wanted an area for season ticket holders, not a space.  TS said that he will talk to them about the disabled bay being for blue badge holders only and if designated areas are feasible.  Replying to JS, TS has already raised the price discrepancy between what Coventry City supporters pay compared to Wasps fans/people attending events at the Ricoh.

Matters Arising

At the last meeting it was stated that the ticket office at the Butts is moving to the rugby club ticket office by 8th August at the latest – this has yet to happen.  AB said there were delays on the rugby club side; there are no windows as yet so the club are holding off until everything is finished.  

The print at home tickets option wasn’t working at the last meeting – this has now been resolved.

Match packages have now been finalised and details of the 6 and 20 match packages have been released today.  We are also finalising details around 19-15 match tickets, and then the half season ticket, where the campaign will start in November.

An issue was raised at previous meetings around stewarding at away games, where at some grounds they are not enforcing fans sitting in the correct seats.  This was an issue again at Swindon at the first game of the season.  CO said that all the club can do is to liaise with the safety officers at away grounds. JS asked whether this is something the EFL can coordinate over. CO said that if it is a major issue it can be raised at the safety officers’ conference.  TS added that our own fans do not always help the situation by not sitting in their allocated seats.  BW also added that it is only really an issue when the ground is full to capacity, which is rarely the case.  It has been a particular concern at Swindon the last two seasons. If we sell out, or come close to selling out, that is when the safety officers need to liaise.

Academy 

TF confirmed the club has been looking to arrange a meeting for a technical discussion with all parties concerned including Coventry Sports Foundation, Wasps, the EFL and FA.  We will need to ascertain whether a kicking barn will work for academy use.  TF is looking forward to the start of these discussions.  It should then become clear whether the academy’s tenure at Allard Way can continue or whether we need to find a contingency.  

CA added that we are proud of the boys who come through our academy. It is a great positive for the club and we continue to be committed to retaining our Category 2 Academy status.  It is the right thing for local boys to be playing for their local club and have a pathway to the professional ranks.  A high proportion of our first team squad have come through the academy and are genuinely good footballers, Tony Mowbray wouldn’t play them if he didn’t feel they were good enough.  The academy works and bears fruit – this is the right thing for the football club.  Hopefully the discussions will ensure the academy can continue in some form or another.   Everyone is aware of the value of the academy to the community. We mustn’t lose sight of that.

It is an audit year for the academy so it is a particularly sensitive time and we want to ensure we get it right.  This is undertaken by a Belgian independent company called Double Pass who work on behalf of the Premier League and the EFL.  They will visit the academy and go through everything including coaching qualifications, facilities, the education of our boys etc.  They will then give feedback and grade us. Having uncertainty over facilities is a novel situation and we need clarity around what facilities we will have available to us.

TF confirmed that the first meeting should be next week, probably Wednesday.  The meeting with the EFL and FA will be the following week.

Catering and Hospitality

JS raised the appalling hike in prices for food and beverage on the concourse and in the corporate areas.  

In the corporate area, AB explained that last year the stadium offered a retail offering of something such as curry and lost money on this.  They would try to cater for a third of the people in the area but would still not sell this many, there was lots leftover.  As a football club we were asked to guarantee minimum numbers, and pay the difference if this wasn’t met – we couldn’t justify this.  We listened to our corporate supporters and decided to put something on offer that had to be pre-ordered. It has been trialled at two games and the numbers are still low. The three course meal has gone from £25+VAT to £35+VAT – AB said that pricing isn’t down to the football club; and also confirmed that a three course meal at Stoke City was cheaper (approximately £30). We make no money on food and drink but we need to put offerings on and manage the process.

In the general areas the same applies. The football club do not have any input into pricing and doesn’t make any money from this.  AB will feedback to the stadium about this.

Transport

Bruce Walker attended the meeting to give an update around transport.

1. Freedom of Information Request: S106 – The request relates to the implementation of the Section 106 planning agreement relating to the site of the former Foleshill Gasworks, Coventry 18th September 2003, the development of which includes the Ricoh Arena. The agreement sets out a number of obligations to be discharged by Coventry City Council in its role as Landowner. They include provisions relating to the provision of a new Railway Station, the operation of services to and from it and to alternative public transport measures and arrangements by means other than private cars.

Specifically, in relation to CCC’s obligations as landowner in 2003 development agreement for the Ricoh, the Green Travel Plan states that the Arena would not be open for use ‘…until the Landowner has used all best endeavours to ensure that such transport options to and from the Arena other than the private car are available for public use so as to encourage 75% of visitors to the Arena to travel by means other than the private car’. In addition, the Plan for the Arena requires ‘On Major Event Days [=anticipated crowds of 10,000 or more] the extension or diversion of bus services into the Arena Site to/from the existing Park and Ride facilities at Memorial Park and Courthouse Green from/to Coventry City Centre and from other areas in Nuneaton and Bedworth; Thirteen years later, none of this has happened and none of it is happening. 

Therefore, we contacted the relevant portfolio holder, Councillor O’Boyle, on 13th May, with a series of questions. We also made it clear that we appreciated that planning agreements and arrangements can be changed and rescinded, as well as not enforced, over time and that responsibilities re: transport could have changed since 2003 as the ownership, leasing and other contractual arrangements for the Ricoh have changed. After two follow up mails in the absence of a concrete response to our questions, we submitted an FOI request in the third week of August asking:

1. What forms of transport are required to be provided or arranged on CCFC match days under the current S106 and other planning agreements pertaining to the Arena site?
2. Who is responsible for meeting these requirements?
3. Whether these requirements are being met
4. In the event of these requirements not being met currently, whether the City Council as the Planning Authority have any plans to enforce these requirements
5. Whether, in the portfolio holder’s view, the City Council has any role in further encouraging appropriate public transport provision and use on CCFC match days
6. In particular, paragraph 2.2 of Schedule 2 of Landowner’s Obligations relating to the development agreement requires the Council as Landowner “…to ensure that the construction of a Railway Station is completed and that the Railway Station is operational and has a train service operating on any Major Event Day which is of a frequency and capacity which is sufficient to cater for the reasonable demands and requests of visitors wishing to attend the Arena by train.” 

We know that although train services have sometimes been provided for visitors to music events and Wasps Rugby matches at the Arena, they are rarely, if ever, put on for Coventry City FC matches. Are the train services that are available to visitors on CCFC matchdays of a frequency and capacity which is sufficient to cater for the reasonable demands and requests of visitors wishing to attend the match by train?
 
7. Paragraph 2.3 of Schedule 2 provides as follows: “In the event that the Railway Station is not completed and operational by the time the Arena first opens…to ensure that measures are put in place (including the provision of free bus services to and from Coventry City Centre and the Arena Site and the vicinity of Bedworth Railway Station and the Arena Site) to encourage visitors to travel to and from the Arena Site by means other than the private motor vehicle and to ensure that such measures remain in place until such time as the Landowner is able fully to comply fully with the obligation contained within paragraph 2.2 of this Schedule” [see point 6 above]

We know that special bus services have sometimes been provided for visitors to music events and Wasps Rugby matches at the Arena, but they never been provided for Coventry City FC matches since the move to Northampton. If train services operating on CCFC match days are not always of a frequency and capacity which is sufficient to cater for the reasonable demands and requests of visitors wishing to attend the Arena by train for those matches, what alternative measures – e.g., (free) bus services - have been put in place?

2. TRAINS: We encouraged Wasps, CCFC, CCC all local MPs and Council leaders to raise with the Sec of State for Transport the need to ask potential franchisees for the Coventry-Nuneaton line about their short and long term plans for the Arena service on Major Event Days and to take their responses to this into account in the decision as to the allocation of the franchise. We know that Jim Cunningham, David Armstrong & Nick Eastwood, and Chris Anderson responded to our request. In reply, DfT replied that they were aware of the issues, that special trains did not appear to be viable, but that LM would continue to work with key stakeholders including CCC, Centro and Wasps [but not CCFC?] to find a solution.

We also contacted LM directly, aware that the capacity on the line through the Arena should be increased by the use of refurbished District Line stock. We are informed by LM that there is no planned increase in the frequency of service, but the advertised trains for Coventry will now be stopping at the Arena after CCFC matches this season (at 17.28 on Saturday, for example). This is also now advertised on the Ricoh website. However, as there is and still can be a problem with train capacity, LM’s advice is to continue to go to and from matches by road.

3. BUSES: The issue – no dedicated public bus service to and from station/city centre to the Ricoh. Those that go near to the Arena run to normal timetables irrespective of CCFC matches taking place. At the SCG meeting in April Kieron mentioned in discussing this topic that CCFC were in discussions with a bus company re: such a service. We wrote to Mark Hornby last month about this with the new season coming up. MH replied on 23rd August saying that he was contacting CA about progress on this would get back to me.
 
4. INFORMATION ON GETTING TO THE ARENA for CCFC games (recall Wasps and other events make special arrangements). We have information on this for the national Fans’ Guide… in draft. We have also contacted the station re: the provision of information on how to get to the Arena for City matches. The Station is managed by Virgin Rail and the members of their Management Team with whom we met were very keen to help. We have drafted info for visiting fans on how to get to and from the Arena by bus (and train, but not pointing out the capacity issue – a Virgin rep with whom we met said he would be wary of recommending catching the train to Arena if there were lot of fans). Currently, Ricoh website advises number 8 from station to Transport Museum then the 4 or 5 to Tesco’s. We’ve more comprehensive bus numbers (8, 9 , 9A, 11, 11U, 12X) to Pool Meadow and then to Arena (e.g., three No 20s that go up Foleshill Rd from Trinity Street and stop short of/just past Tesco’s), and where to get off. Also, crucially, we advise where to board on the way back.

JS thanked BW for his extensive work on this; TF reiterated this and said it was really informative.

Matchday Experience

SBR led on this item – he very much wants to improve the match day experience.  SBR responded to the ‘sarcastic’ comment regarding him in the Chairman’s Report– he said the reason he asked the question about how many fans we represent or could contact was for everyone to step up to the mark and start showing some solidarity and let people know we are all prepared to put views forward and ask questions.  He put all this in an email which he feels was a well-written piece.  With regards to the SCG, he wanted to get some sort of a number together and then focus on the fans not represented. He asked JS that if he had an issue with his questions, or him personally, to pick up the phone or contact him directly, rather than make a sarcastic comment in his report. 

He went to Bradford and saw their big flags and thought it looks really impressive and helps generate a good atmosphere.  He brought along ten sky blue and white flags that he purchased from Man City’s site as a sample.  CO said he would very much welcome this endeavour – all flags would need to have a fire retardant label on and no sticks are allowed (that is a football rule); if they comply with regulations though they would certainly be allowed in the stadium.  The Sky Blue Trust is aiming to be more positive and would be willing to purchase a number of flags, or even clappers, to give out to JSBs before games, as they understand the club’s money is limited.  SBR wants to contact as many supporters as possible to see what can be done in conjunction with the club – try to cull the negativity.  AB responded that the club is always looking to keep the cost down but the match day experience is very important to them.  We have already made improvements to the tunnel area as it was very bare and didn’t relate to CCFC, this has now been changed.  AB would certainly welcome the Sky Blue Trust buying some flags to distribute, it would lift things and would look good too.  We are also looking at having a fanzone.  RS commented that, for him, the match day experience is only about what is going on on the pitch, which is the case for many, although he would like the re-introduction of goal music – JS commented that fans do not rely on music to induce celebration.

PA added that Wasps give away free tickets to schools, which we should match with cut-price tickets for families.

DB added that community activities will take place during family days – the first one of these this season will be the Oldham game.  300-400 extra children will be in attendance for these.  SBR agreed that this was a great idea – we should be giving kids a good experience that they will remember.

It was also asked about the possibility of bringing back the 50/50 draw.  TS confirmed they are working on a new electronic version of this.  More information to follow.

TF thanked SBR for his efforts around this.

Any Other Business

JS asked CA whether he could address the remaining questions gathered in May by DD from contributors to the Facebook Coventry City fans forum. CA was happy to do so. However, it became apparent as we started the questions that the group would need to resolve its protocol difficulties before this was possible.  Some points came out of this, however:

• CA wanted it noted that Mowbray is working really hard and is absolutely committed to the football club.  He is really excited and upbeat about the bunch of players at his disposal, despite results.  He is focused on getting the team to gel and start winning games.  

• RS highlighted that in the last meeting it was stated that Mowbray would have the same budget as last year; but it seems he has not received any of the James Maddison transfer money and that Turnbull was acquired with the money from the Vincelot sale.  The manager is having to rely on free transfers, loans – and the academy kids who shouldn’t have to play week in, week out.  RS feels the manager doesn’t have the tools to work with and feels the budget is too low.  

TF responded to this by saying the club has to be self-sustainable and we need to keep it going and moving forward, without putting ourselves in a dangerous financial position.  The playing budget is not in the 10% for the league but it is what it can be. We would love to have a big budget but we don’t have the revenues to match the costs. We do what we can with the means we have got.  We have the disadvantage of not owning our own stadium and our only meaningful revenue coming from ticketing and retail.  TF has discussed the situation with Mowbray. The first team are currently underperforming; this is deeply disappointing.  It is felt they should be doing better. There has been an impact due to inflation in football players’ wages, average players are on high wages, and also the change in the loan system.  We have lost players (Fleck and Cole) who we were unable to keep. There also have been players we sold or released, which were football decisions, not financial. The board trust the management to make the right decisions.  

JS brought up the programme subscription – he has subscribed annually since 1967 but didn’t receive a renewal invitation this summer, although he gathers there is a subscription scheme.  The price has gone up from £90 to £114, which is a 26.67% increase. There is also a concern about the concourse shop not having back numbers available and the need therefore to apply to the publishers. The programme is a useful medium of communication for the club. Ready availability is being hampered.  MH said there was an intention to publish further information on the website – the 27% increase is from the publisher, not the club.  MH to check if the subscription includes cup games. CA added that programmes are dying and that publishers work on fairly small margins - this is probably the reason for the increase. JS argued that programmes are still a forum for communicating with fans and a tangible source of information. CA agreed but said that not many fans buy them and miss out on this communication. TS said that the EFL insists on clubs publishing a programme. If we produce a digital version it needs to be exactly the same.

DD had sent the group some photos of children’s kits damaged after being washed.  PR had also reported a similar problem. AB admitted the club have had quite a few issues around this and have been in touch with the retail provider - they are meeting next week. He believes we are not the only club experiencing this.  

DD also sent an email regarding the Vincelot, Maddison and Sambou funds (which was sent on behalf of the forum he is part of) and asked if these funds have been made available to the squad. CA referred back to what was said earlier in the meeting about the club being self-sustainable. He stated that money is not taken out of the club. The recent figures floating around about Maddison have been over-inflated.  We signed thirteen players over the summer. We have the makings of a good team that includes kids who are representing their local city and we want to be a club which brings through our youngsters. We don’t want to have to sell our players but sometimes we need to. We also have a great commercial team and are on top of ticketing now. We need the negativity to stop.

PA asked about group ticket sales and tickets for schools. AB said that in his last role he led a team of four who worked with schools, sports associations, businesses, youth groups etc so he has been involved in this in the past. However, he needs to get his head around everything over the next few weeks. We will be attending Freshers’ Week at Coventry University, where we will be selling cut-price tickets for the Wimbledon game, and are in touch with University of Warwick about attending Freshers’ Week there. Warwick are also interested in a staff offer so we are looking into that.

CJ raised the issue of certain members not attending meetings for months on end. JS said that there is only one current member in that category. SBR said that only having to attend once every six months isn’t enough and proposed changing it to three months. JS said that this was too short and suggested four months. SBR agreed and this was seconded by RS.

JM raised the EFL’s proposed radical changes to the league structure in England. JS said that he had already earmarked a specific agenda point for discussion about this at the October meeting. Clubs were supposed to get back to the EFL earlier this month but there has yet to be any consultation with fans. CA said the deadline had been extended. The EFL Trophy was put to us at the last minute but this restructure is a lot bigger.  The Chair of the EFL was due to visit every club - this has yet to happen. We wouldn’t make a decision without consulting supporters.

BW asked the club to ensure that the issue of bus services (not necessarily free ones) to the Ricoh is pursued. 

AB gave a brief summary of his first two months at the club. There is a great team behind the scenes who are very committed. They leave no stone unturned and work very hard to create revenue for the manager.

Date of Next Meeting: TBC


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